Lonar Crater

LONAR CRATER

The Lonar Crater is an oval shaped crater formed by the impact of a meteorite, nearly 50,000 years ago. The Lonar Crater said to be among the five largest in the world has the distinction of being the only natural impact crater in basalt rock. The crater is 2 kilometre wide and 150 meter deep. The lake within the crater is both saline and alkaline in nature. Low hills which surround the lake are covered with jungle. Dense tree cover about a mile broad surround the crater. The jungle is home to several species of wildlife including peafowl, chinkara and gazelles. Migratory birds also flock the lake during winter months making it an ideal place for bird-watchers and wildlife enthusiasts. Perennial streams and springs feed into the lake. It is home to a horde of algae and plankton species that thrive in its unusual ecosystem and give the water its vibrant colour. Lonar Lake is rimmed by lush forests and a smattering of old temples. Supposedly, compasses fail to work near some parts of the crater because of its unique geologic makeup. The Ram Gaya temple, the Kamalja Devi temple, and the partially-submerged Shankar Ganesha temple, are all situated near the lake. The most significant temple, however, sits in heart of the Lonar town – the Daitya Sudan temple. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, exterminator of the demon Lonasura.

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