Ladakh Groundbreaking Discovery


By Col Satish Singh Lalotra

As the world comes together to celebrate the beauty of our planet’s ancient history, a truly exceptional story of discovery and adventure emerges from the high-altitude wilderness of Ladakh Himalayas, Burtse to be precise. At such a height of 18,000 feet, fossils of coral reefs have been found by Dr Ritesh Arya, a renowned geologist.

He has unearthed coral reef fossils at Burtse in the Eastern Ladakh Himalayas.The unearthed fossils include structures of coral colonies, and give a glimpse into the area’s geological past which comprised of an ancient underwater world. The findings are indicative of a biodiversity that once existed in the said region.

According to geologist Arya, these findings have the potential to redefine our understanding of the region’s past. Ladakh, famous for its high-altitude desert landscapes, might have been a different geological entity, one that was home to vibrant marine life, coral reefs and even beaches.

These fossils open up new vistas of compelling evidence of a time when Burtse was submerged in a marine environment and a coastal beach along the ‘TETHYS OCEAN’; something we have akin to our own beaches all along our 7500 kms of maritime boundary. The geology indicates low –energy conditions painting a vivid picture of the past at Burtse. In fact, the geological history of Burtse was a parallel to the beaches of Rameswaram or Andaman Nicobar today.

Its unique blend of geological wonders and historical narratives places it firmly on the world map of ‘Geo-heritage’ destinations of immense importance. On world fossil day culminating on 19th October this year, Dr Arya, has given a true meaning to this day by his discovery. This remarkable discovery at such a forbidding altitude challenges human spirit, forbearance and fortitude that deserves global spotlight.

Incidentally ‘Sumna’ and Rimkhim in Chamoli Garhwal also are treasure troves of such fossils that have lend credence to the fact that this Tethys Ocean had a wide spread from pre-historic times spanning our entire northern boundary from Jammu and Kashmir till Sikkim and Bhutan.

Source: Himalayan News Chronicle