by The American Geosciences Institute Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Several of these gray-black crystalline limestone pinnacles lie outside the village for which they are named, in the jungles of the Western Ghat Mountains, and within a Precambrian greenstone belt.
At 120 meters and 90 meters, the two shikhara (meaning cliffs or hills) shown are some of the tallest, and are named for two mythological figures: a demon king who can ignite enemies by placing his hand above their heads, and a young woman (a god in disguise) who dances with the demon to trick him into igniting himself — with the ensuing fire blackening the limestone.
The color is caused by iron, manganese and organic matter present in the fine-grained, karstic limestone, which forms caves, some of which have been made into temples.
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Answer: At 120 meters and 90 meters high, respectively, Bhairaveshwara Shikhara and Mohini Shikhara are some of the tallest of the Yana Rock Cliffs in the Western Ghat Mountains of India. The color of the cliffs derives from iron, manganese and organic matter present in the fine-grained limestone, which forms caves, some of which have been made into temples. Photo is by Pramod T. Hanamgond. October Winners: Claude E. Bolze (Sapulpa, Okla.) David Goldak (Wichita, Kan.) Cara Heberling (Locust Grove, Va.) Amy Strobel (Lovettsville, Va.) Jim Sukup (Indianapolis, Ind.) Visit the Where on Earth? archive.
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