Discover some of the most fulfilling experiences of your lifetime

One of the best connoisseurs of food and travel, Anthony Bourdain had very rightly said:

Travel isn’t always comfortable, it’s not always pretty. But that’s okay. The journey changes you – it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, consciousness, heart and body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something behind.Anthony Bourdain

Taking this thought forward let’s take you through a list of 10 places around the world that embody a similar emotion and shouldn’t be missed at any cost.  So brace yourself to tick off these from your bucket list!

 

1. Taj Mahal, India

Situated in the heartland of India, this historic monument is a testimony to beauty and grandeur of Mughal architecture. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as an ivory white marble mausoleum for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.

Following his death in 1666 Shah Jahan was buried here alongside his wife. It has consistently been ranked among the seven wonders of the world and attracts tourists from all across the globe.

Highlights
The changing moods of the Emperor’s wife are well captured by the changing hues of this intricate architectural marvel at different times of the day. It takes a pinkish hue in the morning, milky white in the evening and golden at night when illuminated by moonlight.

2. Temple of Angkor, Cambodia

Angkor Wat is  literally heaven on earth. Much of the hindu  temple complex is reclaimed by the jungle.

However originally built in reverence of lord  Vishnu and it later got converted to Buddhist temple. It represents the classical Khmer architecture , constructed by the Khmer dynasty and was earlier known as Pisnulok, after the King Suryavarman II.

Highlights
The decorations on the walls of temple inscribe unique Hindu storytelling through myths and fables. Angkor Wat faces the west, hence evenings when the sunset is the best time to witness the aura of divinity.

The temple is an alien spaceship ready to fly into space any time!

3. The Northern lights, Norway

Aurora borealis, The Northern   lights is one of nature’s most majestic displays. For thousands of years, the neon glow of aurora has captured the curiosity of humans across the globe. It’s easy to sight this spellbinding natural phenomemon in months of October to March.  Aurora spotting options are diverse in Norway.

Highlights
The sky is wrapped in vivid hues of neon green, pink, orange and red. It’s due to the interaction of the earth’s magnetic field with the sun’s charged particles.

These lights can be viewed from space as well. It’s worth enough to brave the freezing temperatures and experience this dazzling spectacle.

4. The Great Barrier Reef, Australia

There are over 2900 kinds of coral polyps and around 900 islands aggregated together.It is located off the coast of Queensland , supports wide diversity of life and mainly used for fishing or tourism.

Highlights
The wondrous underwater expanse is a psychedelic playground and can be explored by swimming, diving, snorkeling or glass-bottomed boats but in a responsible manner as this natural wonder is endangered due to extensive climate change.

It definitely is a natural aquatic wonderland.

5. Machu Picchu, Peru

Touted to be an enigma , this Inca citadel nestles on a mountain ridge and dates back to 15th century. It was built by the Inca civilization but abandoned later. Now left are the ruins which have time and again been restored to reveal the mysteries of Inca empire.

It is bulit with polished drystone  walls. It’s three primary structures are Intihuatana, the temple of God and  Room of three windows.

It is voted as one of the new 7 wonders of the world.

Highlights
There is a great hidden museum and a secret temple which people rarely go to. You got to find the way which can be facilitated by the great sense of direction that comes with climbing the multiple peaks.

There are still some ruins and placed deep underground  to be discovered. Hence it’s still an ongoing exploration of the unknown trails.

6. The Great Wall of China , China

It is a maze of walls and fortifications stretching across north of China to protect the Chinese empires from Invaders.  It has constantly been repaired and reconstructed by various dyanasties since 7th century.

This wall apart from defense served as a route for trade.

A trip to China is incomplete without visiting the awe-inspiring great Wall of China in Beijing. It’s winding path passes through rugged and steep mountains of great scenery.

Mutianyu, Jinshanling, Jiankou have been fully restored and are the most visited sections.

It’s not a single wall, but a series of fortresses, watchtowers and walls.

The Great Wall building project is definitely one of the most praiseworthy feats in human history. It’s needs to be protected and maintained for posterity.

7. The Grand Canyon National Park, USA

Nothing can match up to Grand Canyon’s sheer immensity is how most travelers summarize their experience here. Located in Arizona, it has layered bed of red rocks revealing the geological history which dates back to 2 million years ago almost half of Earth’s total life.

Highlights
It’s located by the Colorado River which is a popular spot for viewing at sunrise and sunset. The multiple viewpoints include Mather point, Yavapai observation station, Mary Colter’s lookout studio, and the Desert view watchtower.

It’s one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

A spectacular landmark of dramatic scenery and ever changing landscapes ,the Grand Canyon is certainly mesmerizing in the truest sense .

8. Roman Colosseum, Italy

The Colosseum or Coliseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, is an oval amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome. Built of travertine, tuff, and brick-faced concrete, it is the largest amphitheatre ever built.

It has a seating capacity of over 50000 and is one of the most massive and thrilling ancient sites where people enjoyed the finest spectacles and exhibitions of exotic animals being stage hunted , recreations of battles and gladiator fights.

Highlights
There are many guided tours which are the best way to get a Roman insight into the rich history of the colossal Colosseum. The things which you cannot miss visiting here are the arena floor, the hypogeum, and the third tier.

Now it is being given a makeover as it’s a testimony to the grandeur of Roman history. Two

Millenia on , the hold the Colosseum exerts on anyone who steps foot inside is as powerful as ever.

9. Aya sofya, Turkey

 Hagia Sophia (holy wisdom Located in Istanbul Aya Sofya is a structure unlike any other on the planet.

It was once a church later an Ottoman imperial mosque and in 1935 it was deconsecrated and designated a museum. Built in 537 AD at the beginning of the Middle Ages, it was famous in particular for its massive dome. It was the world’s largest building and an engineering marvel of its time. It is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture (an amalgamation of Roman, Greek and eastern influences) and is said to have “changed the history of architecture.

Highlights
Once you step inside, it is a spiritual experience. The mosaics, pillars, sculptures, galleries, and gates embody religious importance and extraordinary beauty which are definitely postcard worthy. Marvel at the mosaics of Constantine, Virgin Mary and Emperor Justinian at the exit gate.

Multitude of Islamic features were added later and the founder of modern turkey turned it into a museum.

A showcase of great heritage and evolution of the cultural landscape of turkey ,Aya Sofya has stood the test of time.  

10. Iguazu Falls, South America

They are a chain of 100 waterfalls nearly 3 km in extension and lie split between Brazil and Argentina in a large expanse of National Park. The name “Iguazú” comes from the Guarani or Tupi words “y”  meaning “water”, and “ûasú meaning “big”. The unmatched flora and picturesque falls need preservation so that this natural wonder is intact in it’s pristine form for posterity.

Highlights
On the Brazilian side, a walkway along the canyon has an extension to the lower base of Devil’s Throat. Helicopter rides offering aerial views of the falls have been available from Brazil, but Argentina has prohibited such helicopter tours because of the adverse environmental impact on the flora and fauna of the falls. Also, access to the falls can be through the national parks which have train service as well as buses.

It is taller and twice as wide as Niagara falls.

Here’s summarizing the indelible experience awaiting you in the words of Bourdain:

It’s an irritating reality that many places and events defy description. Some places seem to demand silence, like a love affair you can never talk about. For a while after, you fumble for words, trying vainly to assemble a private narrative, an explanation, a comfortable way to frame where you’ve been and what happened. In the end, you’re just happy you were there- with your eyes open- and lived to see it.

So embark on this journey and I am certain that these 10 places will humble ,amaze and surprise you.

 

Taj Mahal
In Arabic Taj Mahal translates to “crown of palaces” and it took 17 years to be built.
Temple of Angkor
Ta Prohm is the modern name of the temple at Angkor and is the place to live out your Tomb raider dreams.
Northern Lights
Northern lights are visible around the countries in the north as well as south pole. These lights can be viewed from space as well.
The Great Barrier Reef
Largest living ecosystem in the world composed of coral polyps. It is even bigger than Great wall of China.
Machu Picchu
It's engineering style is such that it sustains the occasional earthquakes. There is a great hidden museum and a secret temple which people rarely go to. You got to find the way which can be facilitated by the great sense of direction that comes with climbing the multiple peaks.
The Great Wall of China
In contrast to popular belief it's not the man made wonder that can be seen from moon according to scientific facts.
Roman Colosseum
It was commissioned by king Vespasian and inaugurated by his son king Titus within 10 years of construction but abandoned for centuries after collapsing of the Roman empire in the 5th century. It has been plundered by scavengers and builders for years.
Aya Sofya
One of the pillars called the weeping column is believed to be damp always and bears tactile healing powers.
Iguazu Falls
Scriptures says that a deity planned to marry a beautiful woman named Naipí, who fled with her mortal lover Tarobá in a canoe. In a rage, the deity sliced the Inguazu river, creating the waterfalls and condemning the lovers to an eternal fall.