Tag Archives: Christ the Redeemer

Christ The Redeemer – A Vision That Leaves You Speechless

Christ The Redeemer

By Lakshmi:

Who?  Anyone who is visiting Rio De Janeiro.

What? The statue of Christ The Redeemer, also known as Cristo Redentor in Portuguese has graced millions of visuals across every media.  In fact, you can see the statue from most points in the city and on a clear day, it is surreal to watch the statue emerge amongst the clouds.

How? You can take a bus, train, taxi or tour to see one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.  The statue is open to visitors daily from 8:30 am to 7:00 pm.  It costs 43 Reals for adults and is half price for kids.  Once you get to the location, you stand in line to get the tickets, and then wait for a tram which will transport you to the site.

Why?  Designed by a Brazilian engineer and sculpted by a French artist, the statue was inaugurated in October 1931.  Since that time, the statue has embraced the city and its people with its open arms.  We took a taxi from our hotel in Leblon to Corcovado.  We were surprised to find a really long line  of people waiting to get tickets.  Once we got our tickets, it was about an hours wait to board the tram.  Not knowing quite what to expect, we were surprised with the beauty of the Tijuca rainforest through which the tram ascended to plonk us at our final destination.  Millions of words of prose have been dedicated to describing the beauty of the statue and I have to say that every poetic, eloquent description is absolutely true.  First, one is completely caught off guard by the 130 feet tall statue.  Second you realize it is impossible to take in the statue from a single vantage point.  We walked in the front, to the side and then the back stopping to gaze in wonder.  The area around the statue was packed with tourists, many laying down on the ground and pointing their camera upward to get the best shot of this incomparable sight.

Like other places of pilgrimage, the vision of this statue sitting majestically in the open among nature, does make you feel like someone up there is indeed watching over you.    We stayed up there for a while, admiring how artists  could dream up a vision so spectacular, looked across to see some pretty amazing sights of Rio and of course to almost add an element of fun, kept track of several monkeys jumping from tree to tree.

Since I am neither a poet nor a professional writer, my words cannot do justice to what we experienced.  But, it is no exaggeration when I say that through our world travels, seeing Christ the Redeemer in Rio ranks up there as a truly magical moment.

To learn more about visiting Christ The Redeemer, click here:

http://www.corcovado.com.br/index_ing.html

The Great Buddha of Kamakura – A Must Do Day Trip from Tokyo

Buddha at Kamakura

By Lakshmi:

Many years ago, on my maiden trip to Tokyo, there was one place I wanted to see more than any other.  It was the Daibutsu or the Great Buddha of Kamakura.  I was introduced to this magnificent Buddha by a larger than life photograph taken by a friend.  And something about the image just stayed with me for a long time.

When I finally made it to Kamakura and set eyes on this 44 feet outdoor bronze statue, I felt a mixture of awe, serenity and gratitude.  Awe – because the statue dates back to 1252 and despite storms , tsunamis and earthquakes that eliminated the building in which this giant statue was housed and damaged the pedestal, the Buddha sits there, almost whispering, I will always be here.  If you look at the image of the Buddha, just sitting in his meditative pose in the open amidst nature, regardless of your mental state, there is a brush of serenity that overcomes you.  When you step aside and sit down and just let your mind focus on where you are and what you are seeing, there is a tremendous sense of gratitude felt for being able to see and experience something so beautiful that has stood the test of time.

I recently returned to Kamakura with the kids and this time, we made it a day trip, walking around town, visiting the many temples in the area, spending time  watching the beautiful view of the town from atop a temple and of course imagining how a tsunami could have had a devastating impact on this small town.

This time, we climbed inside the Buddha and could see the metal core up close. And as we came out and sat in the garden admiring the statue for one last time before walking away, Siddhi said, “Mom, you know I am not a believer, but the Buddha here and Christ the Redeemer in Rio make me feel like someone is watching over me.”

How To’s: To visit Kamakura, we took the JR Toikado Main Line from Shimbashi to Ofuna and transferred to the JR Yokosuka Line to Kamakura.  The train ride took 45 minutes.  We then simply asked someone to point us in the direction of the Daibutsu and commenced our walk.  There are plenty of signs along the way to guide you. The temple housing the Buddha is open from 8 am to 5:30 pm.  There is an entrance fee to the temple to see the Buddha and a small extra fee to climb inside.  Please do plan to spend the day exploring the town, including visiting the many temples in the area.