Belur and Halebidu stone temples, Karnataka, India

Khursheed Dinshaw (India) Belur and Halebidu are part of the Dharwar Craton and are situated in the western part of the craton. (A craton is large portion of a continental plate that has been relatively undisturbed since the Precambrian Era.) The rock formations of this region belong to Dharwar supergroup which has three major components including the Sargur group of rocks dating back to 3,000 to 3,300Ma. Fig. 1. The typical bottle green colour of Belur Temple sculptures. The Peninsular Gneissic Rocks here comprise of two orders, which serve as basement rocks for the deposition of the Sargur group and post 3,000Ma my gneissic rocks, which serve as basement rocks for the deposition of Dharwar group of rocks, which date from 2,800 to 2,500Ma. Fig. 2. The uniform texture of soapstone is ideal for sculpting. “Intruding into this thick pile of rock formations is the intrusive granitic bodies outcropping here and there in the gneissic rocks with intrusion ages of 2,500 to 2,400Ma. Thus, Belur and Halebidu area has a cross section of the older geological formations of the geology of the state of Karnataka,” Dr H S M Prakash, Deputy Director General (retd) of the Geological Survey of India, Bengaluru explained to me when I spoke to him recently. I was speaking to Dr. Prakash to get a better understanding about the formations of Belur and Halebidu. Dr Prakash has studied the area in detail and is based in the same state where Belur and Halebidu are located. Fig. … Read More

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