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India’s biggest natural arch discovered in Odisha by GSI


The Geological Survey of India’s (GSI) state unit has discovered a magnificent “Natural Arch” located in the Kanika range of Sundargarh forest division. This geological marvel is believed to have originated during the Jurassic period. GSI has also proposed  Geo Heritage tag for “Natural Arch”. If it is done, it will become the biggest natural arch of the country to have the Geo Heritage tag. This oval-shaped arch has a length of 30 metres at the base and is 12 metre high. The alcove of the natural arch, has maximum height and width of 7 metres and 15 metres respectively.

Significance and Geological Characteristics

Apart from its remarkable size, the natural arch and its surrounding area are a treasure trove of primary sedimentary structures, including planner and cross-bedding, along with occasional current ripples. These features indicate a high-energy fluvial environment during the sedimentation process. The formation of this natural arch can be attributed to fault activities and the unique nature of the lithotype, which have facilitated sub-aerial weathering over an extended period.

Protecting Geo Heritage Sites

Geo Heritage Sites, such as the Sundargarh Natural Arch, require special attention and protection to ensure their preservation for future generations. The GSI takes the initiative to declare and safeguard these sites, designating them as national geological monuments. Collaborating with the respective State governments, the GSI implements necessary measures to protect and maintain these sites.

About Geo Heritage Sites

Geo Heritage Sites (GHSs) are remarkable locations that possess rare and exceptional geological, geomorphological, mineralogical, petrological, and paleontological features. These sites often include natural rock formations, caves, and other geological formations of national and international significance. The Geological Survey of India (GSI) plays a crucial role in identifying, declaring, and protecting these sites, in collaboration with the respective State governments.

Important takeaways for competitive examination

  • Natural Arch is located in Odisha
  • The Geological Survey of India (GSI)is a scientific agency of India founded in 1851.
  • Headquarters of GSI is in Kolkata, West Bengal.
  • Parent organization of GSI is Ministry of Mines whose union minister is Pralhad Joshi


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