Have you ever felt a desire to travel to an exotic land away from your workaholic life and explore the secrets of their genesis? If your answer is yes, you should read ahead to know some of the finest and the best destinations that have more riddled versions explaining their origin from the people who have lived there. We will be revealing some of the iconic destinations in the world that have manmade structures that are an engineering feat considering the era they were built in. The list also includes some of the modern marvels that have redefined the construction and engineering. Regale in the knowledge of Top Secrets: The Truths Behind 10 Of The World’s Great Wonders.
The Truths Behind 10 Of The World’s Great Wonders
1. Taj Mahal, Agra, India
According to the versions of the legend, it says that the Mughal ruler Shah Jahan had ordered chopping hands of the builders who took part in the construction of one of the iconic monument after the completion. It was to ensure such a building would never be replicated by the hands that build them. Although, there isn’t sufficient backing t this theory, one gaze at the monument’s elegance is enough to make you sweep off the feet. The construction was an engineering marvel of the era. It was built perfectly vertical from the ground above. The minarets were constructed with a slight outward slant to prevent it from collapsing inwards in the event of an earthquake.
Take a train from Delhi to Agra. You will have to get the tickets from Archeological Survey of India (a.k.a Taj Mahal Office) in advance as entry is limited throughout the day. The visitation is closed on Friday.
2. Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE
It is vertigo inducing tower that cost the Ruler of Abu Dhabi $ 1.5 billion USD to construct. Standing at 828 m high overlooking the vast desert landscape, it is the undisputedly the tallest construction ever by humanity. It is 2.5 times taller than the Eiffel Tower. The building is a technological marvel, considering the location it stands on. The building is regularly exposed to high-speed winds and earthquakes and is perfectly capable of handling the two. Its ability to sustain nature’s brute owes to the buttressed core design. There are three sets of wings that are 120 degrees from each other and rigidly anchored to the stem. Their purpose is to support the other when the building is under stress. Hence, when two wings are under stress, the third will support the rest.
The building is located in downtown Dubai. You will have to purchase the deck tickets from the lower ground at Dubai Mall.
3. Moai, Easter Island (Rapa Nui), Polynesia
Some believe that these ancient statues are held accountable for the collapse of the Easter Island civilization. When the islanders built these statues, they devastated the forest by heaving logging activity to transport these statues over the water. Heave deforestations are believed to have worsened the soil quality, resulting in failed harvest, war, famine, and cannibalism. But, the satellite imagery shows that these statues were probably dragged on land to place them on the sloping hills based on the dirt tracks.
You will have to pre-book your flight tickets, to the Rapa Nui as flights are the only way to reach the island and it is always reserved.
4. Stonehenge, England
Ok, it isn’t news that Stonehenge is subjected to countless conspiracies. From druids, aliens and a list of many to count were held responsible for the construction of these monuments. But, none seems to be sure why and who built them. However, recent evidence indicates that the monument was built to celebrate the midwinter, and not the midsummer, unlike the previous account. The conclusion was reached after finding the monuments in the area was built to remain aligned with sunrise and sunset. It was also known that the inhabitants of the area had a habit of eating pork to celebrate the longer days by dating the pig teeth found in the area.
However, most people are curious how they were built in an era without earthmovers or sophisticated construction aid. Some explanations say that in 2600 BC the blue stones were likely to be mobilized on rafts from the Preseli Hills located in West Wales.
The base of each stone was kept perched into a pit, and the lintels were positioned using the scaffolding.
You can choose to drive to Stonehenge from London. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Salisbury.
5. Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
It was originally used as radio antenna by the Germans to send coded war communications during the WW2. Eiffel Tower was built in the year 1889 by Monsieur Eiffel for the world fair. He made $1 million USD via ticket sales in the initial year. The tower stood 324m above ground and was made of finest steel. Every seven years the tower is smeared with 50 tons of paint to prolong its beauty.
You will have to arrive at Bit-Hakeim via metro number 6or at Trocadéro via metro number 9. Look for tour packages that will take you for a visit to the Eiffel Tower. Alternatively, you could also take the boat along the Seine that will stop beside the tower to get that view.
6. Great Wall of China, China
It was originally built using rocks and mud. But, the 16th-century emperor Jiajing reinforced the construction into the stone wall. Millions of workers contributed to making the wall. Many from the army press and volunteers signed up to complete the wall. They worked round the clock and constructed the wall. Some history records indicate that 3 km wall was built in 600 days using just 3000 able workers. The Great Wall of China holds the reputation of being the only man-made structure that can be seen from space,
To visit the wall, you will have to take a bus (No. 919) from the old gate of Deshengmen in Beijing, Alternatively, you can take the tour bus from Tiananmen Square. Try avoiding the visitation from Simatai and Jinshanling as they are less exciting for visitation.
7. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
It is known as an empire of temples. In a city of 1 million populations, it took more than 300,000 workers less than 35 years to finish the completion using 6000 elephants. Although, most temples take centuries to build, it was a marvelous feat by completing the construction of own of the world’s largest religious complex. The moat around the temple is colossal that it can be seen from space. The seductive carving (nymphs or apsaras) on the temple walls are known to have 37 different hairstyles. Now, that must be a very intricately designed temple. Agree not?
You will have to take a flight from Bangkok to Siem Reap. You can also take taxi, boat or bus from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap for visiting the temple.
8. Machu Picchu, Peru
They were built in the 15 century, dwelled and deserted (within a century) by the Incan civilization. What is left of the destination is the dry walls clinging to the ridges in the Andes. The Incans were not known to have used wheels for the construction of their settlements. They were hauled by men using bare hands. The protrusions and crevices on the block of rocks indicate it was manual labour that pushed the rock up the slopes into their places. They used some clever engineering principles to secure their constructions. Such as, L-shaped rocks that were used to secure the corners of buildings and also, the mortar weren’t used in the construction. On the event of an earthquake, the constructions wouldn’t collapse. They would rather move and resettle themselves.
There are only two choices to reach the destination. You will have to hike the hills or take a train to Aquas Calientes. After you arrive at Aquas Calientes, you will have to take a bus to the destination.
9. Khazneh, Petra, Jordan
This tourist destination was iconic for being the choice of destination for filming movies like Indiana Jones. The Khazneh wich was carved starting from the top and finishing at the bottom the Rocky mountain side is 2000 years old. However, the rocks you see on the cliff side isn’t part of the original construction as they were created by the vandals to deface the sculptures.
Relying on public transport isn’t the best option as they are infrequent. It is best to rent a car or hire a taxi. Look for Wadi Musa and Petra signpost en route the Kings and Desert highways.
10. Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt
There are very few monuments on the face of the earth that can compete with the elegance of the Great Pyramids. This gargantuan structure was the tallest man-made structure until the completion of Eiffel Tower in 1889. The pyramids were built to encapsulate three burial chambers. However, it took 30,000 able hands to complete the monument. Unlike the common belief, that the workers slaved to complete the structure, the carving, and ancient graffiti indicate they weren’t slaves but skilled workers.
After reaching Cairo, you will have to take a bus or taxi to the Great Pyramids.