Mexico City floating farms, chefs team up to save tradition; Lisa Martine Jenkins; Associated Press

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Mexico – Historic Centre of Mexico City and Xochimilco

MEXICO CITY (AP) — At dawn in Xochimilco, home to Mexico City’s famed floating gardens, farmers in muddied rain boots squat among rows of beets as a group of chefs arrive to sample sweet fennel and the pungent herb known as epazote.

By dinnertime some of those greens will be on plates at an elegant bistro 12 miles (20 kilometers) to the north, stewed with black beans in a $60 prix-fixe menu for well-heeled diners.

Call it floating-farm-to-table: A growing number of the capital’s most in-demand restaurants are incorporating produce grown at the gardens, or chinampas, using ancient cultivation techniques pioneered hundreds of years ago in the pre-Columbian era.

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Indonesia’s Komodo National Park: Best Place to Spot World’s Largest Lizard, The Komodo Dragon; Dilip Merala; India.com

Indonesia – Komodo National Park

Komodo Dragon is the world’s largest lizard and there is no place better than the Komodo National Park to spot it. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Komodo National Park can be a delightful tourist place for wildlife lovers.

The Komodo National Park in Indonesia is a name you may not have heard of. However, if you are a wildlife enthusiast, it is a place that should make it to your bucket list. Located in the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia, the Komodo National Park is distinctively known for being home to the world’s largest lizard – the Komodo Dragon. The park was founded in the year 1980 with the aim of protecting the Komodo dragon. As the years passed by, it was entrusted with protecting other species too.

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China’s ‘Island of Music’ holds special event to celebrate UNESCO listing; China Daily

China – Kulangsu, a Historic International Settlement

At the 41st session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Poland on July 8 this year, Kulangsu was officially listed as a World Heritage Site, casting a global spotlight on this tiny island in Southeast China.

To celebrate the recognition and to showcase the island’s rich cultural heritage, the annual music festival was made extra special this year.

A large number of celebrated musicians and a wide array of performances by world-renowned artists were set as a musical extravaganza for the public.

Tapping into the profound heritage and prestigious reputation of Kulangsu as the “Island of Music”, the festival was bound to become an iconic event in the musical scene on the island.

Over the past century, this tiny island has produced numerous world-renowned figures like Lin Yutang, Ma Yuehan, Hu Youyi and Shu Ting.

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Best Places To Visit In Gujarat: Biggest Tourist Attractions in Narendra Modi’s Home State; Dilip Merala; India.com

India – Rani-ki-Vav (the Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat

Gujarat is one of India’s underrated tourist attractions. The state is full of amazing holiday spots that one must explore. We give you some of the best places to visit in Gujarat, home of Mahatma Gandhi and Narendra Modi.

When you think of tourist places in India, what comes to your mind? Chances are that you will not think beyond Shimla, Manali, Kerala, Goa, Rajasthan, Ladakh or northeast India. And rightly so! All the wonderful destinations are so alluring and have so much to offer that you hardly feel the need to think about other options. However, once you move past the cliched holiday spots, you realize that India is full of astonishing places that let you in on its rich history and diverse culture.

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Newest UNESCO World Heritage Site Being Dragged to Hell by Tree Roots; Rachael Levitt; Fodors Travel Guide

Cambodia – Temple Zone of Sambor Prei Kuk, Archaeological Site of Ancient Ishanapura

The “temple in the richness of the forest” in Cambodia survives amidst a tropical rainforest that both reinforces and dismantles the structure.

Congratulations to Cambodia’s Sambor Prei Kuk, which was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status this month! The ruins dedicated to Shiva date back as far as the 6th century, originally constructed as a royal sanctuary and capital called Isanapura.

Sambor Prei Kuk, or “temple in the richness of the forest”  in the Khmer language, is a modest name for a compound of over 150 Hindu sets of ruins including 10 octagonal towers, sanctuaries, prasats (castles), Shival lingams and yonis (female fertility signs), ponds and reservoirs, and lion sculptures made from brick and sandstone. The forest that nominally humbles the extraordinary grounds is a shady, sub-tropical jungle.

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UNESCO Adds Nearly Two Dozen New World Heritage Sites; Aida Carr; The Weather Channel

Italy – Venetian Works of Defence between the 16th and 17th Centuries: Stato da Terra – Western Stato da Mar

With the addition of almost two dozen new sites, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has committed to extend preservation efforts to locations ranging from mountains and lakes to ancient ruins.

Twenty-one new sites were added during the World Heritage Committee held July 2 to July 12 in Krakow, Poland, according to a release from UNESCO. These newly protected areas include 18 cultural and three natural sites and brings the total list of World Heritage Sites to 1,073.

Included on the list of new sites is the Venetian Works of Defence, which spans Italy, Croatia and Montenegro.

According to UNESCO, the site has been given protection because its fortifications were necessary to support the expansion and authority of the Republic of Venice, also referred to as the Serenissima.

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UNESCO World Heritage Sites You Need to Visit in the US; Caitlin Morton; Condé Nast Traveler

USA – Grand Canyon National Park

The United States is one of the most diverse countries on the planet, both in terms of culture and natural beauty. This can sometimes make it difficult to decide where to go next. Should it be a national park road trip? An Alaskan cruise? How about a historical tour of New England? You could throw a dart at a map, or you could turn to UNESCO’s World Heritage list, a compilation of places that have cultural, historical, and natural significance—in other words, a list that has done all the research for you already. The United Nations agency has designated 23 sites in the United States, but we suggest you start with these ten, from national parks to ancient villages.

Yosemite National Park, California

What it is: A widely-visited national park in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains.

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Abu Simbel Temples – Historic Sites of Egypt; Benjamin Elisha Sawe; WorldAtlas.com

Egypt – Nubian Monuments from Abu Simbel to Philae

The Abu Simbel temples are two massive rock temples at Abu Simbel, Egypt.

The Abu Simbel Temples are two rock temples located in Nubia, Egypt near the Sudan-Egypt border. The massive rock temples are a remarkable testament of ancient Egyptian civilization and were designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1979. Local legend has it that the temples were named after a local boy who led the first European explorers to the site in the early 19th century.

History Of The Abu Simbel Temples

The Abu Simbel Temples were constructed during the rule of Pharaoh Ramesses II in around 1264 BCE. The pharaoh commissioned the construction of the monuments as a commemoration of his victory against the Hittite Empire led at the ancient city of Kadesh during the Battle of Kadesh in May 1274 BCE.

 

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Brihadesswarar Temple of Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu; Pratha Sharma; Sanskriti

India – Great Living Chola Temples

Also famed as the “Rajarajeshwara Temple”, “Rajarajeshwaram” and “Peruvudayar Temple”, this temple is located in Thanjavur in the State of Tamil Nadu. This temple is amongst the largest temples of India, and is a part of the UNESCO World heritage sites.

Although believed to be named after the king, it is precisely the presiding deity Lord Shiva who is known by the name of ‘Rajarajeshwara’. Later, it came to be known as ‘Brihadeeswara’ as synonym to the Great Ishwara.

Constructed by the Tamil king Arulmozhivarman, famously known as RajaRaja Chola in order to fulfill an order given to him in a dream.

This temple, built around 1010 CE is around one thousand years old, and gives an insight to the exquisite Chola Dravidian temple architectural style.

 

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Japan’s Okinoshima Island to Ban All Visitors; VIVA Lifestyle & Travel

Japan – Sacred Island of Okinoshima and Associated Sites in the Munakata Region

As if it wasn’t weird enough that a newly-named UNESCO World Heritage Site was accessible only to men, it’s now becoming even more exclusive. So exclusive, in fact, that actually no travelers will be allowed to go there. At all. Period.

Okinoshima Island is a tiny landmass off the coast of Japan, and was declared a UNESCO site just last week. Aside from its impressive status, however, it’s home to some pretty strict rules, including how only men can visit, and how they need to bathe naked in the sea before they can step foot on land.

Up until now, the island has allowed for 200 visitors per year, and all at one same time: an annual festival that lasts just two hours.

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