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Top Tourist Attraction in U.S.A : The White House

  "We shall not cease from exploration,
and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where
we started and know the place for the first time."
- T. S. Eliot

The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the President of the United States, located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington, D.C.. It has been the residence of every U.S. president since John Adams in 1800. The first U.S president, George Washington, selected the site for the White House in 1791. The cornerstone was laid in 1792 and a competition design submitted by Irish-born architect James Hoban was chosen. After eight years of construction, President John Adams and his wife, Abigail, moved into the unfinished house in 1800. 

During the War of 1812, the British set fire to the President’s House in 1814. James Hoban was appointed to rebuild the house, and President James Monroe moved into the building in 1817. During Monroe’s administration, the South Portico was constructed in 1824, and Andrew Jackson oversaw the addition of the North Portico in 1829. During the late 19th century, various proposals were made to significantly expand the President’s House or to build an entirely new house for the president, but these plans were never realized.

Originally, plans for a "President's Palace" were developed by artist and engineer Pierre Charles L’Enfant. Working with George Washington to design a capital city for the new nation, L'Enfant envisioned a majestic home approximately four times the size of the present White House. At George Washington's suggestion, Irish-born architect James Hoban traveled to the federal capital and submitted a plan for the presidential home. Eight other architects also submitted designs, but Hoban won. The "White House" proposed by Hoban was a refined Georgian mansion in the Palladian style.

Built of pale gray sandstone, it would have three floors and more than 100 rooms. Over the decades, the presidential home underwent many more renovations. In 1835, running water and central heating were installed. Electric lights were added in 1901. The home of America's president has six floors, seven staircases, 132 rooms, 32 bathrooms, 28 fireplaces, 147 windows, 412 doors and 3 elevators. Despite two hundred years of disaster, discord and re-modelings, the original design of the immigrant Irish builder, James Hoban, remains intact. The sandstone exterior walls are original.

Although the building was often called the "White House," the name did not become official until 1902, when President Theodore Roosevelt adopted it. Every president since John Adams has occupied the White House, and the history of this building extends far beyond the construction of its walls. From the Ground Floor Corridor rooms, transformed from their early use as service areas, to the State Floor rooms, where countless leaders and dignitaries have been entertained, the White House is both the home of the President of the United States his family and a museum of American history. The White House is a place where history continues to unfold.

The Oval Office is the official office of the President of the United States. The President uses the Oval Office as his primary place of work. It is positioned to provide easy access to his staff in the West Wing and to allow him to retire easily to the White House residence at the end of the day. The office was designed by the architect Nathan C. Wyeth at the order of President William Howard Taft in 1909. Named for its distinctive oval shape, the Oval Office is part of the complex of offices that make up the West Wing of the White House. Badly damaged by a fire in 1929, the office was rebuilt by President Herbert C. Hoover. In 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt enlarged the West Wing and added today’s Oval Office, designed by Eric Gugler.

Where it is

The White House is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500, United States.

How to reach
The best way to reach the White House is via the McPherson Square Metro (orange and blue lines). Take the exit marked “White House” and walk down 14th Street to Pennsylvania Avenue.

Public tour requests must be submitted through one's Member of Congress. These self-guided tours are available from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays (excluding federal holidays or unless otherwise noted).  Tour hours will be extended when possible based on the official White House schedule. Tours are scheduled on a first come, first served basis. Requests can be submitted up to six months in advance and no less than 21 days in advance. All White House tours are free of charge. 

What to see nearby
The White House is centrally located near a number of major attractions. Since it’s within walking distance of the National Mall, before or after your tour is a great time to see the Washington Monument and other memorials. You’re also near some of the most popular Smithsonian museums, including the American History Museum and the Natural History Museum.

Need a break after walking around the White House? The famous Willard InterContinental Washington is a short walk away. Grab a drink and a snack in the Round Robin Bar or take a seat in the lobby, where legend has it President Ulysses S. Grant coined the term “lobbying” after being hounded by so many activists wanting to talk about legislation. A short Metro ride to Dupont Circle will take you to James Hoban’s Irish Restaurant & Bar, named after the architect behind the White House.

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Top Tourist Attraction in U.S.A : Statue of Liberty

"Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

-  The New Colossus, Emma Lazarus

Statue Of Liberty is the symbol for democracy and freedom. The Statue of Liberty, known officially as “Liberty Enlightening the World,” was designed by French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and funded completely through donations from the French people. After Bartholdi finalized the design in miniature, the statue itself was created using wooden molds, a copper shell, and an iron structure designed by Gustave Eiffel, who later built the Eiffel Tower. On July 4, 1884, the 151-foot-tall, 225-ton Statue of Liberty was delivered to the American Ambassador in Paris. In order to transport Lady Liberty to New York, the statue was dismantled into 300 pieces and packed into 214 wooden crates. The torch that we see today is not the original torch of 1886. This torch was replaced during the 1984-86 restoration because restoration was found unsuitable. The original torch underwent major modifications in 1916. Today this torch is located in the Lady Liberty's lobby museum.

The original ‘life size’ cast of the Statue of Liberty  stands  amongst the beautiful flower gardens and fountains of Paris Luxembourg Gardens [which is home to the French Senate] in Paris.   On her pedestal she’s approximately 15 feet high and absolutely ‘magnifique’ among the flowers and trees.  This was architect/sculptor Batholdi’s miniature mold for the American Statue of Liberty. Construction of the statue began in 1875 in France, and was completed in June 1884.  A design patent, for the statue was issued, by the United States Patent Office, on February 18, 1879.  The statue was dismantled and shipped to New York, arriving on June 19, 1885.  The statue then took four months to rebuild.  On Lady Liberty’s tablet is inscribed “July 4, 1776 in Roman numerals, Day of America's Independence from Britain: July 4, 1776”, and inscribed upon the base for the statue is an excerpt from  Emma Lazarus poem "The New Colossus".

The Statue of Liberty, the most famous symbolic statue of a woman, was modeled after Marie Bartholdi, the sculptor's mother. The Statue of Liberty is tremendous! Her nose is four and a half feet long, and her mouth is three feet wide. Her waist measures 35 feet around. The statue was a gift to the people of the United States from the people of France in recognition of the friendship established during the American Revolution. Over the last 120 years, the Statue of Liberty has become an internationally-recognized symbol of freedom and democracy. In 1984, the United Nations designated the Statue of Liberty as a World Heritage Site and a massive restoration effort began. On July 5, 1986 the newly restored Statue re-opened to the public during Liberty Weekend, which celebrated her centennial.

Where it is
The Statue of Liberty is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor. Liberty Island is situated in Upper New York Bay at the mouth of the Hudson river and measures an area of just over 10 acres.

How to reach
Visiting New York will include making the obligatory trip to the Statue of Liberty. The nearest subway stops to the Statue of Liberty are Bowling Green on the 4/5 line; Whitehall Street on the N/R line; and South Ferry on the 1 (make sure to be in the first 5 cars of the subway to exit at South Ferry station). Exit the station and follow the signs to Castle Clinton where you can purchase tickets to the ferry to the Statue of Liberty. Ferries to Liberty Island run from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. The island closes at 6:00 pm and the last ferry returns to Battery Park around 6:30 pm.

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Top Tourist Attraction in Paris : Eiffel Tower

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
― Saint Augustine of Hippo

The Eiffel Tower is Paris' most-recognized icon. The Eiffel Tower, built in commemoration of the French Revolution, was the tallest building in the world when it was unveiled at the Paris World's Fair in 1889. Eiffel the tower was the greatest affront not only to the architecture of Paris, but also to the eye of the Parisian, for whom its structural logic and revolutionary aesthetic language were incomprehensible. It is one of the most popular tourist attraction in the France and in the World as well.The Eiffel Tower was built for the World Exhibition in 1889, held in celebration of the French Revolution in 1789. The construction was only meant to last for the duration of the Exposition, but it still stands today, despite all protests from contemporary artists who feared the construction would be the advent of structures without 'individuality' and despite the many people who feared that this huge 'object' would not fit into the architecture of Paris.

The man behind the Eiffel Tower was Gustave Eiffel, known from his revolutionary bridge building techniques, as employed in the great viaduct at Garabit in 1884. These techniques would form the basis for the construction of the Eiffel Tower. He was also known for the construction of the Statue of Liberty's iron framework. Eiffel Tower also known as “La dame de fer” (the iron lady). The ‘metal asparagus’, as some Parisians snidely called it, was almost torn down in 1909 but was spared because it proved an ideal platform for the transmitting antennas needed for the new science of radiotelegraphy.  The structure took more than two years to complete. Each one of the about 12,000 iron pieces were designed separately to give them exactly the shape needed. All pieces were prefabricated and fit together using approx. 7 million nails.

Now one of the most recognizable structures on the planet, the Eiffel Tower underwent a major facelift in 1986 and is repainted every seven years. It welcomes more visitors than any other paid monument in the world—an estimated 7 million people per year. Some 500 employees are responsible for its daily operations, working in its restaurants, manning its elevators, ensuring its security and directing the eager crowds flocking the tower’s platforms to enjoy panoramic views of the City of Lights. The Eiffel Tower at night is one of the great sights of Paris and shouldn't be missed. The gold lighting highlights the delicacy of the steelwork in a way that is missed in daylight. Skip the tour buses and pickpockets on Trocadéro and head up to the École Militaire for a more tranquil view.

Where it is
The Eiffel Tower is located on the Champ de Mars in Paris. It is on the Paris’s Left Bank in the 7th arrondissement. You couldn't possibly visit Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower. Even if you do not want to visit this world famous structure, you will see its top from all over Paris. It is one of the best tourist attractions in the world.

How to reachThe Eiffel Tower offers several guided tour options for a behind-the scenes look at the tower. Metro in Paris to reach Eiffel Tower Line 6, Bir-Hakeim & Dupleix stops; Line 6 & 9, Trocadero stop; Line 8, Ecole Militaire stop RER train: Line C, Station Champs de Mars-Tour Eiffel. Paris bus lines are 42, 69, 72, 82, 87. The three levels are open to the public, though the top level closes in heavy wind. The tower has three levels for visitors. Tickets can be purchased to ascend, by stairs or lift (elevator), to the first and second levels. The walk from ground level to the first level is over 300 steps, as is the walk from the first to the second level. The third and highest level is accessible only by lift - stairs exist but they are not usually open for public use. Both the first and second levels feature restaurants.

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Top Tourist Attraction in India : Taj Mahal

"It appears like a perfect pearl on an azure ground.
The effect is such I have never experienced from any work of art."
- British painter, Hodges

The Taj Mahal is the epitome of Mughal art and one of the most famous buildings in the world. The Taj is the most beautiful monument built by the Mughals, the Muslim rulers of India. Taj Mahal is built entirely of white marble. Its stunning architectural beauty is beyond adequate description, particularly at dawn and sunset. The Taj seems to glow in the light of the full moon. On a foggy morning, the visitors experience the Taj as if suspended when viewed from across the Jamuna river. The construction documents show that its master architect was Ustad ‘Isa, the renowned Islamic architect of his time. The documents contain names of those employed and the inventory of construction materials and their origin. Expert craftsmen from Delhi, Qannauj, Lahore, and Multan were employed. In addition, many renowned Muslim craftsmen from Baghdad, Shiraz and Bukhara worked on many specialized tasks. It is one top tourist attractions of the world. Throughout the year thousands of tourists from different parts of the world visit Taj Mahal.
The tomb is the representation of the house of the queen in Paradise, and  its setting was based on the palace gardens of the great nobles. Taj Mahal was built by a Muslim, Emperor Shah Jahan (died 1666 C.E.) in the memory of his dear wife and queen Mumtaz Mahal at Agra, India. It is an "elegy in marble" or some say an expression of a "dream." Taj Mahal (meaning Crown Palace) is a Mausoleum that houses the grave of queen Mumtaz Mahal at the lower chamber. The grave of Shah Jahan was added to it later. The queen’s real name was Arjumand Banu. In the tradition of the Mughals, important ladies of the royal family were given another name at their marriage or at some other significant event in their lives, and that new name was commonly used by the public. Shah Jahan's real name was Shahab-ud-din, and he was known as Prince Khurram before ascending to the throne in 1628.
The Taj has some wonderful specimens of polychrome inlay art both in the interior and exterior on the dados, on cenotaphs and on the marble jhajjhari (jali-screen) around them. The mausoleum is a part of a vast complex comprising of a main gateway, an elaborate garden, a mosque (to the left), a guest house (to the right), and several other palatial buildings. The Taj is at the farthest end of this complex, with the river Jamuna behind it. The large garden contains four reflecting pools dividing it at the center. Each of these four sections is further subdivided into four sections and then each into yet another four sections. Like the Taj, the garden elements serve like Arabesque, standing on their own and also constituting the whole.

Where it is
The Taj Mahal is located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. The Taj is at the farthest end of this complex, with the river Jamuna behind it. The mausoleum is located on the right bank of the river Jamuna at a point where it takes a sharp turn and flows eastwards.

How to reach
Agra is 200 km southeast from Delhi and is one of the points of the tourist's Golden Triangle of Agra-Delhi-Jaipur. Agra is also very well connected via rail and road with other nearby cities and tourist destinations. Close to 20 trains connect Delhi and Agra each day with journey times varying from 2 hours to 5 hours. Service to Agra's Kheria Airport is seasonal.

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Top Tourist Attraction in Singapore : Marina Bay

“Travel brings power and love back into your life.”
― Rumi

Marina Bay is going to arrange on New Year's Eve for Singaporeʼs biggest Countdown event of the year! Step into a world of fun and entertainment at the Marina Bay. Immerse yourself in Wonder Full – an amazing convergence of light, music and sound. For 13 electric minutes, Singapore's city skyline will feel like your own private viewing backdrop. Bring the whole family, and come early to secure your spot. You won't want to miss out on this exciting, free showcase of stunning visual effects with interweaving lasers, video projectors and giant streaming water screens.

Marina Bay Singapore's hottest new attraction is Gardens by the Bay, a cutting-edge horticultural mega project featuring 50-meter high solar-powered "supertrees" and climate-controlled biomes. The entire project is estimated to have cost more than S$1 billion. Today is the official opening of Bay South Garden, the largest of the 101-hectare venue's three gardens. The 54-hectare section features cooled flower domes, multiple heritage-themed outdoor gardens and two lakes. Ranging in height from 25 to 50 metres, the Gardens' 18 Supertrees are basically vertical gardens covered in bromeliads, ferns and tropical flowering climbers. Two of the trees are connected via an aerial walkway.

The Marina Bay City Gallery's centrepiece is an interactive model of Singapore's city centre, including areas like Raffles Place and Marina Bay.The model, mounted on a glass tabletop measuring 10.4m by 6.5m, is illuminated by a light-emitting diode (LED) screen underneath. Every 20 minutes, the LED screen provides a two-minute visual display that depicts Marina Bay from dawn to nightfall, to a soundtrack of original music and sounds recorded from the bay. Visitors can use the touch-activated information panels on the tabletop to light up 20 landmarks, like the Singapore Flyer and the Marina Bay Financial Centre.

Where it is
Marina Bay is a bay near Central Area in the southern part of Singapore, and lies to the east of the Downtown Core.

How to reach
Marina Bay is accessible by public transport. Trains and buses to all parts of Singapore are available to enable spectators to travel to-and-from Marina Bay smoothly and safely. The Garden Bay Bridge links Bay South Garden to Marina Bay Sands. MRT: Bayfront station.  City Tours provide 1 way free pick-up service from any major city hotels to Singapore Flyer with any purchase of Singapore Flyer ticket from Tourist Hub @ Singapore Flyer #01-05.

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