21st century’s New Seven Wonders of the world

Delhi now boasts a wonder . Akshardham Temple , considered the largest Hindu temple Reader’s Digest . The 100-acre complex with its stunning main temple ranked fifth in a ist topped by the Buddha statue in Lushan County , China Akshardham authorities are pleased , though slightly baffled by the honour .

akshardham 1

“I’m not sure what logic they have followed. There are different parameters for different things ,” says spokesperson Janak Dave . The seven wonders , according to the popular magazine, include two natural wonders that have existed for millennia but were discovered in the 21st century — the Cave of Crystals in Mexico and the Darvaza Gas Crater in Turkmenistan . The two occupy the second and fifth positions , respectively . Dave understandably , wonders at the criteria for selection . As far as the designers of Akshardham — an “in-house team ” of sadhus and Somapuras (traditional designers of temples ), enlisted as consultants — are concerned , they were just doing their job. Monuments that consistently feature in wonders lists — the Great Wall of China , Great Pyramid of Giza — were engineering marvels for their time . Akshardham , ironically , won a place by doing things the way they’ve been done for centuries.

It’s built in the Nagari style of temple architecture . Akshardham — an “in-house team ” of sadhus and Somapuras (traditional designers of temples ), enlisted as consultants — are concerned , they were just doing their job. Monuments that consistently feature in wonders lists — the Great Wall of China , Great Pyramid of Giza — were engineering marvels for their time . Akshardham , ironically , won a place by doing things the way they’ve been done for centuries . It’s built in the Nagari style of temple architecture . temples ), enlisted as consultants — are concerned , they were just doing their job temples ), enlisted as consultants — are concerned , they were just doing their job. Monuments that consistently feature in wonders lists — the Great Wall of China , Great Pyramid of Giza — were engineering marvels for their time . Akshardham , ironically , won a place by doing things the way they’ve been done for centuries . It’s built in the Nagari style of temple architecture . Monuments that consistently feature in wonders lists — the Great Wall of China , Great Pyramid of Giza — were engineering marvels for their time . Akshardham , ironically Pyramid of Giza — were engineering marvels for their time . Akshardham , ironically won a place by doing things the way they’ve been done for centuries . It’s built in the Nagari style of temple architecture.

here’s no iron framework holding the main temple together but interlocking chunks of stone . The intricate carving that covers the walls , ceiling and pillars was wrought by artisans whose families have been in the profession for generations . The Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS ) has plenty of experience building temples . Swaminarayan (1781-1830 ), founder of the sect, supervised construction of six temples in his life. Subsequent gurus have added to the number . The first Akshardham Temple , in Gandhinagar , Gujarat , was completed in 1992 . The only metal that is obviously , even emphatically , present in the main temple is gold, 234 pillars , 20,000 statues — is in marble or red sandstone , hand-carved . The base is decorated with 148 stone elephants — each one carved from a single block. The present guru , Pramukh Swami Maharaj , tried to be as democratic as possible when it comes to ncluding deities and gurus — every one from Guru Nanak and Gautam Buddha to the Pandavas feature on the walls of the temple . All this was achieved in just five years.

akshardham temple

The stone-carvers were brought from Rajasthan , the wooden doors were carved by Gujarati artisans and idols made by craftsmen from Bengal and Orissa . They started out n 2000 and with the support of an army of 4,000 volunteers they were able to open on November 6, 2005. Modern wonders purveying ageold wisdom come with signboards and explanations Traditional architecture is combined with the snazziest ways of making a point and making it stick. The complex has an Imax cinema , robotics show, a boat ride and fountain show in the night . Adults take home the message , kids remember the visuals But you know you’ve really arrived when terrorists find you important enough to target But you know you’ve really arrived when terrorists find you important enough to target The attack on the Gandhinagar Akshardham in 2002 taught BAPS volunteers valuable essons . “We get hoax mails every two-three days . We can’t take any risks ,” says a lessons . “We get hoax mails every two-three days . We can’t take any risks ,” says a volunteer . This wonder is protected by the most stringent security measures . You aren’t allowed electronics , no stationary either . Photos are taken by volunteers from two fixed points for a fee. Loose pants are a bad idea too — belts aren’t allowed.

seven wonders

SPELLBINDING 1 THE SPRING TEMPLE BUDDHA, CHINA The 420ft (128m) Buddha statue in Lushan County, China, is the tallest in the world Built by the Chinese govt, it includes a 20m (66ft) lotus throne and is made of gold. The area where it is located is also known for the Tianrui hot springs. Their water is believed to have curative properties. The statue, however, might have competition soon. India is planning a 500ft Buddha statue


2 CAVE OF CRYSTALS, MEXICO Cave of the Crystals or Giant Crystal Cave was discovered 980ft (300m) below the ground in 2000 by silver miners. Temperature in the cave can rise up to 58°C with 90- 99 % humidity because of magma located below. A visitor can take about 10minutes of it. But the same conditions are responsible for transforming the minerals into crystals. The cave’s largest crystal is 36ft in length, 13ft in diameter & weighs 55tons . But the same conditions are responsible for transforming the minerals into crystals. it. But the same conditions are responsible for transforming the minerals into crystals.


3 MUSEUM OF ISLAMIC ART, QATAR Designed by I M Pei, the same architect behind the Louvre Pyramid in Paris, the Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar is home to Islamic works and artifacts that originated as far back as the 7th century. The architectural style of building reflects the Islamic artworks it houses as Pei traveled around the world delving into Muslim texts & architecture for inspiration. It occupies 400,000sqft on the edge of Doha

4 BAHAI MANDIR, ISRAEL Nicknamed the “Hanging Gardens of Haifa” after the renowned Hanging Gardens of Bablyon, the Bahai Terraces in Israel are located on the northern slopes of Carmel Mountain, over looking the city of Haifa.It was constructed using donations from Bahai’s 5 mn followers worldwide and features 19 garden terraces with 450 different species of plantsIt is also home to Shrine of the Báb , the founder of Bábism & an important figure in the Bahá’í Faith


6 DARVAZA GAS CRATER, TURKMENISTAN Called the “Door to Hell” by locals, it was discovered in 1971 by geologists looking for natural gas. When the ground they drilled in collapsed, they discovered a 230-ft (70m) natural gas. When the ground they drilled in collapsed, they discovered a 230-ft (70m) wide hole filled with methane. They set the gas on fire to prevent it from poisoning nearby town of Darvaza. This fire continues to flare today

7 MILLAU VIADUCT, FRANCE The Millau Viaduct is the tallest bridge in the world, with a maximum height of 1,125ft(343m), 19 metres higher than the Eiffel Tower. It offers spectacular views of the Tarn River valley in southern France and provides access to its gorges and limestone plateaus. After three years of construction, the bridge was opened to vehicles in 2005.


EYE-CATCHING Built in the Nagari style of temple architecture, it has intricate carving on walls, ceiling and pillars


  1. suprabh
    July 17, 2011 at 5:44 AM

    Wonderful post.

  2. Raju Guide
    Raju Guide
    July 17, 2011 at 5:52 AM

    Here is a pic which of Cave of Crystals (was not embedded in above post)
    Thanks for the post WallD

  3. RAJ
    July 17, 2011 at 6:02 AM

    WOW..Very good post…Very informative..Would like to know more about these”” land marks””

  4. Raju Guide
    Raju Guide
    July 17, 2011 at 6:19 AM

    Was reading a bit about Musem in Islamic Art gallery in Qatar. I was intrigued to read on it as I believed that the Islamic art does contain human form, animals. But I found they have a gallery on that. This is what the website says:

    “Many believe that figural representation is “banned” in Islamic world.

    It is true that the deptiction of humans and animals is avoided in religious contexts such as mosques, tombs and in the Quran, where they might have been seen as blasphemous attempt to match the creative power of God.

    However much of Islamic art is for domestic or non-religious use. Here the depiction of figures is found continuously from early islamic times on all kinds of objects”

  5. Raju Guide
    Raju Guide
    July 17, 2011 at 6:44 AM

    About “DARVAZA GAS CRATER, TURKMENISTAN ” – there seems to be different theories on how it was created and its current status.


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