"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.
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.
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
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
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.
animalst birds and pJants as weJJ as of all rock sites surveyed are
appended to the booK.
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.
Secretary, Society to Save Rocks 1236,
Road No. 60
Hyderabad - 500 033
"Rock Sites of
Andhra Pradesh - Volume r" is available at Walden, Akshara and Book
Selection Centre, as well as at the office of the Society to Save
Rocks. Price: Rs. 250.