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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 1, p. 50.


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CHAPTER II
GEOLOGY
I. In trodtiction
Peninsular To those who support as well as to those who deny the
and extra- doctrine of the permanence of oceanic basins and continental
peninsular
India. plateaux, India, the land of paradoxes, provides striking illustra-
tions of these diametrically opposed opinions, a circumstance
which suggests that the real truth lies somewhere between the
extreme positions taken up by two classes of equally sincere
naturalists. Those who think that the main orographical
features originally developed on the solidified crust have
never been seriously modified recognize in the main Pen-
insula an example of solid land which has neither been
folded nor disturbed since the earliest geological times. Those
who hesitate to recognize any limits to the mobility of the
earth's crust quote the Himalayas as an example of an area in
which marine deposits containing Nummulites, and therefore
no older than the London Clay, have been raised to an eleva-
tion of 20,000 feet within the Tertiary period.
Within the limits of the Indian Empire we have, therefore,
two utterly dissimilar areas, unlike in geological history and
equally unlike in the physical features which are the direct
outcome of the geological past. In the Peninsula we have
one of the few masses of land which have withstood all ten-
dencies to earth-folding for as long as the palaeontological
record stretches back. In the Himalayan region, on the
other hand, the folding of the crust has produced, during
the latest geological epoch, the grandest of our mountain
ranges.
The stable Except in marginal strips which show temporary and local
Peninsula. trespasses of the sea on the coast, not a single marine fossil is
found throughout the whole extent of peninsular India. The
orographical features of this area are the outcome of the
differential erosion of an old land surface, where the shallow



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