Myths, Stories and Fact About the Seven Wonders
In 2000 a Swiss foundation started a popularity poll campaign called New7Wonders of the world (2000-07) led by Canadian-Swiss Bernard Weber to determine the new 7 wonders out of the total tally of 200 monuments across the globe. They claim that more than 100 million people from all around the world cast their vote through all available medium to decide the new wonders of the world.
All these monuments are some of the most beautiful creation of mankind history, built more than tens of decades ago and they are way ahead of their time, which raises a lot of question and curiosity about how they were built, why they were built and who built those.
People who knew the answers to these question had died with the answers and left a lot of room for speculations and assumptions.
So I bring you some of the most interesting myth, fact and bedtime stories which our grandparents would tell us about the seven wonders of the world
The Great Wall of China
It is one of the largest building – construction project the world has ever seen. The Great Wall of China measures about 5,500 miles (8,850 km) long.
The great wall of China was also known as the longest cemetery on the earth as during construction a lot of workers lost their lives building the wall, reportedly it took the lives of close to one million workers. But we can say that it was a small sacrifice for the good. At least this is what Thanos will say.
Since we are talking about a Chinese story so how can a dragon not play a role in it, yes there are some stories related to dragon too. According to some legends, a dragon forged the design of the Great Wall of China as he flew over the mountains and traced out the course for the workers and then the builders just followed the path on which the dragon went.
Now how could a story end without a love circle? One of the most famous and widely spread story through textbooks, folk songs and traditional operas is the story of Meng Jiangnu. The story is from the time of the Qin Dynasty (221BC-206BC). According to the legends Meng Jiangnu’s husband Fan Qiliang was caught for some crime by the king’s officials and was sent to build the great wall as all other criminals. Meng Jiangnu knew nothing about this and after her husband didn’t return home she went out to look for him. Once she got to know about the incident she straight away went to the wall, but unfortunately by that time her husband had already died.
After hearing this news, she started crying and her loud and bitter weeping made a section of the wall collapse. Hearing this the King himself came to punish her, but fall for her beauty and wanted to marry her. Meng agreed but on one condition that his husband will get a proper funeral and once her wish was fulfilled she jumped off the top and died.
Romans gave us an extremely rich and large historical content which fills our history textbook and a lot to study about. They also gave us one of the most amazing amphitheater which is called the "Colosseum," it had the capacity of holding 50000 spectators at one time. It the second most visited monument in the world after the Great Wall of China.
Roman empire was one of the most powerful empire of that time and really knew how to show off and entertain their crowd so they arranged a grand opening for such a grand amphitheatre by conducting a 100 days of nonstop gladiator fight which was thoroughly enjoyed by the packed house crowd.
But the Christians were against this bloodbath and wanted this to stop. The Colosseum is one of those monuments which is a damaged building. In 422 there was an earthquake that destroyed the half of the building. The citizens decided to use the broken structure materials to construct and build other building.
Soon the gladiator contest and killing was put to rest and then Colosseum was used for other purposes like practising plays and now it is a tourist place.
Chichen Itza is a Mayan city situated on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, which was established in the 9th and 10th centuries CE, built by the Mayan tribe Itza.
They built a whole lot of important structures and temples in the city, but the most famous among them all is the stepped pyramid EI Castillo ("The Castle"). According to the stories the Maya had a faith in a lot of gods approximately they worshipped 250 gods. All these gods were believed to be living on the peaks of the mountains. So huge pyramids were built so that the leaders could go to the top and communicate with their gods. They also used to present gifts to the gods in the way of sacrifices from the top of the pyramid. The most powerful sacrifice was that of a human being.
Another feature of this temple is its ability in depicting with accuracy the advance astrological system and calendar of the Maya community. Each of EI Castillo’s four faces staircase to the platform on the top counts 91 in number on each side which makes a total of 364 and if we include the top it counts 365 steps one for each day in a calendar year. Moreover, there are 52 stone reliefs which showcase the cycle when both the solar and religious calendars would re-align. This tells that their calendar was far more accurate and ahead of any other calendar used in the western world at that time.
Building such pyramids and monuments need excellent command over math and evidence prove that their mathematical knowledge was way ahead. They also developed the concept of zero in the 4th century Ad, while the European didn’t understand this concept until 800 years later.
The symbol of love Taj Mahal is one of the most iconic monuments in the world. It was built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a gift for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, at least this is what we are told in the history books. The question arises from the name itself as of why and how it was named as Taj Mahal is a mystery too. Some say that it is a Persian name as Taj in the Persian language means crown and Mahal means place, while others believe that Taj was named after Mumtaz Mahal Another interesting story which circulates the Taj Mahal is who built the Taj. We all have heard the story that it was Shah Jahan who built the Taj Mahal and cut the hands of all the workers so that another such beauty couldn't be built again. But many believed that these stories are fake and circulated only to change the history.
Legends say that Taj Mahal was never built by Shah Jahan it was a temple of Lord Shiva and was called as TejoMahalya. Even the evidence of such place is present in the Redfort.
There is another mythical story that it is a mixture of Indian, Persian and Mughal architectural styles and an Italian architect Geronimo Veroneo has designed it and is believed to have for many years in Agra before moving to Lahore in 1640 where he died. But there is not much evidence of this fact which make you believe in this.
The great pyramid of Giza
The great pyramid of Giza is by far one of the most mysterious places in the world from how to why it has all the questions which makes it one of the prime storylines for the Hollywood too.
The story of pyramid content everything from aliens to demons. Few believe that the technology which was needed to build such a monument couldn't have been there at that time so aliens might have helped the humans to build it.
Some argued that if it was without excellent tech it would have taken them 600 years to bring the required material and then construct the pyramid, but evidence proves that it was completed in 20 years.
One of the most supportive and scientific theory has been given by Polish engineer and inventor Andrzej Bochnacki. In his book Different Story about Pyramids, he says that Egyptians build water channel and connected those to the Nile river they used the water flow to bring the material and reduced the transport time a lot. As mixing the right amount of water with sand reduce the fiction and the sledge could be easily pulled. There is some evidence of underground channels present in the pyramid.
Christ the Redeemer
It is the fourth largest statue of Jesus Christ in the world stand a top and towering 2,310 feet above the city of Rio. It was built at the time of world war I when local people feared that the tide of godlessness will flow around the country so to stop it they build this statue.
Standing on the summit of Mount Corcovado in Rio, the statue is 98 feet tall, and its outstretched arms reach to 92 feet horizontally.
The construction of the statue cost $250000 (equivalent of $3.4 million now) and was fully funded by the Catholic community in Brazil. When something so huge is to be made a lot of excellent people has to come together to make it possible. Even in this different designer have crafted the statue over a period of nine years.
At first Brazilian engineer, Heitor da Silva Costa designed the statue in which Jesus was carrying a cross in one hand and globe in the other and then he sketched the statue as it facing the rising sun. Finally, it was decided to make the statue like it looks today the stretched arms as to welcome the citizens of Rio with open arms. Roman artist Gheorghe Leonida designed the face and the statue’s Art Deco design was made by Paul Landowski.
Undoubtedly Jordan’s most prestigious treasure is Petra. The vast and unique city of Jordan is one of the biggest tourist attraction in the world and next wonder in the list. Petra was established to give homes to the Arab people who settled there some 2000 years ago and turned it into one of the most important junctions in the trade of silk spices and other routes which joined the west with the east.
The temple of Al Deir is one of the most beautiful monuments in the city. The temple was made for the most important deity of the Nabataeans called Dushara (lord of the Shara), Shara here refers to the mountains to the north of Petra. Bull was the symbolic animal of Dushara and Dushara was represented symbolically by stone blocks all over Petra.
The Nabataeans were the worshippers of the snake too. They have a structure which is a snake monument, which shows a gigantic snake surrounds a block of stone. So there is a mountain, a bull, snakes and a block of stone. Doesn’t it seem that we have heard this somewhere else too?
Yes, they all seem identical to Lord Shiva the Hindu god. Lord Shiva lived in Kailash Mountain in the Himalayas, he had a follower named Nandi who was eventually a bull and even today Nandi is worshipped together with Lord Shiva.
With these many similarities between the two leaves very little scope to doubt that Dushara must be a depiction of the Hindu Deity Lord Shiva.
Hiram Bingham founded Machu Picchu in 1911 near the Cusco region of Peru, 2.4 km above sea level in the mountains.
Since then there has been a lot of stories circulating as to why this was built. Bingham believed that it was home to the "Virgins of the Sun" women who lived in convents under a vow of chastity. Many too believed that it was likely a pilgrimage and few also argued that it was a royal retreat.
Many Archaeologist believes that the site was built in approximately 1400 AD by king Pachacuti, but many believe that Machu Picchu is a sacred place which was built far earlier than that.
Archaeologists also suggest that one of the functions of Machu Picchu is of astronomical observations. The Intihuatana stone which is at the highest part of the site was used to indicate with accuracy the two equinoxes, as well as other celestial events.
Legends also believed that this stone is the gateway to the spiritual world. The person who touches the stone with his forehead would open a vision to the spirit world.