Banni grassland, a geoheritage landscape of Western India: Endless possibilities for Geo-Eco-Socio tourism

Dey, Rupak, Sharma, Seema B., Thakkar, M. G. and Chowdhury, Abhiroop (2024) Banni grassland, a geoheritage landscape of Western India: Endless possibilities for Geo-Eco-Socio tourism. Geoheritage, 16 (2). ISSN 1867-2477

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Awareness of geoheritage, geoconservation, and geotourism research has significantly increased globally during the past two decades. A peri-cratonic Kachchh rift basin in western India exposes varied geological formations and structures, from the Jurassic to Recent. Kachchh basin is characterized by rocky uplifts and pediments with deciduous and scanty forest, which suggest a semi-arid climate while hypersaline Rann and Banni plains show an arid to hyper-arid climate. The deteriorating grasslands of Banni were known as Savanna-type grasslands of Asia. Several natural and anthropogenic factors have led to its depletion. Owing to its unique geological, aesthetic, botanical and cultural values, the Banni Grasslands hold a potential candidature for a critical geo-observatory site status, both at national and international levels. The geological evolutionary history of this fragile eco-zone with a strong anthropological background calls for a holistic sustainable development that encompasses the socio-economical needs and ecological agility at the same time. The plains of Banni are unique geomorphic features with distinct ecology, traditional climate-human sustainable practice model and diverse folk arts and skills of making climate-tectonic resistive dwellings. The grasslands to the north merge into the marshes and uplifted mudflats as the Rann terrain. The present paper is an attempt to understand the socio-economic intricacies of Banni grassland in light of its unique geological origin and ecological vulnerabilities. It focuses on traditional and sustainable ecological knowledge of the local folks with distinct harmony of their art and architecture so interwoven with the activeness of the climate and tectonics of Banni. The inter-sectorial conflicting interests have redefined the fate of this terrain, in recent decades. It presents the status quo of its geological, anthropological and ecological facets and establishes the way forward that sustains the social, economic and above all ecological obligations in the long run.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Grassland | Banni | Geo-ecological uniqueness | Geoheritage site
Subjects: Physical, Life and Health Sciences > Environmental Science, Policy and Law
Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Social Sciences (General)
JGU School/Centre: Jindal School of Environment & Sustainability
Depositing User: Subhajit Bhattacharjee
Date Deposited: 14 May 2024 16:39
Last Modified: 14 May 2024 16:44
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