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2.5 billion years old volcanic formations in Odisha to become tourist hotspot

Nomira pillow lava formation dating back to 2.5 billion years will be developed as a geo-tourism attraction

Odisha’s pillow lava formations in Nomira village in Keonjhar district will soon be in the spotlight as it will become a geo-tourism attraction.

This type of formations are rare in the world are volcanic rock that appear as small pillows or buns and were formed billion years ago when hot basaltic magma slowly erupted from under water and became solid. Nomira is said to be dating back to more than 2.5 billion years.

The only other geological wonder like this in India exists at Maradihalli, a village in Karnataka’s Chitradurga district.

The Union Ministry of Mines which is piloting the Geo-heritage sites and Geo-relics (Preservation and Maintenance) bill 2022 will empower the Geological Survey of India to protect such rare and important geological sites of national importance. Among such sites is Nomira’s pillow lava.

This bill, apart from enabling GSI to conduct geological and scientific studies of such sites, will also allow it to spread awareness and educate people about them and develop places like Nomira as geo-tourism spots. It will attract a large number of visitors including students, researchers, and scientists not just from India but also other countries.

Nomira village and the complete horse-shoe shaped manganese and iron ore area in Joda-Barbil was covered under sea water billions of years ago. Over a period of time the ocean and sea water subsided. Study of this area will provide information about the Precambrian Indian peninsula, its geological evolution and significance.

This site was discovered in 1942 by British geologists Jones and Dunne. The GSI during its 125 years celebrations in 1976 declared Nomira as a National Geological Monument.

The GSI has identified 90 such geo-heritage sites so far.