Thursday, November 19, 2009

Aeroplane Restaurant on the Lake Side; Shangrila; Pakistan


Here is a beautiful postcard from Pakistan. The card features a beautiful aeroplane which is being used as a restaurant at the magnificent hill resort of Shangrilla near Skardu in Northern Pakistan.
Shangrila Resort Skardu, also known as "Heaven on Earth", is nestled amongst some of the world's highest peaks. It encircles the heart shaped "Kachura Lake" and is surrounded by fruit laden orchards and flower filled gardens.
The DC- 3 Cafe, which is shown on the postcard is a unique and one of its kind cafe. The code name of original DC-3 Aircraft was Alpha Alpha Foxtrot (AAF) . Situated in an airplane, which crash landed on the riverbed and was brought to the present site in the 50's. It offers a variety of snacks and cabin crew hospitality . 

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Elephants Postcard from Kenya

A beautiful postcard from Kenya featuring some wild elephants. Absolutely great!!!

Postcard from Rottnest Island in Western Australia

Here is a nice postcard to share with you.The beautiful postcard from Australia features an aerial photo of the Rottnest Island in Western Australia.

Rottnest Island is located 18 km off the coast of Western Australia, near Fremantle. It is called Wadjemup by the Noongar people, which means "Place across the water". The island is 11 kilometres long, and 4.5 kilometres at its widest point with a total land area of 19 km². It is classified as an A Class Reserve and is managed by the Rottnest Island Authority. No private ownership of land is allowed. It is antipodal to the island of Bermuda. It has been an important local holiday destination for over 50 years.

As per Wikipedia, the local population of the island is just 300 people but up to 500,000 visitors travel to the island every year. The major tourist attractions are fishing, swimming, diving and cycling.

I won this postcard in a Monthly Draw along with 4 others. The draw was conducted by "Postcard Interactive Company of Sydney (PICS)"....... Lucky me!!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Facebook's Farmville Postage Stamps

Have you played Farmville on Facebook ever?
Farmville is definitely the latest online farming craze....
I just thought that it would be fun sharing these beautiful stamps with you. I am sure that you will love these beautiful Farmville Postage Stamps
To see the remaining stamps and read more about them; Click here: Farmville Postage Stamps

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Land of Wild Animals - Postcard from Kenya in East Africa





A lovely postcard from Kenya. Kenyan Postcards are as beautiful as ever. I love these wild animals and adore their bravery and couage. Lion, Leopard and Rhino are definitely some of the most fearsome creatures on Earth.
I don't know why the postcard says "Jambo from East Africa". What is Jambo? Any suggestions???

Sunday, September 20, 2009

#23: Most-Interesting Story Behind a Great Postcard From Afghanistan

he back of the postcard reads: "Afghanistan: Tattered clothing and fear-filled eyes of an Afghan refugee reveal war-zone trauma".
It is an old vintage postcard of the era of Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and as far as I remember the above photo of a young Afghan girl with hypnotizing deep sea-green eyes was featured on the cover of National Geographic magazine, June 1985 issue. Photographer Steve McCurry took the shot at Nasir Bagh Refugee Camp in Pakistanduring December 1984, while Afghanistan was still at war with the huge Soviet Union. She was among the many faces that McCurry photographed.

Her photo was later selected for the magazine's cover. There was NO name to the fa
ce though.

Seventeen years later, McCurry joined a National Geographic Television crew on a journey through Pakistan and Afghanistan to search for the ‘cover girl’. There were questions to be answered: Did she survive the war? If she’s alive, she’d probably have returned to Afghanistan and be in her late 20s or early 30s.


The name of the girl was a secret till now. The team started their journey from Nasir Bagh refugee camp in Pakistan where the initial photo was shot in 1984. The team found her to be living in a remote region in Afghanistan. Her identity was confirmed using Biometric technology which matched her IRIS patterns to those of the photograph with almost full certainty. She vividly recalled being photographed.

The fame and symbolic character of her portrait were completely unknown to her. Modern pictures of her were featured as part of a cover story on her life in the April 2002 issue of National Geographic and was the subject of a television documentary entitled Search for the Afghan Girl, which aired in March 2002. In recognition of her, National Geographic set up the Afghan Girls Fund, a charitable organization with the goal of educating Afghan girls and young women. In 2008, the scope of the fund was broadened to include boys and the name was changed to Afghan Children's Fund.

So here is the photo of the cover of National Geographic Magazine, April 2002 Issue just for your interest:

Saturday, September 5, 2009

#21: Winter Scene in Shogran; Kaghan Valley; Pakistan

Picture 116

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another nice postcard from the “Forest in the Sky” – Shogran. It feels nice to see such a postcard in summers only. The postcard says that it is a winter scene in Shogran where as I am sure that it is nothing but an “Early Summer” view of the hotel in Shogran. It is almost inaccessible in winters due to heavy snow fall and strong winds.

#20: Mist in Shogran Forest; Kaghan Valley; Pakistan

Picture 123

Here I have another lovely postcard to share with you. A misty postcard from Pakistan featuring the beautiful pine forests of Shogran in Kaghan Valley. Shogran is one of the most beautiful tourist attraction in Pakistan in general and Kaghan Valley in particular. Located at the daunting height of 2,362 meters (or around 7,000 feet) above mean sea level. From Kiwai, you have to travel on a 7 km long steep road climbing towards the sky to reach the magnificent plateau of Shogran. The plateau offers mind-boggling views in all directions. Shogran literally means “Forest In The Sky”. The road further leads to the summer settlements of Paya and Siri.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

#19: Kenya: King of the Beasts



A Lovely postcard from Kenya and a magnificent animal. The King of the Jungle and the Beast of the Beasts - The Lion is a superb creature of God. This lion is definitely a monarch somewhere deep in the woods. What do you say?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

#18: Sunset at 3000+ metres at Paya in Kaghan Valley, Pakistan


Here is a beautiful postcard from my beloved homeland Pakistan. The postcard features a magnificent sunset at a hill station - Paya in Kaghan Valley.

Paya is located at a height of approx 3080 m. It is a vast expense of undulating alpine meadows in the lower part of Kaghan Valley. Standing well above the valley in the dense pine woods, this high summer pasture offers excellent views of neighboring peaks. It is located at a distance of 24 kms from Balakot and 7 kms from Kawai (This place name always reminds me of the great movie - Bridge On River Kwai, but it has nothing to do with the movie). From Kawai, a road starts climbing upwards to a lovely hill station of Shogran. It is a steep climb from Kawai to Shogran and even steeper ahead of it. Paya can be reached from Shogran by jeep (4x4) on a track which leads to the summer settlements of Siri and Paya.

The entire Kaghan Valley is a beautiful place to spend your summer or at least a part of it. Nature can be found at its best here.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Postcard #17: A sweet owl from Liberia



What a lovely and innocent Owl is it from Liberia!!! A beautiful owl postcard from Liberia with a sober and nice-looking owl sitting in a tree. The back of the postcard tells us that the postcard is issued by "Liberia Ministry of Posts & Telecommunications". The back side of the postcard describes the picture on the postcard in just one word - "OWL", as if the viewers will think that it is a SPARROW. hehehe :)
I am absolutely clueless about the species of this sweet owl. Do you have any idea???

Monday, June 1, 2009

Postcard #16: Buddha Statue in Afghanistan's Bamiyan Valley


Hello!
A beautiful postcard from Afghanistan which is rich with cultural heritage and is definitely a history lesson. The Afghanistani postcard features one of the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the country - "Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of Bamiyan Valley". The postcard shhows the landscape of Bamiyan Village with a huge Buddha statue of Bamiyan Valley in the background.

There are two statues in Bamiyan Valley which were built during 6th century. The statues represent a classic blended style of Indo-Greek art. The two giant statues, named Vairocana and Sakyamuni, measure 55 and 37 metres high respectively and are the largest examples of standing Buddha carvings in the world.

The Buddha statues of Bamiyan Valley gained World fame when Taliban Government in Afghanistan destroyed the Buddhas using demolitions and tank barrages. The re-construction of the Buddhas is on the cards but nothing has been done so far. After the destruction of Buddha statues, 50 caves were also revealed. 12 of these caves wall oil-paintings have been discovered. Japanese experts believe that these oil-paintings were painted between 5th and 8th century.

In Sep 2008, another statue of 19-metre-long "Sleeping Buddha" has been found nearby. It depicts the pose known to Buddhists as the scene where Buddha passed into Nirvana.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Postcard #15: City View of Istanbul, Turkey


A beautiful postcard from Turkey featuring a city view of the magnificent city - Istanbul. Istanbul is the largest city of Turkey with a population of over 12.6 million. It is located in the Bosphorus Strait and encompasses the natural harbour known as the Golden Horn. It is the only metropolis in the World which is located in two continents - Asia and Europe. The "Historic Areas of Istanbul" were added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites List in 1985.

This real-posted postcard features Galata Bridge, New Mosque and Sulemaniye

The Galata Bridge.   The bridge shown on the postcard was called as Fourth Galalta Bridge.  It was built in 1912 AD by a German firm MAN AG for 350,000 gold liras. This floating bridge was 466 m long and 25 m wide. The fourth Galata Bridge was damaged badly in a fire in 1992 AD. The Galata Bridge spans the Golden Horn

Galata Bridge of today,  which is called Fifth Galata Bridge,  is a bascule bridge and it was constructed in 1994. It is 490 m long with a span of 80 m. The deck of the bridge is 42 m wide and has 3 vehicular lanes and one walkway in each direction.


The New Mosque.   The New Mosque can be seen in the top left corner of the postcard. The New Mosque or Mosque of the Valide Sultan is an Ottoman imperial mosque located on the Golden Horn at the southern end of Galata Bridge. The construction of the mosque started in 1597 AD but the construction was stopped due to various problems. The partially constructed structure of the Mosque was destroyed by a fire in 1660 AD and fell into ruins. The reconstruction started and the mosque was completed in 1663AD and inaugurated in 1665 AD. It is one of the best-known sights of Istanbul.

Suleymaniye Mosque.   The Suleymaniye Mosque (at the top-right corner of postcard) is also an Ottoman imperial mosque in Istanbul. It is the second largest mosque in the city. It was built on the order of Sultan Suleiman I (Suleiman the Magnificent). The construuction on the mosque started in 1550 AD and ended in 1557 AD.
 
Suleymaniye was later destroyed by a fire in 1660 AD (probably the same fire in which New Mosque was destroyed) and was restored later. In 1766 AD, a part of dome was destroyed due to an earth quake. Many repairs had overcome the initial decoration of the mosque. Even the colour scheme of the dome and various other parts was changed. The mosque was restored again in the middle of the 19th century.

During World War I, the courtyard was used as a weapons/ammunition depot and mosque suffered another huge fire when some of the ammunition got ignited. It was fully restored in 1956 AD. Suleymaniye is also one of the areas considered to be the part of "Historical Areas of Istanbul" which is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

 
The postmark shows that the postcard was sent on 21 October 1991 from Turkey. The stamps used on the postcard were issued in 1985 as a definitive series. However there are some over-prints on the stamps. Can some one give any information about these over-prints???

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Postcard #15: Kenya: Elephant Family


Hi friends!
Today I have to share a beautiful postcard from Kenya with you. This is my first postcard from Kenya. The postcard shows a herd of elephants moving from one place to another. The highlight of the photo is the way mother elephant is helping her child to movr forward. Pushing the baby with her trunk to transfer her enormous strength to the baby's legs. 

By the way, I absolutely adore these giant animals. My daughters also love elephants and our visit to the zoo is always incomplete without watching these animals closely. We have a pair of elephants in Islamabad Zoo and a pair (I think) in Lahore Zoo.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Postcard #14: Pakistan: King Priest from Moenjodaro - A UNESCO World Heritage Site in Pakistan



A beautiful postcard from Pakistan featuring the "King Priest" found from the ancient ruins of Moenjodaro in Sindh, Pakistan.

Seated male sculpture is called as "Priest King" (even though there is no evidence that either priests or kings ruled the city). This 17.5 cm tall statue is one of the most beautiful artifacts, which has become a symbol for the Indus valley civilization. Archaeologists discovered the sculpture in Lower town at Mohenjo-daro in 1927. It was found in an unusual house with ornamental brickwork and a wall niche and was lying between brick foundation walls which once held up a floor.

This bearded sculpture wears a fillet around the head, an armband, and a cloak decorated with trefoil patterns that were originally filled with red pigment.


The two ends of the fillet fall along the back and though the hair is carefully combed towards the back of the head, no bun is present. The flat back of the head may have held a separately carved bun as is traditional on the other seated figures, or it could have held a more elaborate horn and plumed headdress.


Two holes beneath the highly stylized ears suggest that a necklace or other head ornament was attached to the sculpture. The left shoulder is covered with a cloak decorated with trefoil, double circle and single circle designs that were originally filled with red pigment. Drill holes in the centre of each circle indicate they were made with a specialized drill and then touched up with a chisel. Eyes are deeply incised and may have held inlay. The upper lip is shaved and a short combed beard frames the face. The large crack in the face is the result of weathering or it may be due to original firing of this object. There was also indoor plumbing and well paved and drained streets. The city was in a grid pattern unlike Ur where many thieves and other bad people got away with crimes and no good. Mohenjo-Daro also had tall watchtowers instead of walls(again unlike Ur) to watch instead of protect the city.


Moenjodaro (Mound of the Dead), discovered in 1922, is situated on the West Bank of the river Indus. It has one of the earliest and the most developed urban civilizations of ancient world. It forms a part of the Indus River civilization of Harappa. It is located 1287.48 km away from Moenjodaro. The Indus River civilization flourished from somewhere third till the middle of second millenium B.C. before it vanquished from the world.


Moenjodaro had mud-brick and baked-brick buildings with covered drainage system.In addition to this, soakpits for disposal bins, a large state grannary, a spacious pillared hall, a collage of priests, a large and imposing building (probably a palace) and a citadel mound which incorporates in its margin a system of solid burnt brick tower were also found in the city.


Moenjodaro looks like a planned, organized and master architecture of urban settlement. Beneath the citadel, parallel streets, some 30 feet wide, stretched away and are crossed by other straight streets, which divide the town into a great oblong block, each 400 yards in length, and 200 to 300 yards in width. The most imposing remains are those of a Great Hall which consisted of an open quadrangle with verandahs on four sides, galleries and rooms on the back, a group of halls on the north and a large bathing pool. It was probably used for religious or ceremonial bathing.


How advanced were the people in ancient times......... Can you imagine now???

Can we still call ouselves ADVANCED???

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Postcard # 13: Belgium: Onze Lieve Vrouw (Cathedral) in Antwerp

Hello pals!
What an entertaining, interesting and informative hobby is it!!!!
Here is a postcard which I believed to be from Turkey until minutes ago while doing some research for this post, I came to know that it is a postcard from Belgium.
This vintage postcard from Belgium features an inside view of Onze Lieve Vrouw (Cathedral)in Antwerp - a city in Belgium.

Antwerp is the 2nd largest city in Belgium, and is known for its excellent nightlife, 16th and 17th century architecture, and as the World's diamond centre.

Antwerp's Cathedral is the largest example of gothic architecture in Belgium. It dates from the 14th and 15th century, and in 1566 much of its interior decoration was destroyed by the Iconoclastic Fury. However the interior now contains work by Rubens and his students. 

This beautiful postcard was written but not stamped by one of my dad's closest friend years ago. I think that the card was received somewhere in early 1980s or may be in late 1970s. There is no date of posting on the back.

Its definitely a wonderful vitage postcard to cherish!!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Postcard # 12: Pakistan: 9th SAF Games Islamabad Postcard # 4

Here is the 4th and the final postcard from Pakistan issued on the occasion of 9th SAF Games Islamabad. You can see the details of the official mascot Bholu - the Himalayan Bear in the last post. Have fun 

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Postcard # 11: Pakistan:9th SAF Games Postcard # 3

Here is the 3rd postcard issued on the occasion of 9th SAF Games, Pakistan. This beautiful postcard from Pakistan features the two mascots of the games. Bholu, the Himalayan Bear, was the official mascot of the 9th SAF Games and he was helped by her co-mascot/friend Sassi - the Blind Indus Dolphin. In the center the postcard shows Bholu carrying the SAF Games Torch with Sassi smiling on his huge tummy while on the sidelines of the postcard they are shown playing various sports.

Here is a brief account of both these beautiful animals:-

The Himalayan Bear: The Himalayan Brown Bear (Ursus arctos isabellinus) is a subspecies of the Brown Bear. Himalayan Brown Bears are usually sandy or reddish-brown in color. They are located in the foothills of the Himalaya and Northern PakistanThe actual population of the bears is unknown due to their rarity but is estimated at around 20-28 in the Deosai National Park.  The Himalayan Brown Bear and the Himalayan Red Bear (the Dzu-Teh) are also believed to be the source of the legend of the Yeti. Anyone having any idea if the bears in "Goldilocks and the three bears" are also brown bears or some other species??? :) 
Pakistan Post has also issued a set of 4 WWF stamps to save Himalayan Black Bear in 1989 which is another beautiful yet endangered species of Himalayan bear family.

The Blind Indus DolphinThe Blind Indus River Dolphin (Platanista Gangetica Minor) is one of the world's rarest mammals and the second most endangered freshwater river dolphin. Approximately 1,100 specimens of this species exist today in a small fraction of their former range, the lower reaches of the Indus River in Pakistan. The population of this species has gradually declined because of various factors, including water pollution, poaching, fragmentation of habitat due to barrages, and dolphin strandings in the irrigation canals. Pakistan Post has also issued a set of 2 beautiful stamps on Indus Blind Dolphin in 1982.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Postcard # 10: Pakistan; SAF Games Postcard # 2

The 2nd postcard from Pakistan of the series of 4 postcards is here in front of you. It features an athlete who is trying to do something strange. I have failed to make out whether he is trying to run or make a long jump or just taking a start for a triple jump. 

Can you suggest what he is up to? Probably he is just trying to follow Wright Brothers without a set of wings.......... :)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Postcard # 9: Pakistan; SAF Games Postcard


Hi! Here is the first postcard of a series of 4 postcards which I will be uploading in 4 days starting from today. This particular postcard features the event of Swimming.

These Pakistani postcards were issued for the promotion of the games and to generate funds for the organization of the games scheduled to be held in 2001 but actually took place in 2004 due to various reasons. You can read more on the subject/ reasons for delay by following the below links to my recent posts on the same subject:-

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Postcard # 8: Pakistan: Fasting Buddha in Lahore Museum

Here is a marvellous postcard from PakistanA Pakistani postcard featuring the statue of "Fasting Buddha" or "Starving Buddha" from 2nd century AD placed in Lahore Museum, Lahore

The Gandhara Fasting Buddha (Siddharatha) statue in Lahore Museum is considered to be the masterpiece of the earliest world and is given special importance. According to the legend, 

"The young prince Siddharatha left his palace in search of enlightenment and practised for six years such severe austerities and intense mental concentration that his beautiful body withered away to skin and bones. Ultimately he attained enlightenment at the age of thirty five and became known as the Buddha "The enlightened one". This resolve was illustrated for the first time in Gandhara art. This so called statue of Fasting Siddharatha ranks not only as the finest specimen of Gandhara Art, but also as one of the rarest antiquities of the earliest world."

In 1999, Pakistan Post also issued a set of 2 stamps featuring the Fasting Buddha on 21 July 1999. I will show you the FDC of the stamps in the near future.


Lahore Museum(photo above) is considered as one of the major museums in South Asia and was established in 1894 in Lahore, Pakistan. Here is an interesting fact about Lahore Museum - 

Rudyard Kipling's father John Lockwood Kipling, was one of the famous curators of Lahore Museum and the famous novel Kim was set in the vicinity of this museum.

Lahore Museum exhibits the recorded history of the subcontinent. Part of the collection was removed to India after Partition but this is still the biggest and the most impressive museum in Pakistan. The museum has 20 galleries with items dating from the Stone age to the 20th century. It is famous for its display of Gandharan sculpture (especially the fasting Buddha), manuscripts, Qurans, paintngs, carpets and Islamic art. The Museum also contains some fine specimens of Mughal and Sikh door-ways, wood-work and contains a large collection of paintings dating back to the Mughal, Sikh and British eras.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Postcard #7: North Korea, Flight Tower in Pyongyang

Hi!
Here is another postcard from a hard-to-find country. What a treat! A postcard from North Korea. The postcard shows a joy ride and the back of the postcard mentions the name of the ride as "Flight Tower" in Pyongyang, which is the capital of North Korea. I could not find more information onthis beautiful ride.

How many of you have a postcard from North Korea??? 

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Postcard #6: Water Skiing Resort, Kaptai Lake, East Pakistan (Bangladesh)

Here I have a beautiful vintage post card from East Pakistan (Now Bangladesh). The postcard shows a beautiful scene of water skiing at Lake Kaptai. It is a very old card as the back of the card reads: "Issued by Department of Tourism, Government of Pakistan, Club Road, Karachi". 

East Pakistan got separated from West Pakistan(Presently "Pakistan") and became Bangladesh in 1971. So it obviously is a postcard from 1971 or pre-1971 era. I don't know whether the water ski resort still exists there or not? Can a friend from Bangladesh enlighten all of us on the issue???

Kaptai Lake is a man-made lake in South-eastern Bangladesh. The H-shaped lake was created as a result of building of Kaptai Dam on the Kamaphuli River. The dam construction project started in 1956 and finished in 1962. The palace of the king ofthe Chakmas also came under water as a result of filling of the dam.

Is this how a Parrot looks like???

It is said, "Much talking is the cause of danger. Silence is the means of avoiding misfortune. The talkative PARROT is shutup in a cage. Other birds without speech, fly freely about".

Here is another one of my die-hard efforts in the field of Origami - A parrot. I made the parrot while trying to spend some cool time with my daughters. Both of them enjoyed the making part but when it was completed, my elder daughter Noor (then 3 years old) exclaimed, "Dad! This is not how a parrot looks like"
I was stunned to hear the comments about my masterpiece. Then I realized that it was constructed with white paper. So I coloured it in green and red. Thank God! She agreed that it was really a PARROT.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Fish From the Local Pond

Here is just a beautiful piece of Origami which I made for my cute little sparrows. They love fish after watching "Finding Nemo". Can someone from Taiwan get me a set of two miniature sheets with "Finding Nemo" theme? The miniature sheets were issued in 2008. I am dying to lay my hands on them.....

Are there any other friends who like to create crafts by using paper or anything? If yes! What all? Just leave a comment.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Postcard #5: The Great Mosque of Herat, Afghanistan



Here is another amazing, unique, gorgeous and hard-to-find postcard from a hard-to-find country Afghanistan. Afghanistan is located in the North-West of my beloved country Pakistan. Because of the decades long fighting in the country, millions of Afghans have migrated to Pakistan and most of the country has turned to ruins.  There are hardly any collectors or swappers left in the country.

The Afghanistan postcard features the beautiful "Great Mosque of Herat" or "Friday Mosque of Herat". Herat is a city located in Western Afghanistan and because of its fertile land, Herat is traditionally known for its wine. Its is the 2nd largest city of Afghanistan after Kabul. The city of Herat was also sumbitted as one of the properties on the tentative list for registeration as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004.

The back of the above Afghanistan postcard shows that the postcard was published in 2001 by Afghan Art & Culture Saloon (AACS) in Kabul, Afghanistan. It is my first postcard from Afghanistan on the blog. I have some others as well including a beautiful Afghan postcard of a Buddha Statue in Bamiyan Valley, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. I will soon be sharing that postcard as well with you. If any of you want any Afghanistan Postcards for their collection, I can give it a try to find some for them. "Which one" remains an answered question till the time when any of you need it. ;)


Does anyone of you want a postcard from Afghanistan for your collection???


The construction work on the present Great Mosque of Herat was started initially by Ghurid ruler Ghiyath al-Din Muhammad b. Sam in 1200AD and afterwards completed by his successor and brother Shihab al-Din. In 13th century Cengiz Khan pillaged the province and the building fell to ruin. Rebuilding and renovations work/ programs were undertaken by the Kart rulers in 1306AD and again after the devastating earthquake in 1364AD.  It was repeatedly repaired, renovated by various rulers until a new mosque was built in Herat and the importance of the old mosque was over-shadowed. Little was left of the "Great Mosque of Herat" by the mid of twentieth century when a major reconstruction and renovation work was carried out after 1945AD. The mosque was expanded and decorated in its present shape. 

I hope that I have done some justice with this beautiful piece of architecture by searching hard and adding the above details about it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Postcard #4: Lake Piso, Liberia



A nice gift from a lovely brother. Thank you Adeel Bhai for this nice postcard from Liberia. Its a view postcard with a very nice scenic view of Lake Piso in Liberia. Lake Piso is also known as Lake Pisu and Fisherman's Lake. It is a oblong tidallagoon in Grand Cape Mount County in Western Liberia. Located close to the town of Robertsport, it is the largest lake in Liberia with an area of 103 sq km. 

The name of the lake originates from a local term which means "Pigeon's Hole" - A reference to the flocks of pigeons that once came to Lake Piso to drink water.

The postcard will also help me to add to the Postcard Friendship Friday at another friend's blog.
Best Regards

Monday, March 30, 2009

2009 Native American Dollar - Won in a competition

Here is my prize. It is an uncirculated 2009 Native American Dollar (US Mint image included below). It looks amazingly beautiful.

Underneath are the scans of both sides of the coin as scanned by me. Thanks again to the site organizers. What do you say about this beautiful coin?



In fact I am still waiting for 25 more such coins as I was also one of their 5 GRAND PRIZE WINNERS. You can also keep your fingers crossed as I will be able to swap some of those duplicate coins with you people as and when I receive them.  Leave a comment here if you want one (subject to the fact that I receive them).
Best Regards

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Some Cool Places To Visit During A Journey To Gilgit

A beautiful Buddha statue carved on the face of a rock at Karga Nullah near Gilgit. 



Its a unique place on the face of the Earth. At this point, three of the mightiest mountain ranges of the World meet, making a knot. These mountain ranges are Karakoram, Himalayas and the Hindukush ranges.

The place is well-defined with a plaque mentioning the place as:-

THE JUNCTION POINT OF THREE GREATEST MOUNTAIN RANGES OF THE WORLD

It narrates, " FROM HERE YOU ARE SEEKING THREE MIGHTIEST MOUNTAIN RANGES OF THE WORLD. GREAT HIMALAYAS END IN THE SOUTH AND EAST OF INDUS RIVER. KARAKORUMS ARE ENDING IN THE NORTHEAST OF GILGIT RIVER. KARAKORUMS ARE ENDING IN THE NORTH EAST OF GILGIT RIVER. WEST OF GILGIT / INDUS RIVER IS THE HINDU KUSH RANGE".




The photo below shows the Rupal Face of the Nineth highest mountain peak of the World - Nanga Parbat. Nanga Parbat is commonly known as "The Killer Mountain". The height of Nanga Parbat is 8126 meters or 26660 feet and is the 9th highest peak of the World and the 2nd highest peak of Pakistan after K-2.

Nanga Parbat was one of the deadliest of the Eight-Thousanders for climbers in the first half of the 20th century; since that time it has been less so, though still an extremely dangerous and serious climb. It is also an immense, dramatic peak that rises far above its surrounding terrain.


A nice view of a medium-sized town Besham on the way back to Rawalpindi.


Some snowy pictures of Kaghan Valley

Just a few more pictures of the Kaghan Valley during my cool heli ride. Enjoy!!! Aren't they cool???



A Helicopter Joy ride to Naran Valley

A broken river between Gilgit and Danyore- A town across Indus river near Gilgit. The bridge on KKH is broken for the last 7-8 months. I don't know for how long it will remain as such. It is a huge inconvenience to the travelers as they have to cross the river from another bridge after traveling a long distance cross country.


An aerial view of Karakoram Highway. A treat to watch from above.


Deep-Green River Indus and a cool suspension bridge - What else can you wish to give a treat to your eyes??? 


A great view of the snow-coated Babusar Pass - A mountainous pass connecting Kaghan or Naran Valley to Indus Valley. The height of Babusar pass is 13,691 feet above mean sea level.


A snow-quilted view of Kaghan Valley near Lulusar Lake. The lake can not be seen at this time of the year as it is completely frozen.



Some more interesting pictures

Another old but nice-looking suspension bridge on River Indus.


Here are some pictures of "Sulphur Springs" - a beautiful diversity of nature. These springs are located at about two hours drive from Gilgit to Rawalpindi. Due to the presence of Sulphur underground, the water of the springs is hotter than the boiling water. Absolutely hard to touch even!!!




Another wonderful view of KKH. Isn't this road leading to heaven? Beautiful snow-covered mountains in the background can give you a feeling of the altitude at which this highway is built.






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