Science Excursions

Western Ghats-Mahabaleshwar-Koyna deep drilling site

The Koyna Dam located close to the west coast of India is the most outstanding example of Reservoir Triggered Seismicity (RTS), where triggered earthquakes have been occurring in a restricted area of 20x30 sq km since the impoundment of Shivaji Sagar Lake in 1962. These include the largest triggered earthquake of M~6.3 on Dec. 10 1967, 22 earthquakes of M>5, about 200 earthquakes of M~4, and several thousand smaller earthquakes since 1962. The earthquake frequency increases every year following the monsoon rains in the months of June and July; almost every year one or more M~4 earthquakes occur. There is no other source of seismic activity within 50 km of the Koyna Dam. Located in the picturesque background of 65 Ma old Deccan basalt lava flows, the area also provides opportunity to view sections of horizontal lava flows with intercalations of red boles. The field trip will also include a number of hot springs in and around this area. The excursion will focus on the deep drilling activities underway to monitor the genesis mechanism of earthquakes.

Kangra Valley - Himalaya

Kangra Valley - Himalaya The Himalaya, is home to all the mighty peaks of the world that are more than 8 km high above the mean sea level and the water source for some of the greatest rivers of the Indian subcontinent such as the Ganges, the Indus, and the Brahmaputra. The seismically active Himalayan range stretching for about 2500 km length came into existence due to the continental collision about 50 million years back and is a significant structural feature for geoscientists to unravel the 41 Bid Document mountain building processes and global geodynamics, paleoclimate and variability of the Indian monsoon. Several devastating major and great earthquakes have occurred along this belt during the past century emphasizing the vulnerability of the population living in the mountains and in the adjoining Indo-Gangetic plains.

Kangra Valley - Himalaya Kangra valley is one of the most picturesque, green and luxuriant valleys of the lower Himalaya sheltered by the sublime Dhauladhar range. It is the site of one of the most devastating earthquakes of the 20th century that occurred on 4th April,1905. This earthquake ruptured and area of 280x100 sq km area and caused massive devastation, killing 20,000 people. The Kangra Fort, located on the outskirts of the town of Kangra, built in 470 A.D., is a popular tourist attraction. This fort was severely damaged by the 1905 devastating Kangra earthquake.

Kangra Valley - Himalaya This excursion will include Kangra valley and Ghuttu Multiparametric Observatory (MPGO), which is operated by the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG) is located in the central Himalaya seismic gap, bounded by the 1905 Kangra (M ~ 7.8) earthquake on the west and the 1934 Bihar–Nepal (M ~ 8.3) earthquake on the east, for long monitoring of variations in geophysical parameters associated with occurrence of earthquakes. In this seismotectonic perspective, the augon gneisses of the Higher Himalaya Complex exposed surrounding the Ghuttu window, provided the hard rock formation to house seismic, Global Position System (GPS) and gravity sensors to record high quality data.

Survey of India, Dehradun

Survey of India, Dehradun Survey of India, the National Survey and Mapping Organization of the country under the Department of Science & Technology, is the OLDEST SCIENTIFIC DEPARTMENT OF THE GOVT. OF INDIA. It was set up in 1767 and has evolved rich traditions of high precision data acquisition over the years. Survey of India dedicates itself to the advancement of theory, practice, collection and applications of geospatial data, and promotes an active exchange of information, ideas, and technological innovations amongst the data producers and users who will get access to such data of highest possible resolution at an affordable cost in the near real-time environment.

Among the many accomplishments of the Survey were the demarcation of the British territories in India and the measurement of the height of the Himalayan giants: Everest, K2, and Kanchenjunga. The SOI is well known for having conducted one of the first accurate measurements of a section of an arc of longitude, and for measurements of the geodesic anomaly which led to the development of the theories of isostasy.

Mt. Abu-Udaipur-Astronomical Observatory

Mt. Abu-Udaipur-Astronomical Observatory Another scientific trip possible is to the 1.2 m Infrared Telescope at Mount Abu which is the first major facility in India specifically designed for ground based infrared observations of celestial objects. This Infrared Observatory is situated at an altitude of 1680 meters above mean sea level on top of the Gurushikhar peak of Aravali range, in Mount Abu, a hill resort in Rajasthan, India. The whole observatory was designed and developed indigenously. The design of telescope drives, mount and other support systems, including telescope control, was taken up by the SHAR Centre, which also supervised the fabrication work at Chennai. The mirror fabrication, polishing and other optics was the responsibility of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore. All the back-end instruments, one of the most important components of the astronomical observations, were developed in parallel with the setting up of the observatory. It may be worth noting that some of those initial instruments are still functioning and competing with new generation instruments.

Kimberlite pipe sites of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana

Kimberlite pipe sites of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Kimberlite pipe sites of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Kimberlites, emplaced in the cratonized parts of the earth’s crust are essentially controlled by reactivation of major deep-seated faults/fractures, Fault intersections, splay faults around fold closures and resultant fractures form the most ideal local controls for kimberlite emplacement. Dharwar Craton with two well-known kimberlite fields – the Wajrakarur Kimberlite Field (WKF) in Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh and the Narayanpet Kimberlite Field (NKF) in the western part of Mahbubnagar district, Andhra Pradesh and the adjoining Gulbarga district, Karnataka, forms a prominent kimberlite province in India. 21 Kimberlite pipes (known to host diamonds) in Mahabubnagar district of Telangana

India – The Host Country

There will be many places to visit and see natural wonders and historical heritage in INCREDIBLE INDIA. Examples of some of the important places reachable by about 5 hours of drive or by a couple of hour by flight are given below.

Nagarjuna Sagar

Nagarjuna Nagarjuna Sagar Dam was built across the Krishna river at Nagarjuna Sagar where the river forms the boundary between Nalgonda District in Telangana and Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh states in India. The construction duration of the dam was between the years of 1955 and 1967. The dam created a water reservoir whose gross storage capacity is 11.472 billion cubic metres (405.1×109 cu. ft.) and is one of the earliest multi-purpose irrigation and hydro-electric projects in India.

Srisailam Temple town

Srisailam The Srisailam Dam is constructed across the Krishna River on the border of Mahabubnagar District, Telangana and Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh near Srisailam temple town and is the 2nd largest capacity working hydroelectric station in the country. The shrine of Lord Mallikarjuna picturesquely situated on a flat top of Nallamalai Hills, Srisailam is reputed to be one of the most ancient kshetras in India.

Belum Caves

Belum Caves The Belum Caves is the largest and longest cave system open to the public on the Indian subcontinent, known for its speleothems, such as stalactite and stalagmite formations. The Belum Caves have long passages, galleries, spacious caverns with fresh water and siphons. This natural underground cave system was formed over the course of tens of thousands of years by the constant flow of underground water. There are 16 different pathways, including the main entrance and there are deposits of quartz in the caves.

Ajanta-Ellora Caves

Ajanta-Ellora Caves Situated within the flows of the Deccan Volcanic Province the carvings of these caves are the product of three religious faiths. Cave no. 16 carved out from ~ 300000 cubic feet of rock and known as ‘Kailash’, is the largest and the best of all Ellora excavations. The rock-cut caves of Ajanta belong to the period between 2nd century BC to the 6th century AD and are located about 104 km from Aurangabad.

The Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal The Taj Mahal (in Persian for Crown of Palaces) is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna river in the Indian city of Agra. In 2007, it was declared a winner of the New 7 Wonders of the World initiative. It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan (reigned 1628–1658), to house the tomb of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The grace of perfection of proportions and grandeur of geometrical patterns of well appointed gardens enhancing the poise of the whole complex together add magnificence to the delicacy of this monument of love, dedication and purity, ‘The Taj’!

Varanasi and Sarnath

Varanasi The temple town of Varanasi is also the spiritual capital of India sprawling along the banks of the River Ganges. The Vishwanath temple, also called the golden temple owing to the gold-plating on its roof and many others date back to the 18th century. The culture of River Ganga is the most vivid in this city of Ghats. The Benares Gharana form of music was developed in Varanasi where culture and arts was patronised by Kashi Naresh. The Sarnath, temple where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon to his disciples, expounding the principles of Buddhism is about 10 km away. One of the largest residential Universities of Asia, BHU is situated in this city.

Jim Corbett National Park

Jim Corbett Jim Corbett National Park is the oldest national park in India and was established in 1936 as Hailey National Park to protect the endangered Bengal tiger. It is located in Nainital district of Uttarakhand and was named after Jim Corbett who played a key role in its establishment. The park was the first to come under the Project Tiger initiative. The park has sub-Himalayan belt geographical and ecological characteristics. An ecotourism destination, it contains 488 different species of plants and a diverse variety of fauna.


Khajuraho TThe Khajuraho Group of Monuments is a group of Hindu and Jain temples in Madhya Pradesh, India, about 175 kilometres (109 mi) southeast of Jhansi. They are one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India. The temples are famous for their nagara-style architectural symbolism and their erotic sculptures. Most Khajuraho temples were built between 950 and 1050 by the Chandela dynasty in the 12th century. Of the original 85 temples, only about 25 temples have survived, spread over 6 square kilometers. Of the various surviving temples, the Kandariya Mahadeva Temple is decorated with a profusion of sculptures of ancient Indian art.

Golden Triangle – Delhi-Agra-Jaipur

image While Delhi and Agra provide visitors the relicts of the Moghul empire, Jaipur presents the past of the Hindu kingdoms that rose and fell over centuries in this part of the country. The Hawa Mahal of Jaipur- the Palace of Winds, perhaps Jaipur’s signature monument, a five-storied, spectacular, pyramid-shaped façade show the contrasting styles of the two historical regimes.