Photo story: The Grand Canyon of Bengal

Gangani  situated  near the town of Garbeta in Paschim Midnapore district of West Bengal is nearly 22m. deep natural canyon carved by the river Shilabati. Due to the look and size of the place, it is popularly called the Grand Canyon of Bengal. It’s a fascinating gorge made of Lateritic soil on the banks of River Silabati. Years of soil erosion by wind and the river have carved and chiseled the gorge into a row of jagged cliffs with white sandbanks. It is a beautiful geological feature quite uncommon in the area. The Lateritic soil has been weathered by the water channels and the wind over centuries. Now  the landscape exhibits myriad formations, from sheer cliffs to earth pillars to caves, and others. Depending on the various stages of erosion, the color of the surrounding area varies from red to yellowish-brown.During sunrise and sunset the rocks throw up a kaleidoscopic play of colors. The Gangani Canyon is on the south bank  of the Shilabati River. Interestingly, the opposite bank has none of this dramatic landscape. Instead, it is a typical flat plain countryside of southern Bengal. Gangani Canyon consists of escarpments, caves, pinnacles, mesa and butte-like structures. Badlands in the lateritic zone is nothing but a product of running water forming rill and gully channels. 

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