Monday, June 28, 2010

INDONESIA - Borobudur temple


Location of BOROBUDUR in JAVA island :

Borobudur, or Barabudur, is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist monument near Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. The monument comprises six square platforms topped by three circular platforms, and is decorated with 2 672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. A main dome, located at the center of the top platform, is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues seated inside perforated stupa.

The monument is both a shrine to the Lord Buddha and a place for Buddhist pilgrimage. The journey for pilgrims begins at the base of the monument and follows a path circumambulating the monument while ascending to the top through the three levels of Buddhist cosmology, namely Kāmadhātu (the world of desire), Rupadhatu (the world of forms) and Arupadhatu (the world of formlessness). During the journey the monument guides the pilgrims through a system of stairways and corridors with 1 460 narrative relief panels on the wall and the balustrades.

Evidence suggests Borobudur was abandoned following the 14th-century decline of Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms in Java, and the Javanese conversion to Islam. Worldwide knowledge of its existence was sparked in 1814 by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, then the British ruler of Java, who was advised of its location by native Indonesians. Borobudur has since been preserved through several restorations. The largest restoration project was undertaken between 1975 and 1982 by the Indonesian government and UNESCO, following which the monument was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Borobudur is still used for pilgrimage ; once a year Buddhists in Indonesia celebrate Vesak at the monument, and Borobudur is Indonesia's single most visited tourist attraction.

UNESCO World Heritage Site :


Date of inscription : 1991

This famous Buddhist temple, dating from the 8th and 9th centuries, is located in central Java. It was built in three tiers: a pyramidal base with five concentric square terraces, the trunk of a cone with three circular platforms and, at the top, a monumental stupa. The walls and balustrades are decorated with fine low reliefs, covering a total surface area of 2,500 m2. Around the circular platforms are 72 openwork stupas, each containing a statue of the Buddha. The monument was restored with UNESCO's help in the 1970s.


Postcard sent by Felita, as "Felita_go"
Private swap - Reference ID001

Borobudur Temple in Java Island

terima kasih

Saturday, June 26, 2010

INDONESIA - Country profile

Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia
(Indonesian: Republik Indonesia),
is a nation of islands that consists of 18 110 islands
in the South East Asian Archipelago.

The capital is Jakarta, formerly known as Batavia.
Indonesia (from Greek : indus = India nesos = islands)
is the world's largest archipelagic nation, and it is bordered
by the nations of Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste, and Malaysia.
With a population of over 200 million,
it is the world's fourth most populous country
and most populous Muslim-majority nation.

The region was an important trade route to China, thriving in trade of spices.
Regional Hindu kingdoms expanded religious
and cultural influences of Hinduism as well as Buddhism, and in the Middle Ages,
the islands came under the influence of Islam.
The region was colonized by the Netherlands as the Dutch East Indies.
The people across many islands rebelled in the early 20th century
against Dutch control.
After a brief occupation by Imperial Japan during World War II,
nationalists declared independence in 1945,
and a united and independent Indonesia was recognized in 1949.
It was also recognized by the United Nations in 1950.
Indonesia is a unitary state, and for most of its post-independence history,
was first governed by Sukarno, leader of the national independence struggle,
and then under controversial and authoritarian Suharto.
Democracy was restored following the revolution of 1998.

Although the national language is Indonesian
and the population is overwhelmingly Muslim,
there are several hundred diverse linguistic and ethnic groups across the country,
as well as other religious communities.
Although Indonesia's economy is progressive and regionally important,
internal problems and political instability hinder national development.

Flag of

The national flag of Indonesia, which is known as Sang Saka Merah Putih ("The Red and White") in Indonesian, is based on the flag of the 13th century Majapahit kingdom in East Java. The flag itself was introduced and hoisted in public at the Indonesian Independence Day ceremony, on 17 August 1945. The design of the flag has remained the same ever since.

The design of the flag is simple with two equal horizontal bands, red (top) and white (bottom) with an overall ratio of 2:3. The flag is similar to the flag of Poland and flag of Singapore. The flag is identical to the flag of Hesse (a German state) and flag of Monaco (except for the ratio). Red represents courage, while white represents purity of intent.

National Anthem of INDONESIA :

Indonesia Raya is the national anthem of the Republic of Indonesia. The song was introduced by its composer, Wage Rudolf Supratman, on 28 October 1928 during the Second Indonesian Youth Congress in Batavia. The song marked the birth of the all-archipelago nationalist movement in Indonesia that supported the idea of one single "Indonesia" as successor to the Dutch East Indies, rather than split into several colonies.

The first stanza of Indonesia Raya was chosen as the national anthem when Indonesia proclaimed its independence at 17 August 1945.

Indonesia Raya is played in flag raising ceremonies. The flag is raised in a solemn and timed motion so that it reaches the top of the flagpole as the anthem ends. The main flag raising ceremony is held annually on 17 August to commemorate Independence day. The ceremony is led by the President of Indonesia.

Indonesia Raya
Indonesian lyrics Approximate translation
First stanza
(Indonesian National Anthem)

Indonesia, tanah airku
Tanah tumpah darahku
Di sanalah aku berdiri
Jadi pandu ibuku

Indonesia, kebangsaanku
Bangsa dan tanah airku
Marilah kita berseru
"Indonesia bersatu!"

Hiduplah tanahku, hiduplah negeriku
Bangsaku, rakyatku, semuanya
Bangunlah jiwanya, bangunlah badannya
Untuk Indonesia Raya

Indonesia Raya, merdeka, merdeka!
Tanahku, negeriku yang kucinta
Indonesia Raya, merdeka, merdeka!
Hiduplah Indonesia Raya!
Indonesia Raya, merdeka, merdeka!
Tanahku, negeriku yang kucinta
Indonesia Raya, merdeka, merdeka!
Hiduplah Indonesia Raya

Indonesia, my native land
The land where I shed my blood
Right there, I stand
To be the scout of my motherland

Indonesia, my nationality
My nation and my homeland
Let us exclaim
"Indonesia unites!"

Long live my land, long live my state
My nation, my people, entirely
Build its soul, build its body
For the Great Indonesia

Great Indonesia, independent & sovereign!
My land, my country which I love
Great Indonesia, independent & sovereign!
Long live Great Indonesia!
Great Indonesia, independent & sovereign!
My land, my country which I love
Great Indonesia, independent & sovereign!
Long live Great Indonesia!
Second stanza

Indonesia, tanah yang mulia
Tanah kita yang kaya
Di sanalah aku berdiri
Untuk s'lama-lamanya

Indonesia, tanah pusaka
P'saka kita semuanya
Marilah kita mendoa
"Indonesia bahagia!"

Suburlah tanahnya, suburlah jiwanya
Bangsanya, rakyatnya, semuanya
Sadarlah hatinya, sadarlah budinya
Untuk Indonesia Raya


Indonesia, a noble land
Our wealthy land
Right there, I stand
Forever and ever

Indonesia, a hereditary land
A heritage of ours
Let us pray
"For Indonesians' happiness!"

Fertile may its soil, flourish may its soul
Its nation, its people, entirely
Aware may its heart, aware may its mind
For the Great Indonesia

Third stanza

Indonesia, tanah yang suci
Tanah kita yang sakti
Di sanalah aku berdiri
N'jaga ibu sejati

Indonesia, tanah berseri
Tanah yang aku sayangi
Marilah kita berjanji
"Indonesia abadi!"

S'lamatlah rakyatnya, s'lamatlah putranya
Pulaunya, lautnya, semuanya
Majulah Neg'rinya, majulah pandunya
Untuk Indonesia Raya


Indonesia, a sacred land
Our victorious land
Right there, I stand
To guard the pure motherland

Indonesia, a radiant land
A land which I adore
Let us pledge
"Indonesia is eternal!"

Safe may its people, safe may its children
Its islands, its seas, entirely
The state progresses, its scouts advance
For the Great Indonesia


Location :

Southeastern Asia, archipelago between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

Maps :

Area :

Total : 1 904 569 sq km
Land : 1 811 569 sq km
Water : 93 000 sq km

Coastline :

54 716 km

Elevation extremes :

Lowest point : Indian Ocean 0 m
Highest point : Puncak Jaya 5 030 m

Terrain :

Mostly coastal lowlands; larger islands have interior mountains.

Natural resources :

Petroleum, tin, natural gas, nickel, timber, bauxite, copper, fertile soils, coal, gold, silver.

Climate :

Current weather : tropical , hot, humid, more moderate in highlands.

Population :

242 968 342 (Estimation 2010)

Nationality :

Demonym : Indonesian

Ethnic groups :

Javanese 40.6%, Sundanese 15%, Madurese 3.3%, Minangkabau 2.7%, Betawi 2.4%, Bugis 2.4%, Banten 2%, Banjar 1.7%, other or unspecified 29.9% (2000 census).

Religions :

Muslim 86.1%, Protestant 5.7%, Roman Catholic 3%, Hindu 1.8%, other or unspecified 3.4% (2000 census).

Languages :

Bahasa Indonesia (official, modified form of Malay)
English, Dutch, local dialects (the most widely spoken of which is Javanese)

Country name :

Conventional long form : Republic of Indonesia
Conventional short form : Indonesia
Local long form : Republik Indonesia
Local short form : Indonesia
Former : Netherlands East Indies, Dutch East Indies

ISO country code :


Government type :


Capital :

Jakarta (population : 8 792 000 - 2008 ; indonesian largest city)

Other major cities :

Surabaya, Medan, Bandung.

Administrative divisions :

30 provinces (provinsi-provinsi, singular - provinsi), 2 special regions* (daerah-daerah istimewa, singular - daerah istimewa), and 1 special capital city district** (daerah khusus ibukota) ; Aceh*, Bali, Banten, Bengkulu, Gorontalo, Jakarta Raya**, Jambi, Jawa Barat, Jawa Tengah, Jawa Timur, Kalimantan Barat, Kalimantan Selatan, Kalimantan Tengah, Kalimantan Timur, Kepulauan Bangka Belitung, Kepulauan Riau, Lampung, Maluku, Maluku Utara, Nusa Tenggara Barat, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Papua, Papua Barat, Riau, Sulawesi Barat, Sulawesi Selatan, Sulawesi Tengah, Sulawesi Tenggara, Sulawesi Utara, Sumatera Barat, Sumatera Selatan, Sumatera Utara, Yogyakarta*.

Note : following the implementation of decentralization beginning on 1 January 2001, regencies and municipalities have become the key administrative units responsible for providing most government services.

Independance :

17 August 1945 (declared).
27 December 1949 (by the Netherlands).
Note : in August 2005 the Netherlands announced that it had recognized de facto Indonesian independence on 17 August 1945.

National holiday :

Independence Day, 17 August.

Constitution :

August 1945 ; abrogated by Federal Constitution of 1949 and Provisional Constitution of 1950, restored 5 July 1959 ; series of amendments concluded in 2002.

Executive branch :

Chief of state : President Susilo Bambang YUDHOYONO (since 20 October 2004) ; Vice President BOEDIONO (since 20 October 2009).
Note : the president is both the chief of state and head of government.

Head of government : President Susilo Bambang YUDHOYONO (since 20 October 2004) ; Vice President BOEDIONO (since 20 October 2009).

Cabinet : Cabinet appointed by the president.

Elections : president and vice president elected for five-year terms (eligible for a second term) by direct vote of the citizenry ; election last held on 8 July 2009 (next to be held in 2014).

Election results : Susilo Bambang YUDHOYONO elected president ; percent of vote - Susilo Bambang YUDHOYONO 60.8%, MEGAWATI Sukarnoputri 26.8%, Jusuf KALLA 12.4%.

Legislative branch :

People's Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat or MPR) is the upper house ; it consists of members of the DPR and DPD and has role in inaugurating and impeaching the president and in amending the constitution but does not formulate national policy ; House of Representatives or Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat (DPR) (560 seats, members elected to serve five-year terms), formulates and passes legislation at the national level ; House of Regional Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Daerah or DPD), constitutionally mandated role includes providing legislative input to DPR on issues affecting regions (132 members, four from each of Indonesia's 30 provinces, two special regions, and one special capital city district).

Judicial branch :

Supreme Court or Mahkamah Agung is the final court of appeal but does not have the power of judicial review (justices are appointed by the president from a list of candidates selected by the legislature) ; in March 2004 the Supreme Court assumed administrative and financial responsibility for the lower court system from the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights ; Constitutional Court or Mahkamah Konstitusi (invested by the president on 16 August 2003) has the power of judicial review, jurisdiction over the results of a general election, and reviews actions to dismiss a president from office ; Labor Court under supervision of Supreme Court began functioning in January 2006 ; the Anti-Corruption Court has jurisdiction over corruption cases brought by the independent Corruption Eradication Commission.

Currency :

Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)

Agriculture products :

Rice, cassava (tapioca), peanuts, rubber, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, copra, poultry, beef, pork, eggs.

Industries :

Petroleum and natural gas, textiles, apparel, footwear, mining, cement, chemical fertilizers, plywood, rubber, food, tourism.

Exports partners :

Japan 20.2%, US 9.5%, Singapore 9.4%, China 8.5%, South Korea 6.7%, India 5.2%, Malaysia 4.7% (2008).

Imports partners :

Singapore 16.9%, China 11.8%, Japan 11.7%, Malaysia 6.9%, US 6.1%, South Korea 5.4%, Thailand 4.9% (2008).

Thursday, June 24, 2010

COLOMBIA - Country profile

Colombia's history began well over 13,000 years ago,

as evidence of human occupation dates to that era.

Over time, many Andean and Caribbean cultures inhabited the area,

including the Tayrona, Sinú, Muisca, Quimbaya, Tolima, Calima,

Tierradentro, San Agustín, Nariño and Tumaco peoples.

The Spanish arrived along the coastal areas of Colombia in the early 1500s
and the country became Spain's chief source of gold ;

Cartagena and Bogota were founded by mid-century.

Spain eventually increased taxation of the colonists
to fund their home-front war expenses,

and the subsequent anger and uprising

that occurred were the seeds of the revolution to come.

In 1819, Simon Bolivar (a national hero) and his armies defeated the Spanish,

and the independent Republic of Gran was formed ;

it included Colombia, Ecuador, Panama and Venezuela.

By the early 20th century,

all of the original partners had withdrawn from the association, and in 1905,

Colombia was finally on its own.

Since then it has survived a hurricane of political assassinations,

internal governmental conflicts, guerrilla activities and drug wars.

After all of that it remains one of the most attractive

and mysterious countries on the South American continent.

Political and internal unrest, has for the most part,

limited tourism to the Caribbean coastal resorts and towns,

with special emphasis on Cartagena.

International business travel is commonplace (to and from)

the country's major cities.


The current flag of Colombia was officially adopted on December 17, 1819.

The flag features three horizontal bands of yellow (double-width), blue and red. Colors of the flag are commonly interpreted in two ways :

One version indicates that the yellow symbolizes sovereignty and justice, blue as loyalty and vigilance, and red represents the valor shown and the victory achieved during the battles for independence from Spain.

A very popular children's song claims that yellow represents the gold Colombia once owned until the arrival of the Spanish, blue indicates the country's contact with two oceans and red represents the blood that Colombians spent in their struggle for independence from Spain.

National Anthem of COLOMBIA :

Himno Nacional de la República de Colombia (National Anthem of the Republic of Colombia) is the official name of the national anthem of Colombia.

The official announcement came in the form of Act 33 of October 28 of 1920. The law 198 of 1995, which legislates national symbols, its distribution became mandatory in all radio and television in the country both at 6:00 am as at 18:00 h (the latter half, at various times for private open signal and not applicable to national TV channels by cable), and public intervention in the President of the Republic and other official events.

Lyrics :

Spanish lyrics English translation
¡Oh gloria inmarcesible!

¡Oh júbilo inmortal!
En surcos de dolores
el bien germina ya.

O unfading glory!
O immortal joy!
In furrows of pain
the good now germinates.

Cesó la horrible noche,

la libertad sublime
derrama las auroras
de su invencible luz.
La humanidad entera,
que entre cadenas gime,
comprende las palabras
del que murió en la cruz.

The horrible night has ceased,
the sublime liberty
spills the auroras
of its invincible light.
All humanity,
which moans within chains,
understands the words
of He who died on the Cross.

"¡Independencia!" grita

el mundo americano;
se baña en sangre de héroes
la tierra de Colón.
Pero este gran principio,
"El rey no es soberano"[1]
resuena, y los que sufren
bendicen su pasión.

"Independence!" cries
the American world;
soaked in blood of heroes
the land of Columbus.
Still, one great principle,
"The king is not sovereign",
resounds, and those who suffer
bless their passion.

Del Orinoco el cauce

se colma de despojos,
de sangre y llanto un río
se mira allí correr.
En Bárbula no saben
las almas ni los ojos,
si admiración o espanto
sentir o padecer.

The Orinoco's bed
fills with the remains,
of blood and tears a river
is there seen flowing.
In Bárbula they don't know
the souls nor the eyes,
if admiration or horror
feel or suffer.

A orillas del Caribe,

hambriento un pueblo lucha,
horrores prefiriendo
a pérfida salud.
¡Oh, sí!, de Cartagena
la abnegación es mucha,
y escombros de la muerte
desprecia su virtud.

On the shores of the Caribbean,
famished the people fight,
horrors preferring
to treacherous health.
O, aye! for Cartagena
the abnegation is much,
and the shambles of death
its courage despises .

De Boyacá en los campos,

el genio de la gloria,
con cada espiga un héroe
invicto coronó.
Soldados sin coraza
ganaron la victoria;
su varonil aliento
de escudo les sirvió.

From Boyacá in the fields,
the genius of glory,
for every ear a hero
undefeated crowned.
Soldiers without breastplate
won victory;
their virile breath
as shield served.

Bolívar cruza el Andes

que riegan dos océanos,
espadas cual centellas
fulguran en Junín.
Centauros indomables
descienden a los llanos,
y empieza a presentirse,
de la epopeya el fin.

Bolivar crosses the Andes
that two oceans bathe,
swords as sparks
shine in Junín.
Untameable centaurs
descend to the plains,
and a prescience begins to be felt,
of the epic the end.

La trompa victoriosa

en Ayacucho truena,
que en cada triunfo crece
su formidable son.
En su expansivo empuje
la libertad se estrena,
del cielo americano
formando un pabellón.

The victorious trumpet
in Ayacucho thunders,
that in every triumph grows
its formidable sound.
In its expansive thrust
Liberty is worn for the first time,
from the American sky
a pavilion forming.

La virgen sus cabellos

arranca en agonía
y de su amor viuda
los cuelga del ciprés.
Lamenta su esperanza
que cubre loza fría,
pero glorioso orgullo
circunda su alba tez.

The virgin her hairs
pulls out in agony
and from her beloved widowed
hangs them on a cypress.
Regretting her hope
covered by a cold headstone,
but glorious pride
hallows her fair skin.

La patria así se forma,

termópilas brotando;
constelación de cíclopes
su noche iluminó.
La flor estremecida
mortal el viento hallando,
debajo los laureles
seguridad buscó.

Thus the motherland is formed,
Thermopylaes are breaking forth;
constellation of cyclops
its night brightened.
The trembling flower
finding the wind mortal,
underneath the laurels
safety sought.

Mas no es completa gloria

vencer en la batalla,
que el brazo que combate
lo anima la verdad.
La independencia sola
el gran clamor no acalla;
si el sol alumbra a todos,
justicia es libertad.

But it's not complete glory
to defeat in battle,
that the arm that fights
is encouraged by truth.
Independence alone
The great clamour doesn't silence;
if the sun illuminates everyone,
justice is liberty.

Del hombre los derechos

Nariño predicando,
el alma de la lucha
profético enseñó.
Ricaurte en San Mateo,
en átomos volando,
"Deber antes que vida,"
con llamas escribió.

From men the rights
Nariño's preaching,
the soul of struggle
prophetically taught.
Ricaurte in San Mateo,
in atoms flying,
"Duty before life,"
with flames he wrote.

Location :

Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Panama and Venezuela, and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Ecuador and Panama.

Maps :

Area :

Total : 1 138 914 sq km
Land : 1 109 104 sq km
Water : 100 210 sq km
Note : includes Isla de Malpelo, Roncador Cay, and Serrana Bank.

Coastline :

3,208 km (Caribbean Sea 1,760 km, North Pacific Ocean 1,448 km)

Elevation extremes :

Lowest point : Pacific Ocean 0 m
Highest point : Pico Cristobal Colon 5 775 m
Note : nearby Pico Simon Bolivar also has the same elevation

Terrain :

Flat coastal lowlands, central highlands, high Andes Mountains, eastern lowland plains.

Natural resources :

Petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, nickel, gold, copper, emeralds, hydropower.

Climate :

Current weather : tropical along coast and eastern plains, cooler in highlands.

Population :

44 205 293 (Estimation 2010)

Nationality :

Demonym : Colombian

Ethnic groups :

Mestizo 58%, white 20%, mulatto 14%, black 4%, mixed black-Amerindian 3%, Amerindian 1%.

Religions :

Roman Catholic 90%, other 10%.

Languages :


Country name :

Conventional long form : Republic of Colombia
Conventional short form : Colombia
Local long form : Republica de Colombia
Local short form : Colombia

ISO country code :


Government type :

Republic. Executive branch dominates government structure.

Capital :

Bogotá (population of the city : 7 332 788 - 2010 census ; colombian largest city)

Other major cities :

Medellín, Cali, Barranquilla, Cartagena.

Administrative divisions :

32 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento) and 1 capital district* (distrito capital); Amazonas, Antioquia, Arauca, Atlantico, Bogota*, Bolivar, Boyaca, Caldas, Caqueta, Casanare, Cauca, Cesar, Choco, Cordoba, Cundinamarca, Guainia, Guaviare, Huila, La Guajira, Magdalena, Meta, Narino, Norte de Santander, Putumayo, Quindio, Risaralda, San Andres y Providencia, Santander, Sucre, Tolima, Valle del Cauca, Vaupes, Vichada.

Independance :

20 July 1810 (from Spain).

National holiday :

Independence Day, 20 July.

Constitution :

5 July 1991 ; amended many times.

Executive branch :

Chief of state : President Francisco SANTOS Calderon (elected on 20 June 2010) ; Vice President (coming soon).
Note : the president is both the chief of state and head of government.

Head of government : President Francisco SANTOS Calderon.

Cabinet : Ministries of the Government or "Government" are composed of the premier and his deputies, ministers, and selected other individuals ; all are appointed by the president.

Elections : president and vice president elected by popular vote for a four-year term (eligible for a second term) ; election last held on 20 June 2010.

Election results : coming soon.

Legislative branch :

Bicameral Congress or Congreso consists of the Senate or Senado (102 seats ; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) and the House of Representatives or Camara de Representantes (166 seats ; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms).

Judicial branch :

Four roughly coequal, supreme judicial organs; Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (highest court of criminal law ; judges are selected by their peers from the nominees of the Superior Judicial Council for eight-year terms) ; Council of State (highest court of administrative law ; judges are selected from the nominees of the Superior Judicial Council for eight-year terms) ; Constitutional Court (guards integrity and supremacy of the constitution ; rules on constitutionality of laws, amendments to the constitution, and international treaties) ; Superior Judicial Council (administers and disciplines the civilian judiciary; resolves jurisdictional conflicts arising between other courts; members are elected by three sister courts and Congress for eight-year terms).

Currency :

Colombian Peso (COP)

Agriculture products :

Coffee, cut flowers, bananas, rice, tobacco, corn, sugarcane, cocoa beans, oilseed, vegetables, forest products, shrimp.

Industries :

Textiles, food processing, oil, clothing and footwear, beverages, chemicals, cement, gold, coal, emeralds.

Exports partners :

US 38%, Venezuela 16.2%, Ecuador 4% (2008).

Imports partners :

US 29.2%, China 11.5%, Mexico 7.9%, Brazil 5.9% (2008).

Monday, June 21, 2010

RUSSIA / KAZAKHSTAN - Baikonur Cosmodrome

RUSSIA stamp :

Location of Baikonur Cosmodrome in KAZAKHSTAN :

The Baikonur Cosmodrome (Kazakh: Байқоңыр ғарыш айлағы, Bayqoñır ğarış aylağı ; Russian : Космодром Байконур, Kosmodrom Baykonur), also called Tyuratam, is the world's first and largest operational space launch facility. It is located in the desert steppes of Kazakhstan, about 200 kilometers east of the Aral Sea, north of the Syr Darya river, near Tyuratam railway station, at 90 metres above sea level. It is leased by the Kazakh government to Russia (currently until 2050) and is managed jointly by the Russian Federal Space Agency and the Russian Space Forces. The shape of the area leased is an ellipse, measuring 90 kilometres east-west by 85 kilometres north-south, with the cosmodrome at the centre. It was originally built by the Soviet Union in the late 1950s as the base of operations for its ambitious space program. Under the current Russian space program, Baikonur remains a busy space port, with numerous commercial, military and scientific missions being launched annually.

Vostok 1, the first manned spacecraft in human history, was launched from one of Baikonur's launch pads, which is presently known as Gagarin's Start.


Postcard sent by Tanya, as "Tanya_Tenshi"
Postcrossing - Reference RU-162901

Rocket's launch on Baikonur Cosmodrome