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Mewar’s Geo-heritage sites turn to crying faces

Udaipur : A well researched and celebrated aspect of Mewar is its geo-heritage, which surprisingly is lesser known not only to the tourists coming here but  the locals themselves. The region is home to  three of the twenty six National Geological Monuments through GSI (Geological Survey of India) namely Stromatolites Parks in Bhojunda (Chittorgarh) and Jhamarkotra (Udaipur) and Gossan of Rajpura–Dariba multi-metal deposit in Rajsamand. However despite natural marvels scattered in and around,  Mewar lies in a state of neglect. In a bid to promote these sites as new centers of attractions, geologists and INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) have stepped ahead.

The initiative comes in form of a book called ‘Geo heritage of Udaipur region’ being brought to the public at large in simple, non-technical, language.  The release is scheduled for January 15. “ The present day districts of Udaipur-Chittorgarh-Bhilwara-Rajsamand constituted the erstwhile kingdom of Mewar at the time of its merger with the Union of India in 1948. This venerated region is world renowned for its natural beauty, heroic history, cuisine, tangible-non tangible heritage and equally famous for its geological milieu. However, these sites are decaying due to public neglect and apathy for years” informed Dr Pushpendra Singh Ranawat, author of the book and a retd professor of geology from Sukhadia University. Aravali hill ranges being one of the oldest folded hill ranges of the world that formed due to folding of sediments deposited in marine and river basins some 2000 million years (MA) ago. Undeformed and unmetamorphosed Vindhyan rocks form another rock types that is characterized by its distinctive landforms and resources. All these rocks have unique and special characteristics that have attracted attention of earth scientists and inquisitive individuals.

“ These rocks host a number of mineral and rock resources that directly affects the lives of every human being. Hence this book sans technical terminology highlights the unique natural heritage of this region that has influenced history and lives of the people” Ranawat asserted. To understand and protect the earth we live upon, it is crucial that its fundamentals should be known to all the people or else we shall forced to be ‘hunters-gatherers-cave dwellers’ again, he added. Such sites have high potential for scientific studies, for use as outdoor classrooms, enhancing public understanding of science, recreation, and economic support to local communities through tourism. “ A beginning is made in this direction through this publication. The local chapter of INTACH aims to promote some of these exceptional earth features at international level” Ranawat said.

Interesting narrations in the book:

Copper was mined in Mewad of yore, one of the areas was Umerda which also had a mint striking copper coins. The nearby ancient trading town Ayad was also known for a period as “Tambawati Nagri”- CopperTown. The layout of typical Tamra-Patra of the Mewad kingdom starts with Shree Ramji at the top followed by the Bhala-Lance of Chundaji, the regent, followed next by the “Sahi”-Approval of the Maharana above the text. This practice of dual approval was started in 1433 CE during the reign of still-young Maharana Kumbha and continued thereafter and unlike our present-day pattern of joint/dual signatures at the end/bottom of a document, it had them at the beginning of the text!

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