8 Natural and Geological Wonders of India


1. Feel Heavenly at Floating Lake or Loktak Lake, Manipur

The Floating Lake in Manipur is the largest fresh water lake in North-East India. It is also the only floating lake in the world.

Because of its heterogeneous mass of soil, vegetation, and organic matter at various stages of decomposition, it appears as if the lake is floating. Of course, it is just an illusion created by your mind, but the lake is definitely worth a visit.

The Loktak Lake is considered to be the lifeline of the state of Manipur because a number of living organisms depend on the water for their survival. The lake is also the breeding ground of several birds. Among the rich diversity of the flora and fauna in the area, you can spot many migratory birds.

You would also be interested in knowing that the KeibulLamjao National Park situated in the south western part of the lake is the only floating national park in the world. The endangered Manipur brow antlered deer, Sangai lives here.

2. Indulge in the Magnificence of Varkala Cliff

Varkala Cliff and beach, situated 50 kilometers from north of Thiruvananthapuram is a must visit place in Kerala for tourist and adventurers. Visiting here would be a feast to the eye as you can enjoy the beauty of magnificent waters, the mesmerizing sunset and best of all, marvel at the 15-meter red laterite cliffs.

Another attribute to the beach is that the Discovery Channel has named it one of the top 10 seasonal beaches in the world. Interestingly, the beach also goes by another name - Papanasanam, where you get to wash all your sins away.

Varkala Cliff


Image by Dr._Colleen_Morgan via Flickr

You can indulge in sightseeing, windsurfing, parasailing and sunbathing, especially during the September to March period when the weather is just pleasant.

3. Walk through the Cavernous Caves of Belum Caves

Delve into the depths of earth’s bosom when you visit Belum Caves in Andhra Pradesh, also believed to be the second longest cave in the country. Traversing along the cave, you can feast your eyes on the magnificent stalactites and stalagmites caused by the meeting of water and limestone.

The creations of Nature always beat man-made wonders and this is so evident in the maze of cave chambers and fresh water galleries within it. It is believed that many monks of ancient times meditated here.

4. Marvel at the Craftiness of the Needle Hole Point / Elephant Point

Elephant Point


Image by Pranav Prakash via Flickr

God is really a magnificent craftsman. Visit the Needle Hole Point or Elephant Point at Mahabaleswar Hill Station in Pune to witness yet another breathtaking natural formation. The rocks are formed in such a way that they resemble an elephant’s trunk, and they are joined together to resemble the hole of a needle.

While marveling at this natural wonder, you can also enjoy the vistas of the Deccan, a rare view offered only from here. You can also spot the Panchgani town, Dhom Dam and Krishna River. During the monsoon, several gushing waterfalls materialize in the area.

5. Dare to Defy Gravity at Magnetic Hills

The Magnetic Hills at Ladakh is a source of wonder for all tourists. They say that if you park your car at a particular spot at the hill, even with the ignition turned off, it will move upwards, instead of going down. This is actually a fascinating optical illusion and has been termed a Himalayan wonder.

The secret is that the road actually goes downhill and not uphill, and as there is no horizon (or rather an obstructed horizon), you have no reference in sight to compare this. Once you reach the hill, you can follow the instructions on the signboards that tell you where to park the car to observe this phenomena.

6. Learn to Defy Gravity at Krishna's Butterball Mahabalipuram

Mahabalipuram


Image by Jaume Martí via Flickr

In Mahabalipuram, about 60 kilometers from Chennai, resides Krishna’s Butterball, a gigantic, monolithic granite rock. It is worth a sight because the rock hangs preciously and miraculously on a narrow rock base. The main attractions of the rock are its 20 feet height and the fact that it has defied the rules of gravity. The rock is virtually immovable; people have tried moving the rock for years. Does it mean that the rock is some “heavenly” feat of the Gods?

Though the name of the rock is Krishna’s Butter Ball, it was not its original name. Initially, it was called “VaanIraiKal” or “Stone of the Sky God” in the local language. There are so many interesting facts attached to this remarkable piece of rock.

For example, some people say that this rock was an inspiration to the kings that ruled during the 8th century period. And King Raja Raja Chola of 1000 C.E was so impressed by the rock that he began the tradition of making dolls that never fell down, and this paved the way for the famous Tanjavur Bommai.

7. Historical Wonder of St. Mary's Islands of Columnar Basaltic Lava

In St. Mary’s Islands, Udupi, Karnataka you can see the distinctive geological formation of columnar basaltic lava. According to studies and science, the basalt at the islands was formed as a result of sub-aerial subvolcanic activity, at a time and period when Madagascar was still attached to India.

Yes, it is true. Scientists, in 2013 discovered that Madagascar and India were once a part of the same continent, from which the former split, around 88 million years ago. The plants and animals on these islands evolved in relative isolation.

Legend goes that it was Vasco De Gama, who fixed across on this island and named it so when he landed there in 1498. The island is also known as Coconut Island. It is one place in Karnataka that you must be visiting when you are touring the state.

8. Get Hypnotized at Hogenakkal Falls

Hogenakkal Falls


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Located on River Kaveri in Dharmapuri district, Tamil Nadu, South India is the magnificent Hogenakkal Falls, a thing of sheer beauty and magnificence personified. No wonder why people call it the “Niagara Falls of India” Hogenakkal, means “smoking rocks”.

It is believed that the carbonate rocks along these falls are the oldest of its kind in South Asia and one of the oldest in the entire world. The water here is so pure that you can drink it straight through. On the way to the waterfalls, you can spot several medicinal herbs growing in the area.

Boat rides and trekking routes can be planned. Boating is, however, possible only in the summer because the River Kaveri would remain turbulent at all other times.

Conclusion

It was definitely an exciting ride here, trying to unravel the natural charms India is bundled up in. These destinations would fill you with intrigue and a sense of mystery. So which of these places are you visiting for your next vacation?