The Society is conducting a scientific survey that includes the geology, flora and fauna, history and sociological aspects of rock areas in erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, India. The first volume covering Rangareddy, Medak and Hyderabad Districts has been published and copies are available from the Society, and in book shops.
Prof. R. Pavanaguru, Department of Geology, Osmania University, Hyderabad
Dr. V. Vasudeva Rao, Zoologist, A.N.G.R. Agricultural University, Hyderabad
Dr. P. Ramachandra Reddy, Assoc. Professor Palaeobotany and Palynology Research Lab. Dept. of Botany, PG College of Science, Saifabad, Hyderabad
Dr. P. Padma Rao, Botanist & Asst. Research Officer, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Osmania University, Hyderabad
Author of "Note on Hyderabad": Frauke Quader, Secretary, Society to Save Rocks
This is what Pinaki Das writes in a review of the publication:
"The book is essentially a status report, a primary scientific account of some important rock sites in terms of their geological features and the flora and fauna in the vicinity. The environmental linkage has called for a multi-disciplinary survey team of scientists to document the features mentioned above. These scientists have traveled extensively in the districts. Apart from their scientific work they have also talked to local people and tried to document their interaction with the rocks in their daily lives; for rocks continue to playa role in the economic and social lives of people who live near them. Thus, the rock sites have been treated as "living systems" not merely in the biological/environmental sense of the term but with regard to the human interaction as well.
A rock site is a micro-region, and for the purpose of the survey, a cluster of rocks spread over a few square kilometers would typically be stylized as a unit of observation - the rock site - to which the nearest village would lend its name. These sites, twelve in Medak and seven in Rangareddy District, by no means exhaust the total number of interesting rock formations and are merely representative of the possibilities in the region. In the urban fringe and in the city of Hyderabad itself (together 48 areas and formations), the rock sites are more specific clusters, often a pile of rocks sticking out in a sea of humanity. These clusters, being constantly threatenend by human settlements have been dealt with from a purely aesthetic and touristic point of view.
It can be hoped that the present survey will provide a framework for further surveys fanning out to the outlying districts and eventually covering all interesting rock sites of the Deccan.
A conscious effort has been made to strike a balance and present an account that would hold the interest of the layman and the initiated alike. Well over a hundred photographs have been used to supplement and balance the scientific enumeration. Latin names of plants and animals have been banished to appendices and replaced with common vernacular names. Similarly, a greater portion of the scientists' field notes in terms of local myths and oral histories have found their way into the main text. Several maps, some of them very detailed, have been provided to urge and guide enthusiasts to actually undertake visits.
In order to underline the essential asymmetry in the logic of the situation, the book does not merely paint beautiful rock scenery but also presents pictures pointing to their potential ugly future: when it comes to rocks, beauty may well be subjective but there can hardly be two opinions about the ugliness of a quarry... "
Dr. P. Pavanaguru is Professor of Geology at Osmania University and heads the team of scientists who are carrying out the survey. He writes in his introduction to the First Volume:
"About 4.6 billion years ago, from a vast contracting clustered cloud of gas and dust, the earth was formed along with other planets. The upper part of the earth, the crust, was very thin then, and it built over a period of its existence to a thick crust comprising varieties of rocks formed by the action of magmatism (volcanism), metamorphism, weathering and sedimentation. The present-day arrangement and appearance of rocks is based on dynamic physicochemical activity operating both on the surface and within the earth.
Peninsular India- whi.ch contains the Deccan Plateau, mostly comprises hard crystalline rocks (formed by consolidation and crysta 1,1 isation of magma) like granites and gneisses. These rocks are also called 'unclassified' cri5tallines due to the non-availability of adequate isotope age data. However, the relative position of the granites and associated rocks and their chronological studies in Indian stratigraphy suggests an age of 2500 million years. These rocks form the basement for all the younger rock which formed after them.
The gneissies rocks of Peninsular India, which lie exposed in parts of Andhra Pradesh, have weathered over millions of years to produce the rock formations that we observe today. The weathering and sedimentation have also prepared the ground for organisms to live among these rooks. The dwellers among these biotic systems utilize the abnormal carvings and help sustain the equilibrium of the ecosystem. "
The zoologist in the team of survey scientists is Dr. V. Vasudeva Rao. He has painstakingly listed the animals and birds encountered in the 2 districts of the First Volume: 71 species of herpetiles and mammals, and 207 species of birds.
And the two botanists, Dr. P. Ramachandra Reddy and Dr. P. Padma Rao, find "major important economic species of plants and rare aromatic and herbal medicinal plants" among the rock clusters and areas.
Checklists of all animals, birds and plants as well as of all rock sites surveyed are appended to the book.
With this publication (and the volumes to follow) the Society to Save Rocks contributes substantially to the knowledge about rocky landscapes in Andhra Pradesh, thus facilitating government and private initiatives to earmark areas for preservation and protection from destruction.
Government agencies are provided with an overview of important rocky locations from the geological, zoological, botanical, environmental and archaeological angles. This, naturally, points to the touristic potential of the areas. They could be developed into nature reserves, adventure parks or environment education centres, all destined to attract the tourist interested in nature and environment Areas around temples and dargahs could become recreation parks. All these could stress the ancient geological and historical heritage that the unique rock formations represent and teach.
Society to Save Rocks
1236, Road No.60, Jubilee Hills
Hyderabad - 500 033, Telangana, India.
Ph: +91 40 23552923
Price of Publication
Rs. 250.00, available at bookshops in Hyderabad
Rs. 150.00 for Members, at the Society's Office
Printed at Charisma Printers (P) Ltd.
The Society is in urgent need of funds to continue the Survey in other districts of Telangan and Andhra Pradesh. We will be grateful for any help. A Budget Outline is given in our Help section. The coordinator of the project is Professor Fatima Alikhan, Professor of Geography (rtd.) of Osmania University.
Please contact the Secretary for further details at firstname.lastname@example.org.