The largest Continent on Earth, Asia consists of a varied geography and a long history. A number of ancient civilizations settled in the region and left their relics in the form of amazing monuments and structures. At the same time, there are also many natural wonders in the region which attract interested tourists from all parts of the globe. Discover some of the most spectacular of these landmarks through the following discussion.
The Great Wall of China
One of the most famous landmarks in Asia is the Great Wall of China which is the world’s longest man-made structures. It is on the list of the Seven Wonders of the Medieval World. It consists of sections built by different Chinese dynasties during different periods of time. The combined length of all the sections is 6,300 kilometers.
- The oldest section of the Great Wall of China was built around 2,000 years back.
- The structure was added to the list of the Great National and Historical Sites of the World in 1987 by UNESCO.
- During the construction of the wall, over a million labors lost their lives. It was, therefore, also known as the world’s longest cemetery.
- The wheelbarrow, invented by the Chinese, played an important part in the construction of the wall.
- Some of the oldest sections of the Great Wall have gone through the process of erosion. The portion of the wall passing through the province of Gansu is expected to completely disappear in the coming twenty years unless it is reconstructed.
- Defensive moats surrounded certain sections of the wall to keep invaders away.
- The Great Wall’s highest point is in Beijing where it is constructed at the Heita Mountain rising 1,534 meters high.
- It is one of the most visited structures in the world. According to an estimate made in 2004, more than 41.8 million tourists visited the Great Wall that year.
- The most popular section of the Great Wall of China is at Badaling. It has been visited by more than three-hundred Heads of State as well as other important people from different parts of the world.
- Although the wall can be seen from space, astronauts cannot see it with the naked eye.
- The raw materials used during the early construction of the structure included compacted earth, stone and wood. A major rebuilding project was carried out in the fourteenth century during the Ming Dynasty. The wall was strengthened with stone and bricks.
A relic of the famous Mughal Empire in India, the beautiful Taj Mahal was constructed on the orders of Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his dear wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The spectacular building which is located in Agra, India reflects Muslim, Indian and Persian architecture. Its white exterior is a symbol of purity while its surrounding garden – Taj Garden – enhances the structure’s spiritualism.
- The construction of Taj Mahal began in 1631. It took twenty-two years for the complete building to come into existence in 1653.
- The architect who designed the beautiful Taj Mahal was Ustad Ahmad Lahauri.
- Twenty-thousand workers were employed to carry out the construction job.
- Over a thousand elephants were used as a means of transport for the construction material during the building project.
- The marble used in the construction of Taj Mahal was brought from different parts of the country including Rajasthan and Punjab. In addition, different types of marble were also imported from China, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Tibet.
- The building appears in different shades depending upon the time of the day. According to local belief, these changing colors depict a woman’s changing moods.
- The largest dome of the building is called the “onion dome”. It is thirty-five meters in height.
Panjin Red Beach
One of the most incredibly beautiful natural landmarks in Asia is the Panjin Red Beach in China. It is located in the delta region of the Liaohe River situated 30 kilometers to the south west of the Panjin city. The beach is marked by a unique type of red sea weed which flourishes in this area.
- The red sea weed found on the Panjin Beach grows best in saline alkali soil.
- The weed turns bright red during autumn and makes the beach appear covered in red carpet.
- Most of the area of the beach is a natural reserve with only a small portion open for tourists.
- The beach is situated in the world’s biggest wetland and reed marsh.
- The region hosts a large variety of wildlife including over two hundred species of birds and almost four hundred other types of animals.
Angkor Wat is an ancient religious monument located in Cambodia. It was constructed in the twelfth century and is a relic of one of the oldest civilizations of the world. It is a temple complex which serves as one of the most important tourist attractions in Asia.
- This Hindu Temple is the world’s largest religious monument.
- Angkor Wat contributes to about fifty percent tourism in Cambodia.
- The temple’s orientation is towards the west. According to Hindu belief, this direction is associated with death.
- The temple was dedicated to the Hindu god, Vishnu.
- The awe-inspiring temple complex was first discovered in 1860 by a French explorer.
- Prior to its discovery, the local Cambodians followed the general belief that the building was constructed by gods.
- The literal meaning of Angkor Wat is the City of Temples.
- Vegetable compounds were used to join together the bricks of the temple during its construction.
- It served the same purpose as the Egyptian pyramids since it was built to preserve the ashes of the dead King.
- Shooting of the famous Hollywood blockbuster – Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – took place in Angkor Wat.
Located in Philippines, the famous Chocolate Hills are another of the most famous landmarks in Asia. Over a thousand hills cover an area of fifty square kilometers. These beautiful hills are covered with grass which turns brown during the dry season. This is what gives these hills their name.
- The hills are located on the Bohol Island in Philippines.
- The Chocolate Hills are actually limestone hills.
- The height of the hills ranges between thirty and a hundred and twenty meters.
- According to the most common theories, the formation of the hills took place through coral deposits over along time period.
- According to legend, the hills were formed as a result of a rock throwing competition between two giants.
The Asian continent is filled with many more natural as well as man-made landmarks which are awe-inspiring. It is worth paying a visit to the continent in order to experience the breathtaking view of natural wonders and to marvel at wonderful ancient monuments.