Saturday, June 30, 2007

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal – Agra.

“A tear on the face of eternity” Rabindranath Tagore.

Taj Mahal is the symbol of eternal love, a visitor may often get lost in the memories of the stories he had heard from his child-hood looking at this structure as well as its image reflected in the pool below. The story is that this beautiful structure was built by one of the most powerful emperor in the history of India for the memory of his queen who passed away in her young age. This romantic story along with the rare and beautiful spectacles visible here all combine in to his mind to form a feeling of surprise, nostalgia and a drop of tear for the beautiful queen who passed away early.

20,000 Men; 16 years!

The Taj is an architectural marvel formed of the fusion between Indian, Persian, Turkish and the Islamic styles. Its construction started on 1632 took 16 long years when it was finally completed in 1648! Such a long period was taken not because of any obstruction in the site, but it was such a massive structure involving a lot of precision works that deserved so much man-day involving the service of 20,000 skilled artisans; a good number of them imported from all over Asia. The ramp intended to transport materials for the dome was two mile long!

Mumtaz Mahal.

Shah Jehan (Shahbuddin Mohammed Shah Jehan (5 -1 1502 to 22 -1 1666) the fifth ruler of the Mughal dynasty) wanted was sheer beauty and top class construction. ‘Makrana marble’ (the glittering white marble mined from Rajasthan) silver, gold and the jewels (mostly imported from Persia and Turkey) all were so lavishly used to decorate floral designs. The construction to take place was no ordinary building it was intended for the memory of his dear wife Arjumand Banu Begum popularly known as Mumtaz Mahal. Mumtaz was Shah Jehan’s second wife and she died in child birth.


The exquisite ‘jalies’ (perforated ornamental designs in wood or stone) and the calligraphy (that adorns the walls with holy verses of Qur’an) lavishly made in perfect symmetry all were all made by human hands; how many man-days would have taken for their work can only be imagined. Skilled workers from as far as Persia were brought in for the work.

Ustad Ahmed Lahauri.

Who was its chief architect is still not confirmed. Gerronimo Verroneo an Italian who was engaged by the Mughals was presumed by some. Yet another opinion (more reliable) is Ustad Istakhan Effendi a Persian architect and his pupil Ustad Ahmed Lahauri were the makers the typical Persian and Islamic style adopted support this view. There are stories doing round that Shah Jehan blinded or dismembered the artisans after the work so that they will not build another structure like this else where!

An integrated complex.

Taj Mahal close up image courtsey:

The Taj got listed as ‘UNESCO World Heritage Site’ in 1983 as a universally admired master piece of world heritage. The domed marble structure often considered as the Taj, but the Taj is actually an integrated complex of many structures covered on three sides by crenellated wall made of red sand-stone. (Some of the structures like mausoleums of Shah Jehan’s other wives located out side the walls are also coming under the Taj complex; of which that of Mumtaz’s favorite maid is the largest). The side facing the Yamuna River is left open.

The sights..

The structures coming under the Taj complex are mainly the following, The Gateway, The outside buildings and tombs, The Taj-Mosque (Masjid) and the Jawab (served the purpose of a guest-house), The Minarets (on the four corners of the plinth), the garden (in design akin to the Mughal Gardens), The Reflecting Pools, The tomb (iwan – a structure with open front and other three sides enclosed), The dome constructed on the top of the tomb, the finial and many exclusive forms of jalies with intricate floral designs, Calligraphy, bas – reliefs and valuable interior decorations.

The tomb.

The focus of Taj Mahal is the white tomb; its elements are all Persian with symmetrical buildings with iwan (large hall with open front - generally with large arch- and other three sides enclosed). The marble dome (in the shape of onion called amrud or guava dome) that rests upon the tomb is the most spectacular view for a visitor who looks the Taj from outside.


Finial at the Tajmahal image courtsey:

The finial is the crown exactly on the top of the dome which catches the immediate attention of the onlooker (originally it was made of pure gold later replaced by bronze). The moon with its horns facing heavenwards and the central point jointly raises the memory of a trident a Hindu symbol.

The Taj-Masjid and the Jawab.

The Masjid is akin in design to the Delhi Jumas Masjid and is decorated with calligraphy (calligraphy here are a script (thuluth language) designed by Amanat Khan of the palace. The Taj Masjid is floored with black marble and covered with expensive Persian carpets.

The Jawab is basically designed for the sake of symmetry and it served as a visitors hall.

The Minarets

Tajmahal image courtsey:

These minarets are examples of the symmetry –the watch-word- in the construction of Taj. They are constructed on the four corners of the plinth, each exactly 40 meters in height consisting of three portions, with two working balconies that ring the tower. They have been constructed in such a distance that even if by any event they fall the tomb will not be effected.

The Cenotaphs.

Cenotaph at Taj image courtsey:

The cenotaph of Mumtaz is in the center of the inner chamber on a rectangular marble base (1.5m * 2.5 m). It is decorated with precious stones and calligraphy praising and identifying her. The cenotaph of Shah Jehan is bigger and placed in slightly elevated floor. The casket is with inscriptions praising god.

Royal Prisoner!

Shahjahan who built the Taj Mahal image courtsey:

Shah Jehan had a cruel fate as the completion of the building he had been put in to house arrest by his own son in a nearby building and till death he had to live as a virtual prisoner. The only favor the dear father received was that he could the view Taj from his ‘prison’ and that sight of the mausoleum of his wife would have given him some consolation in his confinement. A visitor to Taj is enriched (burdened) with a collage of emotions by the rare sights of Taj complex as well as the stories they had to tell, among them he can cherish the image of an emperor who built all these and had to see them until death as a prisoner.

Friday, June 29, 2007

WWE: The Mysteries and Implications of the Death of Chris Benoit

Mysteries surrounding the Death of Chris Benoit

Chris Benoit DvD image courtsey:

A Baffling Case Indeed!!!

On Monday June 25th 2007, WWE Wrestler Chris Benoit was found dead along with his wife Nancy and their 7 year old son Daniel. Their bodies were found by authorities who entered his home on a welfare check after several missed appointments and concerns. Initial investigations later revealed that Chris Benoit murdered his wife and son before hanging himself by the chord of a weight machine in his basement. Both his wife and son died of asphyxiation. Nancy Benoit’s wrists and feet were tied and she had bruises on her back and stomach consistent with someone pressing a knee into the small of the back while pulling on a cord around the neck. It is believed that his son was killed with a chokehold as he had internal injuries to the throat area but had no other injuries.

But the real question that is baffling everyone is why Benoit would all of a sudden turn into a monster. Steroids are being suspected as one of the primary reasons. It was no hidden fact that steroids were rampant in the wrestling profession during the old days. But stricter legislations more than a decade and a half ago had made it difficult for the wrestlers to obtain and abuse the usage of steroids. The WWE, predictably, has strongly denied the possibility of steroid abuse stating that Chris Benoit was found clean even in his last checkup.

Chris Benoit image courtsey:

However, as was illustrated by the sudden demise of Eddie Guerrero (also a close friend of Chris Benoit), the ghosts of those carefree days will always continue to haunt pro-wrestling. Adding fuel to the steroid rumor is the fact that steroids (albeit legally obtained) were found at Benoit’s home. The Authorities also believes that alcohol too was consumed. Steroids are known to cause uncontrollable rage and paranoia. The state of mind that Benoit was in can be ascertained by the 5 text messages that he had sent to a co-worker; four of these stated “My physical address is 130 Green Meadow Lane, Fayetteville Georgia. 30215”. The fifth said “The dogs are in the enclosed pool area. Garage side door is open”. This certainly throws a glance at the man’s mental state.

There are also reports that Benoit and his wife often used to bicker over the time spent by him in taking car of his autistic son Daniel. It is believed that this was often a constant source of tension between the couple. Nancy Benoit had filed for divorce and had even obtained a restraining order against Chris Benoit in 2003. This would therefore suggest that not everything was well in the Benoit household.

Chris Benoit image courtsey:

Then there is the disturbing fact that the deaths happened on three separate days. While it is reported that his wife died on Friday, his son died on Saturday. Authorities believe that Benoit may have then killed himself later Saturday evening or early Sunday morning. A Bible was found next to the both Nancy and Daniel’s body. It can therefore be speculated that he killed his wife premeditatedly and then committed the rest of the events out of sheer guilt. Maybe he initially thought of covering up the crime, as can be seen by his conversations with a co-worker on Saturday where he tells the co-worker that he overslept and therefore missed the flight for that night’s house show. He even told the co-worker that his wife and kid were suffering from food poisoning. This shows that he was capable of making up stories at the time and hence not as completely out of mind as commonly believed.

Adding to the mystery of it all is an entry in about the death of Nancy half a day before the police even found her body. Some one had made an entry in it stating that Benoit would be replaced by Johnny Nitro in WWE’s Vengeance show. It continued to state that this was because of the death of his wife Nancy. The IP address of the editor was traced to Stamford Connecticut, the same place where the headquarters of the WWE is located. Could it be that whoever made that post may have some information that the rest of the world does not? Could it even be that the WWE knows more than it is letting on? Only time will tell.

Related Reading.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Kremlin and Red Square

The Kremlin and Red Square

Kremlin palace image courtsey:

Kremlin – a fortressed complex with most beautiful

cathedrals, Palaces and armories.

The heart of Moscow.

Kremlin is undoubtedly the heart of the biggest nation in the world Russia it is a cultural refuge of a nation that has had a long history of blood shed and sufferings under despotic emperors as well as autocratic political figures. Kremlin a fortified complex of 68 acres covered by a wall 2235 meters long and a height of 5 to 19 meters! Churches, armories and palaces all with a long and rich history of their own scramble here to find their place.

So unique!

Kremlin Palace interior image courtsey:

From the beginning of the 12th century Kremlin has been the nerve center of Russia, with a brief spell when Peter the Great shifted his capital to Peter’s burg alone Kremlin was deprived of that status. When Russia emerged as the capital of world’s communism, Kremlin had the role of managing that ideology world wide!

Peter the great image courtsey:

In its centuries old history it has witnessed numerous often horrific dramas in the corridors of power; either religious or political.

Interior Kremlin Palace image courtsey:

Despite the horrendous course of history Kremlin had to undergo its towers remain as a feast to the eye of onlookers, because they are such works of art; so unique and unparalleled.

A Phoenix.

The Grand Kremlin Palace image courtsey:

Kremlin is the official residence of the president of Russia; it was Peter Metropolitan of Rus who moved the seat from Kiev to Moscow. had been destroyed several times but it always woke up from the ashes as fresh and beautiful maiden in her teens.

Kremlin photo courtsey:

The complex existed even before it came to be known as Kremlin (former name was Grad, name Kremlin from 1331), the first to do extensive beautification and considerable extension works was Dolgorukiy in 1156. The ‘credit’ destroying Kremlin first goes to the Mongols on 1237, but got it rebuilt in 1339.

Ivan the Great.

Ivan the great image courtsey:

1462 -1505 was the golden times Ivan the Great on the helm Kremlin rose to the nerve center of whole Russia. Ivan defiantly tore off the binding agreement with Mongolia and declared it free to look after its own affairs. It was Ivan who rebuilt the unique cathedrals, and palaces and armories in the fortress. He brought skilled architects from Italy for the purpose Pierto Antonio Solari and Marco Rufo were prominent among them. Kremlin remained in this glory until Peter the Great shifted the capital to Petersburg.

Napoleon Blown apart.

Napolean Bonaparte image courtsey:

The French army under Napoleon invaded and occupied Kremlin for a period (September 2nd to October 11th). At the time of his retreat Napoleon ordered to blow up the entire structure; and Kremlin burned for three days (21 -23 October) finally a timely rain put out the fire. Several towers and valuable archives were lost in this ghastly incident. As usual this damage was also repaired under architect Osip Bave during the period of Alexander 1. Kremlin emerged in a more beautiful shape in its neo gothic style.

The Armory.

Kremlin Armory image courtsey:

It was built by Peter the Great, for the storage of weapons it gradually gained the status of a repository of the exquisite materials of the royal palace. With the retreat of Napoleon it served as an exhibition hall for the weapons captured for the Napoleon’s army (Grande Armee). The real weapons shifted to Peter’s burg had been returned to here on 1851. The armory has one of the richest holding of very valuable as well as the rarest materials on earth like the Orlov diamond that weighs 190 carats.

The State Kremlin Palace.

Kremlin Auditorium image coursey:

This is a modern building built by Khrushchev former Soviet premier in 1961. This has an auditorium with a seating capacity of 6000 and serves for the congresses of Communist Party held annually. Monumental bas relief (sculptures partly projecting out of walls) of Lenin’s face with radiation of light is a prominent work catches viewer’s attraction.

Cathedral Square.

The big public space constructed by Ivan the Great; it is the representative of the Tsarist regime. Nobilities of that time used to assemble here and high profile ceremonies like coronation etc used to be held here.

  • Cathedral of the Dominion.
  • Cathedral of the Annunciation.
  • Cathedral of the Arch-Angel.

Church of the twelve apostles image courtsey:

  • Cathedral of 12 Apostles and Church of Deposition (domestic churches).

Church of the deposition image courtsey:

Tsar Cannon and bell.

TSAR canon image courtsey:

These two are world’s most cherished possessions stored in the Kremlin, the cannon the biggest in the world (890 mm caliber) has never been used, its barrel is five meter long and the cannon weighs 40 tons! Its barrel is decorated with artworks like a fight between lion and snake.

TSAR bell image courtsey:

The bell the largest in the world weighs 200 tons! Built by Empress Anna in 1737 it fell from the cast and cracked, it could never ring as the cannon could never fire!

Ivan the Great Bell-Tower.

Ivan Bell Tower image courtsey:

The tallest structure of Russia, made of white stones with shining gilt-dome, it is recorded that its construction lasted the whole of the 16th century.

Assumption Cathedral.

Assumption Cathedral image courtsey:

Built by Ivan 1 in 1330 is the oldest of all structures and the biggest, built by the Italian architect Fioravanti from Bologna. After the construction when Fioravanti asked permission to go home the Emperor imprisoned him until death! At present it serves as the seat of Russian Orthodox Church.

The three great palaces.

These palaces are not open to visitors of which Terem palace the oldest, the Faceted Palace was built by Ivan -3. The third the Great Kremlin Palace built in the 19th century was for the residence of Nicholas 1.

Kremlin as a complex.

It is a fact that most of the remarkable constructions in the world are either of the kings (palaces, armory or forts) or of the gods (temples, church or mosques). The specialty with Kremlin is that it is a fort, a group of palaces as well as a group of cathedrals, or in other words a full-fledged city within a city. The onion-shaped spires of Kremlin stands as a wonderful spectacle even among a million structures easily identifiable for its colorful domes and looks rather crowded from a distance as if flower-buds placed in a pot and gives the an unworldly feeling to the spectators.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Dead Wrestlers

Dead Wrestlers List

The dark side of Wrestling

Roderick George Toombs image courtsey:

I think its appropriate to remember the lone wrestler who spoke for the wrestling community and was subsequently fired for doing so. Roddy Piper - "Rowdy" . The HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumble covered a story about the death rate among wrestlers. and That segment featured Vince McMahon mocking the interviewer and slapping the notes from his hands.

Stinging Shock

In June 2003, WWE decided to stop using Piper (who was working without a contract at the time) after a controversial interview with HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel in which Piper discussed the darker side of the wrestling business. On his 2006 DVD, Piper claimed that HBO took parts of his interviews out of context to make wrestling look worse. - Source Wikipedia

Although wrestling is fake and should be viewed strictly as an entertainer one thing thats not so entertaining about wrestling is the death rate among wrestlers which is alarmingly high.

Wrestling Obituaries

Comprehensive list of deceased professional wrestlers.

Name, Age, Date and Cause of Death

  • Frank Gotch 40 December 16, 1917 Uremic Poisoning
  • The Terrible Turk ?? July 4, 1898 Drowning
  • Wayne Munn 35 January 9, 1931 Kidney Problems
  • William Muldoon 88 June 3, 1933 Dies At Home
  • Farmer Burns 75 February 9, 1937 Unknown
  • Gus Sonnenberg 46 September 12, 1944 Tuberculosis
  • Bull Montana ?? January 24, 1950 Dies at Home
  • Danno O'Mahoney 37 November 4, 1950 Auto Accident
  • Maurice Tillet 51 August 4, 1954 Heart Disease
  • Jess McMahon 72 November 22, 1954 Unknown
  • Rikidozan 38 December 15, 1963 Stabbed
  • Gorgeous George 48 December 26, 1963 Heart Attack
  • Ed "Strangler" Lewis 76 August 7, 1966 Dies at Home
  • Sandor Szabo 60 October 16, 1966 Heart Attack
  • Primo Carnera 51 June 29, 1967 Cirrhosis of Liver
  • Stanislaus Zbyszko 88 September 22, 1967 Dies at Home
  • George Hackenschmidt 90 February 19, 1968 Dies at Home
  • Wladek Zbyszko ?? June 10, 1968 Unknown
  • Mike DiBiase 45 July 2, 1969 Dies in Ring
  • Skull Murphy 39 March 23, 1970 Heart Attack
  • Hercules Cortez 39 July 23, 1971 Auto Accident
  • Dory Funk Sr. 54 June 3, 1973 Dies at Home
  • Bobby Shane 29 February 20, 1975 Auto Accident
  • Jim Lindos 78 August 19, 1975 Heart Attack
  • Pepe Lopez 39 July 27, 1976 Auto Accident
  • Antonio Rocca 49 March 15, 1977 Unknown
  • Chris Taylor 29 June 30, 1979 Prolonged Illness
  • Billy McGuire ?? July 14, 1979 Heart Attack
  • Peter Maivia 47 June 13, 1982 Cancer
  • Frank Tunney ?? May 20, 1983 Heart Attack
  • The Grand Wizard 54 October 12, 1983 Heart Attack
  • El Santo 67 February 5, 1984 Heart Attack
  • David Von Erich 25 February 10, 1984 Acute Enteritis
  • Vince McMahon Sr. 69 May 17, 1984 Cancer
  • George Zaharias 76 May 22, 1984 Dies at Home
  • Argentina Apollo 46 August 2, 1984 Heart Attack
  • Eddie Graham 55 January 21, 1985 Suicide
  • Jay Youngblood 30 September 1, 1985 Heart Attack
  • Rick McGraw 30 November 1, 1985 Heart Attack
  • Tarzan Tyler ?? December 20, 1985 Auto Accident
  • Gino Hernandez 29 February 4, 1986 Cocaine Overdose
  • Warren Bockwinkle 74 March 24, 1986 Alzheimer's Disease
  • El Solitario 40 April 6, 1986 Heart Attack
  • Mike Von Erich 23 April 12, 1987 Suicide
  • Malcolm "King Kong" Kirk ?? August 24, 1987 Heart Attack
  • Adrian Adonis 34 July 4, 1988 Auto Accident
  • Pat Kelly ?? July 4, 1988 Auto Accident
  • The Canadian Wildman ?? July 4, 1988 Auto Accident
  • Bruiser Brody 42 July 17, 1988 Stabbed
  • Leroy Brown 38 September 6, 1988 Heart Attack
  • Leroy McGuirk 78 September 9, 1988 Dies at Home
  • Mildred Burke 73 February 18, 1989 Stroke
  • Paul Boesch 76 March 7, 1989 Dies at Home
  • Happy Humphery ?? March 14, 1989 Heart Attack
  • Eduardo Perez 61 September 7, 1989 Dies at Home
  • Haystacks Calhoun 55 December 7, 1989 Diabetes
  • Bronko Nagurski 81 January 7, 1990 Dies at Nursing Home
  • Whipper Billy Watson 74 February 4, 1990 Dies at Home
  • Gory Guerrero 69 April 18, 1990 Unknown
  • Pat O'Connor 65 August 16, 1990 Cancer
  • Ed "The Bull" Gatner 31 December 31, 1990 Suicide
  • Duke Keomuka 70 June 30, 1991 Heart Failure
  • Vivian Vachon 40 August 25, 1991 Auto Accident
  • Chris Von Erich 21 September 12, 1991 Suicide
  • Gene Anderson 58 October 31, 1991 Heart Attack
  • Dick the Bruiser 62 November 10, 1991 Internal Bleeding
  • Wilbur Snyder 62 December 25, 1991 Heart Failure
  • Buzz Sawyer 32 February 7, 1992 Dies At Apartment
  • Tojo Yamamoto 65 February 19, 1992 Suicide
  • Jimmy Lennon Sr. 79 April 20, 1992 Heart Failure
  • Buddy Rogers 71 June 26, 1992 Stroke
  • Uncle Elmer 54 June 30, 1992 Diabetes
  • Danny McShain ?? July 14, 1992 Unknown
  • Roy Heffernan 67 September 24, 1992 Heart Attack
  • Andre The Giant 46 January 27, 1993 Heart Attack
  • Kerry Von Erich 33 February 18, 1993 Suicide
  • Dino Bravo 44 March 11, 1993 Drive-By Shooting
  • Wally Karbo 77 March 25, 1993 Heart Attack
  • D.J. Peterson 33 May 25, 1993 Unknown
  • Don Kent 61 June 14, 1993 Leukemia
  • Brazo de Oro ?? October 26, 1993 Brain Aneurysm
  • Rufus R. Jones 60 November 13, 1993 Heart Attack
  • Larry Cameron 41 December 13, 1993 Heart Attack
  • Eddie Creatchman 66 March 9, 1994 Heart Attack
  • Ray Candy 43 May 23, 1994 Heart Attack
  • George "Crybaby" Cannon 62 July 1, 1994 Cancer
  • Joey Marella 30 July 4, 1994 Auto Accident
  • Boris Malenko 61 September 1, 1994 Cancer
  • Art Barr 28 November 23, 1994 Drug-Related Cause
  • Jerry Blackwell 45 January 22, 1995 Pneumonia
  • Eddie Gilbert 33 February 18, 1995 Heart Attack
  • Big John Studd 46 March 20, 1995 Hodgkin's Disease
  • Ilio DiPaolo Auto 68 May 10, 1995 Auto Accident
  • Killer Karl Krupp 62 October 24, 1995 Heart Attack
  • Little Beaver 61 December 4, 1995 Emphysema
  • Ray Stevens 60 May 3, 1996 Heart Attack
  • Dick Murdoch 49 June 15, 1996 Heart Attack
  • The Missouri Mauler 45 July 19, 1996 Heart Attack
  • Herb Abrams 41 July 23, 1996 Drug Overdose
  • Neil Superior 33 August 23, 1996 Heart Attack
  • Sapphire 61 September 10, 1996 Heart Attack
  • Dr. Jerry Graham 58 January 24, 1997 Stroke
  • Bulldog Bob Brown 58 February 6, 1997 Heart Attack
  • Dr. Bill Miller 69 March 24, 1997 Heart Attack
  • Stan Stasiak 60 June 12, 1997 Heart Failure
  • Larry O'Day 53 June 30, 1997 Liver Cancer
  • Plum Mariko 29 August 16, 1997 Brain Aneurysm
  • Jeep Swenson 40 August 19, 1997 Heart Attack
  • Dale Lewis 62 August 30, 1997 Leukemia
  • Fritz Von Erich 68 September 10, 1997 Cancer
  • Dick "Bulldog" Brower 63 September 16, 1997 Diabetes
  • Brian Pillman 35 October 5, 1997 Arteriosclerotic Heart Disease
  • Big E Sleaze 22 October 26, 1997 Suicide

  • Stanley Blackburn 80 November 20, 1997 Unknown
  • Bobo Brazil 74 January 20, 1998 Heart Problems
  • Louie Spiccoli 27 February 15, 1998 Carisopridol Overdose
  • Junkyard Dog 45 June 1, 1998 Auto Accident
  • The Spoiler 56 June 20, 1998 Heart Failure
  • Shane Shamrock 23 August 17, 1998 Shot by Police
  • Terry Garvin 60 August 17, 1998 Cancer
  • Giant Haystacks 55 November 30, 1998 Stomach Cancer
  • Brady Boone 40 December 15, 1998 Auto Accident
  • Sam Mushnick 93 December 31, 1998 Internal Bleeding
  • Shohei "Baba" Giant 61 January 31, 1999 Bowel Cancer
  • The Renegade 23 February 23, 1999 Suicide
  • Kurt Von Hess 65 March 13, 1999 Heart Attack
  • Rick Rude 41 April 20, 1999 Heart Attack
  • Owen Hart :-( 33 May 23, 1999 Accidental Fall
  • The Sarge Donnie York Sr. 50 May 25, 1999 Complications of Diabetes
  • Jackie Sato 41 August 9, 1999 Stomach Cancer
  • Mark Curtis 38 September 8, 1999 Stomach Cancer
  • Gorilla Monsoon 62 October 6, 1999 Heart Illness
  • Tony Rumble 43 November 13, 1999 Heart Attack
  • Hiro Matsuda 62 November 27, 1999 Cancer
  • Gary Albright 34 January 7, 2000 Heart Attack
  • Al Costello 80 January 22, 2000 Pneumonia
  • Bobby Duncum Jr. 34 January 24, 2000 Drug Overdose
  • Liz Chase 45 February 29, 2000 Died During Surgery
  • Masakazu Fukada 27 April 19, 2000 Bleeding of the Brain
  • Tom Renesto (Assassin #1) 72 April 25, 2000 Heart Failure
  • Tomomi "Jumbo" Tsuruta 49 May 16, 2000 Internal Bleeding
  • Gordon Solie 71 July 27, 2000 Cancer
  • Tony Parisi 58 August 18, 2000 Heart Attack
  • Chris Duffy 36 August 25, 2000 Seizure
  • Toru Tanaka 70 August 22, 2000 Natural Causes
  • "Klondike" Bill Soloweyko 68 October 3, 2000 Bulbar Palsy
  • Leo Nomellini 76 October 17, 2000 Stroke
  • "Yokozuna" Rodney Anoia 34 October 22, 2000 Heart Attack
  • The Blue Demon 78 December 16, 2000 Heart Attack
  • Benny McGuire 54 March 26, 2001 Heart Attack
  • "Red Shoes" Dugan ?? March 26, 2001 Parkinson's Disease
  • Johnny Valentine 73 April 24, 2001 Natural Causes
  • Terry Gordy 40 July 16, 2001 Heart Attack
  • Rhonda Singh (Bertha Faye) 40 July 27, 2001 Unknown
  • Dennis Coraluzzo 48 July 29, 2001 Stroke
  • Chris Adams 46 October 7, 2001 Shot to Death
  • Chief Dave Foxx 44 October 28, 2001 Heart Attack
  • Helen Hart 77 November 4, 2001 Organ Failure
  • Russ Haas 27 December 15, 2001 Heart Failure
  • "Maniac" Mike Davis 46 December 25, 2001 Heart Attack
  • Mighty Igor 60's January 7, 2002 Heart Failure
  • Nelson Royal 70 February 2, 2002 Heart Attack
  • Swede Hanson 68 February 20, 2002 Alzheimer's Disease
  • Wahoo McDaniel 63 April 18, 2002 Stroke
  • Lou Thesz 86 April 28, 2002 Natural Causes
  • Randy "Pee Wee" Anderson 41 May 7, 2002 Natural Causes
  • Erich Kulas (Mass Transit) 22 May 14, 2002 Unknown
  • Alex "Big Dick Dudley" Rizzo 34 May 16, 2002 Unknown
  • Shoichi Arai (FMW President) 36 May 16, 2002 Suicide
  • "British Bulldog" Davey Boy Smith 39 May 17, 2002 Heart Attack
  • Ted Petty (Rocco Rock) 49 September 21, 2002 Heart Attack
  • Edward "Moose" Cholak 72 October 31, 2002 Natural Causes
  • Billy Joe Travis ?? November 22, 2002 Heart Attack
  • Jeff Peterson 22 November 29, 2002 Cancer
  • "Mr. Wrestling" Tim Woods ?? November 30, 2002 Heart Attack
  • "The Original Sheik" Ed Farahat ?? January 18, 2003 Natural Causes
  • Curt Hennig 44 February 10, 2003 Drug Overdose
  • Tony Altomare 74 February 20, 2003 Heart Attack
  • Hiromichi "Kodo" Fuyuki 42 March 19, 2003 Cancer
  • Sailor Art Thomas 79 March 20, 2003 Cancer
  • Ray Mendoza 73 April 17, 2003 Natural Causes
  • Miss Elizabeth (Elizabeth Heulette) 42 May 1, 2003 Drug Overdose
  • "Classie" Freddie Blassie 85 June 2, 2003 Natural Causes
  • Giant Ochiai 30 July 8, 2003 Brain Injury
  • Anthony "Pitbull #2" Durante 36 September 26, 2003 Drug Overdose
  • Stu Hart 88 October 16, 2003 Pneumonia
  • Road Warrior Hawk (Mike Hegstrand) 46 October 19, 2003 Heart Attack
  • Mike "Crash Holly" Lockwood 32 November 6, 2003 Asphyxiation
  • Richard "Dick" Hutton 80 November 24, 2003 Natural Causes
  • Moondog Spot (Larry Lathman) 51 November 29, 2003 Heart Attack
  • Jerry "The Wall/Malice" Tuite 36 December 5, 2003 Heart Attack
  • Jack Tunney (Former WWE President) 68 January 24, 2004 Natural Causes
  • Don (Hard Boiled) Haggerty 78 January 28, 2004 Natural Causes
  • Hercules Hernandez 45 March 6. 2004 Heart Attack
  • Pepper Gomez 77 May 6, 2004 Kidney failure
  • Billy Redwood 28 July 3, 2004 Auto Accident
  • Pat "Bomber" Roach 67 July 17, 2004 Cancer
  • Ken Timbs 53 August 1, 2004 Heart Failure
  • Dr. Wagner Sr. 68 September 12, 2004 Heart Attack
  • Jim Barnett (Promoter) 80 September 17, 2004 Cancer and Pneumonia
  • Ray "Big Boss Man" Traylor 42 September 22, 2004 Heart Attack
  • Marianna Komlos 35 October 4, 2004 Breast Cancer
  • Dandy Jack Donovan 76 November 27, 2004 Construction Site Accident
  • "Pistol" Pez Whatley 54 January 18, 2005 Heart Failure
  • Chris Candido 33 April 28, 2005 Blood Clot after Surgery
  • Ron Trongaurd (AWA Announcer) 72 June 17, 2005 Liver Cancer
  • Shinya Hashimoto 40 July 11, 2005 Brain Anresum
  • Lord Alfred Hayes 77 July 21, 2005 Stroke
  • Chris Tolos 75 August 13, 2005 Natural Causes
  • Chri$ Ca$h (Christopher Bauman Jr.) 23 August 18, 2005 Motorcycle Accident
  • Ed "Sailor" White (Moondog King) 56 August 25, 2005 Unknown
  • The Crusher (Reggie Lisowski) 79 October 22, 2005 Natural Causes
  • Eddie Guerrero :( 38 November 13, 2005 Heart Failure
  • Chad Floyd (Chazz Rocco) 37 December 10, 2005 Heart Failure
  • El Texano (Juan Aguilar) 47 January 15, 2006 Respiratory Failure
  • Ricky Romero 74 January 16, 2006 Complications of Diabetes
  • Victor Mar (Black Cat) 51 January 28, 2006 Heart Attack
  • Emory Hale ?? January 29, 2006 Complications of Kidney Failure
  • Mike "Johnny Grunge" Durham 39 February 16, 2006 Complications from sleep apnea
  • Victor Quinones (Owner of IWA Puerto Rico) 46 April 2, 2006 Natural Causes
  • Sammy "Steamboat" Mokuahi 71 May 4, 2006 Complications from both Alzheimer's and Diabetes
  • Apache Bull Ramos 71 May 27, 2006 Complications of Shoulder Infection and Diabetes
  • John "Earthquake" Tenta 42 June 7, 2006 Bladder Cancer
  • "Crazy" Luke Graham 70 June 24, 2006 Heart Failure
  • Marlon Kalkai (Tiger Khan) Mid-30's June 28, 2006 Unknown
  • Bob Orton Sr. 76 July 14, 2006 Heart Attack
  • Karl Von Stroheim 78 August 8, 2006 Heart Attack
  • Antonio Peña (Mexican Promoter) 57 October 6, 2006 Heart Attack
  • Jumping Joey Maggs 37 October 15, 2006 Unknown
  • Kintaro Oki (Kim Ill) 77 October 26, 2006 Natural Causes
  • Daniel Garcia (Huracan Ramirez) 80 November 1, 2006 Natural Causes
  • Sputnik Monroe 77 November 2, 2006 Natural Causes
  • Dennis "Tiger" Conway, Sr. 74 November 13, 2006 Massive Stroke
  • Don Jardine (The Original Spoiler) 66 December 16, 2006 Complications of Heart Attack and Leukemia
  • Scott "Bam Bam" Bigelow 45 January 19, 2007 Drug Overdose
  • Mike Awesome 42 February 17, 2007 Suicide
  • Bad News (Brown) Allen Coage 63 March 6, 2007 Heart Attack
  • Alejandro Cruz (Black Shadow) 82 March 8, 2007 Pneumonia
  • Ernie "The Cat" Ladd 68 March 10, 2007 Cancer
  • Arnold Skaaland 82 March 13, 2007 Natural Causes
  • Angel Azteca 43 March 18, 2007 Unknown
  • Abe Coleman 101 March 28, 2007 Natural Causes
  • Mephisto Lephanto 31 May 4, 2007 Sudden Heart Attack in the Ring
  • Sonny Myers 83 May 5, 2007 Natural Causes
  • Sandy Barr 69 June 2, 2007 Heart Attack
  • Sensational Sherri Martel 49 June 15, 2007 Unknown
  • Shane "Biff Wellington" Bower 42 June 23, 2007 Heart Attack
  • Nancy Daus (Woman from WCW) 42 June 23, 2007 Strangulation
  • Chris Benoit 40 June 25, 2007 Suicide
  • Brian "Crush" Adams (43)--August 13, 2007--Natural Causes
  • The Missing Link (Dewey Robertson) (68)--August 16, 2007--Died from cancer
  • Fabulous Moolah (Lillian Ellison) (84)--November 3, 2007--Natural Causes

(Sources include: Pro Wrestling Illustrated Almanac, Obsessed with, & Wrestling Information Archive)

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat Temple image courtsey:

Angkor Wat – the only structure to appear in a national flag.

Suryavarman the great!

Angkor Wat (the largest and best preserved monument of Cambodia) is a typical Hindu temple built by Suryavarman -2 who ruled Cambodia in the early 12th century. Cambodia takes so pride of this temple as much as it has given the image of this temple in its national flag. Once there was a culture based on Hindu mythologies that spanned from Afghanistan in the west and up to the Indonesian Peninsula in the east. The real name of this temple or the town hosted it is not known (Angkor derived from Nokor the corrupt form of the word Nagar in Sanskrit meaning city)


For centuries peasants of Cambodia tell about a legend about the city that became uninhabited and lost in the dense forest and grand parents used to pass the intriguing story about the unknown ghost town lost for ever. It just remained as a nanny’s tale and children alone believed it.

A Fairy tale!

Statues in Angorwat Temple Combodia image courtsey:

“Once upon a time there came a Brahmin from distant India (the head office of all mythologies). He stayed in the forests for doing ‘tapas’ (worshipping god observing all the rituals and other paraphernalia). One day an ‘apsaras’ (a form of angel) visited him and they finally became man and wife! When children were born to the couple the Brahmin built a city and made his son its king, thus the Funan kingdom was born.

Legend of Zagab and a foolish king.

Kambuja (old name for Cambodia) was ruled by one young and impetuous king he boasted of cutting out the head of Zagab (king of the neighboring country – Java). News about his prattles reached king Zagab’s ears and he was enraged. Zagab invaded Kambuja got the head of the foolish king and returned, before returning he posted a wise young man as the king of Kambuja. It is this young ruler who became Jayavarman the forerunner of Varman Dynasty to which Suryavarman belonged.

An abrupt end?

The Angkor temple is the old City of Funan that was lost in the forest; as per the legends. It is located about five and a half kilometers from Seam Reap city. Well known for its walls with well decorated and beautiful ‘bas reliefs’ (images which partially project out of a wall or any plain surface as carvings in Indian temples) of goddesses as in almost all ancient Hindu temples. Some of the bas reliefs are incomplete giving suspicions to experts that the king would have died while the works were in progress and would have got stopped at that stage.

Well entrenched.

Angot Wat Temple Combodia image courtsey:

Angkor Wat is construction made as per the typical Khmer style of architecture, was mainly based on sandstone and not on laterite of granite. This temple has a moat (a deep trench dug around as a measure of protection) within it comes the outer wall 1025 meter long and 802 meter broad and a height of 4.5 meters! Entry to inside restricted through a sand-bank from the east and stone causeway from the west. It is a pity that no inscription could be found anywhere regarding the temple.

Antonia da Magdalene a Portuguese traveler of 1586 has written “It is such an extraordinary construction that it is not possible to describe it with a pen, particularly since it is like no other building in the world. It has towers and decoration and all refinements which the human genius can conceive of”. From 14th century this structure was converted for Theravada Buddhist use (Theravada Buddhism is an ancestral school of Buddhism that existed many parts of the world).

Oriented to west.

Angkorwat temple image courtsey:

This temple is oriented towards west and there are opinions among scholars that Suryvarman has built it as his funerary temple, some tray with ash recovered also added credence to this theory, the bas reliefs were preceding in anti-clockwise direction is said to indicate with funeral ceremonies. There are other schools of thought that in Cambodia there are several temples with western orientation.

Finely balanced elements.

Angkor Wat has many praises to its credit it has been compared to ancient structures of Greece and Rome “Angkor Wat temple attain classic perfection by the restraint monumentality of its finely balanced elements and the precise arrangement of its proportions, it is a work of power, unity and style” Maurice Glaize conservator of Angkor Wat.

Of the style.

Angor Wat Combodia image courtsey:

Architecturally the style include the ogival (curved surface like edge of a bullet), towers shaped like lotus buds; half galleries broaden passage-ways; axial galleries connecting enclosures. Most of the visible structures made of sand-stones, laterite used only for outer wall or parts not visible. The binding material not yet identified; may be some resin or soaked lime.

All Epics!

Angkor Wat Temple arieal view image courtsey:

The outer wall of the temple encloses 203 acres, in it the temple proper stands on a terrace with three rectangular galleries rising to a central tower. The inner wall bears a series of bas reliefs depicting scenes from Hindu Epics like Ramayana and Maha Bharata. The Battle between Sri Ram and Ravana, The Kurukshetra war are only some of the scenes.

The masterpeice!

The Southern Gallery shows the procession led by Suryavarman -2 along with the 32 hells and the 37 heavens as per the Hindu Myths. Where are eastern gallery bears the most beautiful sculpture the churning of the ocean of milk (Palazhi, Pal = milk and azhi = sea), in which 92 demons (assuras) on and 88 demigods (devas) wait on both parts of Vishnu who churn the sea using Vasuki (a giant mythical snake) as rope, while Indra (the chief of the demigods) watches from the top.


Angkor wat image courtsey:

The present government of Cambodia has recognized the value of this structure and its power to attract tourists from all over the world. Hence massive restoration works with experts in the field is being undertaken as previous half hearted attempts with the engagement of poorly skilled agencies have done more damages than repair to those invaluable structures.

A German hand.

At present the ‘German Apsara Conservation Project’ is engaged in the conservation project (Angkor Wat is part of the World Heritage Site established in 1992). As twenty percent of the sculptures is in bad shape their restoration is a daunting task. While the Japanese team has completed the work on the library building on the outer skirts in 2005 creditably. The world has only just begun to recognize the potential of this magnificent temple structure and the influx of tourists has exceeded millions filling the coffers of the government. Let Angkor Wat remain as long as there are the oceans and the mountains!

Chris Benoit Found Dead

Chris Benoit Found Dead

Chris Benoit's death a murder or suicide?

Chris Benoit, his wife Nancy and his 7 year old son Daniel have been found dead in their Fayetville, Ga. Home. Police has not given out any details regarding the family’s death. Already investigating authorities have stated that they are treating this as a homicide-suicide case. They have also stated that nothing can be confirmed until evidence was examined by a crime lab. A local TV station is reporting that the investigators believe that Benoit murdered his wife and kids before taking his own lives.

Wrestling fans all over the world must be shocked by the news of the Chris Benoit being found dead. This brings a surge of questions to ones mind like how did chris benoit die, is chris benoits death murder or is it suicide, who killed chris benoit ?, The relationship between Vince McMahon & Chris Benoit, Why did Chris Benoit cummit Suicide ? etc.

Us Title won by Chris Benoit image courtsey:

Date Won: 5/8/06, 5/15/06, Defeated: fatal four way/ edge in a hardcore, Title Defenses: 2

He has always been admired as one of the greatest workers in pro-wrestling. His best of 7 matches against Booker T during his WCW days raised the bar as far technique goes. He was one of those wrestlers who appealed to the purists and his career was a success wherever he went.

It is also reported that Chris Benoit missed the pay-per-view ‘Vengeance’show of the WWE last weekend. It is reported that he was supposed to win the ECW title. During the show it was reported that he couldn’t attend because of ‘Personal Reasons’. His reasons must have been pretty serious for him to have missed such an important event. The signs should have been clear then itself that something was wrong as Benoit would never have a missed a match unless the circumstances were dire.

Chris Benoit image courtsey:

Today another man who has been ‘presumed’ dead announced the death of Chris Benoit and his family. After cancelling Raw, Vince McMahon announced to the world the tragic news, bringing to an end the minority belief that he may be dead for real. So controversial was his death storyline that Vince had to categorically state that Benoit’s tragedy is “Real”. The irony is that this Raw show was billed to be McMahon’s memorial service. Wonder if he has ever heard the saying about tempting fate.

Even though we may hate McMahon’s tactics we feel that right now the more pressing matter is to remember the man who gave his whole life to wrestling and thereby tried to entertain us. Know as the crippler and the rabid wolverine he emerged from Stu Hart’s training as one of the most promising wrestlers ever and has lived up to that expectation ever since.

In his own words he has said earlier "Wrestling has consumed my life. Wrestling is my mistress. It's my passion. It defines who I am as a person." No other tribute could be greater to the man.

Video - A Tribute to Chris Benoit

Video - A Tribute to Chris Benoit courtsey

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