Sunday, 27 April 2014

A Steam Clock

There are very few steam clocks in the world and I had the opportunity to see one in Vancouver city in the British Columbia, Canada which is considered the world's first steam powered clock.

World's First Steam Clock, Vancouver 

I thought that it must have been made several centuries back by the looks of it but was surprised to find out that it has in fact  been built in 1977 by horologist Raymond Saunders. It is called Gastown Steam Clock because it is located in the Gastown district of Vancouver.

Gastown Steam Clock

Every quarter of an hour the clock sounds the Westminster chimes and a large whistle sounds every hour. It is good fun watching the clock and the steam emanating out of it. 

Sunday, 20 April 2014

A musical instrument powered by tides

I saw this High Tide Organ in Blackpool in Lancashire in UK on the South Promenade.

High Tide Organ, Blackpool

This instrument plays as the swell of water at high tide pushes air up its eight pipes attached to the sea wall which causes the eighteen organ pipes to sound. The organ must be about 80 feet high. As the tides occur twice a day at an interval of about 12.5 hours duration therefore the high tides are at different times each day. The organ starts playing couple of hours before the high tide and continues till a couple of hours after high tide. Rougher the sea higher the organ sounds therefore the high tide organ is the manifestation of the sea. It has been designed by Liam Curtin and John Gooding.

Blackpool is a seaside town in North West England known for its beaches, trams, pebbled streets and night life. I will write more on Blackpool later.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

London Eye at Night

This 135 meter high giant ferris wheel was the highest observation point in London after its erection in 1999 till it was surpassed by the Shard built in 2013.

London Eye at Night

Located on the south bank of the river Thames it is known by various names like the London Eye, Millennium Wheel or the British Airways London Eye. The obvious function of the wheel is to give a bird’s eye view to tourist of the sights of the city of London.

London Eye with Palace of Westminster and Big Ben and the Thames river

The above photo was taken from the 24th floor restaurant of a building located right on the Thames giving me a perspective of not only the river Thames and its traffic but also in one frame itself the London Eye ferris wheel, the Palace of Westminster and the Big Ben.

London Eye During Daytime

What is interesting is the view of the ferris wheel itself from various angles and times of the day.

Reflection of the London Eye on the Thames

It looks the most beautiful at night as it is lit by blue and orange lights and the reflection of the same in the water of the Thames is just fantastic.

Another view of the Millennium Wheel 

Also read:

The Shard of London- Tallest or Ugliest?

Thursday, 10 April 2014

I used my finger. Did you?

I was among the first ones to go out to exercise my right to choose the most suitable candidate in my constituency to become a Member of Parliament. 

Power of the finger (the indelible ink is put so that someone does not vote more than once)

I suggest that if you have not already voted then do so as there is still time (voting goes on till 6 PM) and make a difference. Do not consider it as a mere holiday but a holiday where you can make the difference.

Voters at one of the booths
Choose the candidate who is educated and can make the saner voiced be heard in the Parliament. Chose the one who thinks about development of the country instead of 'development of the self'.

Voters at another booth

This time the voting for the Indian Parliament would be a nine phase one and it has already started on the 7th of this month and continues till mid-May. That is when all the results would be announced. Let us hope that we get better Parliamentarians this time.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Jaisamand Lake near Alwar, Rajasthan

The Jaisamand lake is an artificial lake near Alwar in Rajasthan that has been built to store water from the overflow of the Ruparel river and to use the water during the parched summer months.
Jaisamand Lake, Alwar

The lake is about six kms from Alwar on the way to Silserh lake and Sariska Tiger Reserve. There is a minor village road leading to this place. As I had driven from Delhi therefore connectivity was not an issue with me. I had stayed at the Silserh Lake Palace Hotel from which point the Jaisamand Lake is not very far. There is almost no traffic on this road either of the tourists or of the locals so if you want some solitude amidst beauty then this is the place for you. Do not expect any eatables etc to be available here. If you want to spend some time here then bring your own water and eatables.

View of the embankment from one of the Cenotaphs at Jaisamand Lake

What is interesting here is that instead of a drab embankment normally found on such lakes the Jaisamand lake embankment has beautiful chattris (cenotaph) made all along its 1.5 km stretch adding immense beauty to the place. The reflection of the chattris on the water is beautiful. The central cenotaph is the largest of them and much more work has been done on this compared to the other chattris.

The central cenotaph and other smaller ones in the background

Though at one time this lake was considered to be amongst the largest artificial lakes in Asia sadly now it is nowhere its original size as the water now is very less and most of the land has been taken over for cultivation. I saw locals using inflated tubes of truck tyres as dinghies in an innovative way and collecting fish and weeds and some water vegetables.

Jaisamand lake and the cenotaphs

Also read stories of places in and around Alwar –

Siliserh Lake near Alwar, Rajasthan
Cenotaph of Bakhtawar Singh of Alwar
Water Tank at City Palace, Alwar
Bala Quila – Alwar’s Way of How Not to Promote Tourism