Weekly Photo Challenge: Rare (Stone Heaps )

This week’s DP Photo Challenge Theme is Rare.

While it is not that rare to see these conical stone heaps in Inner Mongolia; but they are still rare in many sense of the word.

These conical mass of stones or Aobaos  can be seen in the open grasslands of Inner Monogolia, 

Aobao was born as a landmark for the grasslands. They were  used to signify the border or to demarcate cities. After the era of Genghis Khan, people admired and yearned for brave heroes who died at the war front. They then made Aobaos as tombs and inserted their swords or axes, which they used when they were still alive, atop the Aobaos.

Later on,  Aobao became a place for sacrifice to the mountain god, the road god and the war-god.

And now, the Aobao’s most important use is for sacrifice. People always sacrifice the best corn, meet, fruit and alcohol to Aobao and pray for good weather, good harvest and good fortune.

Every summer, herdsmen will come to the Aobaos with their offerings. At this time, the Aobaos are decorated with pure white scarves or hadas at the center of the Aobao and colorful pieces of cloth around it and beautiful ethnic dances will be performed around them.

Aobaos are also symbolic things. It is also a place for dating for the young people as Aobaos are now considered romantic meeting places.

Travel Theme: Multiples (2)

This is my second attempt at Alisa’s theme “Multiples” for this week. While I like nature and photographing nature, I also like photographing still objects. For a change, this post is not about nature.

Again, my photos are taken in various places. I am glad that I can show them in a set under a theme.  On their own, it would be rather difficult to present the individual pictures. When drafting  this post, I looked up the dictionary for the meaning of multiple. Usually, I am given a mathematical interpretation as to what is a multiple. I guess multiple may mean more than two (which is called couple or duplet etc). Here are some of the “Multiples” which have impressed us in our travels.

High up in Shangrila, Yunnan, we spotted these multiple timber screen doors in a temple. We liked the fine wood carving and the gold color on them.DSC_0058

Some very Chinese styled red lanterns at “Yellow Crane Tower”, a historic tower in WuChang, China, swaying in the wind.DSCF6108

Multiple umbrellas affording shade to visitors in the Resonant Desert in Inner Mongolia, China.DSCF2264

Multiple Aobaos at the Masuoleum of Genghis Khan in Inner Mongolia.DSCF2316

Multiple columns to the Celcus Library at Ephesus, Turkey.CIMG0226

Multiple columns and facades at the Dolmacbache Palace, facing the Bospohrus in Istanbul, Turkey.CIMG0544

Multiple ornamental columns and statues arranged in a semi-circle at Hero Square, Budapest.DSCF0148

Multiple arches seen in Lithuania, while travelling in the Baltic countries.DSC_0365

So, the world is full of  interesting “Multiples”!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign (1)

Aobaos, which are conical mass of stones in the open grasslands of Inner Monogolia, certainly look “foreign” to me.

Aobao was born as a landmark for the grasslands. They were  used to signify the border or to demarcate cities. After the era of Genghis Khan, people admired and yearned for brave heroes who died at the war front. They then made Aobaos as tombs and inserted their swords or axes, which they used when they were still alive, atop the Aobaos.

Later on,  Aobao became a place for sacrifice to the mountain god, the road god and the war-god.

And now, the Aobao’s most important use is for sacrifice. People always sacrifice the best corn, meet, fruit and alcohol to Aobao and pray for good weather, good harvest and good fortune.

Every summer, herdsmen will come to the Aobaos with their offerings. At this time, the Aobaos are decorated with pure white scarves or hadas at the center of the Aobao and colorful pieces of cloth around it and beautiful ethnic dances will be performed around them.

Aobaos are also symbolic things. It is also a place for dating for the young people as Aobaos are now considered romantic meeting places.