Start \ Classification of attractions and landmarks \

List of described attractions, 1 - 100

Here are listed monuments and attractions No. 1 - 100 described in this Website.

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NoNameCountry, regionCategoryRankDescription
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 Defensive walls, Prehistoric fortifications 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, Biological extremes 3 The highest eucalypt and the highest angiosperm of the world, 99.8 metres high.
9 Triarius Australia, Tasmania Trees 9 Giant, 86.5 metres high eucalypt.
10 Glencoe Baobab South Africa, Limpopo Trees, Biological extremes 7 Stoutest known baobab (before splitting in November 2009), circumference before the splitting was approximately 46.6 m.
11 Sagole Baobab South Africa, Limpopo Trees, Biological extremes 3 Largest baobab in South Africa, circumference of the trunk 33.73 metres, height 22 metres.
12 Sunland Baobab (Platland Tree) South Africa, Limpopo Trees 4 One of the largest baobabs in South Africa, circumference 33.6 metres. Inside the trunk there is a pub for 60 people and wine cellar.
13 Ary-Mas Russia, Krasnoyarsk Krai Ecosystems, Biological extremes 5 Second northernmost forest in the world, isolated grove of Dahurian larch.
14 Lukunsky grove Russia, Krasnoyarsk Krai Ecosystems, Biological extremes 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 Marine lake (5.0 ha) 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 Marine lake (4.3 ha) 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 Marine lake (2.1 ha) with large population of endemic subspecies of jellyfish Mastigias cf. papua nakamurai.
18 Clear Lake Palau, Rock Islands Animal colonies, Ecosystems 7 Marine lake (3.9 ha) with large population of endemic subspecies of jellyfish Mastigias cf. papua salii.
19 Uet era Ongael Palau, Rock Islands Animal colonies, Ecosystems 7 Small (0.9 ha) 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 the 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 around 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 the 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 the 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 the 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, most likely made in the 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 the 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 the 2nd century BC - 2nd century AD and also in the 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 the 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 around 60 BC.
43 Varaha Cave Temple India, Tamil Nadu Hindu shrines, Rock-cut architecture 9 Rock cut Hindu cave temple in Mahabalipuram, created in the 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 the 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 the 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 the 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 the 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 some 29 caves carved by ancient Jains and Buddhists in the 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 the 1st century BC or earlier.
53 Kanheri Caves India, Maharashtra Buddhist shrines, Churches, Rock-cut architecture 5 109 rock-cut chambers, created in the 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 the 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 around 250 BC and revived around the 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 the 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 the 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 the 7th century, contains valuable reliefs.
59 Ankai-Tankai hill forts India, Maharashtra 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, Maharashtra Jain shrines, Hindu shrines, Rock-cut architecture 8 10 - 11 rock-cut temples, the 10th - 13th century 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, Maharashtra 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, Maharashtra Natural arches 9 Natural arch, shaped in basalt near the summit of Irshalgad Hill.
63 Gorakhgad hill fort India, Maharashtra 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 the 7th - 10th century AD.
65 Buddhist temple of Aragada Hill India, Orissa Buddhist shrines, Rock-cut architecture 9 Small, double storied Buddhist temple from the 9th - 10th century 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 the 8th century 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 the 7th century 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 the 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 the 8th century and extensive forepart built in the 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 the 7th century AD, in the 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 the 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 around the 2nd century 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 the 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, Prehistoric settlements, Prehistoric and ancient cemeteries, Buddhist shrines, Man made extremes 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 the 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 the 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 the 4th century AD. Most prominent is large tempera paintings from the 7th century 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 around 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 could 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 the 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 the 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 the 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. Made in the 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. Made in the 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 the 3rd century AD, some of caves used as Hindu shrines in the 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 Some 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 Some 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 Roughly 840 m high seasonal waterfall, falling directly into Pacific Ocean.
94 Wailele Falls, Moloka'i United States, Hawaii, Moloka'i Waterfalls 6 Approximately 580 m high seasonal waterfall, falling almost directly into Pacific Ocean.
95 Kahiwa Falls United States, Hawaii, Moloka'i Waterfalls 6 Some 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 roughly 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.

Featured:

Top 10 locations of California poppy meadows and fields

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve
Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0

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!

Palau: Jellyfish Lake

Jellyfish Lake, Palau
Eerie reality in Jellyfish Lake / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0

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

Point Buchon poppy meadows
Point Buchon poppy meadows / / docentjoyce, / CC BY 2.0

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.

India: Ajanta Caves - rock cut Buddhist temples

Ajanta Caves - chaitya griha
Inside the chaitya griha / Geri, / CC BY-SA 2.0

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 the 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.

India: Elephanta Caves - seven ancient rock-cut chambers

Elephanta Caves, inside the Great Cave
Inside the Great Cave / vascoplanet, Vyacheslav Argenberg, / CC BY 2.0

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.

India: Karla Caves - rock cut caves with most impressive Buddhist chaitya

Karla Caves, the most magnificent rock-cut chaitya in India
Karla Caves, the most magnificent rock-cut chaitya in India. Note the ancient wooden details / Soham Banerjee, / 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.

India: Mahishasura Mardini Cave, Mahabalipuram

Mahishasura Mardini panel in Mahishasura Mardini Cave
Mahishasura Mardini panel in Mahishasura Mardini Cave / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0

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.

India: Udayagiri Caves, Khandagiri Caves, Orissa - rock cut Jain temples

Holy man in Khandagiri Cave
Holy man in Khandagiri Cave / Soumyaranjan Dash, / CC BY-SA 2.0

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.

India: Adivaraha Cave Temple - rock-cut Hindu temple

Simhavishnu relief in Adivaraha Temple
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.

India: Sittanavasal Cave (Chithannavasal Cave) and Eladipattam

Scene of Samava-sarvana, Sittanavasal
Scene of Samava-sarvana, Sittanavasal / Yorck Project, public domain.

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.

India: Saspol Caves - Buddhist caves with paintings

Saspol Caves, paintings of Buddhist pantheon
Saspol Caves, paintings of Buddhist pantheon / abrinsky, / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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 the 13th - 15th century AD, representing a fusion of Indian and Tibetan Buddhist art.

Hawaii: Wai'ale'ale Falls, Weeping Wall

Waialeale Falls, Hawaii
Wai'ale'ale Falls / Miguel Vieira, Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Summit of the 1,544 m high Wai'ale'ale volcano belongs to the rainiest places of the world - here fall approximately 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.

Suriname: Voltzberg - granite dome in tropical forest

View from Voltzberg
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./ , 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.

Hawaii: Papalaua Falls

Papalaua Falls from the air
Papalaua Falls from the air / S.Kaiser, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

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.