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Delhi, Dec 22, 2016: There goes a very old saying that one can find God in any corner on the Earth. But, there have been erected some magnificent spiritual structures all across the Earth which has left many devotees spellbound. Here is a list of some of the most beautiful and largest spiritual structures across the globe:
- Akshardham Temple
The current head of Swaminarayan Hinduism, Pramukh Swami Maharaj inspired and moderated the building. The central monument is 43 meters (141 feet) high, 96 meters (316 feet) wide, and 110 meters (370 feet) long. The architecture style of the building comprises of Rajasthani pink sandstone and Italian Carrara marble and has no support from steel or concrete. The construction of Akshardham Temple was completed by 2005.
The Romans built three temples in Baalbek over two centuries: Jupiter, Bacchus and Venus. The temple of Jupiter is the largest temple in the Roman empire and it is lined by 54 massive granite columns. Only 6 of these titanic columns remain standing but even they are incredibly impressive. The best preserved temple at the site is the Temple of Bacchus built in 150 AD. The temple is 69 meters long and 36 meters wide. Its walls are adorned by 42 Corinthian columns, 19 of which remain upright in position standing 19 meters (62 feet) high.
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- The Temple of Saint Sava
The Temple of Saint Sava is the largest church in the world. The church is 91 meters (299 feet) long from and 81 meters (266 feet) wide. It is 70 meters (230 feet) tall, with the main gold-plated cross on top of the dome extends the church for 12 more meters (39 feet). It has a surface area of 3,500 m2 on the ground floor. The construction of this church started in 1985 and was almost completed by 2004. However, the internal decoration of the church is not yet complete.
Jetavanaramaya, built by king Mahasena in the 3rd century AD took 15 years to complete. It has a height of 122 meters (400 feet), Jetavanaramaya was the third tallest structure in the world behind the pyramids of Giza at the time of its completion. The diameter of the dome itself is approximately 95 meters (312 feet). It is located in the city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.
- Temple of Christ the Saviour
It was originally commissioned after the defeat of Napoleon, but construction did not begin until 1839. In 1931 it was blown to pieces by orders of Stalin to make way for a proposed Palace of the Soviets, which was never built. In 1990, the Russian Orthodox Church received permission to rebuilt the cathedral. The cathedral was completed in 2000 is the tallest Orthodox church in the world. It is one of the most controversial building in Moscow and has had a turbulent history.
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- Sri Ranganathaswamy
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam is the largest functioning Hindu temple complex in the world. It is spread over an area of 156 acres (6,31,000 m²). The oldest structure of the temple dates back to the 10th century. There are 21 gopurams (tower), among which the Rajagopuram is the biggest temple in South India. It is 73 meters (240 feet) in height, and dates from the 17th century, although it was only completed in 1987.
- Tikal (Temple IV)
Tikal was the largest Mayan city between ca. 200 to 900 AD with an estimated population between 100,000 and 200,000 inhabitants. Tikal has 6 large step pyramids from which the largest is Temple IV which is some 72 meters (230 feet) high and was finished around 720 AD. It is the tallest pre-Columbian structure in the Americas although the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan may originally have been taller, as may have been one of the jungle covered pyramids at El Mirador..
Located on the Indonesian island of Java, 40 km (25 miles) northwest of Yogyakarta, the Borobudur is the largest Buddhist temple in the world. The Borobodur can be divided into three groups: base, body, and top, which resembles the three major division of a human body. The base is a 123×123 meters (403.5×403.5 feet) square in size and 4 meters (13 feet) high of walls. The total surface area is approximately 2,500 m2. The body is composed of 5 square platforms each with diminishing heights. The top is a monumental stupa with a main dome at the center . The dome has a height of 35 meters (115 feet) from the ground level.
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- Angkor Wat Temple
The Angkor temple stands on a raised terrace above the rest of the city. It is made of three rectangular galleries rising to a central tower, each level higher than the last. The outer gallery of the Angkor Wat temple measures 187 x 215 meters (614 x 705 feet). After this, the next two galleries are connected to each other. On the second level, it measures 100 x 115 meters (328 x 377 feet). The inner gallery is a 60 x 60 meter (197 x 197 feet) square area. The tower above the central shrine rises 65 meters (213 feet) above the ground.
- Karnak (Great Hypostyle Hall)
Karnak actually consists of several temples. One of most famous structures of Karnak is the Hypostyle Hall, a hall area of 5,000 m2 (50,000 sq ft). The 134 massive columns arranged in 16 rows supported a roof that has now fallen. At a height of 24 meters (80 feet) the 2 middle rows are higher than the others.
– by Shambhavi Sinha of NewsGram. Twitter: @shambhavispeaks
The symbol of Swastika is known to signify peace, prosperity, and good fortune in the religious cultures of Eurasia. In fact, this symbol is considered very significant in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. But, at the same time, it has become one of the most misunderstood religious symbols and has been globally banned in many countries.
The reason why the symbol of Swastika is banned in many countries is because of its association with Adolf Hitler's extreme political ideology, Nazism, as Swastika as its official symbol.
Austria, France, Latvia, Spain, Germany, and Russia are amongst the many countries that have banned the display and use of the Swastika.
Moreover, last week Victoria in Australia is preparing to become the first-ever state to ban the public display of the Swastika. This is a step towards an expansion of anti-vilification laws in the state.
Representation of the Swastika on the flag of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Movement.Photo by Flickr.
Now, we must know and understand what went wrong with this symbol, which is sacred and signifies all-good things.
For a very, very long time, in India, the Swastika is the first emblem that is worshipped or even drawn before any sacred and auspicious ceremonies as this symbol in Sanskrit represents 'well-being'. But, the Swastika lost all its credibility when it was wrongfully used by Adolf Hitler.
In fact, it is believed that if this symbol is worshipped properly, then it gives positive results. But if it is abused, then it gives negative results. So, when Adolf Hitler rotated the Swastika at 45 degrees, it slowly and steadily brought misery not only to Adolf Hitler and his theory of Nazism but also to all the people who were associated with him.
Therefore, in order to give the kind of respect and credibility which the Swastika deserves, World Interfaith Harmony Week which was held in New York in February this year, interfaith groups appealed to the United Nations to recognize and acknowledge the Swastika as an important and peaceful symbol. In fact, they also differentiated it from the Hakenkreuz or "Hooked Cross" of Adolf Hitler.
India celebrated a historic day on August 7, as 23-year-old Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian to win an Olympic gold medal in athletics. In the men's javelin throw event, he achieved his greatest triumph, throwing the javelin 87.58 meters on his second try.
Neeraj Chopra was born on December 24, 1997, in Khandra village in Haryana's Panipat district. He grew up in a Haryanavi family of farmers. He is the brother of two sisters. He graduated from Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College in Chandigarh and is now enrolled in Lovely Professional University in Jalandhar, Punjab, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree. Chopra was bullied due to his obesity as a kid, which prompted his father to enroll him in a nearby gym. He then joined a gym in Panipat, where Jaiveer Choudhary, a javelin thrower, noticed his potential and coached him. When the 13-year-old Chopra finished training under Jaiveer for a year, he was enrolled at the Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex in Panchkula, where he began training under coach Naseem Ahmed.
In 2018, he broke the world record in the javelin throw and became India's first-ever gold medalist in the javelin throw. He is also a laureate of the Arjuna Award for 2018. | Wikimedia Commons
Chopra's first international medal came in 2014, as he took home a silver medal at the Youth Olympic Qualification Tournament in Bangkok. In 2015, he set a world record in the junior category of 81.04 meters in the 2015 All India Inter-University Athletics Meet.
Since emerging into the public eye with a historic gold medal at the junior world championships in 2016, he has maintained a high level of performance, setting an Under-20 world record of 86.48m, which still stands. Gold medals in both the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2018 Asian Games are among his other accomplishments, including a first-place in the 2017 Asian Championships. In 2018, he broke the world record in the javelin throw and became India's first-ever gold medalist in the javelin throw. He is also a laureate of the Arjuna Award for 2018.
Chopra has also had his share of bad events in life. In 2019, he underwent surgery on the elbow of his right throwing arm, which kept him out of the game for almost a year. However, he returned more robust than ever. In November 2019, he went to South Africa to train from Klaus Bartoneitz. He spent the following year in India training at the NIS Patiala because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He was allowed to go to France with his coach after weeks of trying to get a travel visa.
Neeraj Chopra made history in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by becoming the first Indian to win a gold medal in athletics. Also, it is worth mentioning that after Abhinav Bindra, Chopra is only the second Indian to win an individual gold medal.
Keywords: Neeraj Chopra, Olympics, Tokyo2020, Gold medal, javelin, India, Haryana
The emergence of the Industrial Revolution in Victorian England brought with it many apprehensions and fears that translated into a new genre in literature: the gothic. Today, the idea of the gothic does not have to much with literature as much as it is associated with fashion.
The Victorians began to wear black more often during the Industrial Revolution to hide the stains of soot on their clothes. Many of the working class were employed in factories. They were newly introduced to technology, the idea of coal as fuel, and the working of machines to serve a certain purpose. This kind of work was hard and messy. Wearing light colours burdened the tired folk when the stubborn stains did not get washed away.
The steam engine was invented to make locomotion easier for the masses, but it brought fear to the people. They had led quiet and simple lives till now, and suddenly their world was infiltrated with loud noises and smoke. Dark places became synonymous with evil deeds and mysteries. It was from this time that horror gained a place in the imaginations of people and artists.
A man sporting gothic clothes and shock coloured hair Image source: wikimedia commons
The gothics of today are those who have held on to these practices. There is no need to fear smoke and noise anymore, but the goths wear black clothes all the time, paint their skin a pale shade, to contrast their clothes, and wear bright shades of red. The traditional gothics decorated themselves with jewellery bearing religious significances, as the belief in Dracula and vampires emerged in the Victorian period. Today, it is a trend to wear studded crosses, or crosses made of black metal either as neck chokers, or earrings.
Modern goths also wear bright monotones to show their patronage of a certain style or order of the goths. They can be seen in neon shades of green, pink, and yellow, often sporting piercings, and matching hair. Their tastes are metallic, and they have an uncanny love for tattoos.
Designers consistently include gothic tastes and styles in their clothing lines to create inclusivity for this subculture. Being gothic, or identifying with them is somewhat a concern even in today's society, and such people are often stigmatised to the extent that it is considered a mental illness associated with the dark arts. The phenomenon is mostly observed in teenagers, and often phases out when they reach adulthood, depending on their sphere of influence.
Keywords: Gothic, Fashion, Victorian, Black, Jewellery