Gilbert Hill is a 200 ft (61 m) monolith column of black basalt rock in the middle of Andheri, in Mumbai, the state of Maharashtra, India. The rock has a sheer vertical face and was formed when molten lava was squeezed out of the Earth’s clefts somewhere around 65 million years ago.
During that era, molten lava had spread around most of the Indian states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh, covering an area of 19,000 sq mi. Gilbert is made entirely of black basalt made during the volcanic lave spread during the Mesozoic era. Gilbert Hill is a well-kept secret in the middle of urban sprawl, surrounded by trees and vegetation.
The volcanic eruptions were also responsible for the destruction of plant and animal life during that era. Geologist believes, this unique geological occurrence was the remnant of a ridge and had clusters of vertical columns in nearby Jogeshwari which were quarried off two decades ago. These vertical columns are akin to the Devils Tower in Wyoming, and the Devils Postpile in eastern California, the USA due to similarities in its sheer rock face and basalt-rock composition.
In 192, the Central Government declared Gilbert Hill a National Park under the Forest Act. In 2007, after years of lobbying by geologists, the hill was declared a Grade II heritage structure by the MCGM (Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai), and all quarrying and other activities around the monument were prohibited. Gilbert Hill has faced severe erosion problems too in recent times.
The Hindu Temples are set at the atop of the rock column, and a small garden. You can access by a steep staircase carved into the rock. Gilbert hill offers a panoramic 360-degree view of suburban Mumbai. Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation is doing efforts to make the Gilbert Hill into a tourist attraction and include it as a stop on a tour of Mumbai and also protected it from quarrying and housing development.
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