Category Heritage

What are the interesting facts of The Sundarbans National Park?

Shared between two countries

The Sundarbans is spread across West Bengal, India, and Khulna Division, Bangladesh. Covering an estimated10,00,000 hectares, about 64 per cent of the entire mangrove area of the forest is said to be in Bangladesh, with the remaining 36 per cent in India. The Sundarbans is listed as ‘Sundarbans National Park, as a World Heritage Site from India, and as The Sundarbans World Heritage Site from Bangladesh.

The largest Mangrove forest

The Sundarbans is home to the largest mangrove forest in the world, and is also the only mangrove forest to be inhabited by the tiger. Nearly 78 species of mangroves have been recorded at the Sundarbans, making it one of the richest mangrove forests, as well as one among the most biologically productive of all natural ecosystems.

The largest population of tigers

Apart from being the only mangrove forest inhabited by the tiger, the Sundarbans is also home to the largest number of Bengal Tigers in the world A part of the Sundarbans is designated as the Sundarbans Tiger Reserve to protect the species. The tigers here have adapted to the environment and have become amphibious, swimming long stretches in search of food.

A unique tidal system

The Sundarbans experiences a unique tidal phenomenon, witnessing high and low tides several times within a day. During the high tides, you can witness the water levels rising by six to ten feet. And during low tides, you can see huge areas of flat mud lands.

There is a great natural depression called “Swatch of No Ground in the Sundarbans area. This depression leads to a sudden change in the depth of the water from 20 m to 500 m.

What’s in a name?

Did you know the Sundarbans got its name from the Sundari tree? It is a special kind of mangrove tree found in this area. It has aerial roots (roots which are above the ground) to help with respiration. This is especially useful for the tree during the rainy season when the entire mangrove area is waterlogged.

 

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What are the facts of the Statue of Liberty in the United States?

Standing in the middle of the sea, the Statue of Liberty is a 93 metre – tall copper statue; think of it as equivalent to the height of a 22-storey building. The statue is a national treasure of the United States visited by millions every year.

A gift from France

To commemorate the centennial of the United States’ independence and honour France’s relationship with the U.S., French jurist Edouard de Laboulaye, in 1865, proposed the idea of presenting a gift from the people of France to the people of the U.S. Laboulaye was touched by the recent abolition of slavery in the U.S., which furthered the ideals of freedom and democracy in which he greatly believed.

Sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, who resonated with Laboulaye, conceptualised a colossal structure that is formally known as Liberty Enlightening the World.

A symbol of liberty and freedom

Several elements of the statue symbolise liberty and freedom. The statue is named after the Roman Goddess Libertas who personifies freedom. The tablet she carries is inscribed with July 4. 1776 in Roman numerals, the day America became a free country. The torch carried by the statue is considered a symbol of enlightenment and lights the way to freedom. As a symbolism of abolition of slavery, Bartholdi has placed a broken shackle at the statue’s foot.

The Eiffel connection

Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, the man who built the Eiffel tower in Paris, France, was closely involved in the building of the statue. He was engaged by Bartholdi to address structural issues associated with designing the statue. Eiffel designed the massive iron pylon and the secondary skeletal framework that allows the statue’s copper skin to move independently yet stand upright.

Of seas and continents

The seven spikes radiating from the statue’s crown are meant to be a halo, also known as an aureole. The spikes represent the seven seas and the seven continents of the world and emphasise the statue’s message of inclusiveness and freedom.

Modelled on a real person

The face of the Statue of Liberty is said to have been modelled on Bartholdi’s mother, Charlotte. This was first discovered in 1876, when Bartholdi invited French Senator Jules Bozerian to his box at the opera, where his mother was also present and Bozerian noticed the similarity instantly.

 

Picture Credit : Google

How can you preserve your culture heritage?

Read up

The World Wide Web has a plethora of information for you to consume. Log onto UNESCO’s website and you will find authentic information about not just physical heritage but also cultural heritage of different countries. You can also visit the local library and find books relating to India’s cultural heritage. Reading up about our country’s vast cultural heritage is the first step towards doing your bit to preserve it.

Talk to your parents

Cultural heritage has evolved over the years and has been passed down through multiple generations. Talk to your parents and elders at home about cultural heritage in general or any specific topic such as an art form that piques your interest. You will get to hear many fascinating stories that they have witnessed and experienced over the years. It also makes for a great bonding time.

Organize discussions

The best way to preserve our cultural heritage is by getting your peers involved. Organise discussions in class or via video calls and talk to your peers about all the interesting information you have gathered about cultural heritage. Encourage them to share stories and the knowledge they possess on the same. Once school reopens, you can request your teachers to organize cultural events that showcase the country’s rich heritage and encourage your classmates to participate in them.

Volunteer

There are various organizations and groups that are doing their best to preserve our cultural heritage. You can volunteer with any of these groups and help spread the word and organize events with them. Sometimes they may even visit remote places to experience the heritage fthat has not yet caught the eye of the mainstream media. Volunteering with them would be an enriching experience.

Get creative

In this era of technology, you can capture people’s attention faster than usual. Take photographs and video of cultural heritage and blog or vlog about it. You don’t have to do it alone. Gather your friends along and get them to take part as well. You can make interesting videos and blogs and share them on social media.

At the local level, you can design pamphlets and brochures and spread the word among your neighbours and the local community.

 

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Which are the things you can do to preserve local heritage?

Follow the rules

Visiting a heritage monument might seem exciting. But many monuments have rules laid out by the organisation in charge of its conservation. These rules could include having to maintain silence at a sacred place, or not touching articles on display. Remember, these rules are made keeping preservation in min So do your best to follow the rules listed and ensure your family and peers follow them as well.

Do not litter

One of the major problems seen many monuments is littering. As the tourist inflow increases, it gets difficult for officials to monitor each and everyone. Many tourists carry food or drinks along and throw away empty packets and bottles around the site. This creates a negative impression about the monument in the eyes of the public. As a responsible citizen, do not litter and discourage your family and friends from doing so. Many monuments have trash cans placed around them. Throw rubbish only into the trash can. And if the dustbin is found to be full or if there isn’t one, take the waste back with you and discard it at the nearest dustbin.

Say no to vandalism

Another common problem witnessed at most monuments is vandalism. Vandalism is the action of deliberately damaging public or private property. When you at the walls of some heritage monuments you can find scribbles left by people. In some places, you might even see artefacts broken. Vandalism is a threat to heritage monuments. Refrain from it and talk to others about it as well. Next time you spot someone indulging in the act, inform your parents or the authorities and let them take action.

Volunteer

Many organisations encourage youngsters to volunteer and do their bit for physical heritage. You can volunteer individually or encourage your school to take students to different monuments as an activity and help in their preservation Volunteering can mean serving as a guide, helping people navigate the heritage site, or even helping researchers take notes during their routine checks of the site.

Take photographs and spread the word

One of the best ways to draw attention towards preservation of a heritage site is by spreading the worst. Take photographs of heritage monuments and post them on social media. You could also create brochures and pamphlets and share them with people and make them aware about the rich history of monuments Use technology and social media to your advantage and reach and encourage as many people as you can to volunteer and visit heritage monuments.

 

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What are the interesting facts of Grand Canyon in the U.S.?

How old is it?

No one really knows how old the Grand Canyon is. While it was earlier thought to be six million years old, around the time the Colorado river cut through the landscape, many believe the Canyon could date back as far as 70 million years. This thought came to the fore after a study released in the early 2010s suggested some of the rocks in the Canyon may have been eroded and exposed at the surface millions of years ago. However, the debate, on how old the Grand Canyon actually is, goes on.

Not the deepest canyon

Though it is one of the most popular gorges, and a natural wonder of the world, the Grand Canyon is not the deepest or the longest gorge. The average depth of the Canyon is 1.6 km and it stretches nearly 446 km. However, the Guinness Book of World Records states that the Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon in the Himalayas is the world’s longest and deepest canyon with its maximum depth reaching about 5,382 m and the canyon stretching nearly 496.3 km.

Experience different weather conditions

With an elevation spanning 2000 feet to 8000 feet, one can experience a variety of weather conditions at the Grand Canyon. With every 1000-feet loss in elevation at the Canyon, the temperature increases by 5.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Hidden Caves

It is estimated that there are nearly 1,000 caves spread across the Grand Canyon. However, only 335 of them have been recorded and explored so far. Of the 335, only one cave, the Cave of the Domes on Horseshoe Mesa, is open to the public.

Beware the rock squirrel

The Grand Canyon is home to a large array of wildlife from the bighorn sheep and the Gila monster, to the California condor and Ridgway’s rail. But the most dangerous animal at the Canyon is the rock squirrel! Every year dozens of visitors to the Canyon are bitten by these animals when they try to feed them. Hence, one can find signs around the park asking people not to feed animals.

 

Picture Credit : Google

What is the history of the Colosseum in Rome Italy?

1. A little history

A popular tourist site today and one of the world’s largest sporting arenas, the Colosseum was built between 72 AD and 80 AD by the Roman emperor Vespasian. Though construction started during the time of Vespasian, he did not live to see its completion. His son, Titus opened the arena. The Colosseum is built using stone and concrete and the manpower of tens and thousands of Jewish slaves.

The first-ever games at the Colosseum were held in 80 AD by Titus. It went on for 100 days straight

2. Largest amphitheatre in the world

The oval-shaped Colosseum is the largest amphitheatre in the world. It measures 189m long, 156m wide and 50m high. The arena was so big that it could fit a modern-day football pitch inside. The Colosseum had 80 entrances and could seat approximately 50,000 spectators at a time.

3. Free for all, mostly

Sporting events at the arena included gladiatorial combats, wild animal hunts and naval battles. These games continued to be held for centuries, with gladiatorial combats held till the fifth century, and wild animal hunts till the sixth Most the major events held at the Colosseum, which were often organised and paid for by the emperors, were free for spectators. Sometimes free food was also served to the spectators. Emperors did this to gain popularity and support from the public.

4. What’s underground?

There were numerous rooms and passages below the Colosseum. This is where the gladiators and the animals were kept before they were allowed entry into the arena. The Colosseum also had 36 trap doors for special effects during games.

5. A graveyard for animals

Along with other sporting events, Romans staged wild animal fights and hunts at the Colosseum. This left thousands of animals such as elephants, tigers, lions, bears and other exotic creatures wounded or dead.

 

Picture Credt : Google

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