Taj Mahal And Canadian Rockies And Uluru

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The Taj Mahal is a white marble mausoleum located in Agra, India. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is widely recognized as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage".Sony VAIO VPCF24Q1E battery

Taj Mahal is the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Turkish and Indian architectural styles.

In 1983, the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While the white domed marble mausoleum is the most familiar component of the Taj Mahal, it is actually an integrated complex of structures. The construction began around 1632 and was completed around 1653Sony VAIO VPCF13M1E/H battery, employing thousands of artisans and craftsmen.[6] The construction of the Taj Mahal was entrusted to a board of architects under imperial supervision, including Abd ul-Karim Ma'mur Khan, Makramat Khan, and Ustad Ahmad Lahauri.[7][8] Lahauri[9] is generally considered to be the principal designerSony VAIO VPCF12Z1E/BI battery.

Origin and inspiration

Main article: Origins and architecture of the Taj Mahal

In 1631, Shah Jahan, emperor during the Mughal empire's period of greatest prosperity, was grief-stricken when his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, died during the birth of their 14th child, Gauhara Begum.[11] Construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1632.[12] The court chronicles of Shah Jahan's grief illustrate the love story traditionally held as an inspiration for Taj Mahal. Sony VAIO VPCF12S1E/B batteryThe principal mausoleum was completed in 1648 and the surrounding buildings and garden were finished five years later. Emperor Shah Jahan himself described the Taj in these words:[15]

Shah Jahan, who commissioned the Taj Mahal -"Shah jahan on a globe" from the Smithsonian Institution

Artistic depiction of Mumtaz Mahal

Taj Mahal site plan.

The Moonlight Garden to the north of the Yamuna.

Terrace area: Tomb, Mosque and Jawab.

Charbagh (gardens) Sony VAIO VPCF13Z8E/BI battery.

Gateway, attendant accommodations, and other tombs.

Taj Ganji (bazaar)

Should guilty seek asylum here,

Like one pardoned, he becomes free from sin.

Should a sinner make his way to this mansion,

All his past sins are to be washed away.

The sight of this mansion creates sorrowing sighs;

And the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes.

In this world this edifice has been made;

To display thereby the creator's glorySony VAIO VPCF13Z8E battery.

The Taj Mahal incorporates and expands on design traditions of Persian architecture and earlier Mughal architecture. Specific inspiration came from successful Timurid and Mughal buildings including; the Gur-e Amir (the tomb of Timur, progenitor of the Mughal dynasty, in Samarkand),[16] Humayun's Tomb, Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb (sometimes called the Baby Taj) Sony VAIO VPCF13M1E/B battery, and Shah Jahan's own Jama Masjid in Delhi. While earlier Mughal buildings were primarily constructed of red sandstone, Shah Jahan promoted the use of white marble inlaid with semi-precious stones, and buildings under his patronage reached new levels of refinement.[17]

Architecture

Tomb

The tomb is the central focus of the entire complex of the Taj Mahal. This large, white marble structure stands on a square plinth and consists of a symmetrical building with an iwanSony VAIO VPCF1318E/H battery (an arch-shaped doorway) topped by a large dome and finial. Like most Mughal tombs, the basic elements are Persian in origin.

The Taj Mahal seen from the banks of river Yamuna

The base structure is essentially a large, multi-chambered cube with chamfered corners, forming an unequal octagon that is approximately 55 metres (180 ft) on each of the four long sides. On each of these sides, a huge pishtaq, or vaulted archway, frames the iwan with two similarly shaped, arched balconies stacked on either sideSony VAIO VPCF13J0E/H battery. This motif of stacked pishtaqs is replicated on the chamfered corner areas, making the design completely symmetrical on all sides of the building. Four minarets frame the tomb, one at each corner of the plinth facing the chamfered corners. The main chamber houses the false sarcophagi of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan; the actual graves are at a lower levelSony VAIO VPCF13E8E battery.

Viewed from the east

The marble dome that surmounts the tomb is the most spectacular feature. Its height of around 35 metres (115 ft) is about the same as the length of the base, and is accentuated as it sits on a cylindrical "drum" which is roughly 7 metres (23 ft) high. Because of its shape, the dome is often called an onion dome or amrud (guava dome) Sony VAIO VPCF13E4E battery. The top is decorated with a lotus design, which also serves to accentuate its height. The shape of the dome is emphasised by four smaller domed chattris (kiosks) placed at its corners, which replicate the onion shape of the main dome. Their columned bases open through the roof of the tomb and provide light to the interior. Tall decorative spires (guldastas) extend from edges of base wallsSony VAIO VPCF12M1E/H battery, and provide visual emphasis to the height of the dome. The lotus motif is repeated on both the chattris and guldastas. The dome and chattris are topped by a gilded finial, which mixes traditional Persian and Hindustani decorative elements.

Reflection of Taj

The main finial was originally made of gold but was replaced by a copy made of gilded bronze in the early 19th centurySony VAIO VPCF12F4E/H battery. This feature provides a clear example of integration of traditional Persian and Hindu decorative elements. The finial is topped by a moon, a typical Islamic motif whose horns point heavenward. Because of its placement on the main spire, the horns of the moon and the finial point combine to create a trident shape, reminiscent of traditional Hindu symbols of Shiva. Sony VAIO VPCF12E1E/H battery

The minarets, which are each more than 40 metres (130 ft) tall, display the designer's penchant for symmetry. They were designed as working minarets — a traditional element of mosques, used by the muezzin to call the Islamic faithful to prayer. Each minaret is effectively divided into three equal parts by two working balconies that ring the tower. At the top of the tower is a final balcony surmounted by a chattri that mirrors the design of those on the tombSony VAIO VPCF11Z1E/BI battery. The chattris all share the same decorative elements of a lotus design topped by a gilded finial. The minarets were constructed slightly outside of the plinth so that, in the event of collapse, (a typical occurrence with many tall constructions of the period) the material from the towers would tend to fall away from the tombSony VAIO VPCF24M1E battery.

Calligraphy on large pishtaq

The exterior decorations of the Taj Mahal are among the finest in Mughal architecture.[citation needed] As the surface area changes the decorations are refined proportionally. The decorative elements were created by applying paint, stucco, stone inlays, or carvings. In line with the Islamic prohibition against the use of anthropomorphic forms, the decorative elements can be grouped into either calligraphy, abstract forms or vegetative motifsSony VAIO VPCF23S1E battery.

Throughout the complex, passages from the Qur'an are used as decorative elements. Recent scholarship suggests that the passages were chosen by Amanat Khan.[18][19] The texts refer to themes of judgment and include:

The calligraphy on the Great Gate reads "O Soul, thou art at rest. Return to the Lord at peace with Him, and He at peace with you." Sony VAIO VPCF231S1E battery

The calligraphy was created by a calligrapher named Abd ul-Haq, in 1609. Shah Jahan conferred the title of "Amanat Khan" upon him as a reward for his "dazzling virtuosity".[8] Near the lines from the Qur'an at the base of the interior dome is the inscription, "Written by the insignificant being, Amanat Khan Shirazi."[20] Much of the calligraphy is composed of florid thuluth scriptSony VAIO VPCF23Q1E battery, made of jasper or black marble,[8] inlaid in white marble panels. Higher panels are written in slightly larger script to reduce the skewing effect when viewed from below. The calligraphy found on the marble cenotaphs in the tomb is particularly detailed and delicate.

Abstract forms are used throughout, especially in the plinth, minarets, gateway, mosque, jawab and, to a lesser extent, on the surfaces of the tombSony VAIO VPCF23M1E battery. The domes and vaults of the sandstone buildings are worked with tracery of incised painting to create elaborate geometric forms. Herringbone inlays define the space between many of the adjoining elements. White inlays are used in sandstone buildings, and dark or black inlays on the white marbles. Mortared areas of the marble buildings have been stained or painted in a contrasting colourSony VAIO VPCF22S8E battery, creating geometric patterns of considerable complexity. Floors and walkways use contrasting tiles or blocks in tessellation patterns.

On the lower walls of the tomb there are white marble dados that have been sculpted with realistic bas relief depictions of flowers and vines. The marble has been polished to emphasise the exquisite detailing of the carvings and the dado frames and archway spandrels have been decorated with pietra dura inlays of highly stylisedSony VAIO VPCF22S1E battery, almost geometric vines, flowers and fruits. The inlay stones are of yellow marble, jasper and jade, polished and levelled to the surface of the walls.

Cenotaphs, interior of Taj Mahal

The interior chamber of the Taj Mahal steps far beyond traditional decorative elements. Here, the inlay work is not pietra dura, but a lapidary of precious and semiprecious gemstones. The inner chamber is an octagon with the design allowing for entry from each face, although only the door facing the garden to the south is usedSony VAIO VPCF22M1E battery.

The interior walls are about 25 metres (82 ft) high and are topped by a "false" interior dome decorated with a sun motif. Eight pishtaq arches define the space at ground level and, as with the exterior, each lower pishtaq is crowned by a second pishtaq about midway up the wall. The four central upper arches form balconies or viewing areas, and each balcony's exterior window has an intricate screen or jali cut from marbleSony VAIO VPCF22L1E battery. In addition to the light from the balcony screens, light enters through roof openings covered by chattris at the corners. Each chamber wall has been highly decorated with dado bas-relief, intricate lapidary inlay and refined calligraphy panels, reflecting in miniature detail the design elements seen throughout the exterior of the complexSony VAIO VPCF22J1E battery.

The octagonal marble screen or jali which borders the cenotaphs is made from eight marble panels which have been carved through with intricate pierce work. The remaining surfaces have been inlaid in extremely delicate detail with semi-precious stones forming twining vines, fruits and flowersSony VAIO VPCF11S1E/B battery.

Muslim tradition forbids elaborate decoration of graves. Hence, the bodies of Mumtaz and Shah Jahan were put in a relatively plain crypt beneath the inner chamber with their faces turned right and towards Mecca. Mumtaz Mahal's cenotaph is placed at the precise center of the inner chamber on a rectangular marble base of 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in) by 2.5 metres (8 ft 2 in) Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E/H battery.

Both the base and casket are elaborately inlaid with precious and semiprecious gems. Calligraphic inscriptions on the casket identify and praise Mumtaz. On the lid of the casket is a raised rectangular lozenge meant to suggest a writing tablet. Shah Jahan's cenotaph is beside Mumtaz's to the western side, and is the only visible asymmetric element in the entire complexSony VAIO VPCF11D4E battery. His cenotaph is bigger than his wife's, but reflects the same elements: a larger casket on a slightly taller base, again decorated with astonishing precision with lapidary and calligraphy that identifies him. On the lid of this casket is a traditional sculpture of a small pen box.

The pen box and writing tablet were traditional Mughal funerary icons decorating the caskets of men and women respectively. The Ninety Nine Names of God are found as calligraphic inscriptions on the sides of the actual tomb of Mumtaz MahalSony VAIO VPCF11C5E battery, in the crypt including "O Noble, O Magnificent, O Majestic, O Unique, O Eternal, O Glorious... ". The tomb of Shah Jahan bears a calligraphic inscription that reads; "He traveled from this world to the banquet-hall of Eternity on the night of the twenty-sixth of the month of Rajab, in the year 1076 Hijri."Sony VAIO VPCF11C4E/B battery

Walkways beside reflecting pool

The complex is set around a large 300-metre (980 ft) square charbagh or Mughal garden. The garden uses raised pathways that divide each of the four quarters of the garden into 16 sunken parterres or flowerbeds. A raised marble water tank at the center of the garden, halfway between the tomb and gateway with a reflecting pool on a north-south axisSony VAIO PCG-31114M battery, reflects the image of the mausoleum. The raised marble water tank is called al Hawd al-Kawthar, in reference to the "Tank of Abundance" promised to Muhammad.[21] Elsewhere, the garden is laid out with avenues of trees and fountains.[22] The charbagh garden, a design inspired by Persian gardens, was introduced to India by the first Mughal emperor, Babur. It symbolises the four flowing rivers of Jannah (Paradise)Sony VAIO PCG-31113M battery and reflects the Paradise garden derived from the Persian paridaeza, meaning 'walled garden'. In mystic Islamic texts of Mughal period, Paradise is described as an ideal garden of abundance with four rivers flowing from a central spring or mountain, separating the garden into north, west, south and eastSony VAIO PCG-31112M battery.

Most Mughal charbaghs are rectangular with a tomb or pavilion in the center. The Taj Mahal garden is unusual in that the main element, the tomb, is located at the end of the garden. With the discovery of Mahtab Bagh or "Moonlight Garden" on the other side of the Yamuna, the interpretation of the Archaeological Survey of India is that the Yamuna river itselfSony VAIO PCG-31111M battery was incorporated into the garden's design and was meant to be seen as one of the rivers of Paradise.[23] The similarity in layout of the garden and its architectural features with the Shalimar Gardens suggest that they may have been designed by the same architect, Ali Mardan.[24] Early accounts of the garden describe its profusion of vegetation, including abundant rosesSony VAIO PCG-41112M battery, daffodils, and fruit trees.[25] As the Mughal Empire declined, the tending of the garden also declined, and when the British took over the management of Taj Mahal during the time of the British Empire, they changed the landscaping to resemble that of lawns of London.[26]

Outlying buildings

The Great gate (Darwaza-i rauza)—gateway to the Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal complex is bounded on three sides by crenellated red sandstone walls, with the river-facing side left open. Outside the walls are several additional mausoleumsSony VAIO PCG-41111M battery, including those of Shah Jahan's other wives, and a larger tomb for Mumtaz's favourite servant. These structures, composed primarily of red sandstone, are typical of the smaller Mughal tombs of the era. The garden-facing inner sides of the wall are fronted by columned arcades, a feature typical of Hindu temples which was later incorporated into Mughal mosquesSONY VAIO PCG-21212M battery. The wall is interspersed with domed chattris, and small buildings that may have been viewing areas or watch towers like the Music House, which is now used as a museum.

Interior of the Taj Mahal mosque

The main gateway (darwaza) is a monumental structure built primarily of marble which is reminiscent of Mughal architecture of earlier emperors. Its archways mirror the shape of tomb's archways, and its pishtaq arches incorporate the calligraphy that decorates the tomb. It utilises bas-relief and pietra dura inlaid decorations with floral motifsSONY VAIO PCG-21211M battery. The vaulted ceilings and walls have elaborate geometric designs, like those found in the other sandstone buildings of the complex.

Taj Mahal mosque or masjid

At the far end of the complex, there are two grand red sandstone buildings that are open to the sides of the tomb. Their backs parallel the western and eastern walls, and the two buildings are precise mirror images of each otherSONY VAIO PCG-51212M battery. The western building is a mosque and the other is the jawab (answer), whose primary purpose was architectural balance, although it may have been used as a guesthouse. The distinctions between these two buildings include the lack of mihrab (a niche in a mosque's wall facing Mecca) in the jawab and that the floors of jawab have a geometric designSONY VAIO PCG-51211M battery, while the mosque floor was laid with outlines of 569 prayer rugs in black marble. The mosque's basic design of a long hall surmounted by three domes is similar to others built by Shah Jahan, particularly to his Masjid-Jahan Numa, or Jama Masjid, Delhi. The Mughal mosques of this period divide the sanctuary hall into three areas, with a main sanctuary and slightly smaller sanctuaries on either sideSONY VAIO PCG-51112M battery. At the Taj Mahal, each sanctuary opens onto an enormous vaulting dome. These outlying buildings were completed in 1643.

Construction

Ground layout of the Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal was built on a parcel of land to the south of the walled city of Agra. Shah Jahan presented Maharajah Jai Singh with a large palace in the center of Agra in exchange for the land.[27] An area of roughly three acres was excavated, filled with dirt to reduce seepageSONY VAIO PCG-51111M battery, and levelled at 50 metres (160 ft) above riverbank. In the tomb area, wells were dug and filled with stone and rubble to form the footings of the tomb. Instead of lashed bamboo, workmen constructed a colossal brick scaffold that mirrored the tomb. The scaffold was so enormous that foremen estimated it would take years to dismantle. According to the legend, Shah Jahan decreed that anyone could keep the bricks taken from the scaffoldSONY VAIO PCG-81212M battery, and thus it was dismantled by peasants overnight. A fifteen kilometre (9.3 mi) tamped-earth ramp was built to transport marble and materials to the construction site and teams of twenty or thirty oxen pulled the blocks on specially constructed wagons. An elaborate post-and-beam pulley system was used to raise the blocks into desired position. Water was drawn from the river by a series of pursSony VAIO PCG-81112M battery, an animal-powered rope and bucket mechanism, into a large storage tank and raised to a large distribution tank. It was passed into three subsidiary tanks, from which it was piped to the complex.

The plinth and tomb took roughly 12 years to complete. The remaining parts of the complex took an additional 10 years and were completed in order of minarets, mosque and jawab, and gatewaySONY VAIO PCG-71111M battery. Since the complex was built in stages, discrepancies exist in completion dates due to differing opinions on "completion". For example, the mausoleum itself was essentially complete by 1643, but work continued on the rest of the complex. Estimates of the cost of construction vary due to difficulties in estimating costs across time. The total cost has been estimated to be about 32 million Rupees at that time. SONY VAIO PCG-7196M battery

The Taj Mahal was constructed using materials from all over India and Asia and over 1,000 elephants were used to transport building materials. The translucent white marble was brought from Makrana, Rajasthan, the jasper from Punjab, jade and crystal from China. The turquoise was from Tibet and the Lapis lazuli from AfghanistanSONY VAIO PCG-7195M battery, while the sapphire came from Sri Lanka and the carnelian from Arabia. In all, twenty eight types of precious and semi-precious stones were inlaid into the white marble.

The construction of the Taj Mahal was entrusted to a board of architects under imperial supervision, including Abd ul-Karim Ma'mur Khan, Makramat Khan, and Ustad Ahmad Lahauri. is generally considered to be the principal designer.SONY VAIO PCG-7194M battery

Artist's impression of the Taj Mahal, from the Smithsonian Institution

A labour force of twenty thousand workers was recruited across northern India. Sculptors from Bukhara, calligraphers from Syria and Persia, inlayers from southern India, stonecutters from Baluchistan, a specialist in building turrets, another who carved only marble flowers were part of the thirty-seven men who formed the creative unit. Some of the builders involved in construction of Taj Mahal areSONY VAIO PCG-7192M battery:

Ismail Afandi (a.k.a. Ismail Khan) of the Ottoman Empire — Turkish architect, designer of the main dome.

Ustad Isa (Isa Muhammad Effendi) of Persia — Turkish architect, trained by Koca Mimar Sinan Agha of the Ottoman Empire and frequently credited with a key role in the architectural design.

'Puru' from Benarus, Persia — has been mentioned as a supervising architect. SONY PCG-8113M battery

Qazim Khan, a native of Lahore – cast the solid gold finial.

Chiranjilal, a lapidary from Delhi — the chief sculptor and mosaicist.

Amanat Khan from Shiraz, Iran — the chief calligrapher.[33]

Muhammad Hanif — a supervisor of masons.

Mir Abdul Karim and Mukkarimat Khan of Shiraz — handled finances and management of daily productionSONY PCG-8112M battery.

History

Taj Mahal by Samuel Bourne, 1860.

Soon after the Taj Mahal's completion, Shah Jahan was deposed by his son Aurangzeb and put under house arrest at nearby Agra Fort. Upon Shah Jahan's death, Aurangzeb buried him in the mausoleum next to his wife.[34]

By the late 19th century, parts of the buildings had fallen badly into disrepair. During the time of the Indian rebellion of 1857SONY PCG-7134M battery , the Taj Mahal was defaced by British soldiers and government officials, who chiselled out precious stones and lapis lazuli from its walls. At the end of the 19th century, British viceroy Lord Curzon ordered a sweeping restoration project, which was completed in 1908. He also commissioned the large lamp in the interior chamber, modelled after one in a Cairo mosque. During this time the garden was remodelled with British-style lawns that are still in place todaySONY PCG-7131M battery.

Threats

Protective wartime scaffolding

In 1942, the government erected a scaffolding in anticipation of an air attack by German Luftwaffe and later by Japanese Air Force[citation needed]. During the India-Pakistan wars of 1965 and 1971, scaffoldings were again erected to mislead bomber pilots.[37]

More recent threats have come from environmental pollution on the banks of Yamuna River including acid rain[38] due to the Mathura Oil Refinery, SONY PCG-7122M battery  which was opposed by Supreme Court of India directives. The pollution has been turning the Taj Mahal yellow. To help control the pollution, the Indian government has set up the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ), a 10,400-square-kilometre (4,000 sq mi) area around the monument where strict emissions standards are in place. SONY PCG-7121M battery

Concerns for the tomb's structural integrity have recently been raised because of a decline in the water level of the Yamuna River which is decreasing at a rate of 5 feet a year. In 2010, cracks appeared in parts of the tomb, and the minarets which surround the monument were showing signs of tilting, as the wooden foundation of the tomb may be rotting due to lack of water. Some persons predict that the tomb may collapse within 5 yearsSONY PCG-7113M battery.

Tourism

The Taj Mahal attracts a large number of tourists. UNESCO documented more than 2 million visitors in 2001, including more than 200,000 from overseas.[43] A two tier pricing system is in place, with a significantly lower entrance fee for Indian citizens and a more expensive one for foreigners. Most tourists visit in the cooler months of October, November and FebruarySONY PCG-7112M battery. Polluting traffic is not allowed near the complex and tourists must either walk from parking lots or catch an electric bus. The Khawasspuras (northern courtyards) are currently being restored for use as a new visitor center.

The small town to the south of the Taj, known as Taj Ganji or Mumtazabad, was originally constructed with caravanserais, bazaars and markets to serve the needs of visitors and workmen. SONY PCG-8Z3M battery Lists of recommended travel destinations often feature the Taj Mahal, which also appears in several listings of seven wonders of the modern world, including the recently announced New Seven Wonders of the World, a recent poll[47] with 100 million votes.

The grounds are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, except for Friday when the complex is open for prayers at the mosque between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. The complex is open for night viewing on the day of the full moon and two days before and after, SONY PCG-8Z2M battery excluding Fridays and the month of Ramadan. For security reasons[49] only five items—water in transparent bottles, small video cameras, still cameras, mobile phones and small ladies' purses—are allowed inside the Taj Mahal.[50]

Myths

Ever since its construction, the building has been the source of an admiration transcending culture and geography, and so personal and emotional responses have consistently eclipsed scholastic appraisals of the monument. SONY PCG-8Z1M battery

Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, one of the first European visitors to the Taj Mahal

A longstanding myth holds that Shah Jahan planned a mausoleum to be built in black marble across the Yamuna river.[52] The idea originates from fanciful writings of Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, a European traveller who visited Agra in 1665. It was suggested that Shah Jahan was overthrown by his son Aurangzeb before it could be builtSONY PCG-8Y3M battery . Ruins of blackened marble across the river in Moonlight Garden, Mahtab Bagh, seemed to support this legend. However, excavations carried out in the 1990s found that they were discolored white stones that had turned black.[53] A more credible theory for the origins of the black mausoleum was demonstrated in 2006 by archaeologists who reconstructed part of the pool in the Moonlight GardenSONY PCG-8Y2M battery. A dark reflection of the white mausoleum could clearly be seen, befitting Shah Jahan's obsession with symmetry and the positioning of the pool itself.[54]

No evidence exists for claims that describe, often in horrific detail, the deaths, dismemberments and mutilations which Shah Jahan supposedly inflicted on various architects and craftsmen associated with the tombSONY PCG-7Z1M battery . Some stories claim that those involved in construction signed contracts committing themselves to have no part in any similar design. Similar claims are made for many famous buildings.[55] No evidence exists for claims that Lord William Bentinck, governor-general of India in the 1830s, supposedly planned to demolish the Taj Mahal and auction off the marble. Bentinck's biographer John Rosselli says that the story arose from Bentinck's fund-raising sale of discarded marble from Agra Fort. SONY PCG-6W2M battery

Another myth suggests that beating the silhouette of the finial will cause water to come forth. To this day, officials find broken bangles surrounding the silhouette.[57]

In 2000, India's Supreme Court dismissed P. N. Oak's petition to declare that a Hindu king built the Taj Mahal. Oak claimed that origins of the Taj, together with other historic structures in the country currently ascribed to Muslim sultans pre-date Muslim rule of India and thusSONY PCG-5J5M battery, have a Hindu origin.

Replicas

There is a replica of Taj Mahal in the Window of the World theme park located in the western part of the city of Shenzhen in the People's Republic of China. Among the buildings modelled on the Taj Mahal are the Taj Mahal Bangladesh, the Bibi Ka Maqbara in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, NJ and the Tripoli Shrine Temple in Milwaukee, WisconsinSONY PCG-5K2M battery.

The Canadian Rockies comprise the Canadian segment of the North American Rocky Mountains range. They are the eastern part of the Canadian Cordillera, extending from the Interior Plains of Alberta to the Rocky Mountain Trench of British Columbia. The southern end borders Idaho and Montana of the USA. The northern end is at the Liard River in northern British ColumbiaSONY PCG-5K1M battery.

The Canadian Rockies have numerous high peaks and ranges, such as Mount Robson (3,954 metres (12,972 ft)) and Mount Columbia (3,747 metres (12,293 ft)). The Canadian Rockies are composed of shale and limestone. Much of the range is protected by parks and a World Heritage SiteSONY PCG-5J4M battery .

Geography

The Canadian Rockies are the easternmost part of the Canadian Cordillera, the collective name for the mountains of Western Canada. They form part of the American Cordillera, an essentially continuous sequence of mountain ranges that runs all the way from Alaska to the very tip of South America. The Cordillera in turn are the eastern part of the Pacific Ring of Fire that runs all the way around the Pacific OceanSONY PCG-5J1M battery.

The Canadian Rockies are bounded on the east by the Canadian Prairies, on the west by the Rocky Mountain Trench, and on the north by the Liard River. Contrary to popular misconception, the Rockies do not extend north into Yukon or Alaska, or west into central British Columbia. North of the Liard RiverSONY PCG-5G2M battery, the Mackenzie Mountains, which are a distinct mountain range, form a portion of the border between the Yukon and the Northwest Territories. The mountain ranges to the west of the Rocky Mountain Trench in southern British Columbia are called the Columbia Mountains, and are not considered to be part of the Rockies by Canadian geologists. Sony VAIO PCG-8131M battery

[edit]Highest peaks

See also: List of mountains in the Canadian Rockies

Mount Robson (3,954 m (12,972 ft)) is the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, but not the highest in British Columbia, since there are some higher mountains in the Coast Mountains and Saint Elias Range. However, Mount Robson is particularly impressive because it stands out on the continental divide towering over Yellowhead PassSony VAIO PCG-8152M battery, one of the lowest passes in the Canadian Rockies, and is close to the Yellowhead Highway. Its base is only 985 m above sea level, meaning it has a total vertical relief of 2,969 m or nearly 10,000 feet. In addition, it rises the 3 km to its summit in a distance of only 4 km from its base at Kinney Lake. Climbing Mount Robson is a challenge suitable for experienced and well-prepared mountaineers, and usually requires a week on the mountainSony VAIO PCG-31311M battery.

Mount Robson

Mount Columbia (3,747 m (12,293 ft)) is the second-highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, and is the highest mountain in Alberta. There is a non-technical route to the top involving only kicking steps in the snow, but the approach is across the Columbia Icefield and requires glacier travel and crevasse rescue knowledge. It is normally done in two days, with a night at high campSony VAIO PCG-31111M battery, but some strong skiers have done from the highway in a day. On the other hand, many others have been stuck in their tents for days waiting for the weather to clear. From the same high camp as for Mount Columbia, it is possible to ascend a number of other high peaks in the area, including North Twin, South Twin, Kitchener, Stutfield and Snow DomeSony VAIO PCG-8112M battery.

Snow Dome (3,456 m (11,339 ft)) is not an impressive peak by Rockies standards, but it has the distinction of being the hydrological apex of North America. Water flows off Snow Dome into three different watersheds, into the Pacific Ocean, Arctic Ocean, and Atlantic Ocean via Hudson Bay. It is the easiest and most popular ascent on the Columbia Icefield, a gentle ski to the top from Columbia high camp, but glacier travel is requiredSony VAIO PCG-7186M battery

Of the highest peaks, only Mount Temple (3,543 m (11,624 ft)) has an established scrambling route. All other mountains (including other routes up Mount Temple), require more mountaineering skills and experience. Despite the fact that it is only a moderate scramble, even Mount Temple should not be attempted by novices. According to the Alpine Club of CanadaSony VAIO PCG-7171M battery, more people have died on Mount Temple than any other Canadian mountain, including seven youths in an unsupervised American school group in 1955.[2] The upper slopes are usually covered with snow and there is a glacier on top. Scramblers on Mount Temple should carry an ice axe and enough clothing to survive a freezing night on the mountain if a storm hits and prevents them from descendingSony VAIO PCG-9Z1M battery.

Contrary to popular misconception, the Canadian Rockies are not the highest mountain ranges in Canada. Both the Saint Elias Mountains (highest point in Canada Mount Logan at 5,959 metres) and the Coast Mountains (highest point Mount Waddington at 4,016 metres) have higher summitsSony VAIO PCG-5S1M battery.

[edit]Mountain ranges

Main article: Ranges of the Canadian Rockies

The Canadian Rockies are subdivided into numerous mountain ranges, structured in two main groupings, the Continental Ranges, which has three main subdivisions, the Front Range, Park Ranges and Kootenay Ranges, and the Northern Rockies which comprise two main groupings, the Hart Ranges and the Muskwa Ranges. The division-point of the two main groupings is at Monkman Pass northwest of Mount Robson and to the southwest of Mount OvingtonSony VAIO PCG-5P1M battery.

Geology

Main article: Geology of the Rocky Mountains

The Canadian Rockies are quite different in appearance and geology from the American Rockies to the south of them. The Canadian Rockies are composed of layered sedimentary rock such as limestone and shale, where as the American Rockies are made mostly of metamorphic and igneous rock such as gneiss and graniteSony VAIO PCG-5N2M battery. The American Rockies are, on average, higher in elevation than the Canadian Rockies, but have less vertical relief, which is to say they are shorter from base to summit because the mountain valleys are higher.[1]

The Canadian Rockies are more jagged than the American Rockies, because the Canadian Rockies have been very heavily glaciated, resulting in sharply pointed mountains separated by wide, U-shaped valleys gauged by glaciersSony VAIO PCG-3C2M battery, where as the American Rockies are more rounded, with river-carved V-shaped valleys between them. The Canadian Rockies are cooler and wetter, giving them moister soil, bigger rivers, and more glaciers. The tree line is much lower in the Canadian Rockies than in the American Rockies.

Parks

Peyto Lake, Banff National Park

Five national parks are located within the Canadian Rockies, four of which interlock and make up the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage siteSony VAIO PCG-8161M battery. These four parks are Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho. The national park not included in the World Heritage Site is Waterton, which does not interlock with the others (it lies farther south, along the international boundary). The World Heritage site also includes three British Columbia provincial parks that adjoin the four national parksSony VAIO PCG-8141M battery: Hamber, Mount Assiniboine and Mount Robson. Together, all these national and provincial parks were declared a single UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984[3] for the unique mountain landscapes found there, comprising peaks, glaciers, lakes, waterfalls, canyons and limestone caves as well as fossils (e.g. the Burgess Shale, once a World Heritage Site in its own rightSony VAIO PCG-3J1M battery, is now part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site). Numerous other provincial parks are located in the Canadian Rockies.

Throughout the Rockies, and especially in the national parks, the Alpine Club of Canada maintains a series of alpine huts for use by mountaineers and adventurers.[4]

Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is a large sandstone rock formation in the southern part of the Northern Territory, central Australia. It lies 335 km (208 mi) Sony VAIO PCG-3H1M battery south west of the nearest large town, Alice Springs, 450 km (280 mi) by road. Kata Tjuta and Uluru are the two major features of the Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park. Uluru is sacred to the Anangu, the Aboriginal people of the area. The area around the formation is home to a plethora of springs, waterholes, rock caves and ancient paintings. Uluru is listed as a World Heritage SiteSony VAIO PCG-3F1M battery.

Name

The local Pitjantjatjara people call the landmark Uluṟu (Aboriginal pronunciation: [uluɻu]). This word has no further particular meaning in the Pitjantjatjara language, although it is used as a local family name by the senior Traditional Owners of Uluru.[1]

On 19 July 1873, the surveyor William Gosse sighted the landmark and named it Ayers Rock in honour of the then Chief Secretary of South Australia, Sir Henry Ayers.[2] Since then, both names have been used
Sony VAIO PCG-3C1M battery
.

In 1993, a dual naming policy was adopted that allowed official names that consist of both the traditional Aboriginal name and the English name. On 15 December 1993, it was renamed "Ayers Rock / Uluru" and became the first official dual-named feature in the Northern Territory. The order of the dual names was officially reversed to "Uluru / Ayers Rock" on 6 November 2002 following a request from the Regional Tourism Association in Alice Springs. Sony VAIO PCG-9Z2L battery

Description

Uluru is one of Australia's most recognisable natural landmarks. The sandstone formation stands 348 m (1,142 ft) high (rising 863 m/2,831 ft above sea level), with most of its bulk lying underground, and has a total circumference of 9.4 km (5.8 mi).[4] Both Uluru and the nearby Kata Tjuta formation have great cultural significance for the Aṉangu peopleSony VAIO PCG-9Z1L battery, the traditional inhabitants of the area, who lead walking tours to inform visitors about the local flora and fauna, bush foods and the Aboriginal dreamtime stories of the area.

Uluru is notable for appearing to change colour at different times of the day and year, most notably glowing red at dawn and sunset.

Kata Tjuta, also called Mount Olga or The Olgas, lies 25 km (16 mi) west of Uluru. Special viewing areas with road access and parking have been constructed to give tourists the best views of both sites at dawn and duskSony VAIO PCG-9131L battery.

Geology

Uluru rock formations

Uluru is an inselberg, literally "island mountain".[5] An inselberg is a prominent isolated residual knob or hill that rises abruptly from and is surrounded by extensive and relatively flat erosion lowlands in a hot, dry region.[6] Uluru is also often referred to as a monolith, although this is a somewhat ambiguous term that is generally avoided by geologistsSony VAIO PCG-8161L battery. The remarkable feature of Uluru is its homogeneity and lack of jointing and parting at bedding surfaces, leading to the lack of development of scree slopes and soil. These characteristics led to its survival, while the surrounding rocks were eroded.[7] For the purpose of mapping and describing the geological history of the area, geologists refer to the rock strata making up Uluru as the Mutitjulu ArkoseSony VAIO PCG-8152L battery, and it is one of many sedimentary formations filling the Amadeus Basin.[5]

Composition

Uluru is dominantly composed of coarse-grained arkose (a type of sandstone characterized by an abundance of feldspar) and some conglomerate.[5][8] Average composition is 50% feldspar, 25–35% quartz and up to 25% rock fragments; most feldspar is K-feldspar with only minor plagioclase as subrounded grains and highly altered inclusions within K-feldspar. Sony VAIO PCG-8141L battery The grains are typically 2–4 millimetres (0.079–0.16 in) in diameter, and are angular to subangular; the finer sandstone is well sorted, with sorting decreasing with increasing grain size.[5] The rock fragments include subrounded basalt, invariably replaced to various degrees by chlorite and epidote.[5] The minerals present suggest derivation from a predominantly granite source, similar to the Musgrave Block exposed to the south. Sony VAIO PCG-8131L batteryWhen relatively fresh, the rock has a grey colour, but weathering of iron-bearing minerals by the process of oxidation gives the outer surface layer of rock a red-brown rusty colour.[5] Features related to deposition of the sediment include cross-bedding and ripples, analysis of which indicated deposition from broad shallow high energy fluvial channels and sheet flooding, typical of alluvial fans. Sony VAIO PCG-81312L battery

Rain water flows off Uluru along channels marked by dark algae, forming small ponds at the base

Age and origin

The Mutitjulu Arkose is believed to be of about the same age as the conglomerate at Kata Tjuta, and to have a similar origin despite the rock type being different, but it is younger than the rocks exposed to the east at Mount Conner,[5] and unrelated to them. The strata at Uluru are nearly vertical, dipping to the south west at 85°, and have an exposed thickness of at least 2,400 m (7,900 ft) Sony VAIO PCG-81214L battery. The strata dip below the surrounding plain and no doubt extend well beyond Uluru in the subsurface, but the extent is not known.

The rock was originally sand, deposited as part of an extensive alluvial fan that extended out from the ancestors of the Musgrave, Mann and Petermann Ranges to the south and west, but separate from a nearby fan that deposited the sand, pebbles and cobbles that now make up Kata Tjuta. Sony VAIO PCG-81115L battery

The similar mineral composition of the Mutitjulu Arkose and the granite ranges to the south is now explained. The ancestors of the ranges to the south were once much larger than the eroded remnants we see today. They were thrust up during a mountain building episode referred to as the Petermann Orogeny that took place in late Neoproterozoic to early Cambrian times Sony VAIO PCG-81114L battery (550-530 Ma), and thus the Mutitjulu Arkose is believed to have been deposited at about the same time.

The arkose sandstone which makes up the formation is composed of grains that show little sorting based on grain size, exhibit very little rounding and the feldspars in the rock are relatively fresh in appearance. This lack of sorting and grain rounding is typical of arkosic sandstones and is indicative of relatively rapid erosion from the granites of the growing mountains to the southSony VAIO PCG-81113L battery. The layers of sand were nearly horizontal when deposited, but were tilted to their near vertical position during a later episode of mountain building, possibly the Alice Springs Orogeny of Palaeozoic age (400-300 Ma).[5]

Fauna and flora

Black-flanked Rock-wallaby (Petrogale lateralis)

Historically, 46 species of native mammals are known to have been living near Uluru; according to recent surveys there are currently 21. Aṉangu acknowledge that a decrease in the number has implications for the condition and health of the landscapeSony VAIO PCG-7142L battery. Moves are supported for the reintroduction of locally extinct animals such as Malleefowl, Common Brushtail Possum, Rufous Hare-wallaby or Mala, Bilby, Burrowing Bettong and the Black-flanked Rock-wallaby.[9]

The Mulgara, the only mammal listed as vulnerable, is mostly restricted to the transitional sand plain area, a narrow band of country that stretches from the vicinity of Uluru to the Northern boundary of the park and into Ayers Rock Resort. Sony VAIO PCG-7141L battery This area also contains the marsupial mole, Woma Python and Great Desert Skink.

Trees at the base of Uluru

The bat population of the park comprises at least seven species that depend on day roosting sites within caves and crevices of Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Most of the bats forage for aerial prey within 100 m (330 ft) or so from the rock face. The park has a very rich reptile fauna of high conservation significance with 73 species having been reliably recordedSony VAIO PCG-71111L battery. Four species of frog are abundant at the base of Uluru and Kata Tjuta following summer rains. The Great Desert Skink is listed as vulnerable.

Aṉangu continue to hunt and gather animal species in remote areas of the park and on Aṉangu land elsewhere. Hunting is largely confined to the Red Kangaroo, Bush Turkey, Emu and lizards such as the Sand Goanna and PerentieSony VAIO PCG-61411L battery.

Of the 27 mammal species found in the park, six are introduced: the house mouse, camel, fox, cat, dog and rabbit. These species are distributed throughout the park but their densities are greatest near the rich water run-off areas of Uluru and Kata Tjuta.

Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park flora represents a large portion of plants found in Central Australia. A number of these species are considered rare and restricted in the park or the immediate region. There are many rare and endemic plants in the parkSony VAIO PCG-61112L battery.

The growth and reproduction of plant communities rely on irregular rainfall. Some plants are able to survive fire and some are dependent on it to reproduce. Plants are an important part of Tjukurpa, and there are ceremonies for each of the major plant foods. Many plants are associated with ancestral beingsSony VAIO PCG-61111L battery.

Bush tucker from the area of Alice Springs Desert Park

Flora in Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park can be broken into the following categories:

Punu – trees

Puti – shrubs

Tjulpun-tjulpunpa – flowers

Ukiri – grasses

Trees such as the Mulga and Centralian Bloodwood are used to make tools such as spearheads, boomerangs and bowls. The red sap of the bloodwood is used as a disinfectant and an inhalant for coughs and coldsSony VAIO PCG-5T4L battery.

There are several rare and endangered species in the park. Most of them, like Adder's Tongue ferns, are restricted to the moist areas at the base of the formation, which are areas of high visitor use and subject to erosion.

Since the first Europeans arrived, 34 exotic plant species have been recorded in the park, representing about 6.4% of the total park flora. Some, such as perennial buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris), were introduced to rehabilitate areas damaged by erosionSony VAIO PCG-5T3L battery. It is the most threatening weed in the park and has spread to invade water- and nutrient-rich drainage lines. A few others, such as burrgrass, were brought in accidentally, carried on cars and people.

Climate and five seasons

The park receives an average rainfall of 284.6 mm (11.2 in) per year.[10] The average high temperature in summer (December–January) is 37.8 °C (100.0 °F), and the average low temperature in winter (June–July) is 4.7 °C (40.5 °FSony VAIO PCG-5T2L battery). Temperature extremes in the park have been recorded at 46 °C (115 °F) during the summer and −5 °C (23 °F) during winter nights. UV levels are extreme most days, averaging between 11 and 15 on the UV index.[4]

Local Aboriginal people recognise five seasons:[4]

Wanitjunkupai (April/May) – Cooler weather

Wari (June/July) – Cold season bringing morning frosts

Piriyakutu (August/September/October) – Animals breed and food plants flower

Mai Wiyaringkupai (November/December) – The hot season when food becomes scarce

Itjanu (January/February/March) – Sporadic storms can roll in suddenlySony VAIO PCG-5S3L battery

Myths, legends and Aboriginal traditions

According to the Aṉangu, traditional landowners of Uluru:[11]

The world was once a featureless place. None of the places we know existed until creator beings, in the forms of people, plants and animals, traveled widely across the land. Then, in a process of creation and destruction, they formed the landscape as we know it today. Aṉangu land is still inhabited by the spirits of dozens of these ancestral creator beings which are referred to as Tjukuritja or WaparitjaSony VAIO PCG-5S2L battery.

There are a number of differing accounts given, by outsiders, of Aboriginal ancestral stories for the origins of Uluru and its many cracks and fissures. One such account, taken from Robert Layton's (1989) Uluru: An Aboriginal history of Ayers Rock,[12] reads as follows:

Uluru was built up during the creation period by two boys who played in the mud after rain. When they had finished their game they travelled south to WiputaSony VAIO PCG-5S1L battery ... Fighting together, the two boys made their way to the table topped Mount Conner, on top of which their bodies are preserved as boulders. (Page 5)

Two other accounts are given in Nor

bert Brockman's (1997) Encyclopedia of Sacred Places.[13] The first tells of serpent beings who waged many wars around Uluru, scarring the rock. The second tells of two tribes of ancestral spirits who were invited to a feast, but were distracted by the beautiful Sleepy Lizard Women and did not show upSony VAIO PCG-5R2L battery. In response, the angry hosts sang evil into a mud sculpture that came to life as the dingo. There followed a great battle, which ended in the deaths of the leaders of both tribes. The earth itself rose up in grief at the bloodshed, becoming Uluru.

The Commonwealth Department of Environment's webpage advises:[11]

Many...Tjukurpa such as Kalaya (Emu), Liru (poisonous snake), Lungkata (blue tongue lizard), Luunpa (kingfisher) and Tjintir-tjintirpa (willie wagtail) travel through Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Other Tjukurpa affect only one specific areaSony VAIO PCG-5R1L battery.

Kuniya, the woma python, lived in the rocks at Uluru where she fought the Liru, the poisonous snake.

It is sometimes reported that those who take rocks from the formation will be cursed and suffer misfortune. There have been many instances where people who removed such rocks attempted to mail them back to various agencies in an attempt to remove the perceived curseSony VAIO PCG-5P4L battery.

History

Petroglyphs on Uluru

Archaeological findings to the east and west indicate that humans settled in the area more than 10,000 years ago.[12] Europeans arrived in the Australian Western Desert in the 1870s. Uluru and Kata Tjuta were first mapped by Europeans in 1872 during the expeditionary period made possible by the construction of the Australian Overland Telegraph LineSony VAIO PCG-5P2L battery. In separate expeditions, Ernest Giles and William Gosse were the first European explorers to this area.

While exploring the area in 1872, Giles sighted Kata Tjuta from a location near Kings Canyon and called it Mount Olga, while the following year Gosse observed Uluru and named it Ayers Rock, in honor of the Chief Secretary of South Australia, Sir Henry AyersSony VAIO PCG-5N4L battery. Further explorations followed with the aim of establishing the possibilities of the area for pastoralism. In the late 19th century, pastoralists attempted to establish themselves in areas adjoining the South western/Petermann Reserve and interaction between Aṉangu and white people became more frequent and more violent. Due to the effects of grazing and drought, bush food stores became depletedSony VAIO PCG-5N2L battery. Competition for these resources created conflict between the two groups, resulting in more frequent police patrols. Later, during the depression in the 1930s, Aṉangu became involved in dingo scalping with 'doggers' who introduced Aṉangu to European foods and ways.

Between 1918 and 1921, large adjoining areas of South Australia, Western Australia and Northern Territory were declared as Aboriginal reserves, sanctuaries for nomadic people who had virtually no contact with European settlersSony VAIO PCG-51513L battery. In 1920, part of Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park was declared an Aboriginal Reserve (commonly known as the South-Western or Petermann Reserve) by the Australian government under the Aboriginals Ordinance.

The first tourists arrived in the Uluru area in 1936. Beginning in the 1940s, permanent European settlement of the area for reasons of the Aboriginal welfare policy and to help promote tourism of UluruSony VAIO PCG-51511L battery. This increased tourism prompted the formation of the first vehicular tracks in 1948 and tour bus services began early in the following decade. In 1958, the area that would become the Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park was excised from the Petermann Reserve; it was placed under the management of the Northern Territory Reserves Board and named the Ayers Rock – Mount Olga National ParkSony VAIO PCG-51412L battery. The first ranger was Bill Harney, a well-recognised central Australian figure.[9] By 1959, the first motel leases had been granted and Eddie Connellan had constructed an airstrip close to the northern side of Uluru.[2]

On 5 March 1968, a three-seat Bell 47 G2 helicopter piloted by Philip Latz crashed on Uluru, about 1 mile (1.6 km) east of the cairn. The wreck was lifted off on 28 March by a Sikorsky S58 helicopterSony VAIO PCG-51411L battery.

Aerial view of Uluru

On 26 October 1985, the Australian government returned ownership of Uluru to the local Pitjantjatjara Aborigines, with one of the conditions being that the Aṉangu would lease it back to the National Parks and Wildlife agency for 99 years and that it would be jointly managed. The agreement originally made between the community and Prime Minister Bob Hawke that the climb to the top by tourists would be stopped was brokenSony VAIO PCG-51312L battery. The Aboriginal community of Mutitjulu, population of approximately 300, is located near the eastern end of Uluru. From Uluru it is 17 km (11 mi) by road to the tourist town of Yulara, population 3,000, which is situated just outside of the national park.

The 25th anniversary of the handback of title was celebrated on 26 October 2010. Sony VAIO PCG-51311L battery

On 8 October 2009, the Talinguru Nyakuntjaku viewing area opened to public visitation. The A$21 million project about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) on the east side of Uluru involved design and construction supervision by the Aṉangu traditional owners, with 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) of roads and 1.6 kilometres (1 mi) of walking trails being built for the area. Sony VAIO PCG-51211L battery

Tourism

Driving on Lasseter Highway from Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park

The development of tourism infrastructure adjacent to the base of Uluru that began in the 1950s soon produced adverse environmental impacts. It was decided in the early 1970s to remove all accommodation-related tourist facilities and re-establish them outside the park. In 1975, a reservation of 104 square kilometres (40 sq mi) Sony VAIO PCG-41112L battery of land beyond the park's northern boundary, 15 kilometres (9 mi) from Uluru, was approved for the development of a tourist facility and an associated airport, to be known as Yulara. The camp ground within the park was closed in 1983 and the motels closed in late 1984, coinciding with the opening of the Yulara resort. In 1992, the majority interest in the Yulara resort held by the Northern Territory Government was sold and the resort was renamed Ayers Rock ResortSony VAIO PCG-3A4L battery.

Since the park was listed as a World Heritage Site, annual visitor numbers rose to over 400,000 visitors by the year 2000.[21] Increased tourism provides regional and national economic benefits. It also presents an ongoing challenge to balance conservation of cultural values and visitor needs.

AdmissionSony VAIO PCG-3A3L battery

Admission to the park costs A$25 per person, and provides a three day pass. Passes are non-transferable and all passes are checked by park rangers.

Climbing

Climbers and a warning sign

Sign informing tourists that the climb is closed

Climbing Uluru is a popular attraction for visitors. A chain handhold added in 1964 and extended in 1976 makes the hour-long climb easier, but it is still a long (800 m/0.5 mi) and steep hike to the top, where it can be quite windySony VAIO PCG-3A2L battery. It is recommended individuals drink plenty of water whilst climbing, and those who are unfit, suffer from vertigo or medical conditions restricting exercise, do not attempt it. Climbing Uluru is generally closed to the public when high winds are recorded at the top. There have been at least 35 deaths relating to recreational climbing since such incidents began being recorded. Sony VAIO PCG-3A1L battery

The local Aṉangu do not climb Uluru because of its great spiritual significance. They request that visitors do not climb the rock, partly due to the path crossing a sacred traditional Dreamtime track, and also due to a sense of responsibility for the safety of visitors. The visitors guide says "the climb is not prohibited, but we prefer that, as a guest on Aṉangu land, you will choose to respect our law and culture by not climbing." Sony VAIO PCG-394L battery

On 11 December 1983, Prime Minister Bob Hawke promised to hand back the land title to the Aṉangu traditional owners and agreed to the community's 10-point plan which included forbidding the climbing of Uluru. However, the government set access to climb Uluru and a 99-year lease, instead of the previously agreed upon 50-year lease, as conditions before the title was officially given back to the Aṉangu. Sony VAIO PCG-393L battery

In 2009, the Australian government indicated that climbing Uluru may no longer be allowed under the proposed "Draft Management Plan 2009–2019". The public has been invited to comment on the plan prior to submission to the Minister for the Environment.[23]

Several controversial incidents in 2010, including a striptease, golfing and nudity on top of Uluru, have led to renewed calls for banning the climbSony VAIO PCG-391L battery.

Photography

The Aṉangu also request that visitors do not photograph certain sections of Uluru, for reasons related to traditional Tjukurpa beliefs. These areas are the sites of gender-linked rituals, and are forbidden ground for Aṉangu of the opposite sex to those participating in the rituals in question. The photographic ban is intended to prevent Aṉangu from inadvertently violating this taboo by encountering photographs of the forbidden sites in the outside worldSony VAIO PCG-384L battery.

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