India provided zinc for Europe's industrial revolution, and the historic metallurgical ruins remains at Zawar, a geo-heritage site some 45 km outside of Udaipur, stand as a living reminder. Experts are perplexed by the lack of advancement in efforts to protect this magnificent geological heritage and develop geotourism.
The Zawar area satisfies all criteria for designation as a UNESCO Global Geopark. The state government and other development organizations ought to adopt UNESCO guidelines and promote the location as a geo-tourism attraction.The 2,500-year-old metallurgical technique is attested to by the intact zinc retort distillation furnaces, traces of associated processes, community items, and temple ruins at this location.Brass was originally provided via this procedure for the production of excellent instruments in Europe, a predecessor of industrial technology.
The necessity to protect the ancient mining and metallurgical site at Zawar and the Jhamarkotra stromatolite (fossil algae) site, which contains the oldest rocks of Rajasthan, has been brought to light by a brainstorming session organized by several geoscientists along with a visit to these sites.
In an effort to determine the potential of these locations for development as geoparks for geotourism in the state, geoscientists from the Society of Earth Scientists (SES), the Department of Tourism, the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeoscience (BSIP), and Janardan Rai Nagar Rajasthan Vidhyapeeth (JRNRV) participated in these efforts.
“The remnants of ancient mining are available here in the shape of abundant mines that are around 2,500 years old. The underground mines go to a vertical depth of more than 150 meters in a systematic way. According to findings, zinc smelting done here was the first in the world, attesting that the ancient smelters here were very knowledgeable about the behaviour of metals.” - SES general secretary Dr Satish Tripathi.
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