Some of the rock formations that you see when you take a drive around Jawai are astounding and it’s hard to believe that only through weathering and erosion have these rocks come to be the shape they are now. No rock, no boulder, no hill is similar. Through millions of years of wear both above and below ground this granite rock seems to have been sculptured by someone with the same skill and imagination as Constantin Brancusi. Jawai has a dramatic landscape and these intrusive igneous rocks are the centerpieces that contribute to these regular breath-taking moments. Therefore, as you catch your breath, here are five of some of the best from Mother Nature’s collection:
The rock here is technically called intrusive igneous rock. Igneous to mean that it has been solidified from volcanic lava and intrusive because the lava has settled underneath the earths thick crust. This shelf that sits upon the hill is created through a process of mechanical weathering. As these hills were formed underground the state of pressure coming from below and from above (the weight of the crust) was in equilibrium. However, as the crust began to wear away and the granite rock appeared out of the ground, they are not able to take the unequal pressure and as a result they naturally expand, a process called ‘unburdening’. This, in turn, creates horizontal fractures, here some of that fracture has fallen away leaving behind this shelf.
This sculptured formation had been pointed out to me by a guest as we were scanning Nag Giri for Nagini (one of our dominant females). This side portrait of a female Indian elephant (it has no tusk) is the only native elephant you will ever find in Rajasthan.
Called so because it exhibits certain similarities to Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’. The dappled look that the rocks often show come from water flow both above and below the ground as well as wind erosion. Each summer, Jawai is ladened with the monsoon rains. The water saturates the soil and slowly runs around the rocks creating these dimples. When the soil around the rocks recedes and the indentationa are revealed above the crust, the wind and the rain are also a combining factor to create this masterpiece.
In the evening light it is definitely one of the more frightening pieces of the collection as from every other angle it seems to be an unassuming boulder until that one angle where its terrifying nature is revealed.
The Monkey Face
Maybe at a push, but as I had gone out tracking and scanning the hills in search of wild animals, I came across this boulder which had two langurs nonchalantly sitting on its head and from that moment I could never get out of my mind that this rock really resembled the face of the very two things that sat above it.
The indentations had been sculptured in a similar way to ‘The Scream’. In addition to this, the large boulder had found its way to the foot of the hill from breaking away from the top by means of organic weathering. The hill this rock used to be connected to is full of vegetation. Seeds being caught in the small crevices of this hill formation have grown and opened the crack wider and wider until eventually the whole thing has split from the hill.
Brancusi’s ‘Golden Bird’
In the setting sun, the rock holds a golden hue to it. Its colour is due to the chemical erosion on the rocks. The granite here at Jawai contains a high concentration of iron and the colouration is due to the rain and oxygen oxidising the iron creating the compound iron oxide, otherwise known as rust.
What’s more intriguing about this formation is, as it is standing on its end, it has a similar essence and form to Brancusi’s ‘Golden Bird’. This rock isn’t chiseled by Mother Nature into a complex masterpiece but what it astonishing about it is that, like Brancusi’s sculpture, it seems to defy the laws of gravity. In Brancusi’s owns words “simplicity is complexity resolved” and this aphorism cannot resonate more when witnessing this boulder standing erect high up on a ridge.
Finally, this is probably the most intricately designed rock formation of the Jawai exhibition and to think that it had been naturally shaped this way is difficult to comprehend. Underground rivers have slowly fashioned this head and the wind buffed its edges from the time when it had emerged above the ground. I originally thought that it resembled the Queen’s head as it is somewhat similar to Queen Elizabeth II on a sterling coin…stare at it long enough and the penny may drop.