Monday, March 28, 2011

Ruins of an ancient structure found near Ranchi in Jharkhand state of India.

Is it Geological weathering or remains of ancient structure?

by

Dr. Nitish Priyadarshi











We live in a highly advanced, technical world, but there are nevertheless a great many mysteries all around us. Ancient places and mysterious beings, sunken worlds and cultures, landscapes imbued with symbolism, unexplained apparitions, and unbelievable finds from ancient times- all of these remain mysteries for human kind, despite intense investigation. Legendary ancient places tell stories that provide archaeologists and historians with information that is essential for the study of culture.


In the past, we have often been less than careful with old buildings and religious sites, many of which were left to fall to pieces after their abandonment. Lack of repair and natural forces take care of the rest, leaving the large part of most ancient sites in ruins. These ruins can still give us a lot of information about the production, form, and quality of building materials. They can also tell us what led to their destruction. The location and function of the structures can be used to help interpret past cults and cultures. Sometimes problem does arise to interpret such structures as some of it very much resembles with typical geological structures or weathering.


We have to be very careful in studying such structures or rocks. This report unreels the unsolved mysterious rock structures and cuttings, on the hills some 25 km north of Ranchi city, capital of Jharkhand State of India. These structures have recently been exposed due to expansion of road construction, and now are being continuously destroyed due to on going construction.

Ranchi possesses remnants of numerous pre-historic stone implements. Its monuments, some of which are credited to the Asuras by the Mundas, yielded such a mixed assortment of finds as polished stone stools, Carnelian beads, wheel-made pottery, copper and bronze objects, copper and gold ornaments and even iron slags, that it is impossible to date them to any one age.

Credit goes to my senior friend Mrs. Elizabeth Borde who told me about these mysterious unsolved rock structures. She used to visit that area from her childhood. When I visited the area with her, I was surprised to see that some weathered structures which very much resemble to ancient rock pillars were lying at the road side. Many were still found intact with rocks of that area.

The way the rocks are carved, it clearly indicates that people at that time in this area were perfect in making such structure. The rock cuttings and stone blocks fitting snugly together were probably hewed from granite rocks.

At first instance it very much resembled with that of typical geological weathering or different layered rocks. As a geologist I looked on the structures that showed a typical pattern of weathering which are not common in other parts of these state. Though it was a weathering but not of usual local hard rocks but that resembling to some ancient structures like stratified pillars.


I was also surprised to see some geometrical lines and angles, rock cuttings and even plant imprints and radiating lines on the rock surface.


Ranchi rocks are mainly Chotanagpur Granite gneiss with Quartzite, Amphibolites etc. Chotanagpur Granite Gneiss forms the country rock of the district and is a part of the enormous intrusive mass. It shows wide variations from fine to coarse grained and porphyritic types, and form massive to highly gneissic types. Weathered structures seen here are not common in Granitic rocks.


Geologists may feel that structures are the outcome of natural weathering, but the pattern of weathering is peculiar. It seems that in ancient days there must have been huge structure, may be of Buddhism, build up on the top of the hills, which finally collapsed either due to natural disaster or some invasions.

Some scholars feel that Buddhism influenced this area in Early History. There are several ruins of the Buddhist monuments and statutes in different places of Jharkhand. Apart from Buddhism, Jainism also makes its presence in Jharkhand.

In early history this inaccessible region full of dense forest and treacherous terrain coupled with its wild inhabitants, appears never to have been completely subdued. It is said that the “Atavi” (or forest states) too acknowledged the supremacy of Magadh during the reign of Maurayas.


Road construction is going on putting threat on these mysterious rock structures. Early destruction took place in 1960 when rocks of these structures were used for constructing wall guard along the road side. Even today villagers used these rocks for constructing their houses. The ruins of these pillars, rock cuttings may be vital clue to ancient civilizations developed and gradually vanished from this area. More research is needed to reveal the age and the mystery of the structures and rock carvings.

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