Published On: Mon, Dec 28th, 2009

Unesco Approved Historical Places

Acropolis (Ancient Greece): The citadel of ancient Athens, which contained the Parthenon, the Erechtheum, etc.

Actium (Ancient Greece): Known for the Battle of Actium, which established the victory of Octavian over Antony and Cleopatra (31 BC).

Addis Ababa (Ethiopia): Capital and biggest city. Name means 'New Flower'. Hq.of African Union, and UN Economic Commission for Africa. Emperor Haile Selassie I ruled the country for about 50 years until deposed in 1974.

Agra (U.P): The home of Taj Mahal, India's most famous monument, on the banks of the Yamuna.  The Taj Mahal, "A tear drop on the face of humanity'. Work began 1632, took 22 years to complete the complex. Agra Fort is famous. An industrial town.

Aintree (U.K.) :The racecourse near Liverpool where famous race Grand National has been run since 1839.

Ajanta (Maharashtra): Famous for the Buddhist caves, which date from 200 BC to AD 650. A World Heritage Site.

Ajmer(Rajasthan): Muslim pilgrim centre. The 12th century Sufi saint Khwaja Moin-uddin Chishti's tomb is here.

Akshardham (Gujarat):Temple in Gandhinagar where a terrorist attack killed 33 people in 2002.

Al Aqsa Mosque (Jerusalem): Islam's third holiest place, after Mecca and Medina.

Alaska (USA): Bought by USA from Russia in 1867.

Albany (USA): Capital of N. York state. Albany Congress (1754) was the US colonial gathering of delegates at which Benjamin Franklin proposed a plan of union for the separate British colonies.

Alexandria (Egypt): City founded by Alexander the Great.

Algiers (Algeria): Capital. Founded by Phoenicians. It became the capital of the French colony of Algeria in 1830. The Allies' hq in WWII. N.Africa's chief port on the Mediterranean. The 11th century Sidi Abderrahman Mosque attracts tourists.

Aligarh (U.P): An ancient city, formerly known as Koilm with traces of Buddhist tem-ples. Jamia Millia Islamia was founded here in 1920. Anglo Oriental College of Aligarh was converted into Aligarh Muslim University.

Allahabad  (U.P): Formerly Prayag. City at the confluence of the Ganges and the Yamuna. Anand Bhavan, the shrine to the Nehru Family. Some 20 m. pilgrims gathered here for 'half Kumbh Mela' festival in 1995 – the largest religious crowd.

Altamira (Spain): Site of palaeolithic cave paintings and engravings.

Amarnath (J&K): Known for the cave temple, visited by devotees of Lord Shiva who begin their yatra from Pahalgam. Elevation 2400 m. It is 150 km. from Srinagar.

Amritsar (Punjab): The holiest shrine of the Sikhs, the Golden Temple is here.

Amsterdam (The Netherlands): Capital. Major European port.

Anandapur Sikh temple (Punjab): In 1999 over 1m. Sikhs gathered here to celebrate 300th anniversary of the Sikh Khalsa, one of the Sikh orders – the biggest gathering of Sikhs.

Anatolia (another name for Asia Minor): Turkey's Asian region that was part of the Ottoman Empire until Republic of Turkey came into existence.

Anchorage (USA): Alaskan city founded in 1915 as the headquarters for the building of the Alaska railway.

Angkor (Cambodia): It is the ancient Khmer capital and the temple complex. The greatest structure is Angkor Wat. The complex was destroyed by Thai invaders.

Annapolis (USA): Capital of Maryland; the site of the signing of the peace treaty ending American Revolution. US Naval Academy   here.

Antananarivo (Madagascar): Capital. Formerly Tananarive. Founded early 17th c. as a walled citadel.

Antioch (Turkey): New name is Antakya. City  founded in 300 BC by Seleucus I. Antioch was 'the queen of the east'.

Antwerp (Belgium): Prominent trade centre in 15th century. Site of Europe's first stock exchange (1460). Cathedral of Norte Dame (14th century). Bombed in WWII. Diamond cutting is well developed.

Apia (Western Samoa): Capital. Vailima, the former home of R.L. Stevenson, happens to be the residence of the head of state.

Aqaba (Jordan): Seaport, captured from Turks in 1917 by T.E. Lawrence.  Gulf of  Aqaba had important role in Arab-Israeli wars.

Agadir (Morocco): Port. Town was destroyed in a major 1960 earthquake. The Portuguese named it Santa Cruz (1505-41).

Andes (S. America): Longest mountain range in the world.

Arlington (USA): Location of the Pentagon. National Cemetery built in 1864, where prominent  Americans have been buried.

Armenia (S. Caucasus): An advanced kingdom, mountainous. Republic today. It was part of USSR. Has problems with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Aruba (The Caribbean): Dutch island, autonomous. Capital is Oranjestad.

Arusha National Park (Tanzania): Rich in flora and fauna. The site of Mount Meru and the extinct volcano Ngurdoto Crater.

Asaphila (Arunachal Pradesh): This is where the Chinese army transgressed the LAC in 2003.

Ashanti (Ghana): A kingdom of the Ashanti people annexed to the British colony of Gold Coast (Ghana) in 1901. Now a province with capital at Kumasi.

Astana (Kazakhstan): Capital of Kazakhstan. Its name was Akmola until 1961 and  from 1994 to '98. From 1961 to 1994 it was Tselinograd. Until 1998 the name was Alma Ata. Since 1998, present name.

Asti (Italy) : Town known for its sparkling  white wine, Asti Spumante.

Aswan (Egypt): City on the bank of the Nile. Aswan High Dam was built (1960-1970) with Soviet aid.

Atacama Desert (Chile): The most arid region in the world. Stretches about 1000 km.

Atlanta (USA): Capital of Georgia. Founded in 1837, originally called Terminus, Marthasville in 1845, and Atlanta in 1947. Headquarters of Coca Cola. Hosted 1996 summer Olympic Games.

Auschwitz (Poland): Notorious as Nazi Germany's largest concentration camp and extermination camp. Betweem 1m. and 2.5 m. people are believed to have died here.

Axum or Aksum (Ethiopia): Centre of N.Ethiopian empire, 1st-8th c. Kings converted to Christianity in 4th c. It is believed that the Arc of the Covenant was  brought here from Jerusalem and placed in church of St.Mary of Zion where the emperors of Ethiopia were crowned.

Ayodhya (U.P.): Believed to be the birthplace of Lord Rama. Violent communal rioting followed the demolition of the disputed shrine of Babri Masjid on Dec.6, 1992. The construction of the Ayodhya temple has become a controversial issue.

Babylon (Iraq): It was the capital of the Babylonian empire on the Euphrates River, south of Baghdad (modern Iraq). Greatest ruler was Nebuchadnezzer (605-562 B.C). Hanging Gardens were one of the Seven Wonders. Babylon fell in 538 B.C.

Baikal Lake (Russia) : In Siberia, world's deepest lake and the largest freshwater feature in Asia. The Trans-Siberia Railway, runs along its edge.

Baikonour (Kazakhstan): India's first cosmonaut Rakesh Sharma was launched from this cosmodrome in 1984. Also launched IRI-IA (1988) and IRS-IC (1995).

Balaklava (Russia): Known for the  the British base at Balaklava and the Battle of Balaklava in the early stages of the Crimean War, between Britain and Russia.

Bali (Indonesia): Mountainous island. Stronghold of Hinduism.

Balkans (SE Europe): This area consists of Greece, Albania, Croatia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, Bulgaria, part of
Romania and the European part of Turkey.

Competition between European powers for control of the Balkans  resulted in WWI. All States (except Greece) became communist after WWII. The 1990s saw turnoil in the region with the breakup of Yugoslavia, Bosnian civil war and Kosovo conflict.

Bandung (Indonesia):The Non-Aligned  Movement had its beginning in the Bandung Conference, 1955 with 29 countries representing more than half  the world attending.

Bangalore (Karnataka): Capital. Founded in 16th c. by Kempa Gowda. Fifth largest Indian city. Asia's Silicon Valley. The fastest-growing Indian city is also known as the Garden City.

Barcelona (Spain): Country's second largest city. Venue of Olympics, 1992.

Barrakpore (W. Bengal): Mangal Pande fired the first shot here beginning India's War of Independence. He was hanged here.

Barren Island (Andaman and Nicobar): Its active volcano first noticed in 1991.

Bastille (France): A symbol of Bourbon despotism, this mediaeval fortess was stormed by a mob in 1789.

Bay of Pigs (SW coast of Cuba): Spanish name: Bahia de Cochinos). About 1500 Cuban exiles tried unsuccessfully to invade the country and overthrow Fidel Castro on Apr. 17, 1961 at this bay.

Beijing (China): Capital. Formerly Peking. Settled since ancient times. Tiananmen Square, world's largest public square is here.

Beira (Mozambique): Chief port of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. Founded 1891. Under Portugal until 1942.

Beirut (Lebanon): Capital . At the foot of Lebanon Mountains. It was the chief banking and cultural centre of the Middle East. Heavily damaged in civil war 1979-90.

Belgrade (E. Europe) : Formerly capital of Yugoslavia and of the kingdom of Serbia. An important commercial centre in the Balkans. Suffered under Nazi occupation ('41 – '44). Kosovo conflict  hit Belgrade. Now, capital of Serbia-Montenegro.

Belitung or Billiton (Indonesia): An island in the Java sea, whose tin mines have attracted a large Chinese community.

Belmopan (Belize): Made capital of Belize in 1970, following major hurricane damage to Belize city in 1961.

Belorussia (Central Europe): Modern name Belarus. Was part of USSR, now member, CIS.

Benin Kingdom (Africa): A historic kingdom (13th-19th c.). Trade centre  for ivory and slaves. Later became part of British Nigeria.

Ben Nevis (Scotland): The highest peak in the British Isles (1,343m.) in the central Grampian Mountain range.

Berchtesgaden (Germany): A resort in the Bavarian Alps, the site of Hitler's fortified mountain retreat, the Beghof.

Bering Sea (Pacific Ocean): Its islands include the Pribilofs , Aleutians, Nunivak, etc. Discovered by Danish explorer Vitus Bering. The Bering Strait is said to have formed a land bridge by which on final inhabitants of N. America arrived from Asia.

Berlin(Germany): Capital. Founded in 13th c., capital of Prussia, of German empire (1871). In 1948 Soviet-controlled East Berlin and West Berlin (controlled by US,UK, France) were born. The airlift of supplies by British and American aircraft, following WWII, after Soviet  attempts to isolate the city from the West is known as Berlin Airlift. The blockade was lifted in 1949. Berlin Wall was built by East German government (1961) to seal off E.Berlin from W.Berlin to prevent illegal migration. Wall was opened in 1989.

Bermuda (West Atlantic): A British overseas territory. Old name: Somers Islands. Bermuda, the Greater Antilles and the US coast make 'Bermuda Triangle', an area where aircraft are reported to have vanished mysteriously.

Beslan (Russia): On Sept. 1, 2004, Chechen rebels loyal to Shamil Basayev took over a school in Beslan  for two days. A failed rescue operation ended in the death of 350, of whom 172 were children.

Bethlehem (now under Palestine): Birthplace of Jesus Christ. The early home of King Da-vid. Annexed by Jordan in 1950. Later, was part of West Bank. Turned over to Palestine in 1995.

Bharatpur (Rajasthan): Founded 1733. Capital of former Indian Princely State. Keoladeo National Park.

Bharuch (Gujarat): Important port of western India since AD 80.

Bhimbetka (M.P.): Rock shelters with paintings from the mesolithic period.

Bhopal (M.P.): Capital. The second largest Muslim principality of the British empire. Founded  in 11th century. Begums of Bhopal were Muslim women rulers of 18th c. The toxic gas leak tragedy,  the worst industrial accident, occurred in  1984.

Bhubaneswar (Orissa): Capital. The 'City of Temples'. Temples date from 7th to 13th centuries which saw a revival of Hinduism. Over 400 temples (out of some 7000 in the past) remain, including the 11th century Lingaraj Temple.

Biafra(Nigeria): Under Col. Ojukuvu, the Igbo people of Biafra tried to break away from Nigeria. Civil war of 1967-70.

Bijapur (Karnataka):  Capital of the Adil Shahi sultans, principal rulers of the Deccan in 16th & 17th c.  Its most celebrated building is the tomb of Muhammad Adil Shah, 'the Gol Gumbaz'.

Bikini (Pacific): Atoll in the Marshall islands. Site of US nuclear tests, and first H-bomb test (1952).

Birmingham (U.K.): Britain's second largest city, developed rapidly in the Industrial Revolution.

Bishnupur (W. Bengal): Formerly capital of the Hindu Mallabhum kingdom (founded 8th c.).

Bissau (Africa): Capital of Guinea- Bissau. In 1941 it replaced Bolama as capital.

Bloomsbury (U.K.): Intellectuals who are known as Bloomsburry Group (early years of 20th century) met here. E.M. Forster, Virginia Woolf and J.M. Keynes were members.

Bodh Gaya (Bihar): Village where the Buddha attained enlightenment  under the bodhi tree.

Bokaro(Jharkhand): Steel City. Steel plant, with Soviet aid, completed in the 80s.

Bologna (Italy): Industrial town. It has one of the world's oldest universities, which began as a law school in 425.

Bombay High (India): The country's offshore area in the Arabian Sea. Responsible for one-third of the oil produced by India. A major fire in July, 2005.

Bonn (Germany): Capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990, when the two Ger-manys were unified. Beethoven was born here.

Borneo (Malay Archipelago): World's third largest island. Thinly populated. Sabah and Sarawak are part of Malaysia, Brunei is independent, Kalimantan state belongs to Indonesia.

Bosnia (E.Europe): The international crisis that led to the outbreak of WWI had its roots here. Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina and trouble began. It has  been in the news since 1990 as a scene of ethnic war. Now part of the country Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Bosporus: The strait joining the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara. On its eastern shore is Istanbul.

Boston (USA): This Atlantic seaport, capital of Massachusetts, was focus of pre-Revolution activity (Boston Massacre 1770, Boston Tea Party 1773, etc). Now an important man-ufacturing, financial and educational centre.

Bougainville (PNG): Volcanic island in southwest Pacific Ocean. Scene of guerrilla warfare since 1980.

Brasilia (Brazil): Capital, laid out in the shape of an aircraft. Inaugurated in 1960.

Bratislava (Slovakia): It was the capital of Hungary from 1541 to 1784. In Czechoslovakia, it was the third largest city.  Bratislava is on the river Danube. An industrial city.

Bretton Woods (US
A) :
A 1944 international conference here led to the establishment of IMF.

Brindisi (Italy): A centre of the crusades in the middle ages. A naval base.

Brisbane(Australia): Founded as a penal colony. Town (1834) named after former governor of  New South Wales. The country's third largest city.

British East Africa: Former British territories in East Africa-Uganda, Kenya, Tanga-nyika, Zanzibar.

British West Africa: Former name for Nigeria, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Gold Coast, Togoland, Cameroon.

Brno: The Czech industrial city where the Bren gun, a gas-operated light machine  gun, was developed.

Broadway (USA): Principal theatre district located on or near the street Broadway in New York.

Brunei (Southeast Asia): Sultanate. Sultan Bolkiah was world's richest person for many years. In 16th c., Brunei ruled over the whole of Borneo and parts of the Philippines.

Brunswick (Germany): It has the oldest technical university in Germany.

Brussels (Belgium): Capital. It was capital of the Spanish Netherlands in the Middle Ages. Hq. of EU and NATO.

Bubastis (Egypt): A ruined temple city in Lower Egypt now known as Tall Bastah. It was sacred to the cat goddess Bast.

Budapest (Hungary): Capital created in 1873 by  merging the towns of Buda and Pest, on the two sides of the Danube. It was one of the two capitals  of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Bucharest (Romania): Capital and the country's largest city. On River Dimbovita. Founded in 14th c.  Occupied by Germans in WWI and WWII. Has famous churches and museums.

Bukhara (Uzbekistan): One of the oldest cities and trading centres of Asia. It was the centre of a powerful kingdom. Rapid growth after discovery of natural gas in the '50s.

Buland Darwaza (Agra): A gateway to Fatehpur Sikri. At 186 feet,  the highest gate in the world.

Byblos (Ancient Phoenicia): Chief city of Phoenicia in 2nd millennium B.C., on the  site of modern Jebeil. Famous for Papyrus, nicknamed biblos, from which the word 'Bible' is derived.

Caen(France): Port, tomb of William the Conqueror.

Cairo (Egypt): Largest African city. Pyramids are nearby.

Calabar (Nigeria): Port,  centre of the slave trade in 18th & 19th centuries.

California (USA): Most populous US state. Major towns: San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento. Centre of micro electronics industry in Silicon Valley. Disneyland.

Calvary (Jerusalem, Golgotha in Hebrew): The hill outside the city of Jerusalem where Jesus Christ was crucified.

Cambridge (UK): City on River Cam. One of world's greatest universities. First college Peterhouse  founded in 1284.

Cambridge (USA): Harvard University is the oldest (1636) US college. MIT moved from Boston, 1915.

Camp David (USA): The US President's retreat  in the Appalachian Mountains where the Middle East peace treaty was signed by Sadat and Begin (1978) with President Carter mediating.

Campoformido (Italy): Treaty of Campo Formido of 1979 was signed here between Austria  and France, after Austria was defeated by Napoleon.

Cana(Palestine): Northeast of Nazareth.Jesus Christ is believed to have performed his first miracle here.

Canaan (Israel): Ancient Palestine before it was occupied by the Jews was 'Canaan' – referred to in the Bible as the land promised to the Israelites by God.

Canary Islands (Spain): Group of islands in the Atlantic Ocean, of volcanic formation.

Cannes(France): Venue of the most prestigious international film festival.

Canterbury (England): City in east Kent, seat of the Archbishop of the Anglican Church. Famous for the cathedral where Thomas Becket was assassinated (1170).

Canton (China): Port, commercial centre of S. China . Focus of the first Opium War. Sun Yat Sen was born here.

Canyon de Chelly (USA): National monument in Arizona , established in 1931 to pro-tect Indian cliff dwellings dating from AD350.

Cape Canaveral (USA): Known as Cape Kennedy, 1963-73. Launch site for US space programme.

Cape of Good Hope (S. Africa): Discovered by Bartolomeu Diaz in 1488. He called it the  Cape of Storms.

Capernaum (Israel): Site of many biblical events, situated on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee.

Cape Town (S.Africa): The oldest white settlement in S.Africa. Founded 1652. Country's legislative capital, second largest city and chief seaport.  Venue of CHOGM summit of 1999.

Cape Verde (Senegal): The westernmost point of Africa.

Capitol (USA): Where the US Congress meets in Washington.

Capri (Italy): Island, which was a favourite resort of Roman emperors. Today a big tourist attraction. Island at the entrance to the Bay of Naples. Popular resort. Its cavern accessible only by sea. The Blue Grotto, is an attraction.

Cardiff (UK): Capital of Wales. Its Welsh name is Caerdydd.

Carthage(Tunisia): Ancient town founded by Phoenicians (814 BC). Destroyed in Punic Wars. It was founded again by Caesar and Octavian. Arabs destroyed it (698).

Casablanca (Morocco): The port city where Churchill and F.D. Roosevelt met for the Casablanca Conference in 1943.

Catania (Italy): In Sicily. Often damaged by eruptions of Mt.Etna.

Cayenne (French Guiana): Capital and seaport. Founded in 1643 by the French. A penal colony.

Chaco (Paraguay-Bolivia): Chaco War (1932-35) between the two countries in the disputed Northern Chaco area. Paraguay was the winner.

Champa (Magadha): Ancient Indian city, capital of the Kingdom of Anga. In Buddhist literature, Champa is one of the six great N. Indian cities of 6th BC. A kingdom of this name was later founded in Annam, which is now in Vietnam.

Champagne (France):  Noted for the production of champagne wine.

Champaran (Bihar): The struggle of indigo planters here was an issue that put Gandhiji's satyagraha to test.

Chandeapur (Maharashtra): Capital of the Gond dynasty, 12th to 18th c. Part of Central Provinces, 1854-1947.

Chandranagar (W. Bengal): settled by the French in 1673. England captured it but again was under the French. Merged with India in 1949.

Chandigarh:  Capital of both Punjab and Haryana. India's first planned city, designed by Le Corbusier.

Chandragiri (A.P): When the king of Aravidu dynasty of Vijayanagar was overthrown in 1565, their capital was moved to Chandragiri, site of a fort from 1000.

Changsha (China): Historic trade centre, capital of Hunan Province.

Channel Islands (US): Island group of the British Isles in the English Channel (Jersey, Guernsey, etc).

Charminar (A.P): An important landmark of Hyderabad. 400-year old city of minarets and palaces.

Chauri Chaura (U.P): A mob attacked a police station and killed 22 policemen here, following which Gandhiji suspended the Civil Disobedience Movement.

Chechnya (Russia): A constituent republic of Russia in north Caucasus. Resistance to Russian rule by Chechnya since 19th c. Chechen rebels keep carrying out attacks.

Chennai (Tamil Nadu): Capital. India's fourth largest city. Formerly known as Madras. Big industrial centre. Sri Parthasarathy Temple (built in 8th century) and Santhome Cathedral (1504) are here. T
he first English church built in India (1678) is in Chennai.

Cherrapunji (Assam): One of the wettest places on earth, Rain 2621 cm. in 1861. Average 1143 cm. in monsoon months.

Chicago (USA): City on the shore of Lake Michigan. Devastated by fire in 1871. Transport, industrial, shipping, cultural centre. Largest rail terminal in the world. O'Hare is one of the busiest airports. World's first skyscraper was built here in 1885-Sears Tower.

Chilika Lake (Orissa): The largest brackish water lake in Asia.

Chittagong (Bangladesh): Seaport. Country's chief port.

Cluny (France): Town where the Cluniac order of Benedictine monks was established in 910.

Cognac (France): Town on river Charente, known for the brandy of the same name produced here.

Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu): Tamil Nadu's third largest city, major industrial centre, and the state's commercial capital. Textile industry centre.

Colditz (Germany): A castle here was used as a prison camp in WWII, for Allied escapers.

Coldstream (Scotland, UK): Town known for Regiment of Coldstream Guards raised here first (1660) to restore Charles II.

Colorado (USA): Famous for Colorado National monument (1911) which has towering monoliths and canyons.

Colosseum(Rome): Amphitheatre built in AD 70-82 between gladiators and of men with animals.

Columbia (U.S.A): State capital. Burned by Gen.Sherman in 1865.

Communism Peak  (Tajikistan) : Mountain in central Asia, known as Mount Garmo until 1933 and Stalin Peak until 1962. it was the highest peak in the former Soviet Union.

Concord (USA): The beginning of American War of Independence was marked by Battle of Concord (1775).

Constantinople (Turkey): Byzantium from 330 to 1930. Capital of Byzantine Empire, the eastern half of the Roman  empire. Fell to Ottoman Turks (1453). Now, Istanbul.

Cook Strait (Pacific Ocean Channel): Separates New Zealand's North and South Islands. Visited by Captain Cook in 1770.

Copperbelt (Africa): A region in cen. Africa, with the largest copper deposits in Africa.

Coral Sea (or Solomon Sea): It has many coral islands. Was scene of US victory over Japanese, 1942.

Cordoba (Spain): City which was the capital of Moorish Spain in 8th c. Great Mos-que (990).

Corfu (Greece): Island in the Ionian Sea. British protectorate from 1815 to 1864.

Corinth (Greece): A powerful city of ancient Greece. Destroyed by Romans, 146 B.C., rebuilt by Caesar, 44 BC.

Corpus Christi (USA): A port, on Corpus Christi Bay, channel access to Gulf of Mexico.

Corsica (France): Largest island of France. Napoleon Bonaparte was born here.

Cotopaxi (Ecuador): Highest active volcano in the world.

Crete (Greece): Largest Greek island. Settled from 6000 BC. Minoan civilization, 2000 BC.

Crimea (Ukraine): Peninsula in South Ukraine, now an autonomous republic of Ukraine. Crimean War (1853-56) fought by Britain, France and Ottoman Turks against Russia.

Cuernvaca (Mexico) : A resort city which has Cortes' palace.

Dahomey (Africa): Modern name Benin. A French protectorate 1894, in French West Africa 1904, Independence 1960. Named Benin 1975.

Da Nang (Vietnam) : A port on the South China Sea. It had a major US airbase during the Vietnam War. Formerly known as Tourane.

 Darjeeling (W. Bengal): A former British hill station at the foot of the Himalayas. Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga can be seen from Darjeeling.

Darwin (Australia): Port, Allied hq in WWII. Bombed by Japan in 1942. A 1974 cyclone destroyed the city.

Davos (Switzerland): A resort, the venue of World Economic Forum, 2000.

Dayton (USA): The scene of the Peace Acc-ord of 1995 that ended the Bosnian civil war.

Delphi (Greece): A village famous in ancient Greece as the sanctuary of Apollo and the seat of his oracle.

Dhaka (Bangladesh): Capital. From 1608-1704, capital of Mughal province of East Ben-gal, of British province of East Bengal & Assam, 1905-1912. of East Pakistan, 1947; of Bangla-desh since 1971. 'The city of mosques'. Centre of world's biggest jute-growing region.

Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh): The home of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government-in-exile. Hill station established in mid -19th century.

Dharavi (Mumbai): Asia's largest slum.

Diego Garcia (India Ocean): Island, American military airbase. Treaty was signed in 1966 by US and UK for the use of the island.

Digha (W. Bengal): Known as Beercool in the days of Warren Hastings. One of  world's widest beaches.

Doogton (Ohio,USA): Hometown of Wilbur and Orville Wright.

Dresden (Germany):A centre of Napoleon's  military operations. The beautiful city was damaged in WWII bombing. Known for art galleries and other cultural institutions.

Dudhsagar Falls (Goa- Karnataka border) Highest in India. 600 m.

Dumbarton Oaks (US): The first blueprints for setting up UN were formulated here in 1944.

Dumbarton (Scotland): An engineering and ship building centre.

Dunkirk (France): Seaport. Scene (in 1940) of the evacuation of over 300,000 Allied troops under fire, as France fell to Germany.

East Anglia (UK): A powerful Anglo-Saxon kingdom of 6th century. The region of east England, it has vey fertile agricultural land.

Edinburgh (UK): Capital of Scotland. Robert the Bruce was king of Scotland from 1306-29. Home to Adam Smith, David Hume, Robert Burns and Walter Scott. Home to University of Edinburgh. Famous for Edinburgh Festival of music and drama.

Eiffel Tower (Paris): An iron tower erected for the Paris Exhibition of 1889, on Seine river, Paris, designed by A.G.Eiffel. World's most visited site.

Elba (Italy): Island in the Ligurian sea where Napoleon lived after his abdication.

Elephanta Caves (Maharashtra): Cave temples on Elephanta Island off the west coast of the State.

Ellora (Maharashtra): Known for the cave temples and architecture that attract tourists in large numbers.

Ephesus (Turkey): An important archaeo-logical site. A  leading port under Greeks  and Romans. Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of world is here.

Essen (Germany):On the Ruhr river, it is home to the Krupp steel works, Europe's most extensive iron and steel works. Destroyed in WW II.

Eton (UK): Seat of Britain's most famous public school, Eton College, founded in 1440.

Eureka Stockade (Australia): Scene of an armed clash in 1854 when government was forced to back down, in the face of public opinion following goldminers on whom expensive mining license was imposed.

Everglades (Florida, USA): Large marshland which  has mangrove forests, island masses of vegetation, snakes, turtles and alligators. It contains Everglades National park.

Evian (France) : Venue of the G8 summit, June 2003.

Exeter (SW England) : This city on river Exe has many ancient buildings, esp. the 13th century Norman Cathedral and the remains of Roman walls.

Eyre, Lake (Australia): At 15 m.below sea level, it is the lowest point on the continent.

Falkland Islands (UK): British crown colony in S.Atlantic Ocean. To Argentina, they are 'Malvinas'.  War between Argentina and Britain over the Islands in 1982.

Fatima (Portugal) : Small village where three shepherd  children claimed to have seen visions of the Virgin Mary in 1917.

Finland (Northern Europe): A wealthy country. Thousands of lakes. Some think human habitation here dates back 100,000 years.

Flanders (Belgium-France): The region frequently fought over by France, Spain and Austria is divided between Belgium and France. Scene of big trench warfare in WW I.

Florence (Italy): Cultural, intellectual centre of Italy, the rule of the Medice  family being the most glorious time. Leading centre of the Renaissance. Capital of the Kingdom of Italy, 1865-71. The School of Florence includes Leonardo da Vinci,  Michae
langelo and Raphael.

Florida (USA): It forms a long peninsula with thousands of lakes and many rivers. Belonged to the Spanish. America puchased it in 1819. Everglades, Florida Keys, Disney World, Miami, etc are here.

Forbidden City (China): The  public museums in Beijing were in the past imperial palaces where no commoner or foreigner could enter  without special permission. The complex had some 9000 rooms.

Formosa (Taiwan's former name, Republic of China): Island in the Pacific. The Portuguese named it Formosa ("beautiful"), then was under the Dutch, and then under the Ming dynasty of China. Chiang Kaishek fled to Taiwan. Economic growth was spectacular from the 1950s.

Fort St. George (Tamil Nadu): A factory trading post, completed on St. George's Day, (April 23, 1640) was the nucleus from which the British empire grew. It was East Indies Company's principal settlement until 1774. Outside the walls of Fort St. George was George Town.  

Freetown (Sierra Leone) Capital. Founded in 1790s as a foundation for freed slaves. From 1808 to 1874, it was capital of British West Africa.

Galafi (Romania) : City at the confluence of Danube and Siret rivers. Rebuilt after WWII. Port, shipyard.

Galapagos Islands (Ecuador) : Pacific archipelago on the equator. Volcanic islands in the sparse vegetation.  Unique animal species include giant land tortoises. Galapagos National Park, a world heritage site.

Galliopoli (Turkey): Post on the European side of the Dardanelles; the first European city to be conquered by Ottoman Turks (1354). Famous for the Allied operation against Turks in WW I. After eight months of inconclusive fighting and deaths of 145,000 men, the Allies withdrew.  

Gaul (France). Transalpine Gaul, the region that developed into the medieval kingdom of France.

Gauteng (S. Africa): The country's smallest but most populous province. Capital : Johannesburg

Gaya (Bihar): Gaya, along with Varanasi and Allahabad is one of the three most sacred sites for Hindu funeral rites.

Gaza Strip: Area (146 sq.mile) captured by Israel from Egypt, 1967. Mostly statelss Palestinians live there in refugee camps.

Gdansk(Poland). Formerly Danzig. Industrial port. 1980 saw labour unrest in the Lenin Shipyard, in support of 'Solidarity'. Lech Walesa, an electrician here, rose to become President of Poland.

Genoa (Italy): The country's largest seaport. Birthplace of Columbus.

Gettysburg (USA): Famous for Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address (1863) at the dedication of a war cemetery in Pennsylvania, where the Battle  of Gettysburg was fought (1863) in the American Civil War.

Ggantija (Malta): Ggantija Temples (built 3600-3300 BC) are a Copper Age complex on island Gozo (the 'Isle of Calypso')

Gibraltar (UK): British Crown Colony. Smallest (6.5 sq.km) colony in the world. Played important role in Allied naval operations in WW I & WW II. Gibraltar Rock's height 426 m.

Gir (Gujarat): Sasan Gir  National Park in Saurashtra, the only place where the Asiatic lion can now be found.

Goa (India): Former Portuguese enclave. Popular tourist destination, which has over 100 km of almost uninterrupted coastline and sunny weather. Palolem is one of its many beautiful beaches. Dabolim is Goa's airport.

Gobi (Central Asia): Desert of 1,295,000 sq.km. extending across China and Mongolia.

Golan Heights ( Syria-Israel) This strategically important area of Syria was occupied by Israel in 1967 and annexed in 1981.

Gopalpur-on-Sea (Orissa) : Seashore town with beautiful beaches.

Gough Island: UK overseas territory in the South Atlantic, described as world's most important sea.

Granada (Spain): City founded by the Moors in the 8th century. Capital of the Kingdom of Granada, 1238. Tombs of Ferdinand and  Isabella can be seen.

Golconda (A.P): Capital of the Qutb Shahi Sultans of 16th c. Rich in historical monuments including the Golconda Fort.

Great Rift Valley : East African Rift System, extending from Jordan to Mozambique.

Great Slave Lake (Canada): Lake named for the slave Indians, drained by the Mackenzie River.

Great Smoky Mountains (USA): Part of the Appalachian Mountains. 2025m.

Greenwich (UK): The village near London. Greenwich Mean Time , the UK standard time, (GMT) is based on local time of the meridian passing through Greenwich.

Gwalior (M.P): The capital of many dynasties since  A.D. 8th century.  Gwalior Fort, Jai Vilas Palace, Tomb of Tansen (the famous singer at Akbar's court) are important sites.

Haifa (Israel): City and port. Taken by Napoleon (1799), occupied by Britain, made part of Palestine. Since 1948 under Israeli control. Tourist resort, headquarters  of the Bahai movement.

Haldighat: Scene of the great battle of 1576 in which Rana Pratap was defeated.

Halifax (Canada): Important city, busy port, capital of Nova Scotia. Country's main naval base in world wars. Dalhousie University was founded in 1818.

Hamburg (Germany): Germany's largest port and foremost industrial city. It was a member of the German Confederation as a free city in 1815. Allied bombing destroyed the city in WWI, was rebuilt. Home to the Hamburg Opera.

Hampi (Karnataka): It contains the ruins of Vijayanagar and was the capital of three generations of Hindu rulers. Krishnadeva Raya and Achyta Raya were the most illustrious rulers.

Harappa (Pakistan): The site of a great city of the Indus Valley civilization. Cemeteries and brick buildings of Harappa were excavated in 1920s and 1946.

Harrow (London) Site of world famous private preparatory school for boys founded in 1571.

Harvard (USA): Harvard University at Cambridge, Massachusetts is the earliest  (1636) US college. Alma mater of seven American Presidents.

Hebron (Palestine):A West Bank town, from where Israeli troops withdrew in 1997. Israeli soldiers are stationed in part of Hebron to protect the few hundred Jewish settlers there.

Hiroshima (Japan): City destroyed on Aug.6, 1945 by the first atomic bomb dropped by USA.

Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam): New name of Saigon. Former Capital of French Indo-China. Hq of US military operations in Vietnam War. Captured by N.Vietnamese troops and renamed.

Horsely Hills (A.P.): The summer resort in Chittoor district. Named after Collector W.D. Horsely.

Huntingdon (UK): Birthplace of Oliver Cromwell.

Hyderabad (A.P):  Hyderabad-Secundera-bad is the twin city capital. Charminar, built by Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah (1591), is the principal landmark. Buddha statue, Salar Jung Museum and Hussain Sagar etc.

Ibadan (Nigeria): City founded in 1830s. Country's intellectual centre.

Iona(UK): A remote island of Mull in Scotland, the site of a monastery set up in AD 563.

Ionia (Turkey) : Important ancient region, western coast of Asia Minor.  Miletus and Ephesus were leading cities. Ruled by Hellenistic  kings until it became part of the Roman empire in 2nd century B.C.

Ionian Islands (Greece): Seven islands  in the Ionian Sea, namely Corfu, Cephalonia, Zacynthus, Leucas, Ithaca, Cythera and Paxos.

Innsbruck (Austria) : Founded in 12th c., a commercial and industrial centre and winter sports resort.

Ipswich (U.K.) Town. Agricultural market for the region. Birthplace of Cardinal Wolsey.

Islamabad (Pakistan): Capital since 1967. A new city.

Jaipur (Rajasthan): The 'City of Victory' was founded in 1727 by Maharaja Jai Singh II. Included on the popular tourist 'Golden Triangle' of Delhi-Jaipur-Agra. The 'Pink City', its palaces, forts and museums are elegant.

Jakarta (Indonesia): Capital. Formerly Batavia. The Dutch founded it in 1619. Important centre of the Dutch East India Company.

Jallianwala Bagh (Punjab): Where Gen. R.E. H. Dyer opened fire on an unarmed assembly of people of Amritsar, who were protesting against Rowlatt Act. Number of deaths 379, wounded 1
208.

Jerusalem (Israel): A holy city of Christians, Jews and Muslims. Capital (declared 1950, lacks international recognition). Capital of Palestine 1922-48. Divided between Israel and Jordan, 1949.

Jhansi (U.P.): Known in association with its queen Rani Lakshmi Bai, who was active in the '1857 Mutiny' . Jhansi has a magnificent fort.

Jharia (Jharkhand) It has rich deposits of coal.

Junagadh (Gujarat): One of the three princely states that didn't accede to Indian Union in 1947. It was annexed to India on Nov. 9, 1948. It was the capital of Gujarat under the Kshattrapa rulers. Girnar Hill is the chief attraction.

Kachchativu (Sri Lanka): Island in the Palk strait given to Sri Lanka under an agreement in 1974.

Kaiga (Karnataka): It has an atomic power plant. Sea bird, the country's largest naval base , is coming up around here.

Kakrapar (Gujarat): Site of India's fifth atomic power project.

Kalimantan (Indonesia) : Part of Borneo, rich in timber. Scene of recurrent ethnic and political violence.

Kalinga (India):Emperor Asoka who crush-ed the Kalingan Kingdom at Dhauligiri near Bhubaneshwar (261 B.C.) was shocked by the horrors of war and converted to Buddhism.

Kalpakkam (T. Nadu): India's 50 MW experimental fast breeder test reactor is located here.

Kamakura (Japan City, former Japanese Capital). Now noted for its shrines, temples and 13 m. high bronze Buddha.

Kamchatka (Russia): A peninsula that separates the Sea of Okhotsk from the Bering Sea. It has lakes, forests and 20 active volcanoes.

Kampala (Uganda): Capital since 1962. It is on Lake Victoria. Founded by the British near Mengo, the seat of the King of Buganda.

Kampuchea (or Cambodia): Kingdom in S-E Asia. Pol Pot's regime saw deaths of about 3 m. people (1975-8).

Kanchenjunga (Sikkim):India's highest  and world's 3rd highest mountain (28,209 m.).

Kanchipuram (Tamil Nadu): Temple town, one of the seven sacred cities of Hindus. Capital of Pallavas, 6th & 8th c.Today famous for Kanchipuram silk.

Kandla (Gujarat): Tidal port. Handles mostly petroleum products & fertilisers. A free-trade zone.

Kandy (Sri Lanka): City. Royal city until 1815. Important Buddhist Sinhalese culture centre. 'Temple of the Tooth' is here. known as 'City of the Five Hills'

Kannauj (U.P.): It was a powerful city of the past; raided by Mahmud of Ghazni. Sher Shah defeated Humayun here.

Kanyakumari (Tamil Nadu): Known formerly as Cape Comorin, it is one of the southernmost points of the Indian subcontinent. The sunrise and sunset here attract tourists. Believed to be the abode of Kumari, the Virgin Goddess. Gandhi Memorial and Vivekananda Memorial ( on a rocky island).

Karachi (Pakistan): Port , largest city in the country. First capital of Pakistan (1947).

Karelian Isthmus  (Russia): A land bridge, connecting Finland with Russia. 140  km long and 40-113 km wide. Main cities St. Petersburg and Vyborg.

Karnak (Egypt): The site of the huge temple of Amon built by pharaohs Seti I and Ramses the Great.

Katanga (Congo): The province (known as Shaba) attempted to secede under Moise Tshombe, 1960.

Kawasaki: Japanese city on Honshu  island. Rebuilt after being destroyed in WWII. Industrial centre.

Kaziranga (Assam): National Park, a UNESCO  world heritage site, home of the Indian one-horned rhinoceros.

Khajuraho (M.P.) : Known for a magnifi-cent  group of temples built between the 9th and 10th centuries.

Khasi (China): Centre of trade with CIS republics and West Africa.

Khartoum (Sudan): Sudanese capital. In 1885 the Mahdi defeated the British here. It is the economic link between the Arab countries and African countries.

Khmer (SE Asia): An empire founded in 6th century. Its capital from 802 was Angkor Thom. The empire fell in 15th century.

Kiritmati (Kiribati): Christmas Island. Largest atoll in the world. nuclear testing site in '50s. Britain annexed it.

Kisangani (Zaire): Founded as Stanleyville, renamed in 1966. A rebel government was established briefly during civil war (1960-64).

Kobe (Japan): Japan's commercial port . Badly damaged by the 1995 earthquake. Kobe has 15 universities.

Kola Peninsula (Russia): A promontory between the Barents Sea and the White Sea. It is mostly granite, and is mined for apatite and nephelimite.

Kolhapur (Maharashtra): Commercial centre and pilgrimage site. Yadava dynasty ruled it 10th-13th c., later occupied by Mughals. Shivaji seized it in 1675. With the Bhonsles until Independence.

Kolkata (formerly Calcutta): The country's  third largest city.Often referred to as the 'City of Joy'. British India's capital until 1912, the headquarters of the  East India  company. Land of Rabindranath Tagore, Satyajit Ray, and scene of Mother Teresa's acti-vities.

Konark (Orissa): Famous for the temple to the Sun God, a great architectural marvel, built by King Narasimhadeva in 13th century.

Konya (Turkey): It was capital of sultanate of Konium or Rum under Seljuk Turks (11th c.).

Kosovo (Serbia): The autonomous province of the Yugoslav republic of Serbia that declared independence in 1990. Years of unrest and violence followed. Ethnic Albanians were repressed by Serbs. NATO's air strikes (1999) hit Kosovo badly.

Kota (Rajasthan): Industrial city. Former Princely State. City Palace of 1625. Rich artistic heritage.

Kottayam (Kerala, India):  The first town in India to achieve 100 percent literacy.  Known for its lakes and rubber plantations. Well-known tourist destination Kumarakom is 16 km from here.

Krakov or Cracow (Poland): Poland's third largest city. Pope John Paul II was born here.

Kremlin (Russia): The residence of tsars until 1712, political and administrative headquarters of USSR in 1918.

Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia): Capital. Petronas Twin Towers, until recently world's tallest building, are here.

Kurdistan (Iran): Inhabited by Kurds, who also live in Iraq, Turkey and Syria. 20 m. in number, the world's largest ethnic group without its own state.

Kuril Islands (Russia): Chain of 30 large and 26 smaller islands in Sakhalin region. In 1875 Russia  gave the islands to Japan in exchange for full control of Sakhalin island. Ceded to USSR, after WWII.

Kurukshetra: (Haryana) Scene of the  battle between Kauravas and Pandavas; site of the Revelation of the Bhagavad Gita; one of the 16 Mahajanapadas or republics of 'Jambu dvipa' .

Kutchch, Rann of (Gujarat): Region of salt marsh, scene of an Indo-Pak fighting, 1965.

Kyoto (Japan) ("Capital City") : Capital from 8th century to 1868. Centre of culture and Buddhism. Kyoto University, 1897.

Ladakh (J&K): Region that accounts for two-thirds of the state. Sparsely populated, it is a high altitude desert. Leh is its main town, and its ancient Buddhist monasteries attract tourists.

La Paz (Bolivia): The highest capital in the world (3631 m.)

Lappland (Arctic region of Europe): Extends over Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola peninsula.

Lausanne (Switzerland): On the northern shore of Lake Geneva. Tourist resort, convention centre. International Olympic Committee hq.

Leeds (UK): This West Yorkshire city was famous in 18th c. for its textile manufacturing. Industrial, cultural centre. Leeds Music Festival, International Pianoforte Competition, etc.

Leningrad (Russia): Founded by Peter the Great in 1703. Called St.Petersburg, it was the capital of Russia for 200 years until 1918. For some time it was known as Petrograd. Russia's second largest city. The Hermitage Museum is here.

Leshan (China) : World's tallest Buddha statue (71 metres) is here. It has a unique 24-hour 'electronic bodyguard'.

Lhasa (Tibet): At 3684 m., it was the highest capital in the world before domination of Tibet by China.

Libreville (Gabon): Capital. The name
was given in 1848 after freed slaves were settled there.

Liechtenstein (Central Europe): A small principality of 157 sq.km, with very high per capita income.

Little Rock (USA): Capital of Arkansas. US Supreme Court enforced a ruling against racial discrimination in schools in 1957.

Liverpool (UK): Sixth largest city in England and the principal Atlantic port. The Beatles belonged to Liverpool.

Locarno (Switzerland): Locarno Pact of 1925, resolving the status of the Rhineland and guaranteeing French-German and Belgian-German borders.

London (UK): Capital. A major trade, financial, cultural, political  centre. Buckingham Palace, Westminister Abbey, Tower of London, Big Ben, Hyde Park, St.Paul's, Bri-tish Museum, Downing Street, etc are landmarks.

Lopburi (Thailand): East of Bangkok, famous for the thousands of monkeys that live with human beings in the town.

Lord's (London,UK) Cricket ground; hq of M.C.C.

Lucknow(UP): Capital of the kingdom Avadh, and cultural capital of North India. Nawabs patronised arts. British annexed it.

Lugano (Switzerland) Resort town on the shores of Lake Lugano in Switzerland and Italy.

Lukung (J&K): LOAC separates Lukung and Chinese occupied territory. It has one of world's loftiest inhabited places around, and one of Asia's largest brackish water lakes. Lake Pangong, a tourist attraction, at 4267 m. is here.

Lusatia (Germany): The home of the Sorbs, an ancient Slav people.

Maastricht (Netherlands): European Union conference of  1991 was held in this city. Maastricht Treaty was the agreement on Europe's political, economic and monetary union.

Macedon (SE Europe) : Ancient country  (roughly the modern Macedonia). City of Thessaloniki founded by king Philip II (420 B C), father of Alexander the Great.

Machu Picchu (Peru): Ruined Inca city, discovered in 1911. A world heritage site.

Madagascar (Indian Ocean): World's fourth largest island, settled by Indonesians in 1st c. AD.

Madrid (Spain): Capital. Highest capital city in Europe (altitude 655 m).

Madurai (Tamil Nadu): One of south India's oldest cities. Sri Meenakshi Temple is here.

Mahe (Pondicherry) : Former French establishment. In the Malabar coast on the Western Ghats, surrounded by Kerala state.

Majuli (Assam): The largest inhabited riverine island in the world.

Malaga (Spain): Port. Ancient Malaca. Founded by Phoenicians in 12th c.B.C. Birthplace of Picasso.

Mali (Africa):  A republic in West Africa. A mediaeval state which reached its peak in 14th c. Ruled by France 1881-95, territory of French Sudan until 1959.

Mamallapuram (T. Nadu) : A 7th century port city which has rock-cut temples. The site is named after Mamalla (= 'Great Wrestler'), the title of Pallava king Narasimha Varman I.

Manchuria (China): Sparsely populated mountainous area. The last Chinese emperors were Manchus. Under Russian control for long.

Manipur (India): This former Princely  State was brought into India in 1826 by the Treaty of Yandabo at the end of the Indo- Burmese War. Statehood in 1972. Manipuri dance is famous.

Maramba (Zambia): Capital of N. Rhodesia 1911-1935. City first named 'Livingstone' after the first explorer David Livingstone.

Marrakesh (Morocco): One of Morocco's four imperial cities (founded 1062). Former capital. Islamic, commercial, tourist centre.

Mashhad (Iran): The holy city that attracts the most number of pilgrims (over 20 m.) a year who come to the holy shrine of the 8th Shiite Imam.

Mathura(U.P.):  Birthplace of Lord Krishna. Situated on the banks of the river Yamuna. Hindu pilgrims consider it a holy spot.  Dates back to 600 BC. Vrindavan is here.

Medina (Saudi Arabia): Islamic holy city that contains the tomb of Prophet Mohammed.

Mekong Delta (S.E. Asia): Mekong river's lower course has 1/3 of the population of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. In 1957, UN's Mekong River Development Project began.

Memphis (USA): In Tennessee. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated here (1968).

Merseyside (U.K.): Country in northwestern England. It gave the world the Beatles, famous football teams and golf links.

Mexico City (Mexico): Capital. Largest city in the world. Olympic Games (1968). About 20,000 killed in an earthquake (1985).

Mizoram (Northeast India): Between Myanmar and Bangladesh, it was known  until 1972 as 'Lushai Hills', a district of Assam. The Mizo tribal people are thought to have come from NW China in 7th century.

Mohanjo-Daro(Pakistan): A great site of the Indus valley civilization.  The excavation in 1920s brought to light extensive brick-built remains.

Mombasa (Kenya): Chief port, industrial centre. It was the capital of East Africa Protectorate, 1888-1907. A British naval base in WWII.

Monaco (France-Italy border) : Independent principality, 73 sq.km. A luxurious resort known for Monte Carlo gambling centre, car races and beaches.

Mont Blanc (French-Italian border): Highest mountain in the Alps. There is a 12 km road tunnel connecting the two countries.

Monte Cristo(Italy): Islet in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Association with the Duma novel The Count of Monte Cristo.

Montego Bay (Jamaica): Port and tourist capital of the country. Locally called Mobay.

Montenegro (in former Yugoslavia): Now part of Serbia and Montenegro. An ancient state of the Balkans. An independent kingdom, 1910-18. It joined the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.

Monte San Giorgio (Switzerland): A pyramid-shaped, wooded mountain regarded as the best fossil record of marine life.

Montserrat (UK): Territory in the Caribbean. A 1997 volcanic erruption made two-thirds of the island uninhabitable.

Montreal (Canada): Second largest French- speaking city in the world. Venue of 1976 Olympics. Trade, finance centre.

Mount Ruapehu (New Zealand) : Highest peak of North Island (2797 metre). Situated in Tongariro National Park. Intermittently active volcano.

Montreux (Switzerland): The 13th century chateau de Chillon. Figures in Byron's poem Prisoner of Chillon  . Annual television festival awards  the Golden Rose of Montreux.

Mount Ararat (Turkey): Extinct volcanic peak. Noah's Ark is said to have come to rest here.

Mount Isa (Australia): World's largest city in area-41, 225 sq.km.

Mount Kailas (Tibet): Also known as Mount Meru. The world's highest altitude pilgrimage ends here.

Mount Li (China): A life-size army of about 7500 painted terracotta figures deployed in military formation underground was discovered here in 1974. First Chinese Emperor Qin Shihuangdi buried here.

Mumbai (Maharashtra): India's largest city and commercial capital. Capital of Maharasthra State, main seaport and industrial city.

Munich (Germany): Capital of Bavaria. Swedes occupied it in 1632 and the French in 1800. In 1920s, it was the centre of the Nazi Party. Munich Putsch (Beer hall Putsch) was an attempted coup in 1923 by Hitler to overthrow the republican government. Munich Agreement of 1938 was a pact signed by Britain, France, Italy and Germany to settle the German claims on Czechoslovakia.

Mycenae : Mycenaen civilization was a brilliant Bronze Age culture which flourished in Greece and the Aegean in 2nd millennium.

Mysore (Karnataka): State capital. Capital of the Wodeyar rulers, 1399-1947. Modern Mysore is the creation of Tipu Sultan. Amba Vilas Palace is a treasure house of works of art from all parts of the world.

Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan): Azerbaijan's autonomous  region whose population is about 80% Armenian. Armenian claims to the area in 1988 led to riots. Fighting broke out in 1991. Ceasefire in 1994 but tension continues.

Nagpur (Maharashtra): City on Nag river. Formerly capital of Central Provinces. Dr. Ambedkar and 2 lakh followers embraced Buddhism here.

Nalanda (Bihar): Buddhist University of Nalanda founded 5th c., flo
urishing (it had 5000 international students) until 1199 when Turks destroyed it. Chinese scholars visited Nalanda in 7th c.

Namur (Belgium): The city's strategic position at the confluence of two rivers caused fighting over it many times. Damaged in both World Wars.

Nancy (France): Former seat of the Dukes of Lorraine. France got it in 1766.

Naples (Italy): Seaport, industrial, cultural centre. In 6th BC, it was founded by Greeks. Capital of the Kingdom of Naples, 1270-1860.

Nauru (Western Pacific): World's smallest republic, area 21 sq.km. Independent in 1968. Known for phosphate deposits.

Nepal (Asia): The only official Hindu kingdom in the world.

New York City (USA): The country's largest city. The Dutch who colonised it called it New Amsterdam (1625). In 1644, Britain captured it and named it New York after the king's brother, the Duke of York. Erie Canal opened in 1825, paving the way for rapid growth. George Washington was inaugurated here as the first President. UN is located here. World Trade Centre, until Sept. 2001. Largest American port.

Niagara (USA) : known for Niagara Falls on the US-Canada border.

Nineveh (Assyria): Important city of Assyria in Upper Mesopotamia. In the area around the town of Asur  on the Tigris, a vast empire was built up which was at its height in 9th-8th c.BC.

Normandy (France): Seat of William I who invaded England in 1066. French recovered it in 1204. Site of the Normandy Campaign (June 6, 1944), the allied invasion of German-occupied France- the largest  amphibious operation in history.

Novogorod (Russia): One of the oldest Russian cities. On a major trade route of eastern Europe, it became commercially prosperous in the Middle Ages.

Nunavat (Canada): Eskimo territory. Created in 1999 after  negotiations with Inuit leaders.

Nuremberg (Germany): The trials of Nazi criminals after WWII (Nuremberg Trials) took place in this city, which was heavily bombed  in the war.

Nyasa Lake or Malawi Lake (Africa): Africa's third largest. Known as Calendar Lake, because it is 365 miles long and 52 across at its widest point.

Oberammergau (Germany): Passion play is performed here every ten years following a vow made by the villagers when they were saved from the plague in 1633.

Odessa (Ukraine): Black Sea port. Centre of the battleship 'Potemkin' mutiny in the Revolution of 1905.

Okinawa (Japan): Island taken by USA in WW II, returned to Japan, 1972.

Oklahoma City (USA): Terrorists bombed a government office building in 1904, killing 168 people.

Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania): Rich archaeological site, where fossils and paleolithic implements were found. 'Homo habilis' was discovered by the Leakeys. Some 'Homo erectus' remains too found here.  

Oudh (U.P): Former province of British India. Its annexation by Britain (1856) was a cause of the Indian War of Independence in 1857.

Oxford (UK): City on the Thames. Oxford university, one of the oldest in Europe, dating from the 12th century.

Palam (Delhi): Palam airport now used for national air services.

Palermo (Italy): Port, capital of Sicily. Phoenicians founded it in 8th BC.

Palembang (Indonesia). Port . It was capital of a Hindu Sumatran kingdom of 8th c.

Palitana (Gujarat): On Shatrunjaya Hill, there is an amazing spectacle of a cluster of 863 Jain temples, dating to 16th c.

Panama (Central America): Occupies the Isthmus of Panama, the strip of land that links North and South America. USA built the Panama Canal, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In 1903 US got sovereignty over the Panama Canal Zone. Political turbulence tormented Panama for long. USA interfered on several occasions.

Panipat (Punjab): Three battles of Panipat (1526, 1556 & 1761) were important milestones in the history of the Mughal Empire.

Panaji (Goa): Capital at the mouth of the Mandovi river. Portuguese viceroy moved here following epidemics of Old Goa. In 1843 it became the official capital of Portuguese territories in India.

Paris (France): Capital. Treaty of Paris (1761-3) ended Seven Years' War. Paris Peace Conference held  after WWI. Hq.of UNESCO, etc. A main world tourist centre, centre of high fashion and luxury goods. Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Elysee Palace, Paris University (1170) etc.

Paros: Greek island in the Aegean Sea, famous for its white translucent marble used in sculpture.

Patmos (Greece): Island. Apostle St.John lived here for two years.

Patna (Bihar): Capital, formerly known as Pataliputra. A great Asian city in the days of Maurya and Gupta empires.

Pearl Harbour (USA): Naval base was bombed by Japan on Dec.7, 1941.This brought USA into WW II.

Pedra Furada (Brazil): Rock shelter, believed to be the earliest human settlement in the Americas.

Penang (Malaysia): First British settlement in Malaya. Capital Pinang was formerly George Town.

Pentagon (USA): A  huge five-sided building in Arlington. Hq of US Defence Dept. It was world's largest office building (34 acres) when completed. On Sept.11, 2001 part of the building was destroyed by  terrorists who crashed an aircraft into Pentagon.

Perak (Malaysia): One of the wealthiest states, after tin was discovered in the 1840s.

Pergamum (Asia Minor): Ancient city, was capital of the Attalids.

Persepolis (Iran): Palaces and graves of the Achaemenid rulers of Persia are here in the mountains. Sacked byAlexander the Great (331BC).

Peter and Paul Fortress (Russia): A stronghold founded by Peter the Great (1703) on an island. St. Petersburg sprang up around it. A museum.

Piltdown (UK): Fossilised skull fragments 'discovered' in 1912 in Piltdown, Sussex, were believed to be the earliest human remains found in Europe. 'The Piltdown Man' was a hoax, it was known 40 years later.

Pitcairn Island (S. Pacific): One of  a small group of islands,  UK overseas territory. Area is 4.6 sq.km. and population only 48.

Pittsburgh(USA): The British took Fort Duquesne (built by the French)  and renamed it Fort Pitt (1758). Third largest US corpo-rate hq.

Plymouth (USA): Site of the first permanent European settlement in New England founded by the pilgrims in 1620. A tourist destination.

Polish Corridor (Poland): A belt of land that separated Prussia from the rest of Germany and was granted to Pland in the Treaty of Versailles (1919). Annexed by Germany (1939), returned to Poland (1945).

Pompeii (Italy): Ancient city at the foot of Vesuvius, which erupted in AD 79 covering the city with ashes and pumicestone 6-7m. deep.

Pondicherry (South India): The former capital of French territories in India. Established by Francois Martin in 1674. Aurobindo Ghose, poet and philospher, lived here. 'The Mother' (Mivra Alfassa) was inspired by him. The Aurobindo Ashram here is an important landmark. Auroville (the City of Dawn) is 8 km. from here.

Porbandar (Gujarat): Mahatma Gandhi's birthplace.

Potsdam (Germany): That is where Churchill, Truman and Stalin met for the conference in 1945

Prayag (U.P): Some 20 m. Hindu pilgrims gathered here for 'half Kumbh Mela' festival in 1995 – the largest religious crowd.

Prussia (Germany): The most powerful German state in 19th c. It disappeared when Germany was divided after 1945. Frederick William (the Great Elector)and  Frederick William III, King of Prussia (1797-1840) were great personalities.

Pune (Maharashtra): Industrial city. The monsoon capital for the British in the 19th c. National Defence Academy, Osho International commune and Rajgad Fort are around. It was the capital of Maratha empire  in 1750-1817. The Aga Khan palace where Gandhiji was imprisoned for two years is to the north of Pune.

Puri (Orissa): A leading pilgrimage centre. Jagannath Temple (12th c.) is a magnificent structure. Its  beach is exceptionally beautiful

Quezon City: City in Philippines named for President
Manuel Quezon who selected the site. Capital between 1948 and 1976.

Rajghat (Delhi) Where Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation  is laid to rest.

Rameswaram (Tamil Nadu): Island, holy place. Lord Rama is believed to have worshipped Siva. Pilgrims to Varanasi are expected to visit Rameswaram next. Dhanush-kodi, at the tip of the peninsula is considered particularly holy.

Ramoji Film City (A.P): One of the best equipped film studios in the world.

Rhodesia (Africa): Modern states  Zimbabwe and Zambia  constitute  the old Rhodesia named after Cecil Rhodes.

Riga (Latvia): Capital, seaport, under Germany in WWII.

Rijeka(Croatia): Croatia's largest port, was naval base of Austro Hungarian empire until 1918. Ceded to Italy in 1924 and to Yugoslavia in 1947.

Ripon (UK): Reckoned to be England's second  oldest town.

Roanoke Island  (USA):Off the coast of N. Carolina. Site of the first English colonies in North America.

Rome (Italy): Capital. It was the capital of the Roman empire, which extended to continental Europe. Reached the highest point of glory in 1st and 2nd centuries. Then came the Holy Roman Empire. The seat of Papacy. Vatican City is within Rome.

Salzburg (Austria): Birthplace of Mozart.

Sanchi(M.P.) : An important Buddhist site, known for the Great Stupa, one of the largest in India.

San Francisco (USA): Californian city. Formerly Yerba Buena, renamed in 1848. Golden Gate Bridge is one of longest single-span suspension bridges. Terminus of the first transcontinental railway (1869).

San Marino (in Italian territory): Small  enclave of 61 sq.km. An independent republic.

Sao Paulo (Brazil): Founded in 1554, city in 1711. Brazilian independence was declared here in 1822 by Emperor Pedro I.

Sapporo (Japan)City, ski resort: Hokkaido University here. Site of 1972 Winter Olympics.

Sarajevo (Yugoslavia): WWI had its beginning here when in 1914 the Archduke of Fancis Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was assassinated by a Serb. It was the focal point of civil war  after 1992, with refugees coming into Sarajevo. Hosted 1984 Winter Olympics.

Sarnath (U.P): An important Buddhist centre. The Buddha  gave his first sermon here.

Saskarchewan(Canada): Prairies of this province supply two-thirds of Canada's wheat.  

Serengeti(Tanzania): National Park (14,500 sq.km) on the southeast shores of Lake Victoria.

Sevastapol (Ukraine): Seaport city. In Crimean War, Anglo-French forces besieged it (Tolstoy's Sevastopol Sketches).

Shah Jahanabad (Delhi): This is Old Delhi (the 7th City) built by Shah Jahan (17th c.).

Shanghai(China): Largest city, seaport, industrial, cultural, educational centre.

Sharpeville: South African township 80km from jo' burg where 69 peaceful demonstrators protesting the Pass Laws were killed by the police, March 21, 1967. S. Africa's  new constitution was inaugurated here, 1996.

Sheba (Southern Arabia): Ancient kingdom (Biblical). Covered present day Yemen. Region of great wealth in 6th & 5th c. B.C. Queen of Sheba who visited Soloman the Wise.

Sheffield(UK): City famous for cutlery manufacture.

Shenyang (China): The city was known as Mukden. In 1905, the city fell to the Japanese. In the Mukden (Manchurian) Incident (1931) Japanese used an explosion on the railway as an excuse to occupy the city, and then Manchuria.

Sherwood Forest (UK): The legendary 13th c. outlaw Robin Hood lived in Sherwood Forest in English North Midlands.

Shillong (Meghalaya):Capital, sometimes called 'the Scotland of the East'. The home of the matrilineal Khasi tribe. A hill station.

Shimla (H.P.): The summer capital of India from 1864  until independence. It was once part of the Nepali kingdom.

Siberia (Russia-Kazakhstan) Land of rich minerals and extremely cold climate. For long, a place of exile for Russian criminals. Trans-Siberian Railway (1891-1905) is the longest in the world (9335 km).

Sinai (Egypt): Triangular peninsula between the Suez Cananl and the Gulf  of Suez. Rich in petroleum and manganese. Has had vital role in Arab Israeli relations. Mount Sinai is important to Jews, Muslims and Christians.

Sitamarhi (Bihar): Commercial centre, site of Bihar's largest cattle fair. Sita (Hindu mythology), wife of Rama, was found near by her father King Janaka.

Sonepat (Haryana): Mentioned in the Mahabharatha as Shonaprastha. A leading manufacturer of bicycles.

Sonepur (Bihar): Venue of Asia's largest livestock fair.

Srirangapattana (Karnataka): An island fortress in the Kaveri river. Site of battles between the British and Tipu Sultan. In 1799  Tipu was killed by the British.

Spratly Islands (South China Sea): Strategicelly important archipelago claimed varioustly by China, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan and Viuetnam.

St.Helena (U.K): In S.Atlantic. Island where Napoleon was exiled 1815-21.

St. Louis(USA): HQ of World Agricultural Forum. Associated with the great humorist Mark Twain. Charles Lindberg of his skele-tal airplane "The Spirit of St.Louis" from there.

Strasbourg(France): Seat of the Council of Europe. EU's parliament meets here.

Stratford-upon-Avon (UK): William Shakespeare's place of birth, and death.

Stromboli (Italy): A 3038 feet high volcano from which lava flows continuously. It attracts tourists to the island.

Sumer (ancient Mesopotamia): Site of an old civilisation, dating back to 5th millennium B.C. Sumerians invented cuneiform writing, wheeled vehicles and the plough.

Tawang (Arunachal Pradesh): Tawang monastery, where the sixth Dalai Lama was born, is the second oldest Buddhist monastery in the world after Lhasa, and the largest in India.

Tehran (Iran): Capital. Became capital in 1788. Tehran conference of Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin to coordinate Allied strategy in WWII (1943).

Tel Aviv-Jaffa (Israel): Tel Aviv

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  1. I came to this site on a friend’s recommendation. They were totally right! Thanks for a great general knowledge site 🙂

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