September 8, 2018

THE COLOSSI OF ABU SIMBEL

Three hundred kilometers south of Aswan right in the middle of the Nubian desert close to the border of Sudan, stands this humongous stone temple dedicated to the Egyptian god Ramesses. Rising 21 meters (that’s about 7 stories), the four enthroned statues of Egypt’s greatest pharaoh-god who was described as “a powerful lion with claws extended and a terrible roar”, sat in silence gazing into eternity while facing the sun that rose in the east. I think the primary purpose in building this was to instill awe and fear in the hearts of his enemies, the Nubians who were living at the farthest southern periphery of his empire.   Centuries…

August 7, 2018

GOING ON SAFARI

Kruger National Park is in the northern part of South Africa in Mpumalanga and Limpopo Province, about 400 kms. from Johannesburg. It is one of the world’s largest wildlife-watching places where you will find Africa’s Big Five (buffalo, rhino, elephant, lion and leopard) along with some other 140 mammals and 500 species of birds all living in the bushveld. The park is huge with an area of 19, 624 sq. kms. and the distances are great, stretching 329 kms. from north to south and 80 kms. from east to west. There are 2,600 well-paved all-weather roads meandering around the great sweep of this vast plain in what is seemingly an…

June 19, 2018

THE THREE PYRAMIDS IN GIZA

Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure. This triumvirate has stood still for what seems to be since time immemorial on the Giza Necropolis a few kilometers outside present-day Cairo. Still as magnificent and mysterious as when they were first built some 4,500 years ago, they are a sight to behold. The largest one, Khufu (Cheops), built in 2560 BC stands at 146 meters tall and was for some 3,500 years the tallest structure on earth. The second one, Khafre (Chephren) is smaller at 136 meters but looks taller because it is slightly elevated and has part of its smooth casing still intact at the tip. The more modest one in size, Menkaure…