List of described attractions, 1 - 100
|1 - 100||101 - 200||201 - 300||301 - 400||401 - 500|
Here are listed monuments and attractions No. 1 - 100 described in this Website.
Click on headings to sort the table!
|1||Stone labyrinths of Bolshoi Zayatsky island||Russia, Arkhangelsk Oblast||Ancient shrines||5||Rare archaeological monument - several thousand years old labyrinths made of soil and stones.|
|2||Silver Springs||United States, Florida||Springs||4||One of the most powerful freshwater springs in the world, discharging 23 cubic meters of water per second.|
|3||Milford Sound flying waterfalls||New Zealand, Southland||Waterfalls||6||Numerous up to several hundred metres high waterfalls which often, due to strong winds, go upwards.|
|4||Cathedral of Santa Maria and San Donato||Italy, Veneto||Churches, Fossil finds||6||One of oldest churches in Veneto Lagoon, special due to bones of dragon (extinct mammal?) behind the altar.|
|5||Sungbo's Eredo||Nigeria, Ogun||Walls||4||System of 160 kilometres long ditches and walls encircling the ancient land of Sungbo.|
|6||Sima Humboldt||Venezuela, Bolivar||Sinkholes, Ecosystems||3||314 metres deep sinkhole created through unique processes in quartzite. Bottom covered with isolated patch of forest.|
|7||Sima Martel||Venezuela, Bolivar||Sinkholes, Ecosystems||5||248 metres deep sinkhole created through unique processes in quartzite. Bottom covered with isolated patch of forest.|
|8||Centurion||Australia, Tasmania||Trees||3||The highest eucalypt and the highest angiosperm of the world, 99.6 metres high.|
|9||Triarius||Australia, Tasmania||Trees||9||Giant, 86.5 metres high eucalypt.|
|10||Glencoe Baobab||South Africa, Limpopo||Trees||4||Stoutest known baobab (before splitting in November 2009), circumference 47 m.|
|11||Sagole Baobab||South Africa, Limpopo||Trees||4||Largest baobab in South Africa, circumference of the trunk 32.8 metres, height 22 metres.|
|12||Sunland Baobab||South Africa, Limpopo||Trees||6||Third largest baobab in South Africa, circumference 33.4 metres. Inside the trunk there is a pub for 60 people and wine cellar.|
|13||Ary-Mas||Russia, Krasnoyarsk Krai||Ecosystems||5||Second northernmost forest in the world, isolated grove of Dahurian larch.|
|14||Lukunsky grove||Russia, Krasnoyarsk Krai||Ecosystems||5||Northernmost forest in the world, a northern rim of a forest of Dahurian larch.|
|15||Jellyfish Lake||Palau, Rock Islands||Animal colonies, Ecosystems||3||5.0 ha large marine lake with large populations of endemic subspecies of jellyfish Mastigias cf. papua etpisoni and Aurelia sp..|
|16||Uet era Ngermeuangel||Palau, Rock Islands||Animal colonies, Ecosystems||7||4.3 ha large marine lake with large populations of endemic subspecies of jellyfish Mastigias cf. papua remeliiki and Aurelia sp..|
|17||Goby Lake||Palau, Rock Islands||Animal colonies, Ecosystems||7||2.1 ha large marine lake with large population of endemic subspecies of jellyfish Mastigias cf. papua nakamurai.|
|18||Clear Lake||Palau, Rock Islands||Animal colonies, Ecosystems||7||3.9 ha large marine lake with large population of endemic subspecies of jellyfish Mastigias cf. papua salii.|
|19||Uet era Ongael||Palau, Rock Islands||Animal colonies, Ecosystems||7||0.9 ha large marine lake with large population of endemic subspecies of jellyfish Mastigias cf. papua remengesaui.|
|20||Inuksuk Point (Enukso Point)||Canada, Nunavut||Cairns, Megaliths||6||Unique group of more than 100 ancient inuksuit - stone pilings of indigenous people of Canada's Arctic.|
|21||Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, California||United States, California||Ecosystems||3||This 7 km2 large field of California poppies is covered with millions of bright orange flowers in springtime.|
|22||Flower fields of Gorman Hills||United States, California||Ecosystems||8||Another spectacular display of spring flowers near the famous Antelope Valley. Very impressive sights of endless golden California poppy and lupine fields from the Gorman Post Road.|
|23||Walker Canyon poppy fields, California||United States, California||Ecosystems||9||Very impressive, endless fields of California poppies on hillsides on both sides of highway.|
|24||Figueroa Mountain poppy and lupine fields||United States, California||Ecosystems||9||Very impressive lupine and California poppy spring blooms around the summit of Figueroa Mountain in Los Padres National Forest among the lush green, forested hillsides.|
|25||Bear Valley wildflower meadows, Colusa County||United States, California||Ecosystems||6||One of three most impressive spring wildflower displays in California next to Antelope Valley and Carrizo Plain. In March - April the flat floodplain is covered with millions of bright orange California poppies and other flowers.|
|26||Dry Creek wildflower meadows, Tulare County||United States, California||Ecosystems||9||Impressive wildflower meadows in the valley of Dry Creek.|
|27||Poppy meadows of Merced Valley and Hite Cove||United States, California||Ecosystems||8||The steep, high hillsides of the beautiful Merced River valley in springtime are colored in golden color by countless tufted poppies.|
|28||Shell Creek Road meadows, California||United States, California||Ecosystems||9||One of the most picturesque spring wildflower displays in this area. Represented diverse species of plants such as goldfields, tidy tips, baby blue eyes and also California poppies.|
|29||Point Buchon poppy meadows||United States, California||Ecosystems||8||Impressive seaside scenery of Point Buchon in springtime often is supplemented by a bright orange carpet of California poppies.|
|30||Carrizo Plain wildflower meadows||United States, California||Ecosystems||6||One of the three largest wildflower displays in California besides Antelope Valley and Bear Valley. This enormous plain contains numerous rare and endemic plant species.|
|31||Ajanta Caves - rock cut Buddhist temples||India, Maharashtra||Buddhist shrines, Rock-cut architecture, Petroglyphs and rock art||1||Complex of Buddhist temples and monasteries consisting of 29 - 30 rock cut sanctuaries (chaytia grihas) and monasteries (viharas). Built in two periods in 2nd century BC and 460 - 480 AD, contains unique art values - murals, sculptures, inscriptions.|
|32||Ellora Caves, Kailasanatha Temple||India, Maharashtra||Buddhist shrines, Hindu shrines, Jain shrines, Rock-cut architecture||1||Epitome of Indian rock-cut architecture and the last great group of rock temples in India. Group of 34 monasteries and temples built circa 550 - 1000 AD by Buddhists, Hindu and Jains. Contains also Kailasanatha Temple - one of the most complex and beautiful creations of ancient people worldwide.|
|33||Barabar Caves||India, Bihar||Ancient shrines, Rock-cut architecture||6||The oldest existing rock cut temples in India. Four cave chambers with seven rooms in total have been created in 3rd century BC and have peculiarity - polished walls and floor and very impressive echo effect. Best known - Lomas Rishi Cave with impressive entrance portal.|
|34||Nagarjuni Caves||India, Bihar||Ancient shrines, Rock-cut architecture||8||Some of the oldest rock-cut temples in India - three cave chambers hewn in hard gneiss in late 3rd century BC. Caves contain ancient inscriptions, have polished walls.|
|35||Elephanta Caves||India, Maharashtra||Hindu shrines, Buddhist shrines, Rock-cut architecture||2||Seven rock-cut caves, located on small island, made between 5th - 7th centuries AD. Caves include five Hindu temples and two Buddhist temples and contain some of the most beautiful ancient sculptures of India including the famous Trimurti sculpture.|
|36||Son Bhandar Caves||India, Bihar||Jain shrines, Rock-cut architecture, Sites of legends||8||Two rock-cut Jain caves, possibly made in 3rd - 4th centuries AD. Simple chambers with polished walls, one of chambers reportedly contains entrance in passage leading to a treasure. Next to the marked blind doorway there is undeciphered inscription.|
|37||Badami Cave Temples||India, Karnataka||Hindu shrines, Jain shrines, Rock-cut architecture, Petroglyphs and rock art||4||Four rock-cut caves, located in ancient capital of Early Chalukyas and created in late 6th - 7th century AD. Two temples are dedicated to Vishnu, one to Shiva, one cave is Jain temple. Adorned with exquisite stone carvings.|
|38||Denisova Cave||Russia, Altai Krai||Fossil finds, Ancient human finds, Caves||4||Approx. 600 m long cave, unique archaeological and paleontological monument. Denisova Cave contains at least 125,000 years old artefacts left by ancient hominins. After a splinter of bone here has been identified new species of ancient humans - Denisova hominin or Denisovan.|
|39||Dinosaur Cove||Australia, Victoria||Fossil finds||8||The richest find of dinosaur remnants in Australia, has provided several discoveries of world importance, including discovery of first polar dinosaurs and recently - first southern tyrannosaurs.|
|40||Karla Caves||India, Maharashtra||Buddhist shrines, Rock-cut architecture||2||Ancient rock-cut caves, Buddhist temples. Created in 2nd century BC - 2nd century AD and also in 5th - 10th centuries AD. Some of most impressive ancient cave temples in India, includes the largest rock-cut shrine - chaitya.|
|41||Bhaja Caves||India, Maharashtra||Buddhist shrines, Rock-cut architecture||3||Ancient rock-cut caves, Buddhist temples. 22 cave chambers made in 2nd century BC, with fine stone carvings. Include one of most impressive chaityas in India.|
|42||Bedse Caves||India, Maharashtra||Buddhist shrines, Rock-cut architecture||5||Two legendary rock-cut cave temples. One cave is chaitya - prayer hall, another - vihara - monastery, both created circa 60 BC.|
|43||Varaha Cave Temple||India, Tamil Nadu||Hindu shrines, Rock-cut architecture||9||Rock cut Hindu cave temple in Mahabalipuram, created in 7th century AD. Contains exquisite carvings.|
|44||Yali Mandapam - Tiger Cave||India, Tamil Nadu||Other architecture monuments, Other archaeological monuments, Rock-cut architecture||6||Rock cut ancient monument north from Mahabalipuram, possibly religious auditorium. Highly unusual architectonic design with 11 yali heads, created in 7th century.|
|45||Atiranachanda Mandapam||India, Tamil Nadu||Hindu shrines, Rock-cut architecture||8||The northernmost rock cut Hindu cave temple in Mahabalipuram. Most likely created in late 7th century, contains several interesting artworks.|
|46||Krishna Mandapam||India, Tamil Nadu||Hindu shrines, Rock-cut architecture||8||The largest Hindu cave temple in Mahabalipuram, renowned due to realistic, wonderful depictions of rural life. Most likely created in late 7th century.|
|47||Ramanuja Mandapam||India, Tamil Nadu||Hindu shrines, Rock-cut architecture||8||Rock cut Hindu cave temple in Mahabalipuram, devoted to Shiva, later converted into Vaishnava mantapa. Most likely built in AD 640- 674.|
|48||Mahishasura Mardini Cave||India, Tamil Nadu||Hindu shrines, Rock-cut architecture||7||Rock cut Hindu cave temple in Mahabalipuram, contains two beautiful sculpted panels with religious motives.|
|49||Koneri Mandapam||India, Tamil Nadu||Hindu shrines, Rock-cut architecture||8||Rock cut Hindu cave temple in Mahabalipuram. This temple is unusual because it has five sanctuaries and two styles of columns. Most likely initially was devoted to Shiva.|
|50||Lalitankura Pallavesvara Griham||India, Tamil Nadu||Hindu shrines, Rock-cut architecture||7||The southernmost rock cut Pallava Hindu cave temple, located in Trichy Rockfort and created in early 7th century AD. Contains unusual, sophisticated artworks and inscriptions.|
|51||Pandav Leni Caves||India, Maharashtra||Jain shrines, Buddhist shrines, Rock-cut architecture||6||A group of circa 29 caves carved by ancient Jains and Buddhists in 1st century BC - 12th century AD.|
|52||Udayagiri Caves, Khandagiri Caves||India, Orissa||Jain shrines, Hindu shrines, Rock-cut architecture||5||33 rock-cut chambers, hewn in two hills facing each other. Built by Jains in 1st century BC or earlier.|
|53||Kanheri Caves||India, Maharashtra||Buddhist shrines, Churches, Rock-cut architecture||5||109 rock-cut chambers, created in 1st century BC - 9th century AD. Have left significant impact on Buddhist art.|
|54||Bagh Caves||India, Madhya Pradesh||Buddhist shrines, Rock-cut architecture, Petroglyphs and rock art, Petroglyphs and rock art||5||Nine rock-cut chambers, created in late 4th - 6th centuries AD. Renowned due to exquisite murals on walls and ceilings.|
|55||Pitalkhora Caves||India, Maharashtra||Buddhist shrines, Rock-cut architecture, Petroglyphs and rock art||7||14 ancient rock-cut Buddhist sanctuaries. Created circa 250 BC and revived circa 4th century AD when murals were added. Collapsing, contain valuable artwork, inscriptions.|
|56||Ravana Phadi, Aihole||India, Karnataka||Hindu shrines, Rock-cut architecture||8||Rock-cut Hindu temple from 6th century AD, devoted to Shiva. Contains exquisite stone carvings, important monument of Chalukya architecture.|
|57||Aurangabad Caves||India, Maharashtra||Buddhist shrines, Rock-cut architecture||7||12 rock-cut Buddhist temples created in 2nd - 7th century AD. Contain some of the best sculptures of classical Indian period.|
|58||Adivaraha Cave Temple||India, Tamil Nadu||Hindu shrines, Rock-cut architecture||9||One of the few finished cave temples in Mahabalipuram. Created in 7th century, contains valuable reliefs.|
|59||Ankai-Tankai hill forts||India, Maharahstra||Fortifications, Ancient castles and palaces, Rock-cut architecture||6||Impressive medieval hill forts on the plateaus of two table-top mountains. Contain remnants of fortifications, palace, temples, water tanks.|
|60||Ankai-Tankai Caves||India, Maharahstra||Jain shrines, Hindu shrines, Rock-cut architecture||8||10 - 11 rock-cut temples, 10th - 13th c AD. 7 - 8 Jain temples at the foot of Tankai Hill with exquisite stone carvings, 3 - 5 Hindu temples on Ankai Hill.|
|61||Gorakhgad Caves||India, Maharahstra||Hindu shrines, Rock-cut architecture||9||Two rock-cut medieval Hindu temples near the top of inaccessible, ancient Gorakhgad hill fort.|
|62||Irshalgad "needle hole"||India, Maharahstra||Natural arches||9||Natural arch, shaped in basalt near the summit of Irshalgad Hill.|
|63||Gorakhgad hill fort||India, Maharahstra||Fortifications||8||Nearly inaccessible medieval Maratha hill fort with remnants of fortifications, rock-cut steps.|
|64||Jogighopa Cave Temples||India, Assam||Buddhist shrines, Rock-cut architecture||8||The only samples of medieval rock-cut architecture in Assam - five small chambers, made for Buddhist meditation in 7th - 10th c AD.|
|65||Buddhist temple of Aragada Hill||India, Orissa||Buddhist shrines, Rock-cut architecture||9||Small, double storied Buddhist temple from 9th - 10th c. AD. Surroundings contain some more Buddhist remnants.|
|66||Armamalai Cave - Jain temple with ancient paintings||India, Tamil Nadu||Jain shrines, Caves, Petroglyphs and rock art||7||Natural cave, Jain temple from 8th c. AD. Valuable paintings on the walls and ceiling of cave.|
|67||Sittanavasal Cave (Chithannavasal Cave) and Eladipattam||India, Tamil Nadu||Jain shrines, Rock-cut architecture, Caves, Petroglyphs and rock art||4||Rock-cut Jain temple from 7th c. AD and other exciting archaeological monuments. Temple contains some of the best medieval rock paintings in India.|
|68||Melakkoil - Kudumiyanmalai Cave Temple||India, Tamil Nadu||Hindu shrines, Rock-cut architecture||9||Rock-cut cave temple from the 7th century AD, made by Pandyan kings. Rock-cut inscriptions and sculptures around the temple are of great historical interest.|
|69||Undavalli Caves||India, Andhra Pradesh||Buddhist shrines, Hindu shrines, Rock-cut architecture||6||Rock-cut four storied cave temple from 4th - 5th century AD. Initially created as Buddhist temple, later turned into Hindu shrine. Contain valuable artworks including paintings.|
|70||Murugan Temple, Thiruparankundram||India, Tamil Nadu||Hindu shrines, Rock-cut architecture||6||One of the most important shrines of Tamil Hindus, consists of rock-cut cave from 8th century and extensive forepart built in 16th - 18th century. Cave part contains ancient painting of Nataraja.|
|71||Thirunadhikkara Cave Temple||India, Tamil Nadu||Jain shrines, Hindu shrines, Rock-cut architecture||7||Rock-cut Jain temple from 7th century AD, in 9th - 10th century AD turned into Hindu shrine, adorned with frescoes depicting scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharata.|
|72||Jata Shankar, Pachmarhi||India, Madhya Pradesh||Caves, Hindu shrines, Sites of legends||8||Natural cave in dramatic setting, located in a deep ravine. Popular destination for religious tourism, connected to legends about the life of Shiva.|
|73||Pandav Caves, Pachmarhi||India, Madhya Pradesh||Buddhist shrines, Rock-cut architecture||8||Five rock-cut Buddhist cave temples. According to local legends caves have been created by Pandavas - heroes of Hindu epic Mahabharata.|
|74||Thanale Caves||India, Maharashtra||Buddhist shrines, Rock-cut architecture, Petroglyphs and rock art||7||28 ancient rock-cut Buddhist caves, built in 3rd - 2nd century BC. Contain traces of medieval paintings.|
|75||Karsamble Caves||India, Maharashtra||Buddhist shrines, Rock-cut architecture, Petroglyphs and rock art||7||37 ancient Buddhist rock-cut cave temples, created circa 2nd c. AD. Contain traces of medieval paintings.|
|76||Saspol Caves||India, Jammu and Kashmir||Buddhist shrines, Rock-cut architecture, Petroglyphs and rock art||6||Group of Buddhist temples from 13th - 15th century hewn in cliff. 4 temples contain paintings representing a fusion of Indian and Tibetan traditions.|
|77||Bhimbetka cave shelters||India, Madhya Pradesh||Petroglyphs and rock art, Caves, Ancient settlements, Ancient burials, Buddhist shrines||2||Richest gallery of prehistoric art in India. Approximately 750 caves, many contain rock art. Oldest petroglyphs in the world - at least 290,000 years old. Oldest drawings are 15,000 years old, newest are from 11th century AD.|
|78||Malayadipatti rock-cut Hindu temples||India, Tamil Nadu||Hindu shrines, Rock-cut architecture, Petroglyphs and rock art||5||Two rock-cut Hindu temples from 8th - 9th centuries AD. Contains exquisite sculptures and paintings. Natural caves nearby with Mesolithic petroglyphs.|
|79||Ravan Chhaya rock shelter near Sitabinji||India, Orissa||Hindu shrines, Caves, Petroglyphs and rock art||7||Natural rock shelter with diverse artefacts from 4th c. AD. Most prominent is large tempera paintings from 7th c AD showing a royal procession.|
|80||Jogimara Cave, Sita Bengra Cave||India, Chhattisgarh||Petroglyphs and rock art, Caves, Rock-cut architecture||5||Caves which served as ancient theatre circa 300 BC. Jogimara Cave is adorned with paintings, both caves contain valuable inscriptions including the oldest love message in the world.|
|81||Wai'ale'ale Falls, Weeping Wall||United States, Hawaii||Waterfalls||5||Group of very impressive waterfalls in deep box canyon. Height of falls possibly reach 900 m.|
|82||Kaieteur Falls||Guyana, Potaro-Siparuni||Waterfalls||2||One of the most impressive waterfalls in the world. Height - 251 m, main plunge - 226 m, width - 113 m. Beautiful tropical forest around the falls.|
|83||Kuda Caves||India, Maharashtra||Buddhist shrines, Rock-cut architecture, Petroglyphs and rock art||8||Group of 26 Buddhist rock-cut caves, created in 1st c. BC - 3rd c. AD. Contain traces of ancient paintings, inscriptions.|
|84||Lenyadri Caves, Junnar||India, Maharashtra||Buddhist shrines, Hindu shrines, Rock-cut architecture, Petroglyphs and rock art||6||Large group of some 40 rock-cut caves - Buddhist temples. One of monasteries turned into Hindu Ganesh shrine. Made in 1st - 3rd c. AD, contain sculptures and remnants of paintings.|
|85||Manmod Caves, Junnar||India, Maharashtra||Buddhist shrines, Jain shrines, Rock-cut architecture, Petroglyphs and rock art||8||Large group of some 40 - 45 rock-cut caves - Buddhist and Jain temples. Made in 1st - 11th c. AD, some caves contain sculptures and remnants of paintings.|
|86||Shivneri Caves, Junnar||India, Maharashtra||Buddhist shrines, Hindu shrines, Rock-cut architecture, Petroglyphs and rock art||8||Group of 50 rock-cut caves - Buddhist temples, some turned into Hindu shrines. 1st - 3rd c. AD, contain inscription and remnants of paintings.|
|87||Tulja Lena, Junnar||India, Maharashtra||Buddhist shrines, Hindu shrines, Rock-cut architecture, Petroglyphs and rock art||8||Group of 11 rock-cut caves - Buddhist temples, one turned into Hindu shrines. 1st - 3rd c. AD, one shrine is round in plan and contains traces of paintings.|
|88||Panhale Kaji (Panhale Kazi)||India, Maharashtra||Buddhist shrines, Hindu shrines, Rock-cut architecture||6||Group of 28 - 29 exquisite rock-cut cave temples, rich with sculptures. The oldest Buddhist temples from 3rd century AD, some of caves used as Hindu shrines in 13th century.|
|89||Tabo Caves||India, Himachal Pradesh||Buddhist shrines, Rock-cut architecture, Petroglyphs and rock art||9||Group of ancient, artificially made caves, used by Buddhist monks of nearby Tabo monastery.|
|90||Voltzberg||Suriname, Sipaliwini||Monoliths, Ecosystems, Observation spots||6||Large granite dome rising 150 m above the surrounding tropical forest. Covered with unique xerophytic biotope with endemic species, first reached in 1901.|
|91||Olo'upena Falls||United States, Hawaii, Moloka'i||Waterfalls||3||Circa 900 m high seasonal waterfall, falling directly into Pacific ocean. One the highest known waterfalls in the world.|
|92||Haloku Falls||United States, Hawaii, Moloka'i||Waterfalls||6||Circa 700 m high seasonal waterfall, falling directly into Pacific ocean. Strong winds may catch the fall and lift them up in the air.|
|93||Pu'uka'oku Falls||United States, Hawaii, Moloka'i||Waterfalls||5||Circa 840 m high seasonal waterfall, falling directly into Pacific Ocean.|
|94||Wailele Falls, Moloka'i||United States, Hawaii, Moloka'i||Waterfalls||6||Circa 580 m high seasonal waterfall, falling almost directly into Pacific Ocean.|
|95||Kahiwa Falls||United States, Hawaii, Moloka'i||Waterfalls||6||Circa 660 m high waterfall with 6 drops up to 183 m high, falling almost directly into Pacific Ocean. Strong winds can rise the waterfall up in the air.|
|96||Papalaua Falls||United States, Hawaii, Moloka'i||Waterfalls||4||501 m high waterfall with 5 drops, highest drop 340 m high. Located at the far end of deep, very impressive valley.|
|97||Hipuapua Falls||United States, Hawaii, Moloka'i||Waterfalls||7||Approximately 152 - 160 m tall, impressive horsetail waterfall with a single drop.|
|98||Moa'ula Falls||United States, Hawaii, Moloka'i||Waterfalls||7||Picturesque horsetail fall with at least 7 drops. Last two drops are circa 76 m tall.|
|99||Hina Falls||United States, Hawaii, Moloka'i||Waterfalls||8||380 m tall fall, one of seven tall waterfalls at the upper rim of Kamalo Canyon.|
|100||Mo'oloa Falls||United States, Hawaii, Moloka'i||Waterfalls||8||440 m tall fall, one of seven tall waterfalls at the upper rim of Kamalo Canyon.|
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California poppy (Eschscholzia californica Cham.) grows in diverse conditions in the western part of Northern America from Oregon to Baja California. Even single orange (often - yellow) flower of this plant emits fragile and exquisite beauty but there are locations where one can see millions of these beautiful flowers close together.
Wondermondo offers unique possibility to explore 10 such locations!
Florida has some of the most powerful springs in the world and one of the most powerful springs with a main mouth are the Silver Springs; a well known natural monument historically developed as a resort. It is possible that this is the most powerful spring in the world.
The most outstanding natural monument in Palau is Jellyfish Lake - small, meromictic (layered) lake with seawater. Lake is approximately 420 meters long - but here live millions of jellyfish of endemic subspecies. Jellyfish constantly migrate in the small lake to be both in sunshine and avoid of predators - sea anemones.
California: Point Buchon poppy meadows
Adelbert von Chamisso in 1817 noticed the beautiful California poppy and gave its scientific description and name - Eschscholzia californica Cham. Expedition did not go far inland - flower was noticed and described near the sea at San Francisco. In fact the sight of golden meadows from the ship had to be very impressive.
One of the best seaside poppy meadows is located at Point Buchon. Often in spring this approximately 6 km long and up to 0.8 km wide stretch of seaside plain is covered with millions of bright orange California poppies.
One of the best known and most impressive groups of cave temples worldwide is Ajanta Caves. These caves contain some of the richest collections of ancient art in region. Ajanta art inspired numerous artists of late 19th - early 20th centuries, many people were essentially obsessed with copying Ajanta paintings, there have been written numerous books about this phenomenal achievement of humanity.
The centre of one of the largest cities in the world – Mumbai – is just 10 kilometres away from the small, forested Elephanta Island. But forests and cliffs of Elephanta Island hide magnificent secrets – Elephanta Caves, giant chambers hewn in solid cliff and adorned with some of the most magnificent stone carvings known to be made by ancient man. Nobody knows for sure when and by whom these amazing monuments have been created. Whole caves with pillars and the beautiful artwork were made as giant sculptures – by precise carving of the solid basalt and removing it.
Badami Cave 3, entrance portal.
Wikimedia Commons, Dinesh Kannambadi, CC BY-SA 3.0
The first ruler of the Early Chalukya dynasty, Pulakesi I established a new capital for his kingdom sometime around 540 AD. This city was located at the mouth of steep ravine and initially was named Vatapi. Nowadays it is known as Badami.
Great kingdom needed outstanding sanctuaries. Badami Chalukyas built Badami Cave Temples – some of the most exquisite Indian rock-cut temples.
Karla Caves, the most magnificent rock-cut chaitya in India. Note the ancient wooden details. Soham Banerjee, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
India hosts nearly immense wealth of ancient rock-cut architecture for diverse tastes. But many eyewitnesses agree that the most impressive chaitya – Buddhist prayer hall – is located in Karla Caves.
Mahabalipuram contains 14 cave temples and several of these unique structures contain significant works of ancient art. One of them - Mahishasura Mardini Cave - contains several beautiful reliefs well demonstrating the artistic abilities of sculptors in Pallava times.
Two hills - Udayagiri and Khandagiri near Bhubaneswar - are located only some 150 - 200 m apart and contain unique monuments of ancient Indian culture - Udayagiri Caves and Khandagiri Caves. Udayagiri means "Sunrise Hill". Udayagiri has 18 caves, Khandagiri - 15. Count of caves though is different - while some find more than 35 caves in both hills, some find maximum 27 caves.
Some of caves are natural but most were carved by Jain monks during the reign of King Kharavela, belong to earliest Jain rock-cut temples. Art in Udayagiri and Khandagiri has many similarities to the contemporaneous art in Sanchi.
Simhavishnu relief in Adivaraha Temple. Wikimedia Commons, Michael Rabe / CC BY SA 3.0
One of the few finished monuments in the magic ancient city of Mahabalipuramn is Adivaraha Cave Temple. This rock-cut temple contains beautiful sculptures representing some of the highest achievements of South Indian art.
Contrary to some other nearby temples, Adivaraha temple is under active worship and thus it is not freely available for curious tourists and photographers. It is opened only for a few minutes in morning.
Some of the best cave paintings of medieval India are located in Sittanavasal Cave in Tamil Nadu. This rock-cut Jain monastery contains artwork comparable to famous murals in Ajanta Caves and Bagh Caves. Paintings were made in frescoe technique.
Jammu Kashmir contains amazing monuments of Tibetan medieval culture and some of the most interesting ones are located in Indus valley around Saspol village. Right in the village are located Saspol Caves - amazing rock-cut temples. Four of these caves are richly adorned with paintings of Buddhist panteon from 13th - 15th century AD, representing a fusion of Indian and Tibetan Buddhist art.
It is amazing and even hard to grasp - Bhimbetka Caves have recorded the human history over some 300,000 years - or may be even 700,000 and more years!
These caves contain the oldest known petroglyphs in the world, some of the most impressive galleries of ancient paintings and even the remnants of Buddhist temples and paintings from 11th - 14th century AD.
There are hundreds of caves with paintings and some 12 - 15 are open for visitors. In spite of the unique values of Bhimbetka this site is not that popular among tourists yet.
Summit of the 1,544 m high Wai'ale'ale volcano belongs to the rainiest places of the world - here fall circa 10,800 mm of rain per year. More than 10 metres! No wonder that the volcano is covered with bright green jungle and adorned with many waterfalls. Especially impressive is the dramatic box canyon to the east with the numerous beautiful Wai'ale'ale Falls.
Area around Junnar contains more than 200 ancient rock-cut temples. Main four groups of these temples are Shivneri Caves to the south-west, Manmod Caves to the south-east, Tulja Lena to the west and Lenyadri Caves to the north.
Shivneri caves are 50 rock-cut Buddhist monasteries of Hinayana school, created some 2000 years ago, in 1st - 3rd century AD. For most part these caves are not very interesting, although some contain traces of paintings.
View from Voltzberg to the east. Closer, to the left is seen summit of Granmisibergi. Mountain summit 5 km away, in the background - Van Stockumberg which rises more than 250 m above the surrounding plain.
David Evers, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
The little known upper reaches of Coppename River are covered with virgin tropical forest. In several locations above the rainforest rise dark grey giants - granite domes. The best known of these giant rocks is Voltzberg. Although it is visited by several hundreds of tourists each year, this beautiful monolith and its surroundings still hide many secrets waiting to be discovered.
Northern part of Moloka'i island is characterised with extremely tall cliffs, deep valleys and lush greent vegetation. Extremely tall waterfalls add extra beauty to this idyllic fairy-tale landscape. Papalaua Falls is one of such beautiful falls located at the beginning of deep valley.