Karnataka and Kashmir: Two K’s with Two Different Geo Stories

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Asyia Qadir

Bordered by Maharashtra to the north, Kerala to the south, Arabian sea to the west and Andhra Pradesh to the east, Karnataka is a heritage state that falls in the southwest of India. The state is deeply linked to the ancient history of India. It is known for its cultural ambience and holy places. The out stretched forts, temples and palaces are the adornment of the state. It is endowed with immense mineral wealth and geological treasures.
There is a saying which goes as, “Travel is the only thing that you buy makes you rich”. Yes, it is true travel makes a person rich in culture and knowledge.
On the other hand, Kashmir-the land of contrasting seasons -is bounded by the Great Himalayan range in the northeast and the Pir panjal range in the southwest. The distance between Karnataka and Kashmir is about 2089 kilometers.
Last month, I visited Karnataka as a Geology student. It was an awe-inspiring trip that made me to collate, compare and contrast the two states(2Ks) in terms of geology, erudition and cultural ethos.
The geology shows an appreciable contrast from Kashmir to Karnataka. The beauty of road from Kashmir to Karnataka cannot be captured in words. Geographic fluctuations come into sight while travelling to and through these places. The atmosphere turns hotter by degrees and the lush greenery sights give their way. While travelling from a snow clad spot to a blistering heating spot, diverse vegetation, flora and fauna come into view.
A blend of cultural ethos beguiles the visitors.
The thing that took me aback during the travel was the presence of too many garrisons on the summits of hills of Jammu and Kashmir. The abode of the military on the acme of the hills has an adverse impact on the geologically rich hillocks and the preserved record of millions of years within them. Not even a single garrison comes into view on the land of Karnataka, its geological treasures are safe and free from manmade burden.
The youngest deposits Karewas are found in Kashmir and the oldest rock formations are seen in Karnataka. The Karewas of Kashmir are geologically Pleistocene (1.8 ma) in age and the oldest rock formations of Karnataka (Sargur group, Peninsular Gneissic Complex, and Dharwar supergroup) are Archean (3000 ma) in age. The Karewas of Kashmir contain lignite beds and remains of ostracods, molluscs, vertebrates and plant fossils and the archean deposits of Karnataka are made up of very ancient rocks such as gneisses, schists and granites, and contain gold.
The contrasting and different deposits of the two states contain the geological records of millions of years within them. These records are of pivotal use in the geological world. Their deep study provides an indication of the unexplored treasures.
During the field trip, I sensed that the archean deposits of Karnataka are in the vigil of administrative section which prioritise their protection, while the Karewas of Kashmir are being neglected by the administration and the mining department of the state.The hospitality and affability is equally shared between the people of Karnataka and Kashmir. The Kannadigas and Kashmiris are known for their serene bonhomie.
Holding a needle in one hand and a yellow Zinnia in another, Baylla is calmly sitting on a wooden bench with her comrades. Baylla is a female florist making up attractive garlands from flowers. She hails from Yeshwantpura area of Bengaluru.“Can I touch this garland”, I asked her.
She responded with a reassuring smile,“Yes, sure”.
She offered me a bunch of flowers without charging a single penny. Her eyes twinkled with mirth and her smiling face expressing satisfaction.

—The author is a second semester, asters student of Applied Geology in Kashmir University. She can be reached at: asyiaq90@gmail.com