Hyderabad’s rock stars older than Himalayas

HYDERABAD: Not just unique formations, Hyderabad is also perhaps the only major city in India with a diverse collection of rock paintings. Some of the rocks dotting its landscape today go back to over 2. 5 billion years.
Though the fastpaced growth in the city’s new-age western corridor has taken a toll on some of this geological heritage of the city, what remains is still jaw-dropping for those visiting Hyderabad. In fact, heritage experts say, the city’s geological history is older than that of the Himalayas. If the rock formations are part of its natural heritage, the rock paintings shed light on the ingenuity of the early man who preferred to make this area -now part of Hyderabad city—their home.
As many as 25 rock formations were listed in 2009 as part of protected geological sites. But these are much more than just geological. They are an ecosystem in themselves as they support micro flora and fauna. The hills in the city also serve as containers of rainwater and help in recharging the groundwater table. Several lakes in and around Jubilee and Banjara Hills including the Durgam Cheruvu were formed by the city’s geological formations.
“The city rocks, mostly grey and sometimes pink granite, are part of our natural heritage and will help in securing the World Heritage City status for Hyderabad. In fact, the rock formations themselves qualify for heritage site tag,” said heritage enthusiast Sanghamitra Malik, hoping that heritage status will help in preserving these rocks in the future.
“Some of these rocks are older than the Grand Canyon. I have great respect for those who have incorporated rocks completely within their independent buildings or in the ground level of apartment buildings, hotels and office buildings. Mehdi Nawaz Jung started the trend but sadly we’ve lost Banjara Bhavan,” Malik said.

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