Jan 16, 2021

Biligudda, Savandurga

Savandurga, one of the largest monolitic rock hills on Earth, has two major parts- Biligudda (white hill) and Karigudda (black hill). Most visitors climb Karigudda since the hill is open and the path leading to its summit is well defined. However, part of Biligudda is covered in vegetation which conceals the path during rainy season. Hence, Biligudda sees far lesser climbers, probably a few dozens in a year.

That's Gulveer with Biligudda in the background. This picture was taken some time 1995 from Basava Mantapa on Karigudda.

Of my 20+ visits to Savandurga I've climbed Biligudda just 2 times but failed to reach the summit both times. These pictures must have been shot sometime 2003 or 2004. We were six of us- Rohin, Basu, Kiran, Kiran's friend, one dog and I. All pictures in this post were shot with a Yashica using Konica films. That's a gateway to the fort.

The trial is more or less under cover of trees. On Karigudda it is open all the way up.

Part of the fort wall.

This few yards of rock is quite steep and slippery.

Karigudda's peak. The speck on the summit is Basava Mantapa, also called Nandi Mantapa.

A sheer rock face.

The path passes mostly through gaps between rocks.

This stretch is through boulders, trees, roots and branches. We had to watch every step.

Passage through a natural tunnel in rocks. We had to cross a 12 feet wide, 10 feet deep gap on a half a food wide log laid across the gap. The only support we had was a rock face which was not really close. One fall could leave few broken bones.

Basu and Rohin wait on the other side of the passage.

Another view of Biligudda.

Basava Mantapa is more than a speck now.

A natural rock-shelter.

With some difficulty we reached one level of the hill. We could not find the way further.

Basu is fighting wind.

Pond to harvest rain water. It's quite deep too.

Kiran is actually squatting on a narrow stretch. Barely two feet behind him is a 60 feet drop. He's brave to sit there with wind blowing like mad.

Basu flying a plastic bag tied to a length of thread.

Basu dancing out of joy. He freaked out during this visit. Rohin was asking Basu to be careful on this slippery steep rock.

Here the path was hidden by tall grass. We couldn't see the ground. I stepped into a pit and fell over once.

My wish was to see two sentry houses atop this hill which can be seen from Karigudda. Somehow we were not experienced enough or not well prepared for this challenge. Perhaps, if we had a rope we could have managed. Hope the day comes.


Jan 9, 2021

geology museum at Syntheri Rocks

Syntheri rocks is a 300 feet high limestone rock formed due to volcanic eruptions. Its a monolith situated in the Western Ghats. River Kaneri flows next to it's base. This spot was discovered in the XX Century by an English lady called Cinthera hence named after her. The spot is under the protection of Karnataka Forest Department. Since this rock is a geological marvel, KFD found this an apt spot for an open geological museum exhibiting different types of rocks available in and around this spot. The rock specimens are mounted on accompanied by short captions in Kannada and English.
Here are the eleven rock types on display.

ಡೈಕ್ ಶಿಲೆ
ಡೈಕ್ ಶಿಲೆಗಳು ಹೈಪಬ್ಯಾಸ್ಸಲ್ ಅಗ್ನಿಶಿಲೆಗಳು. ಯಾವುದೇ ಶಿಲೆಗಳನ್ನು ಛೇದಿಸಿ ಬರುವ ಲಾವಾರಸವು ತಂಪಾಗಿ ಗಟ್ಟಿಯಾದಾಗ ಈ ಶಿಲೆಗಳು ಉತ್ಪತ್ತಿಯಾಗುವವು. ಇಲ್ಲಿರುವ ಶಿಲೆಯನ್ನು ಪುರಾತನರು ಚಿನ್ನವನ್ನು ಒಳಗೊಂಡಂತಹ ಶಿಲೆಗಳನ್ನು ಅರಿಯಲು ಉಪಯೋಗಿಸಿಟ್ಟಿದ್ದರು.

Dyke Rock
A Dyke is a hypabyassal igneous rock, which cuts across the host rock. The cup like structures in this sample is called "pounding marks" were used by the ancients for grinding rocks rich in gold.

ಸ್ತಂಭಾಕಾರದ ಆನ್ಡಸೈಟ್
ಇಲ್ಲಿರುವ ಶಿಲಾಮಾದರಿಯು ೬ ಬುಜಗಳುಳ್ಳ ಜಿನುಗು ಕಣಗಳನ್ನು ಹೊಂದಿರುವ ವೊಲ್ಕ್ಯಾನಿಕ್ ಅಗ್ನಿಶಿಲೆ. ಈ ಶಿಲೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಓಲೀಗೋಕ್ಷೇನ್ ಅಥವಾ ಆನ್ಡಸೈಟ್ ಎಂಬ ಫೇಲ್ಡ್ ಸ್ಟಾರ್ ಬನಿಜಗಳಿಗೆ ಹೆಚ್ಚು. ಈ ಮಾದರಿಯ ವಿಶೇಷತೆಯೆನೆಂದರೆ ಇದರ ಸ್ತಂಭಾಕಾರ. ಹಲವು ಸ್ತಂಭಾಕಾರದ ಮಾದರಿಗಳನ್ನು ಜೋಡಿಸಿಟ್ಟಾಗ ಅವುಗಳ ಮೇಲ್ಮೆ ವಿಶಿಷ್ಟ ರೂಪವನ್ನು ಪಡೆಯುವುದು.

Columnar Andesite
This six sided, fine-grained rock is volcanic igneous rock characterized by the presence of oligoclase or andesine minerals. Columnar structure is characteristic of this sample. Many such columns when joined together form a beautiful shape resembling a group of six-sided tiles.

ಇದು ಮರಳು ಶಿಲೆಯ ಒಂದು ವಿಧ. ಇದು ಆರನೇಷಿಯನ್ ಜಲಜ ಶಿಲೆ. ಇದರಲ್ಲಿ ಕಣಗಳ ಗಾತ್ರ ೧ - ೬.೨ ಎಮ್ಎಮ್ ಮಾತ್ರ. ಈ ಮಾದರಯಲ್ಲಿ ಗಂಧಕವುಳ್ಳ ಅನೇಕ ಖನಿಜಗಳಿವೆ. ಉದಾ: ಪೈರೈಟ್, ಆರ್ಸೆನೋಪೈರೈಟ್ ಹಾಗೂ ಚಾಲ್ಕೋಪೈರೈಟ್. ಅಲ್ಲದೆ ಚಿನ್ನವನ್ನು ಹೊಂದಿರುವ ಬೆಣಚುಕಲ್ಲನ್ನು ಸಹ ಕಾಣಬಹುದು.

Greywackes are detrital aranaceous sedimentary rocks in which particle sizes ranges between 1/16-2 mm. This sample contains different samples like senopyrite, pyrite and chalcopyrite along with gold bearing quartz veins.

ಇದು ರುದೇಶಿಯಸ್ ಜಲಜ ಶಿಲೆ. ವಿವಿಧ ಶಿಲೆಗಳು ಶಿಥಿಲಗೊಂಡು ಉಂಟಾದ  ಶೀಲಾಕಣಗಳು ನಮೋಹವೇ ಈ ಪೆಂಟೆಗಲ್ಲು. ಇದರಲ್ಲಿರುವ ಶೀಲಾಕಣಗಳು ಬಹುತೇಕ ವೃತ್ತಾಕಾರದವುಗಳಾಗಿರುತ್ತವೆ. ಶಿಲಾ ಕಣಗಳು ವೃತ್ತತೆಯು ಅವುಗಳು ಚಲಿಸಿದ ದೂರಕ್ಕೆ ಸಮಾನವಾಗಿರುತ್ತದೆ. ಇಲ್ಲಿರುವ ಮಾದರಿಯು ಬೇರೆ ಬೇರೆ ಶಿಲೆಗಳ / ಕಣಗಳನ್ನು ಒಳಗೊಂಡಿರುವುದರಿಂದ ಇದನ್ನು ಪಾಲಿಮಿಕ್ಟ್ ಪೆಂಟೆಗಲ್ಲು ಎನ್ನುವರು.

Polymict Conglomerate
Conglomerate is a rudaceous (coarse grained) sedimentary rock formed by the cementing together of various rounded to sub-rounded fragments of pre-existing rocks. Roundness of fragments is proportional to the distance of their transport. A conglomerate with different types of fragments is called Polymict Conglomerate.

ಪದರುಗಳುಳ್ಳ ಮ್ಯಾಗ್ನಾಟೈಟ್ ಬೆಣಚುಕಲ್ಲು
ಈ ಮಾದರಿ ಪದರುಗಳುಳ್ಳ ಹಾಗೂ ಕಬ್ಬಿನಂಶವನ್ನು ಹೊಂದಿರುವ ಒಂದು ವಿವಿಧ ಶಿಲೆ. ಇದರಲ್ಲಿ ಸರದಿಯಾಗಿ ಮ್ಯಾಗ್ನಾಟೈಟ್ ಹಾಗೂ ಬೆಣಚುಕಲ್ಲಿನ ಪದರಗಳನ್ನು ಕಾಣಬಹುದು. ಇದು ಕಬ್ಬಿಣದ ಒಂದು ಅದಿರ.

Banded Magnetite Quart
This is a type of Banded Iron Formation (BIF) showing alternate bands of magnetite and silica.

ಪದರಗಳುಳ್ಳ ಕಬ್ಬಿನಾಂಶ ಹೊಂದಿರುವ ಶಿಲೆ
ಇದು ರೂಪಾಂತರಗೊಂಡ ಜಲಜ ಶಿಲೆ. ಇದರಲ್ಲಿ ಸರದಿಯಾಗಿ ಬೆಣಚುಕಲ್ಲು ಹಾಗೂ ಕಬ್ಬಿಣದ ಅದಿರನ್ನು ಕಾಣಬಹುದು.

Banded Iron Formation (BIF)
This sample of banded iron formation is a metaporphosed sedimentary (meta-sedimentary) rock showing alternating bands of silica and iron. The beautiful folding of the bands in this sample is due to deformative forces.

ಬೆಣಚು ಕಲ್ಲಿನ ಪೊರಾಫೈರಿ
ಇದು ರೂಪಾಂತರಗೊಂಡು ವೊಲ್ಕ್ಯಾನಿಕ್ ಶಿಲೆ. ಇದರಲ್ಲಿ ಅನೇಕ ದೊಡ್ಡ ಗಾತ್ರದ ಬೆಣಚು ಕಲ್ಲಿನ ಕಣಗಳನ್ನು ನೋಡಬಹುದು.

Quartz Porphyry
This sample is a metaporphosed volcanic igneous rock (meta-volcanic) showing rounded to surrounded blebs of quartz.

ಇದು ಒಂದು ರೂಪಾಂತರ ಶಿಲೆ. ಇದರಲ್ಲಿ ಅನೇಕ ಬಹು ತೆಳ್ಳನೆಯ ಪದರುಗಳನ್ನು ಕಾಣಬಹುದು. ಇದು ಕಡಿಮೆ ಶಾಖದಿಂದಾಗಿ ಮಾರ್ಪಟ್ಟಿರುವ ಶಿಲೆ.

This is a cleaved metamorphic rock, which is formed by low temperature regional metamorphism.

ಕ್ಲೋರೈಟ್: ಸಿರಿಸೈಟ್ ಶಿಷ್ಟ
ಇದು ರೂಪಾಂತರ ಶಿಲೆ. ಇದರ ವಿಶೇಷತೆಯೇನೆಂದರೆ ಇದರಲ್ಲಿರುವ ಖನಿಜಗಳ ಸಮಾನಾಂತರತೆ. ಈ ಮಾದರಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಕ್ಲೋರೈಟ್ ಹಾಗೂ ಸಿರಿಸೈಟ್ ಖನಿಜಗಳು ಅಧಿಕವಾಗಿರುವುದರಿಂದ ಇದಕ್ಕೆ ಕ್ಲೋರೈಟ್- ಸಿರಿಸೈಟ್ ಶಿಷ್ಟ ಎಂದು ಹೆಸರು. ಈ ಮಾದರಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಹಾಲಿನಂತಹ ಬಣ್ಣದ ಬೆಣಚುಕಲ್ಲು ಈ ಶಿಲೆಯನ್ನು ಭೇದಿಸಿಕೊಂಡು ಬಂದಿರುವುದನ್ನು ಕಾಣಬಹುದು.

Chlorite Sericte Schist
A schist is a metamorphic rock characterized by parallel arrangement of bulk of the constituent minerals known as Schitocity, This sample is characterized by the predominance of chlorite and sericite minerals and is intruded by a vein of milky quartz along the foliation (weak zone).

ಚೆರ್ಟ್ ವುಳ್ಳ ಬೆಣಚು ಕಲ್ಲಿನ ವಾಡಿ
ಚೆರ್ಟ್ ಇದೊಂದು ಬೆಣಚು ಕಲ್ಲಿನ ಪ್ರಕಾರ. ಇದು ಗದಗಿನ ಚಿನ್ನದ ನಿಕ್ಷೇಪ ಕೆಲ ಸ್ಥಳಗಲ್ಲಿ ಚಿನ್ನವನ್ನು ಹೊಂದಿರುವ ಬೆಣಚು ಕಲ್ಲನ್ನು ಪತ್ತೆ ಹಚ್ಚಲು ಮಾರ್ಗದರ್ಶಿಯಂತೆ ಸಹಾಯಮಾಡುವುದು.

Chert Band with Quartz Vein
This chert (a form of quartz) acts as a marker horizon for gold mineralization in the central load system of Gadag gold field.

ಇದು ಉಷ್ಟವಲಯ ಹಾಗೂ ಹೆಚ್ಚಾಗಿ ಮಳೆಯಾಗುವ ಪ್ರದೇಶದಲ್ಲಿ ಹಾಗೂ ಅನೇಕ ಕರಾವಳಿ ಪ್ರದೇಶದಲ್ಲಿ ಹೆಚ್ಚಾಗಿ ಕಾಣಿಸುತ್ತದೆ. ಈ ಶಿಲೆಯ ವಿಶೇಷತೆಯೆಂದರೆ ಇದರಲ್ಲಿ ಕಾಣಸಿಗುವ ಅನೇಕ ರಂದ್ರಗಳು ಎದು ಮುಖ್ಯವಾಗಿ ಜಲಜಯುಕ್ತ ಆಮ್ಲಜೀಕರಣವಾದ ಕಬ್ಬಿಣವನ್ನು ಒಳಗೊಂಡಿರುತ್ತದೆ.

Laterites are residual deposits formed under hot and humid climatic conditions of tropical regions and occurs mainly as a "cap-rock." Laterites are characterized by numerous spores and essentially consists of hydrated iron oxide.

The rapidly flowing waters of Kaneri has eroded the rocks creating two caverns and splendid looking curves in the rocks. The caves which look like a carnivorous animal's mouth.

This is the smaller of the two caves, the rocks flanking the mouth look like fangs on the upper jaw.

This is the larger cave with couple of broken teeth in the middle.

Just above the 'broken teeth' is a shallow vertical depression inside which is an idol of Hanuman. Some brave people have climbed up the rock and painted the idol saffron. A daring feat given the dangerous location.

The rock face is covered in bands of white, black, grey and yellow formed by water reacting with the minerals. Bees have made this rock their home.

No one could bother the bees up there.

The off-white  canvas covered in bands of black and yellow. The yellow is oxidized iron in the rocks on the supper part of the monolith.

Thanks to KFD for maintaining this place and for the team involved in setting up the open-air museum.