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Lonar Creater : World’s third largest crater in Maharashtra

Situated on the outskirts of Loanar town in Buldhana District, the Lonar Crater was first discovered in 1823 by British officer, J.E. Alexander. It is also written about in ancient scripts like the Skanda Puran, the Padma Puran and the Aaina-i-Akbari. Lonar is distinguished by the fact that it is the world’s third largest crater. It has its genesis nearly 50,000 years ago, when a 2 million-ton meteorite impacted the earth to create a depression 1.83 kilometers in diameter and 150 meters deep. Since that cataclysmic event, Lonar has evolved into an idyllic expanse of sky blue water amidst a sprawling emerald forest that stretches around it as far as the eye can see. Today, it attracts casual tourists as well as members of the scientific community from across the world, including research agencies like the Smithsonian Institution of Washington DC, the US Geological Survey, the Geological Society of India, and Sagar University, Jabalpur, and Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, which have conducted extensive studies about the site.

But, the scientific angle aside, this destination also has much to offer wildlife enthusiasts as it is generously endowed in both flora and fauna. The crater is home to hundreds of peafowl, chinkara and gazelles, which browse amongst the shrubs and bushes ringing the lake. Other residents include egrets, moor hens, herons, coots, white-necked storks, lapwings, grey wagtails, grebes, black droungos, green bee-eaters, tailorbirds, magpies and robins – as well as numerous species of migratory birds that often visit the place. Lonar impresses with the richness of its natural heritage. And, like the meteorite that put it on the map, leaves a lasting impression.