Trekking along the “Great wall of Korea” ..


Today was Chuseok (추석) and my second in Korea… The Same Day Last year was filled with pretty much everything that i could have asked for.. This year we thought of Visiting a very important historical landmark in Korea which is Suwon Hwaseong Fortress. Its pretty much a smaller version of the great wall of china covering multiple hills going up and down with occassional outposts and 4 Main Gates.. It covers an area of 1.54 kilometers with a wall in the perimeter. The wall itself is around 5.74 kilometers long. The fortress features a floodgate, four secret gates, four guard platforms, two observation towers, two command posts, two archer’s platforms, five firearms bastions, five sentry towers, four angle towers, a beacon tower and nine bastions. The whole fortress including the wall was built in just two years, 1794-1796. The total cost of building the entire structure is around 158 US dollars and 1500 sacks of rice. How inexpensive in the world we live in where high school students have MP4s and PMPs costing 200-300 US Dollars! Such a contrast….

Sergey and I decided to visit this place and go for a walk along the hilly perimeter of the fortress. We were told that it would take about 3 hours to walk along the entire length and we started off our journey from the south gate around 3:40 pm. By the time we decided to stop, it was about 6:30 pm and we still had about a quarter of the distance to cover. Since we were really hungry from the constant strenuous trekking we decided to go back to Suwon Metro Station and head back post dinner. Will upload the pictures soon @ My Photo Gallery..

I really had an amazing experience today due to lots of picturesque and serene locations in the fortress. IT caught me thinking that this marvelous structure was built just in 2 years and now… Centuries later its still standing heads up with all its prodigious glory. What a workmanship.. Even better craftsmanship… Just unbelievably wonderful.. We can see examples of many such palaces and temples in out own country, India, itself… Take Madurai Meenakshi Temple in the South, built in 1600s … Taj Mahal in the North, completed in 1648.. Hawa Mahal in the East, completed in 1799.. Sanchi Stupa commissioned in 3rd Century BCE..

All these are examples of our national treasures.. Works or art and skill we must eternally be proud of .. Each of them tells their own story of devotion and dedication…

A striking contrast which came to my mind thinking about all the ancient marvels.. The Public Roads.. Strong roadways is definitely something a country can be proud of.. It would play a pioneering role in its development and trade relations and should be having a high priority when we think of development of a state or a nation itself.. In my thought, this might be the ONE inspiration behind the “Golden Quadrilateral” project started by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the former PM of India..

I dont know much about other states but atleast in m hometown, undoubtedly, the best road ever built was the Swaraj Round, by Shaktan Thampuran.. Centuries after its built, it is one of the roads with minimal damage when compared to many other very recently made roads.. The latter (with a little exaggeration of course) can be seen with more craters than the moon after a strong rain.. I am sure that this is a case (to some extend without doubt) in many cities along the lengths and breadths of our country..

Coming to think of it.. Swaraj Round was constructed at least 3 centuries before these “high technology roads” and may be that is the ONLY reason why it is still intact.. I mean.. the resources meant for its construction would not have been redirected to some other “destinations”.. Man!!! If only we knew the “secret”!!!

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3 Responses

  1. […] Kiran T. Nathan placed an interesting blog post on Trekking along the âGreat wall of Koreaâ ..Here’s a brief overviewSince we were really hungry from the constant strenuous trekking we decided to go back to Suwon Metro Station and head back post dinner. Will upload the pictures soon @ My Photo Gallery.. I really had an amazing experience today due to … […]

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