World’s Third Largest Crater- Lonar Lake
From the continents we live in, to the rivers that flow through the lands, every natural structure on the earth has a geographical story to tell. A few among these are based on occurrences that are exotic and unusual. For example: Some geological structures are formed when a comet or a meteorite hits the land thus creating a crater. Many such significant craters have been identified all through the world, but Lonar Lake in India’s Maharashtra, has the distinguished fame of being the world’s third largest crater.
The Lonar Lake, situated in the outskirts of Lonar town in Buldhana District of Maharashtra, was first discovered by Major-General Sir J.E.Alexander, a British officer in the year 1823. It is estimated to be about fifty-two thousand years old, give or take six thousand years. The meteorite that created this crater was supposed to weigh a phenomenal two million ton, resulting in a crater that is 2kms in diameter and about 800ft deep. Lonar Lake is a saline as well as alkaline in composition, and has a flourishing flora and fauna ever since its creation.
Mentions of the Lonar Lake in historical documents such as the Skanda Puran, Padma Puran and the Aaina-i-Akbari are proof to the fact that it has an enormous significance in the history of our nation all through the years. About four and a half kilometers from the world famous Ajanta caves, it is a very popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the world. Several historical temples like Daitya Sudan temple, Kamalja Devi temple, Mora Mahdev temple and Munglycha mandir are found in the banks of this beautiful lake. Many researches and studies have been conducted on the lake by institutes like The Smithsonian institute, Geological survey of India, the United States Geological survey and University of Sagar thus enumerating its significance as a geological site in India.
The Lonar Lake, for sure is a landmark that inspires awe and amazement in one among the many our nation proudly bears.