'Shahabad Stone' is one of the wonders of Mother Nature. Slabs stacked neatly says it all. And its just below the top soil, not much effort required to haul them out. Here's one of the quarries we saw while travelling between Chittapur and Shahabad. It feels like some ancient civilisation made these slabs and stored them here for future use. This is the second time I'm seeing Shahabad stone quarry, the first time was 2013 while travelling from Maratur to Shahabad. There slabs were rough cut compared to these.
So, in Nature stone shapes are not random all the time. Here we have an example of how systematic Nature is capable of.
Here's another stack. Amazing to see how large the slabs are.. they are easily 70' x 40'. And perfectly level. Now I regret for not getting off the car and taking closeup shots :( Well, next time I travel there I'll make it a point to explore as quarry.
Man wouldn't ignore something that's so convenient, would he? Shahabad stones have been used in construction since Ashokan times or even before. At the Buddhist site on the left bank of river Bhima near Sannati stood a Stupa which was made of these stones. Shahabad stones were used in every part of a building, right from foundation to roof. It wouldn't be wrong to say Shahabad stone is probably the most versatile of all stones. Probably there's one exception... I've not come across any inscription (long running text) on Shahabad slabs. However, this stone does have the honour of carrying Emperor Ashoka's name and picture.
Let's look at some structures of Shahabad Kallu.. Here's a multi-storey house. See even its roof is made of Shahabad tiles :)
And here's a smaller structure, probably a temple once upon a time.
PS: There's another variety of dimensional stone whose natural state is similar to Shahabad Kallu. That stone is native to Kadapa district and surrounding areas. I'd seen Kadapa stone quarries while traveling from Kurnool to Srisailam. I think the quarries were found around Nandikotkur and Atmakur.