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Stone Forest, Madagascar - Amazing World
4238    Dibyendu Banerjee    15/01/2018

Stone Forest, Madagascar

The gigantic 'Grand Tsingy' landscape located in western Madagascar is popularly known as the world’s largest stone forest. Indeed, it looks like a nearly impenetrable dense forest of knife-edged rocks of towering height. Desolate and inhospitable, this huge collection of colossal, sharp, vertical rocks unknowingly reminds one of the scary situations of the famous film, Jurassic Park. Its name "Tsingy" is derived from a local word meaning ‘the place where one cannot walk barefoot’, due to the hazardous formations of razor-sharp pinnacles made from the limestone rocks, which have been eroded by tropical rain.

Stone Forest
Stone Forest

It is almost like a huge cave without a roof. Over millions of years the great block of Jurassic stone has dissolved into a labyrinth of knife-edged towers, slot canyons, and wet caves. Its unusual ‘karst’ formations were created from porous limestone that was scrubbed, furbished and shaped by rainwater and streams. It is believed that groundwater also infiltrated the great limestone beds, creating caves and tunnels, as the rock dissolved. With time, the cavities grew in size and eventually their roofs collapsed, creating numerous line-straight canyons. In some places the canyons are around 120 m deep, edged by spires of vertically standing sharp rocks. Some of these canyons are so tight that a human would have difficulty passing through them.

Stone Forest
Stone Forest

Due to the unique geography, mangrove forests, wild bird and lemur populations, Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990. While the northern side, covering an area of 853 sq km, remains carefully protected as a nature reserve, the southern part has been converted into Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, covering an area of 666 square kilometers. There is also a canopy walk at the park for visitors to walk on, to be able to have a full glimpse of the park and how it looks like with its numerous species.  

Stone Forest
Stone Forest
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Author Details
Dibyendu Banerjee
Ex student of Scottish Church College. Served a Nationalised Bank for nearly 35 years. Authored novels in Bengali. Translated into Bengali novels/short stories of Leo Tolstoy, Eric Maria Remarque, D.H.Lawrence, Harold Robbins, Guy de Maupassant, Somerset Maugham and others. Also compiled collections of short stories from Africa and Third World. Interested in literature, history, music, sports and international films.
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