Rabindranath Tagore On Hyderabad Rock formations

The afternoon sun peeks From behind the jagged silhouette of the rocks that hem the city and the expanse before me reaches out to the huge rocks in unusual shapes at the far end. These rocks, you would be surprised to know are older than the Grand Canyon and even the Himalayas!

A part of the Indian Peninsular Gneissie, these rocks spread over modern day Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh. During the course of the earth’s rotation millions of years ago, the hot molten crust below spiraled out on the surface and cooled down taking unusual shapes. Gradually, these craggy unbalanced rock formations weathered and settled into a picturesque harmony, while the city grew around them. Precariously perched but perfectly balanced, these silent contorted layers of rock reveal a fascinating geological profile of the earth. They are nature’s monuments and are more beautiful than all the man made relics in the city. Gunther Grass, a Nobel laureate and German litterateur who visited the city in 1986, was so fascinated h these oddly shaped rocks that lie preferred to explore them rather than the usual tourist destinations in the city. lie spent hours drawing pictures of the fascinating rocks all around, but lamented the indiscriminate quarrying that would ultimately destroy these nature’s artifacts.

Rabindranath Tagore was so enthralled by the rocks of Hyderabad, that he penned a beautiful poem on them:

" From the distance thou didst appear
Barricaded in rocky aloofness.
Timidly I crossed the rugged path
To find here all of a sudden
An open invitation in the sky
And a friend’s embrace in the air.
In an unknown land the voice that
Seemed ever known
Revealed to me a shelter of loving intimacy "

These rocks provide natural drainage for the area and also serve as good aquifers. Aided by the water bodies in the region, they augment the irrigation requirements of the surrounding area. In 2002, the Society to Save Rocks surveyed the rocks in and around Hyderabad and identified two hundred and fifteen species of avis, twenty four mammals, twenty seven amphibia and reptiles and eleven species of carnivores, thriving amidst the rocks. The team also noticed the presence of over ninety species of birds, both local and migrant, breeding in and around these rocks. The bio—diversity at band is truly amazing!
Gerard Hopkins had once asked, ‘what would the world he, once bereft of vet and wilderness?’ The truth is, there is no life beyond nature and destroying nature is destroying life.


Noopur Kumar, "HYDERABAD Portrait of a City"
D.RavinderReddy, Photography

Some of the rock formations in forest ridge: