IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


18th March, 2024 History


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Pandavula Gutta, situated in the Bhupalpally district of Telangana, has recently gained recognition as the sole Geo-heritage site in the state.


  • This geological marvel, discovered in 1990, predates the Himalayas and is renowned for its rich history spanning from the Mesolithic to Medieval times.

Key Features

Historical Significance:

  • Pandavula Gutta boasts numerous prehistoric habitation sites, making it a treasure trove for archaeologists and historians.
  • The site is home to Palaeolithic cave paintings dating back to ancient times, offering invaluable insights into the lives of prehistoric inhabitants.
  • These cave paintings depict a variety of subjects, including wildlife such as Bison, Antelope, Tiger, and Leopard, as well as symbolic shapes and weapons.

Geo-Heritage Recognition:

  • The Geological Survey of India (GSI), Telangana State Unit, recently organized a Geo-heritage walk at Pandavula Gutta as part of the ongoing Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.
  • Following this event, Pandavula Gutta was officially recognized as a Geo-heritage site, highlighting its scientific, educational, cultural, and aesthetic significance.

Geo-Heritage Site

  • Definition: Geoheritage sites encompass geological features with significant scientific, educational, cultural, or aesthetic value.
  • Scientific Significance: These sites may feature unique geological formations, distinct rock types, or rare fossils, offering valuable insights for research and education.
  • Cultural Importance: Geoheritage sites often play a role in cultural or historical events, reflecting the interaction between human societies and their geological surroundings.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Some sites are valued for their visual beauty, with striking landscapes shaped by geological processes.

Geological Survey of India (GSI)

  • Establishment: Founded in 1851, the Geological Survey of India has evolved into a leading institution for geoscientific research and mineral resource assessment.
  • Functions: GSI conducts ground surveys, airborne and marine surveys, mineral prospecting, and various geoscientific studies to gather and update national geoscientific information.
  • National Network: With headquarters in Kolkata and regional offices across the country, GSI plays a crucial role in advancing geological knowledge and supporting mineral exploration and development.

Other Sites in India


Name of the site


Brief description of the site

Andhra Pradesh

Volcanogenic bedded Barytes

Mangampeta, Cuddapah Dist

One of the largest baryte deposits of the world, formed through precipitation from volcanic vapours under submarine conditions and subaerial showering of ash and molten baryte lapilli. It has a reserve of over 74 million tonnes, constituting about 98% and 28% of the total known reserve of India and the world, respectively.

Andhra Pradesh

Eparchaean Unconformity

Namalagundu, Anantapur District

Separates the Proterozoic Nagari Quartzite from the oldest Archaean granite, representing a time gap of over 800 Ma. It signifies a period of remarkable quiescence in Earth's history with minimal structural disturbance and igneous activity.

Andhra Pradesh

Natural Geological Arch

Tirumala hills, Chittoor District

A unique geological marvel sculpted by geological agents like wind and water over thousands of years. The natural arch, measuring 8 meters in width and 3 meters in height, has been carved out of quartzite of the Cuddapah Supergroup over a long period of several thousand years.

Andhra Pradesh

Erra Matti Dibbalu


Rare red sand dunes formed over millions of years of geological processes. The dunes are located between Vishakhapatnam and Bhimunipatnam and consist of fragile reddish-brown concretion-bearing sand units, vulnerable to natural degradation.



Angadipuram, Malapuram Dist.

Laterite derived from acid charnockite, significant from an economic perspective due to associated mineral deposits of aluminum ore (bauxite), iron ore, and nickel ore.


Varkala Cliff Section

Thiruvanatapuram Dist.

Exposes sedimentary rock formation of the Mio-pliocene Age, unique in the west coast of India.

Tamil Nadu

Fossil wood park

Tiruvakkarai, Villupuram District

National Fossil Wood Park with 200 fossil trees lying horizontally embedded in Cuddalore Sandstone of Mio-Pliocene age.

Tamil Nadu

National fossil wood park

Sattanur, Perambalur Dist.

Contains large trunks of petrified trees of Upper Cretaceous age, belonging to conifers that dominated the land vegetation during that period.

Tamil Nadu


St. Thomas Mount, Madras

Typical exposure of quartz-feldspar-hypersthene rock, believed to have important implications for the primordial crustal evolution of the earth.

Tamil Nadu

Badlands of Karai Formation with Cretaceous fossils along Karai

Kulakkalnattam Section, Perambalur District

Karai Formation exposed as badlands with conical mounds separated by gulleys, aiding in subdividing geologic history based on sedimentary breaks.


Sedimentary Structures Eddy Markings

Kadan Dam, Panch Mahals Dist.

Exposed eddy current markings believed to result from the dragging of a small limb of a larger floating log caught in a vortex or eddy current of a stream, or from the movement of a pebble.


Sendra Granite

Pali Dist.

Unique granite formation sculpted by wind and water over millions of years.


Barr Conglomerate

Pali Dist.

Composed of pebbles of quartzite and granite gneiss, set in a fine-grained pelitic matrix.


Stromatolite Fossil Park

Udaipur Dist.

Largest and richest deposit of phosphorite associated with stromatolite, preserving evidence of early life on earth.


Gossan in Rajpura-Dariba Mineralised belt

Udaipur Dist.

Resulted from extensive chemical weathering and oxidation of sulfide-sulphosalts ore bodies over prolonged geological periods under favorable climatic conditions.


Stromatolite Park

near Bhojunda, Chittaurgarh Dist.

Exposure within the Bhagwanpura Limestone of the Lower Vindhyan age, showcasing stromatolites, structures produced by blue-green algae.


Akal Fossil Wood Park

Jaisalmer Dist.

Petrified wood fossils of Lower Jurassic period, offering insights into the region's past vegetation and climate.


Kishangarh Nepheline Syenite

Ajmer Dist.

Pluton emplaced along the core of an antiform of metamorphites, dated to 1590 million years to 1910 million years.


Welded Tuff

Jodhpur Dist.

Product of volcanic emanations, composed of glass, quartz, and feldspar.


Jodhpur Group – Malani Igneous Suite Contact

Jodhpur Dist.

Marks the last phase of igneous activity of Precambrian age in the Indian Subcontinent.


Great Boundary Fault at Satur

Bundi Dist.

Characterized by a faulted boundary between Pre-Aravallis and Upper Vindhyans, exhibiting a zone of disruption constituted by parallel and oblique faults.


Ramgarh crater

Baran district

3.5 km diameter crater suspected to have developed due to the impact of a large meteorite on Deccan Basaltic rocks of Cretaceous age.


Zawar lead-zinc mine

Udaipur district

Major lead-zinc mine in Udaipur district.


Lonar Lake

Buldana Dist.

Nearly circular crater suspected to have developed due to the impact of a large meteorite on Deccan Basaltic rocks of Cretaceous age.


Lower Permian Marine bed at Manendragarh

Sarguja Dist.

Unique exposure of fossiliferous marine Permian rocks of Talchir Formation belonging to Gondwana Supergroup, with marine fauna dominated by pelecypods/lamellibranchs like Eurydesma and Aviculopecten.


Columnar Basaltic Lava, St Mary Islands

Udupi Dist.

Majestic array of multi-faced columns developed in the basalts of Deccan Trap, representing nature's exquisite handiwork.


Pillow lavas near Mardihalli

Chitradurga Dist.

Best example of pillow lavas formed when hot molten lava erupts under water and solidifies into roughly spherical or rounded pillow-shapes.


Peninsular Gneiss

Lalbagh, Bangalore

Exposes gneisses and related granitoids, dating back to 2500 to 3400 million years, significant for understanding the evolution of the terrain.


Pyroclastics & Pillow lavas, Kolar Gold fields

Kolar Dist.

Welded agglomerate of large fragments of various rocks, forming pyroclastic rocks.

Himachal Pradesh

Siwalik Fossil Park, Saketi

Sirmur District

Displays a rich collection of vertebrate fossils from Siwalik rocks of Plio-Pleistocene age.


Pillow Lava in Iron ore belt

Nomira, Keonjhar dist.

Well-preserved pillow structures in basic lava, underlain by quartzite and overlain by shale, chart-shale, and banded hematite jasper.


Plant Fossil bearing Inter-trappean beds of Rajmahal Formation

Sahibganj dist.

Exposes Gondwana Supergroup with fluviatile and lacustrine sediments, significant for understanding the continental sedimentary sequence of the region.


Nagahill Ophiolite

Site near Pungro

Represents an ophiolite complex in Nagaland.


Stromatolite bearing Dolomite/Limestone of Buxa Formation

Mamley, near Namchi, South District

Exposes dolomites profusely stromatolitic, providing insights into early life in Sikkim Himalaya.


Q.  Discuss the significance of Geo-Heritage Sites (GHS) in India and their role in promoting geotourism and scientific research. How can the preservation and promotion of GHS contribute to sustainable development? Illustrate with examples. (250 Words)