The world is betrothed to the exuberance of a wide many natural wonders even when these wonders defy sometime the very ideologies of nature as well! One such very assertive, even identifying principle around which the earth rotates in complete sanity is the working of the law of gravity. With the earth relying on its own power of attraction, courtesy not just the spectacular premises of its beauty but also the essence of its gravitational force, entities upon this sphere of life sustaining wonder cling on to their very dear existence by virtue of this very distinctive earthly property. But their exists certain places on this very earth that refuse to yield in to the pull of gravity and goes instead about their existence in their own manner, much to the amusement of the world. Such gravity defying places abounds across the entire expanse of the earth, and they dot also the Indian landscape in rather surprising frequency of their occurrence. Here’s seeking out the power of the unnatural in some of these Indian places that are not attracted to the earth, let alone to the core of it!
An incredible vision of heavenly splendor that finds prominence also as a tourist attraction in its status of inclusion as part of a World Heritage Site, the giant boulder known as Krishna’s Butterball is a standout feature of the historic town of Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu. Known also as Vaan Irai Kal that which translates in Tamil to Stone of Sky God, the 250 tonne giant mound of granite however is more mysterious than it is divine. Refusing to budge even an inch, let alone roll down despite barely standing on a steep slippery incline for 1200 long years, the giant rock of incredible balancing abilities has long held tourists and experts in disbelief in its very evident anti gravity stance.
There however exists more credible explanations afforded by the many intriguing and sometimes contradicting mechanisms through which the magic of science leads to the existence of such anomalies on the face of the earth but indeed mystifying still is the appearance of this weathered and eroded giant from heaven that counts as another gravity defying phenomena to marvel at well within the land of the many mavericks that India herself is.
Lucknow’s famed Bara Imambara might be one of the most famous tourist attractions of the city, laying claim to being possibly the only existing maze in India with a labyrinth aptly named the Bhulbhulaiyya. But lesser known is the steeping of this grand monument of historical importance in its gravity defying audacity, courtesy its existence in all grandeur as a specimen of architecture that does not rely on the support provided by any pillar or beam to hold high its head in royal esteem. Built also in a somewhat surreptitious manner of its reckoning that saw ordinary folks take to its construction during the day while noblemen and other elites worked upon it at night in what was a very noble venture of the then Nawab of Awadh Asaf-ud-Daula to provide employment to a nation of people ravaged by a famine, this structure steeped also in other mystics of its being such as the existence of a staggering 1024 ways to reach the terrace but only a couple to come back to the gate holds still its enigma as the largest arched construction in the world that is what dictates its refusal to adhere to the natural exertion of the earth’s gravitational force.
Of commonplace prominence among the few some places in India that inspire awe with the anti nature of them is a tourist attraction nestled in one of the most favored tourism hotspots in the country. Beholding the enormous magnificence of adventure and grandeur of beauty that the state of Ladakh is known for is a hill that is in fact just one among the many gravity hills scattered across the length and breadth of the expanses that make up our incredible country. The aptly named Magnetic Hill has to be one of the most curious places on earth that confounds indeed everyone with the ‘magic’ permeating the very obvious mystical aura of the surrounding mountainous landscape.
Though an optical illusion that makes a downhill sloping road look like it actually slopes upward, the magnetic hill will have your bike drive up it all by itself if you leave it with the brakes unlocked. But despite the knowledge of what actually drives this anti gravity behavior along this strip of land perched at an altitude of 14000 feet and hell bent on defying the very laws of nature, the thrill of this visual adventure is too tempting to not have anyone completely bowled over by the sheer wayward assertion of it.
For those however still desperate to cling to their belief of mystery residing indeed along the curves of the Magnetic Hill, there exists local tales that helps them sustain their sense of eerie excitement. Believed to be a literal stairway to heaven is this path up the hill that grants only the good doers a supernatural way of finding entry into that paradise of the outer world, endowing therefore a certain charm upon what is otherwise a very ordinary hill, even in its zero gravity basis. Another theory more rooted in this world of reality asserts that the hill has a strong magnetic force emanating from within which is what exerts the anti natural force upon vehicles in and around the area. But whatever the explanation, it indeed is certain that the Magnetic Hill of Ladakh is one of the most famous ‘mysterious’ places that one can venture to within the Indian territory.
Gravity hills are fairly common occurrences in many parts of the world and yet they are deemed mysterious. So what would a gravity defying waterfall manifest itself as? Pure magic, one would say. And such a trick of magic finds upside down expression in India itself, in the state of Maharashtra where it is a certain Naneghat fall beautifully set in the gorgeous premises of the lush Western Ghats that generates all the wows. Also as much an optical illusion as gravity hills, such reverse waterfalls occur in even lesser frequency along the ambits of the natural world which makes them even more spectacular sights to gape at in utter disbelief.
The Naneghat waterfall therefore embodies not the cascading ordinariness of a typical waterfall where water gushes out from the mouth and falls from a height to create a tremendous natural sight of dramatic impact. Instead the drama hence is intensified even more by the upward ‘rise’ of the water which in reality is caused by the strong force of winds. Inducing therefore an apparent perception of water flowing upwards is this Naneghat waterfall of India, and several others in the world that presents themselves as curious cases of anti gravity expressions, seemingly defying the laws of attraction that nature undoubtedly is capable of in its many amassments of exquisite wonders.
Amidst the picturesque exuberance of the Mainpat hill station nestled in the state of Chhatisgarh also resides the defiant exuberance of a stream that flows in a direction opposite of what it is expected to. Named also rather aptly therefore as Ulta Paani is this gravity defying presence of immense beauty where the water takes an upwards course of very evident anti natural essence. Sandwiched between two hills across the range of which there continuously blows a strong wind in the uphill direction as well is what triggers the anti gravity prominence of the otherwise ordinary stream. And it isn’t just Ulta Paani though that refuses to bow down to the gravitational force of the earth in the small village of Mainpat. Right next to the reverse flowing stream exists also another magnetic hill where static vehicles take their own uphill motion with a speed that in fact attains an increasing momentum as well, bringing to fore rather poignantly the anti gravity essence embedded well into the soul of the place.
Of divine leanings but still one that defies indeed the law of gravity in more sure an assertion is a particularly famous place located in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The Veerbhadra Lepakshi temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is a conglomeration of all things historically and archaeologically significant as well as architecturally impressive, but what indeed reigns supreme in this abode of the God is indeed the supernatural ruling of the divine.
Built in stunning assertion of the artistic expression that has characterised the India of yore in all incredibleness is this Lepakshi temple that stands mighty and proud with 70 humongous pillars supporting the divine dominion. But out of these many pillars that stand out still with their intricate carving and hefty build is a certain gravity defying one that seemingly hangs from the ceiling, with indeed a very visible gap between the pillar base and the ground on which it is supposed to stand. In fact so certain is the hanging essence of the pillar that visitors dumbfounded by this inexplicable play of mystery often pass objects underneath it, not however to just ascertain the ‘detached’ existence of it but also with the belief that doing so will bring prosperity into their life. While the mystery behind the suspending pillar is often attributed as being a technological marvel worked out in clever secrecy to perfect execution, this indeed is one Indian landmark that does not fully conform to nature’s law of gravity and asserts therefore further the divine play at work there. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon? We much fancy our own Hanging Pillar of Lepakshi instead!
At the highest point of the region of Kutch in Gujarat lies also another distinctive landmark that makes up for another of the gravity hills in India. The Black Hill or Kalo Dungar is indeed a tourist favorite, granting as it does majestic views of the Great Rann of Kutch. Apart from this appealing premise on which rests the allure of Kalo Dungar is also its emergence to fame as a location where the law of gravity fails to exert its all encompassing force, even when the reality spans out as an optical illusion playing out along the steep reaches of the hill, much like other magnetic hills of India and the world.