Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Beautiful amazing Kerala.India

Ancient India vis-à-vis Modern Science.'s photo.Beautiful amazing Kerala.
Kerala (/ˈkɛrələ/), often referred to as Keralam, is a state in the south-west region of India on the Malabar coast.
According to Hindu mythology, the lands of Kerala were recovered from the sea by the axe-wielding warrior sage Parasurama, 6th avatar of Vishnu, hence Kerala is also called Parasurama Kshetram ("The Land of Parasurama"). Parasurama threw his axe across the sea, and the water receded as far as it reached. According to legend, this new area of land extended from Gokarna to Kanyakumari. Consensus among scientific geographers agrees that a substantial portion of this area was under the sea in ancient times. The land which rose from sea was filled with salt and unsuitable for habitation so Parasurama invoked the Snake King Vasuki, who spat holy poison and converted the soil into fertile lush green land. Out of respect, Vasuki and all snakes were appointed as protectors and guardians of the land. The legend later expanded, and found literary expression in the 17th or 18th century with Keralolpathi, which traces the origin of aspects of early Kerala society, such as land tenure and administration, to the story of Parasurama. In medieval times Kuttuvan may have emulated the Parasurama tradition by throwing his spear into the sea to symbolize his lordship over it. Another much earlier Puranic character associated with Kerala is Mahabali, an Asura and a prototypical king of justice, who ruled the earth from Kerala. He won the war against the Devas, driving them into exile. The Devas pleaded before Lord Vishnu, who took his fifth incarnation as Vamana and pushed Mahabali down to Patala (the netherworld) to placate the Devas. There is a belief that, once a year during the Onam festival, Mahabali returns to Kerala.

Ancient India vis-à-vis Modern Science.'s photo. The Matsya Purana, which is among the oldest of the 18 Puranas,[16][17] uses the Malaya Mountains of Kerala (and Tamil Nadu) as the setting for the story of Lord Matsya, the first incarnation of Lord Vishnu, and King Manu, the first man and the king of the region.[18][19] The earliest Sanskrit text to mention Kerala by name is the Aitareya Aranyaka of the Rigveda. It is also mentioned in both the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, the two great Hindu epics.
'Thrissur Pooram festival.

The Free Encyclopedia.' Kerala is the state with the lowest positive population growth rate in India (3.44%) and has a density of 860 people per km2. The state has the highest Human Development Index (HDI) (0.790) in the country according to the Human Development Report 2011. It also has the highest literacy rate 93.91%, the highest life expectancy (almost 77 years) and the highest sex ratio (as defined by number of women per 1000 men: 1,084 women per 1000 men) among all Indian states. Kerala has the lowest homicide rate among Indian states, for 2011 it was 1.1 per 100,000. A survey in 2005 by Transparency International ranked it as the least corrupt state in the country. Kerala has witnessed significant emigration of its people, especially to the Gulf states during the Gulf Boom of the 1970s and early 1980s, and its economy depends significantly on remittances from a large Malayali expatriate community. Hinduism is practiced by more than half of the population, followed by Islam and Christianity. The culture of the state is a synthesis of Aryan and Dravidian cultures, developed over millennia, under influences from other parts of India and abroad.
Prehistorical archaeological findings include dolmens of the Neolithic era in the Marayur area in Idukki district. They are locally known as "muniyara", derived from muni (hermit or sage) and ara (dolmen). Rock engravings in the Edakkal Caves (in Wayanad) are thought to date from the early to late Neolithic eras around 6000 BCE.

As of 2014 Kerala has a Human Development Index (HDI) of 0.790 which comes under the "high" category and it is the highest in the country. Comparatively higher spending of the government in primary level education, health care and elimination of poverty from the 19th century onward had helped the state to keep a very high HDI; report was prepared by the central government's Institute of Applied Manpower Research. However, the Human Development Report, 2005 prepared by Centre for Development Studies envisages a virtuous phase of inclusive development for the state since the advancement in human development had already started aiding the economic development of the state.
Kerala has numerous backwaters, which are used for commercial inland navigation. Transport services are mainly provided by country craft and passenger vessels. There are 67 navigable rivers in the state while the total length of inland waterways is 1,687 kilometres (1,048 mi). The main constraints to the expansion of inland navigation are lack of depth in waterways caused by silting, lack of maintenance of navigation systems and bank protection, accelerated growth of the water hyacinth, lack of modern inland craft terminals, and lack of a cargo handling system. A 205 kilometers (127 mi) long canal, National Waterway 3, runs between Kottapuram and Kollam.
Kerala is also called "God's own country" because of its beauty.
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Konark Sun Temple,

Konark Sun Temple,
The Free Encyclopedia.' It is a 13th-century Sun Temple (also known as the Black Pagoda), at Konark, in Odisha, India. It is believed that the temple was built by king Narasimhadeva I of Eastern Ganga Dynasty around AD 1250. The temple is in the shape of a gigantic chariot with elaborately carved stone wheels, pillars and walls.
The wheels of the temple are sundials which can be used to calculate time accurately to a minute including day and night.
A major part of the structure is now in ruins. The temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also one of the Seven Wonders of India.
The temple was originally built at the mouth of the river Chandrabhaga, but the waterline has receded since then. The temple has been built in the form of a giant ornamented chariot of the Sun god, Surya. It has twelve pairs of elaborately carved stone wheels which are 3 meters wide and is pulled by a set of seven horses (4 on the right and 3 on the left). The temple follows the traditional style of Kalinga architecture. It is carefully oriented towards the east so that the first rays of sunrise strikes the principal entrance. The temple is built from Khondalite rocks.
According to Bhavishya Purana and Samba Purana, there may have been a sun temple in the region earlier than current one, dating to the 9th century or earlier. The books mention three sun temples at Mundira (possibly Konark), Kalapriya (Mathura), and Multan.
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The Free Encyclopedia' According to the scriptures, Samba, the son of Krishna, was cursed with leprosy. He was advised by the sage, Kataka, to worship the sun god to cure his aliment. Samba underwent penance for 12 years in Mitravana near the shores of Chandrabhaga. Both the original Konark temple and the Multan temple have been attributed to Samba

The wheels of the temple are sundials which can be used to calculate time accurately to a minute including day and night.
The Madala Panji says, there was another temple in the region. It was built by one Pundara Kesari. He may have been Puranjaya, the 7th century ruler, of the Somavasmi Dynasty.
The Free Encyclopedia.' The current temple is attributed to Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. His reign spanned from 1238 to 1264 CE. The temple may have been a monument to his victory against Tughral Tughan Khan.
According to local folklore, Narasimhadeva I had hired a chief architect called Bisu Maharana to build the temple. After a period of twelve years, a workforce of twelve thousand almost finished the construction. But, they failed to mount the crown stone. The impatient king ordered the temple to be finished in three days or the artisans be put to death. At the time, Bisu Maharana's twelve year old son, Dharmapada arrived at the site. Bisu Maharana had never seen his son, as he had left his village when his wife was still pregnant. Dharmapada successfully proposed a solution to mount the crown stone. But, the artisans were still apprehensive that the king will be displeased to learn that a boy succeeded where his best artisans failed. Dharmapada climbed onto the temple and leapt into the water to save his father and his co-workers.

The Nanda Devi National Park

The Nanda Devi National Park
Ancient India vis-à-vis Modern Science.'s photo. This is a national park situated around the peak of Nanda Devi, 7,817 m (25,646 ft) in the state of Uttarakhand in northern India that was established in 1982. Along with the adjoining Valley of Flowers National Park to the northwest, it was inscribed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988.
Nanda Devi National Park covers an area of 630.33 km2 (243.37 sq mi) and together with Valley of Flowers National Park is encompassed in the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve totaling a protected area of 2,236.74 km2 (863.61 sq mi), which is surrounded by a buffer zone of 5,148.57 km2 (1,987.87 sq mi). This Reserve is part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves since 2004.
The park encompasses the Nanda Devi Sanctuary, a glacial basin surrounded by a ring of peaks between 6,000 metres (19,700 ft) and 7,500 m (24,600 ft) high, and drained by the Rishi Ganga through the Rishi Ganga Gorge, a steep, almost impassable defile. ft) above mean sea level.
Ancient India vis-à-vis Modern Science.'s photo.Ancient India vis-à-vis Modern Science.'s photo. Nanda Devi national park spread over a large area of 630 square kilometer, just next to spectacular Nanda Devi peak. Nanda Devi national park is located in the upper Himalayan ranges of Chamoli district in the Garhwal division in the state of Uttarakhand. The Nanda Devi mountain, which is the second highest peak in India fence the park from three sides. Because of its natural surroundings and exotic ambiance, Nanda Devi national park is a home some unique variety of flora and fauna in the world. The rich biodiversity of the park spellbind people with its scenery and wildlife. Together with valley of flowers, Nanda Devi national park is inscribed as an UNESCO world heritage site in the year 1988.
Ancient India vis-à-vis Modern Science.'s photo. bears at Nanda Devi National ParkNanda Devi national park is a home of some exotic wildlife species. The park is more of in seclusion due to its difficult terrain. This wild sanctuary is one of the best in world because of its faunal population. some of the Himalayan species like serow, snow leopard, Himalayan tahr, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan musk deer are common here. Other than that bharal, grosbeaks, rose finches, ruby throat, common langur, brown bear and warblers are also dominant here. The entire of Nanda Devi national park area lies within the western Himalayas Endemic Bird Area (EBA). It has more than 100 bird species includes Yellow-bellied Fantail Flycatcher, Orange-flanked Bush Robin, Blue-fronted Redstart, Indian Tree Pipit, VinaceousThe entire park lies at an elevation of more than 3,500 m (11,500 breasted Pipit, Nutcracker and many more. The park is also a home of about 27 varieties of butterflies. The park is covered with high altitude flora such as fir, birch, rhododendron and juniper. The park has two circle, outer and inner. The inner part of the park has a drier conditions and almost nil vegetation near the Nanda Devi glacier. The scenery changes drastically from outer to inner circle. Vegetation changes from alpine to junipers scrubs that dominate the vegetal growth of inner circle. Apart from juniper vegetation, grasses, prone mosses and lichens are also give way to other type of vegetation. Nanda Devi park is also famous for ‘valley of flower’, which house some of the rarest floral species in the world. There is around 312 floral species found in this national park.
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Golkonda or Golla konda Hyderabad,India

Ancient India vis-à-vis Modern Science.'s photo.Golconda.
Golconda, also known as Golkonda or Golla konda ("shepherd's hill"), a ruined fort of Southern India and capital of the medieval Golconda Sultanate (c.1518–1687), is situated 11 km west of Hyderabad, Telangana. It is also a mandal of Hyderabad District. The region is known for the mines that have produced some of the world's most famous gems, including the Koh-i-Noor, Hope Diamond and the Nassak Diamond.
The Golconda fort was first built by Kakatiya as part of their western defenses. It was built in 945 CE-970 CE[1] on the lines of the Kondapalli fort. The city and fortress are built on a granite hill that is 120 meters (400 ft) high and is surrounded by massive crenelated ramparts. The fort was rebuilt and strengthened by Pratapa Rudra of Kakatiya dynasty. The fort was further strengthened by Musunuri Nayaks who overthrew the Tughlak army occupying Warangal. The fort was ceded by the Musunuri chief, Kapaya Nayaka to the Bahmanis as part of the treaty in 1364 AD.[3] The fort became the capital of a major province in the Sultanate and after its collapse the capital of the Qutb Shahi kings. The fort finally fell into ruins after a siege and its fall to Mughal emperor Aurangazeb in 1687 AD.
Ancient India vis-à-vis Modern Science.'s photo.Ancient India vis-à-vis Modern Science.'s photo. After the collapse of the Bahmani Sultanat, Golkonda rose to prominence as the seat of the Qutb Shahi dynasty around 1507. Over a period of 62 years the mud fort was expanded by the first three Qutb Shahi kings into a massive fort of granite, extending around 5 km in circumference. It remained the capital of the Qutb Shahi dynasty until 1590 when the capital was shifted to Hyderabad. The Qutb Shahis expanded the fort, whose 7 km outer wall enclosed the city. The state became a focal point for Shia Islam in India, for instance, in the 17th century, Bahraini clerics, Sheikh Ja`far bin Kamal al-Din and Sheikh Salih Al-Karzakani both emigrated to Golkonda.
Ancient India vis-à-vis Modern Science.'s photo. Golkonda consists of four distinct forts with a 10 km long outer wall with 87 semicircular bastions (some still mounted with cannons), eight gateways, and four drawbridges, with a number of royal apartments & halls, temples, mosques, magazines, stables, etc. inside. The lowest of these is the outermost enclosure into which we enter by the "Fateh Darwaza" (Victory gate, so called after Aurangzeb’s triumphant army marched in through this gate) studded with giant iron spikes (to prevent elephants from battering them down) near the south-eastern corner. At Fateh Darwaza can be experienced a fantastic acoustic effect, characteristic of the engineering marvels at Golkonda. A hand clap at a certain point below the dome at the entrance reverberates and can be heard clearly at the 'Bala Hisar' pavilion, the highest point almost a kilometre away. This worked as a warning note to the royals in case of an attack.
The whole of the Golkonda Fort complex and its surrounding spreads across 11 km of total area, and discovering its every nook is an arduous task. A visit to the fort reveals the architectural beauty in many of the pavilions, gates, entrances and domes. Divided into four district forts, the architectural valour still gleams in each of the apartments, halls, temples, mosques, and even stables. The graceful gardens of the fort may have lost their fragrance, for which they were known 400 years ago, yet a walk in these former gardens should be in your schedule when exploring the past glories of Golkonda Fort.
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Images: Bing,com

Danushkodi- India's Ghost Town

'The ruins of the town's church.'
India's Ghost Town: Danushkodi.
The Hindu scripture Ramayana says that Lord Rama built a bridge or causeway, called Ram Setu or 'Rama's bridge', between the mainland and Sri Lanka, in order to bring his army across. After Rama won the war and crowned a new king of Lanka, Vibhishana, requested Rama to destroy the bridge. Rama broke the bridge with one end of his bow. Hence, the name Dhanushkodi or 'end of the bow' (dhanush meaning 'bow' and kodi meaning 'end'). It is also said that Rama originally marked the spot for the bridge with one end of his famous bow that he strung to marry Princess Sita. The series of rocks and islets currently found in a line between India and Sri Lanka suggests there was indeed a former land connection between India and Sri Lanka.] The Kodhanda Ram Kovil temple marks the place where Rama is said to have begun his journey to Lanka.
Hindu pilgrims usually bathe in the ocean here before completing the pilgrimage to Rameswaram. The spot is considered a sacred confluence of the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. In addition, it is said that pilgrimage to the holy city of Kashi in North India is not complete without also worshipping at Rameswaram, including the ritual bath at Dhanushkodi.

'The sea from Land's End, Dhanushkodi. Sri Lanka is about 15 kilometers from here.

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'The Ruins Of A Building Believed To Be The Dhanushkodi Post Office.''Remnants of the Dhanushkodi Railway Station.

The Free Encyclopedia' The incident of Sita swayamwara wherein Rama strung the bow of Shiva (obtained by Raja Janak) and annoyed Parashuram is an interesting one to note. The incident begins with Prince Rama of Ayodhya being brought to the city of Mithila (Present day Janakpur, Nepal) by Maharishi Guru Vishwamitra, for participating in Sita Janaki's swayamvara. The test of swayamvara to win princess Sita, was to sting the bow of Shiva. After many kings failed to even lift the bow (due to the shakti possessed by it), Rama accompanied with the Mahabala accorded to him by Maharishi Vishwamitra, strung the bow of Shiva. Ravana's who was also part of the failed kings rose up to question Rama's valour. To prove his strength and avert a war in the Swayamvara Mandapa, Rama pulled the string and broke the bow into three pieces. This not only proved Rama's superiority among the audience, but also deterred all kings from using any force against this unconquerable warrior (read Rama) who broke the bow which none of them could even lift. The bow of Shiva (which is considered to be a living object due to the Brahmic energy possessed in it) flew in three different directions. The one that fell on Bhuloka is presently housed in a small temple at Dhanushadham in Nepal. It continues to grow till this very day. The one that entered Pathala, is submerged in Dhanushsagar, Janakpur Nepal. Eyewitnesses at Janakpur aged above 35 years testify having seen part of the bow in Dhanush Sagar before 1990. It presently lies submerged in Dhanushsagar due to water pollution. The one that flew to Akasha, fell in Dhanushkodi. The Swayamvara ended with the wedding of Princess Sita Janaki to Prince Rama and the epic Ramayana took a new turn, which can be read elsewhere. It is said that the wrath of the broken bow pulled Rama to its farthest location (Dhanushkodi), to the save the very princess whom he had won by breaking the divine object.
Dhanushkodi has the only land border between India and Sri Lanka which is one of the smallest in the world-just 45 meters in length on a shoal in Palk Strait. Before the 1964 cyclone, Dhanushkodi was a flourishing tourist and pilgrimage town. Since Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) is just 19 miles (31 km) away, there were many ferry services between Dhanushkodi and Talaimannar of Ceylon, transporting travellers and goods across the sea. There were hotels, textile shops and dharmashalas catering to these pilgrims and travellers. The railway line to Dhanushkodi—which did not touch Rameswaram then and was destroyed in the 1964 cyclone—went directly from Mandapam to Dhanushkodi. Dhanushkodi in those days had a railway station, a small railway hospital, primary schools, a post office, customs and port offices, and other buildings. It was here in this island in January 1897 that Swami Vivekananda again set foot on Indian soil, after his visit to the west to attend the World's Parliament of Religions held in the United States.
After the devastating effects, and destruction of Danushkodi, the Indian government declared this once thriving city a ghost town.
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Unakoti Stone carvings of Tripura,India

Ancient India vis-à-vis Modern Science.'s photo.Beautiful stone carvings in Unakoti in Tripura
Unnakoti is a unique place, which can not be compared to any other place in the country in terms of absolute grandeur and artistry. Located about 178 km from Agartala, capital of Tripura, this site consists of several huge vertical rock-cut carvings on a hill side. Huge sculptures were chiseled out from the rock-sides and the images were carved. The site is situated between the lush green forests and mountains. The beauty of the carvings and the ethnicity of the sculptures have been enhanced by the greenery surrounding it and protecting it throughout the ages. Unakoti has the largest rock-cut images and stone idols of Lord Shiva in India.
Ancient India vis-à-vis Modern Science.'s photo. Who created such marvelous rock carvings and the stone images of gods and Goddesses in such a deep forest hundred years ago is indeed a mystery. Why this secluded hilly place was selected for the purpose is not known. Archaeologists are still working on this place to find more about its history. According to some archaeologists these idols were sculpted by master sculptors elsewhere and were brought in Unakoti with great care. It is assumed that the site dates back to the period between the 7th – 9th Centuries A.D, and that the sculptures belong to two different periods of art.
Ancient India vis-à-vis Modern Science.'s photo.Ancient India vis-à-vis Modern Science.'s photo. The word ‘Unakoti‘ means “one less than a Crore”. Folklore has a fascinating tale to portray on Unakoti. It says that once upon a time about one crore God and Goddess were going on a journey to Kaashi in Varanasi. On their way during twilight, they all rested on this spot. Lord Shiva, however, cautioned them that all must leave the place before the crack of the dawn, otherwise, all would transform into a stone. At dawn, Lord Shiva woke up in time and left the place while all other gods and goddesses turned in stone images as they were fast asleep. Since then this place was named as Unnokoti.A huge Lord Ganesha figure is carved in the Unakoti complex, while there is also a chaturmukha Shivlinga nearby. In addition three enormous images of Nandi Bull are found half buried in the ground. Among other rock-cut and stone images are those of Vishnu, Narasimha, Ravana, Hanuman, and several unidentified deities. The place also shows strong evidence of Buddhist occupation.

In 16th century A.D, Kalapahad – a Muslim general of Mughal governor of Bengal – caused huge destruction to the site. He destroyed Bhubaneswar Shiva and Tungeswar Shiva stationed nearby. Later gradual change in nature too had adverse impact on spectacular art work of human race.
Every year a big fair popularly known as ‘Ashokastami Mela’ is held in the month of April which is visited by thousands of devotees.
The stone carvings in Unakoti are one of the most detailed ones in India and yet, this place is rarely visited. According to an assessment made by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), some statues were still undiscovered in the jungles which needed to be preserved, while many were taken away by local people for worship at home. This place is worth to be tagged as a world heritage site.

Mount Kailash

'Tibetan and Nepalese Thangka depicting Mount Kailash.

The Free Encyclopedia''Image:  Mystery of'Mount Kailash (also Mount Kailas; Tibetan: གངས་རིན་པོ་ཆེ Kangrinboqê or Gang Rinpoche; simplified Chinese: 冈仁波齐峰, Gāngrénbōqí fēng, Sanskrit: कैलाश Kailāśa) is a peak in the Kailash Range (Gangdisê Mountains), which forms part of the Transhimalaya in Tibet, China. It lies near the source of some of the longest rivers in Asia: the Indus River, the Sutlej River (a major tributary of the Indus River), the Brahmaputra River, and the Karnali River (a tributary of the River Ganga). It is considered a sacred place in four religions: Bön, Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. The mountain lies near Lake Manasarovar and Lake Rakshastal in Tibet.
According to Hinduism, Lord Shiva, the destroyer of ignorance and illusion, resides at the summit of a legendary mountain named Kailāśa, where he sits in a state of perpetual meditation along with his wife Pārvatī. He is at once the Lord of Yoga and therefore the ultimate renunciate ascetic, yet he is also the divine master of Tantra.
'Stupas, with north face of mount Kailash, in the background.

The Free Encyclopedia.' According to Charles Allen, one description in the Vishnu Purana of the mountain states that its four faces are made of crystal, ruby, gold, and lapis lazuli.[8] It is a pillar of the world and is located at the heart of six mountain ranges symbolizing a lotus.[
Kailash is a sacred Tibetan mountain shrouded in mystery and legends. With an impressive height of 6718 meters, Mount Kailash represents the axis of the world or the stairway to heaven for the people in the region. Both Buddhists and Hindus, as well as older religions, recognize Mount Kailash as an ancient holy place. Its shape is like the pyramids in Egypt with four nearly symmetrical sides. Its glistening snow-covered top makes it the most eye-catching one. Approach Kailash not only prohibited, but dangerous. In the immediate vicinity of mountains time flows much faster, and people have gone to the mountain, often not returned.

Its shape is remarkable and has led to speculations over the centuries. The area around this great mountain is the source of four life-giving rivers; the Indus, Brahmaputra, Sutlej and the Karnali River (a tributary of the Sacred River Ganga). Two lakes are situated at the base of the mountain. The higher lake Manasarovar (one of the highest freshwater lakes in the world), is the sacred lake, and is round like the sun. The lower lake Rakhast Tal (one of the highest salt-water lakes) is the devil’s lake and has the shape of the crescent moon. The two lakes represent solar and lunar forces, good and negative energies respectively.
Vedas mentioned Mount Kailash as cosmic axis and world pillar, center of the world, and world tree. It has other names… Meru, Sumeru, Sushumna, Hemadri, Deva Parvata, Gana Parvata, Rajatadri, and Ratnasanu. Kang Tisé or Kang Rinpoche (the ‘Precious Jewel of Snow’ in Tibetan), Meru (or Sumeru), Swastika Mountain, Mt. Astapada, Mt. Kangrinboge (the Chinese name) – all these names, real or legendary, belong to one of the holiest and most mysterious mountains in the world – Mount Kailash. In religion or mythology, the world center or the connection is between Heaven and Earth. As the celestial pole and geographic pole, it expresses a point of connection between sky and earth where the four compass directions meet.
According to Hinduism, Lord Shiva, the destroyer of ignorance and illusion, resides at the summit of mountain Kailash, where he sits in a state of perpetual meditation along with his wife Pārvatī. Hindu mythology recognizes it as the only abode of the gods that can be visited by man in his mortal body.
In 1999 some Russian scientists explored this mountain. the scientists beiieve this could be a man made pyramid.

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Mystery of