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Friday, October 6, 2017

Lonar Crater : A Supernova Creation
It is the only known hyper velocity meteorite impact crater on the Earth formed about 50,000 years ago in basaltic rock. With diameter of 1.88 kms & 170 meters depth.

The remarkable shape, size & uniqueness of crater lake basin being saline water has attracted the attention of geologist, ecologist, archaeologists, naturalists and astronomists and has been subject of several studies on various aspects of crater ecosystem. The impact was so intense that it creates a huge crater on the surface much like those found on the moon.

Situated about 140 kms from Aurangabad & 390 kms from Pune in Buldhana District of Maharashtra State.
A meteor of 60 meters long & weighing 20 lakh tons at a speed of 25 km/s racing towards earth made this crater.

Lonar is one of the strangest, loveliest and least known places in India. It is also a National Geo-heritage Monument and home for its own ecosystem which is not replicated anywhere else in the state. It has wide variety of birds, wildlife (leopards, hyena, monkeys, rabbits, etc) and its flora-fauna.

The size & age of Lonar crater makes it the largest and oldest meteoric crater in the world, antedating its nearest rival, the Canyon-Diabolo of Arizona, United States by a 2.30 centuries. Lonar crater is yet to be a large tourist attraction. As per few research papers salinity of the crater has reduced to 100 ppt today which was 300 ppt in 1958 while pH levels remains in between 7pH (Outer) - 11pH (Inner) which never mix together and hence it has two distinct regions and they also has their own flora-fauna.  

As found in research papers : There are numerous historical references over the centuries in various documents, which prove the importance of Lonar. The social, economic and religious references are found only after the 12th century. This entire region was part of Ashoka's empire and later passed under the Satvahana rule. It was also a part of the Chalukya and Rashtrakuta Empires. It has about 14 temples and oldest temple is about 1300 years old which were built by kings of different religions. 

As we love to explore things, on 2-3 Oct 2017 we drove 390 kms to see this place as it is least explored and has been on our list since several years. Thanks to my friends - Sumedh Vidwans, Karthik Barad & Vipul Kulkarni for joining me on this 850 kms RoadTrip from Pune while making stop at Ahmednagar.

Our first reaction when we saw the crater as it comes into sight was "Woah, It's Huge" and it really is huge in reality as we've only seen it in photos and satellite images before.

While Lonar is still a small town we found MTDC Resort situated at Lonar very great with affordable rates. As Lonar is not that popular and distinct from every side, we were the only one there at Lonar who came to see it. If you are visiting this place MTDC resort at Lonar is best place to stay.

As we discovered the place we climbed down to the bottom till the water to see it, there are several ancient temples situated on the edge of lake.

Since water is saline and it has no flow as well as the trash (plastic, vegetable waste, broken glass bottles and other wastes) are thrown in the water by the devotees who visit these temples & crater. Smell of the water makes it impossible to stand near for more than 5-10 mins. Which caused me to include this into my blog that it is one of the most important site in the world as it is only of its kind & we need to protect it and awareness has to be spread to keep such places clean and neat so that we can represent our geo heritage to the world.

Maharashtra state forest department has places several boards at various places notifying not to litter and keep the area clean to protect the flora-fauna of Lonar wildlife sanctuary. There are several platforms are places on the rim of crater which offers great panoramic view.

Thanks to everyone who supported us time to time for making this trip possible.
Photo published in Pune Mirror - Oct 10 2017

Comment down what do you think about this?

More detailed study reports of this place can be found on following links -
Department of Geosciences, Princeton University - https://www.princeton.edu/

Observation on the birds at Lonar : http://www.zoosprint.org

Lonar : Case Study : http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in

Fashion | Lifestyle | Portrait | Celebrity | Aerial | Wedding Photogrpaher based in Pune

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