Sunday, 11 November 2012

history

Geographical features

A series of low hills surround the basin which has an oval shape (round) with circumference at top of about 8 km . The sides of the basin rises abruptly at an angle of about 74°. At the base, the lake has a circumference of about 4.7km . The slopes are covered with jungle with teak trees. A belt of large trees about a mile broad runs all round the basin; this belt is formed of concentric rings of different species of trees. A ring of date-palms followed by a ring of tamarind trees (nearly 1.6 km or a mile broad) leads to a ring of babul trees, bounded on the inside by a belt of bare muddy space.
The water of the lake contains various salts or sodas, and during dry weather when evaporation reduces the water level, large quantities of soda are collected. Two small streams drain into the lake, and a well of sweet water is located on the southern side, close to the water's edge.This space is several hundred metres/yards broad, devoid of all vegetation (due to the soda content of the water) and covered with a whitish slimy soil. During the rainy season, the drainage into the lake covers this muddy space. [9]
The historical document called the Ain-i-Akbari  states: These mountains produce all the requisites for making glass and soap, here are saltpetre works which yield a considerable revenue to the State, from the duties collected. On these mountains is a spring of salt water, but the water from the centre and the edges is purly fresh.

Geological origin of crater

Lonar Lake lies within the only known extraterrestrial impact crater found within the great Deccan Traps basaltic formation of India.[10] The lake was initially believed to be of volcanic origin, but now it is recognized as an impact crater created by the hypervelocity impact of either a comet or a meteorite. It is argued that only shock metamorphism caused by hypervelocity impact can transform plagioclase into maskelynite or create PDFs. The presence of shatter cones, impact deformation of basalt layers comprising its rim, shocked breccia inside the crater, and non-volcanic ejecta blanket surrounding the crater are further proof of the impact origin of Lonar crater. The presence of plagioclase that has been either converted into maskelynite or contains planar deformation features  has confirmed the impact origin of this crater. As a result of the studies broadly, the geological features of the crater has been marked under five distinguishable zones, exhibiting distinct geomorphic characteristics.
The five zones are:
  1.  
  2. The outermost ejecta blanket
  3. The crater rim
  4. The slopes of the crater
  5. The crater basin, excluding lake
  6. The crater lake

Religious setting

Numerous temples surround the lake, most of which stand in ruins today, except for the temple of Daitya Sudan at the centre of the Lonar town, which was built in honour of Vishnu's victory over the giant Lonasur. It is a fine example of early Hindu architecture. Vishnumandir, Wagh Mahadev, Mora Mahadev, Munglyacha Mandir and Goddess Kamalaja Devia are the other temples found inside the crater.

 

Historicity

The lake was first mentioned in ancient scriptures such as the Skanda Purana, the Padma Puran and the Aaina-i-Akbari [13] The first European to visit the lake was British officer, J.E. Alexander in 1823.
Buldhana district in Maharashtra, where the lake is located, was once part of Ashoka's empire and then of Satavahana's. The Chalukyas and Rashtrakutas also ruled this area. During the period of the Mughals, Yadavas, Nizam and the British, trade prospered in this area. Several temples found on the periphery of the Lake are known as Yadava temples and also as Hemadpanti temples (named after Hemadri Ramgaya).


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