Gurmeet Kaur

Panjab University, Chandigarh

Gurmeet Kaur is an Associate Professor (2019-present) at the Centre of Advanced Study in Geology, Panjab University. She specialises in petrology, mineralogy, and geochemistry. She has been involved in international projects such as the IUGS and UNESCO-sponsored 'Heritage stones recognition: A step forward (2020-2024 ) and IGCP 63 7 Heritage stone designation (2015 - 2019). She has been the Chair of the IUGS Subcommission on Heritage Stones (November 2020 onwards), IUGS Publications Committee Member (August 2018 onwards), visiting faculty at Laurentian University, Canada, and visiting scholar at the Department of Geology, Lakehead University, Canada. She has mentored senior school students at the Department of Science and Technology-INSPIRE camp organised at Panjab University (2016-2018). She was elected a Fellow of the Geological Society of India in 2004.

Gurmeet Kaur

Session 2D - Public Lecture

Umesh V Waghmare, JNCASR, Bengaluru

The saga of laterite

The saga of laterite is a tale that recounts the enduring significance of this intriguing stone in understanding the culture and history of the Western Ghats. The story begins with the geological formation of laterite. Centuries ago, people thriving in the Western Ghats and vicinity discovered the remarkable qualities of laterite. The presence of extensive laterite deposits in this region shaped its cultural landscape. Laterite structures not only served as architectural wonders but also held perceptive cultural significance. They became centres of worship and repositories of history. In recognition of the importance of laterite-built structures and sites, UNESCO designated some of them as World Heritage Sites. Today, the saga oflaterite continues as these sites and structures continue to inspire awe and wonder. They remind us of the enduring legacy of human ingenuity etched in stone.

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