Be Acquainted with the Seven Wonders of India

If travelling is something you find interesting, you must have known the names of Seven Wonders of World. Of course, these are the creativity of man or the God almighty, which are beyond any human imagination. Well, in this article we’ll not discuss those wonders, but the ones we’re going to hash out here are the wonders in India. For the first time in 2007, Times of India – a renowned News Paper in India carried out a poll to choose seven most amazing sites in the country. There was a list of 20 ancient sites, ranging from majestic monoliths to places of worship, to be voted by the readers. And the winners were:

Bahubali (Gomanteshwara): At an altitude of about 3350 feet above sea level, this stunning statues was built in circa 982 AD and is considered the best ever achievement of ancient Karnataka in sculpture art. This colossal rock cut statue is a nude image of Saint Gommata stand upright in the posture of meditation called kayotsarga. The height of image is around 57 ft and it’s situated on the top of Vindyagiri peak of Doddabetta hills. Artistiacllay built and amazingly curved, the image is accessible through 500 steps upward.

The Golden Temple (Amritsar): A standing glory of peace and religiousness, this beautiful structure deserves to be here. The construction of the temple combines Hindu, Muslim and European styles of architecture, and is really eye-opener for first-timers. It’s the place of grand religious significance and has been thronged by millions of devotees annually. Situated in the middle of a lake, the main complex is at lower portion than the surrounding area. So the visitors have to step down to reach the temple. A 3 story communal, open kitchen, popularly known as Guru ka langar, serves about 40,000 meals daily to the people of different regions and religions.

Taj Mahal: One of the Seven Wonders of the World, Taj Mahal is the finest example of Mughal architecture. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Taj Mahal is an integrated symmetric complex of structures that were built around 1648 by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the remembrance of his wife Mumtaj Mahal. This pinnacle of architecture is a symbol of love, and is globally admired for its unique style that combines Persion, Ootoman, Indian and Islamic architecture styles. This beautiful building is situated on the bank of River Yamuna is a small town Agra.

Konark Sun Temple: You’ll be speechless in front of this giant black granite structure. Built in the 13th century by the King Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty, the temple is dedicated to Sun God and has a great religious significance for Hindus. The shape of the temple is of a colossal chariot with 24 wheels pulled by seven horses. This stunning monument is a World heritage Site by UNESCO and is a must-visit place if you have sense of history & religiousness. The temple is also known as Black Pagoda.

Khajuraho: the place will leave you stunned with its perfect fusion of architecture and sculpture. Come here to explore the greatest masterpieces of Indian art and the largest group of medieval temples of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain religions. The place is famous for erotic sculptures which show the lovemaking positions based on Kama Sutra rules. They are built of sandstones and are painted exquisitely with pink or yellow color. Temples here are dedicated to Lord Shiva, Vishnu and Jain Religious Sects.

Hampi: Once the royal capital of Vijaynagara Empire, the city is today one of the most prominent historical places in South India. It’s in fact a ruined town dotted with age-old temples, palaces and forts. People visit here to explore an incredible blend of Chalukyam Pandva and Chola styles of architecture, which give a rugged look but an amazing historical feel. Hampi is the place of religious significance too, as it is home to Pampa, the daughter of Lord Brahma. A World Heritage Site, this amazing town is truly a wonder to see.

Nalanda: Founded in 5th century Ad, this town was the prominent seat of learning in Bihar. See the ruins of one of the greatest universities ever and explore beautiful monuments and religious structure pertaining to Buddhism here. Nalanda University is termed as the first residential university of the world, which had accommodated over 10,000 students and 2,000 teachers.
Buddhist Chant – Heart Sutra (Sanskrit) by Imee Ooi

Prajna-paramita Hrdaya Sutram by Imee Ooi

Imee Ooi’s website

Heart Sutra – Sanskrit-English
Translated by Zuio H. Inagaki
(If you find a better site/translation, please post it. Thanks)

Namah sarvajnaaya
-Adoration to the Omniscient!

Aaryaavalokiteshvara-bodhisattvo gambhiiraayaam prajnaapaaramitaayaam caryaam caramaano vyavalokayati sma: panca skandhaah; taamshca svabhaava-shuunyaan pashyati sma.
-When Holy Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva performed the deep practice in the Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom, he contemplated that there were five aggregates but observed that they were devoid of essential nature.

Iha Shaariputra ruupam shuunyataa shuunyataiva ruupam, ruupaan na prithak shuunyataa, shuunyataayaa na prithag ruupam, yad ruupam saa shuunyataa, yaa shuunyataa tad ruupam.
-In this case, Shaariputra, form is voidness and voidness is itself form; voidness is not different from form, and form is not different from voidness; that which is form is voidness, and that which is voidness is form.

Evem eva vedanaa-samjnaa-samskaara-vijnaanaani.
-So it is for perception, conception, volition and consciousness.

Iha Shaariputra sarva-dharmaah shuunyataa-lakshanaa, anutpannaa, aniruddhaa, amalaa, na vimalaa, nonaa, na paripuurnaah.
-In this case, Shaariputra, all things have the characteristics of voidness; they neither arise nor perish; they are neither defiled nor pure, neither deficient nor complete.

Tasmaac Chaariputra shuunyaayaam na ruupam na vedanaa na samjnaa na samskaaraa na vijnaanaani.
-Therefore, Shaariputra, within the voidness, there is no form, no perception, no conception, no volition, nor consciousness.

Na cakshuh-shrotra-ghraana-jihvaa-kaaya-manaamsi.
-Neither is there eye, ear, nose, tongue, body or mind.

Na ruupa-shabda-gandha-rasa-sprashtavya-dharmaah.
-Neither is there form, sound, smell, taste, touch nor concepts.

Na cakshurdhaatur yaavan na mano-vijnaana-dhaatuh.
-Neither is there realm of sight, etc., until we come to the non-existence of realm of consciousness.

Na vidyaa, naavidyaa, na vidyaa-kshayo, naavidyaa-kshayo, yaavan na jaraa-maranam na jaraamarana-kshayo, na duhkha-samudaya-nirodha-maargaa, na jnaanam, na praaptir apraaptitvena.
-Neither is there wisdom, nor ignorance, nor extinction of wisdom, nor extinction of ignorance, etc., until we come to the non-existence of old age and death and the non-extinction of old age and death. Neither is there suffering, cause of suffering, extinction of suffering, nor the path leading to extinction of suffering. Neither is there wisdom nor acquisition because there is no grasping.

Bodhisattvasya prajnaapaaramitaam aashritya viharaty acittaavaranah. Cittaavarana-naastitvaad atrasto, viparyaasaatikraanto nishtha-nirvaanah.
-Depending on the bodhisattva’s Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom, one dwells without any mental hindrance. Because of the absence of mental hindrance, one is fearless; freed from delusory thoughts, one will reach Nirvana.

Tryadhva-vyavasthitaah sarvabuddhaah prajnaapaaramitaam aashrityaanuttaraam samyaksambodhim abhisambuddhaah.
-All Buddhas dwelling in the three periods realize the highest, perfect enlightenment depending on the Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom.

Tasmaaj jnaatavyo prajnaapaaramitaa-mahaamantro mahaavidyaa-mantro ‘nuttara-mantro ‘samasama-mantrah, sarvadukha-prashamanah, satyam amithyatvaat, prajnaapaaramitaayaam ukto mantrah.
-For this reason, know that the Great Mantra of the Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom is the Great Wisdom Mantra, the Unsurpassed Mantra, and the Unequaled Mantra. It extinguishes all suffering, and is true and real because it is not false. It is the Mantra proclaimed in the Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom.

Tad yathaa gate gate paaragate paarasamgate bodhi svaaha.
-Namely, “Gone, gone, gone to the other shore;
Gone completely to the other shore.

Iti prajnaapaaramitaa-hridayam samaaptam.
-Thus ends the Essence of the Transcendent Wisdom Sutra.