Despite being a phenomenal site, the Stonehenge in England perhaps lacks the structural finesse like that of the Taj Mahal, Colosseum or the Great Wall of China.
It seems as if an enraged child of a monster threw away some stones from above and some of them managed to stand on the ground and created the Stonehenge.
However, the more I researched on the Stonehenge, the more I was mesmerized. It is much older than the Egyptian pyramids that are about 5000 years old.
Though the world somewhat agrees on how the Stonehenge was built, there are hundreds of underlying theories about the real purpose it served. All these cast a shadow on its whole existence and every year, new ideas surface to prove all those theories.
One summer Thursday, we decided to visit the Stonehenge and we took the Salisbury train from London. We were lucky that it was a sunny day because the weather forecast had mentioned rain and thunderstorm.
On our journey, we enjoyed the panoramic view of golden fields of wheat among lush greeneries. We also saw a glimpse of the famous Avon River.
Our taxi driver informed us that the stones used to build the Stonehenge might have been transported from Wales via this river.
He went on, "The stones used in Stonehenge are bluestones and for thousands of years, people believed that these stones had the power to cure illnesses. Perhaps this place was a cure centre for the priests, or an observatory, might even have been a sundial or a sacred place. Nobody really knows."
When we arrived at the place, we booked the taxi for the next one hour. Many visitors dodge the £8 ticket and see the site from the highway, and snap pictures by the fences.
The reason behind this is that even with tickets, getting closer to the Stonehenge is prohibited, so they do not want to spend the money.
Except for an artwork beside the stairs, there is nothing other than vast empty green fields with flocks of sheep grazing far away.
Visitors have to see the Stonehenge from behind a fence, which is a couple of meters from the site. The prohibitions were imposed to avoid damage to the British cultural icon.
Looking at the Stonehenge, one cannot help but be astounded by the fact that thousands of years ago, some people from our ancient world had managed to carry these stones that weighed in tons and brought them here, all the way from Wales perhaps, which is 257 kilometres away.
On my right, I noticed the notorious plain stone placed above the ground. According to popular beliefs, the Pagans had built the Stonehenge to sacrifice virgin women to the Gods. The ritual used to take place on the longest day of the year, in front of a huge crowd.
Despite hundreds years of storms and sunshine, the rocks still stand firm. However, there are films of moss over the once smooth and glossy surfaces.
I noticed that some stones were irregularly placed above two columns, like some large nails. Research says that similar stones are on top of every column and there is a deep hole inside them.
When placed correctly, the stones exactly fit with the columns, as if there are screws and nuts installed. These can also easily stand without any external support.
To my utter surprise, the circular monument looked unique from every angle. Whatever purpose it may had served, stargazing or just staring at the horizon, I am sure was an out of the world experience.
Archaeologists found no proof of habitat in the entire area but they did unearth some ancient tombs. The implication of these findings supports that people used to gather in this sacred place only on special occasions.
A researcher from Madagascar had said that the Stonehenge might have been built to honour the dead because similar structures were found there as well.
He had also opined that if there was something for the dead, there must have something for the living as well. However, it should be made of some decaying elements, such as wood.
Coincidentally, a round wooden structure was discovered just some miles away from Stonehenge, which is called the Woodhenge.
I asked the guard about the random marks on the stones who told me that some of them had been there since ancient times whereas the recent ones are actually names of tourists. Perhaps this was the reason why tourists were banned from coming near the Stonehenge.