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Ammonites are ancient and fossilized form of marine invertebrate animals. They are closely related to Octopuses, Squid and cuttlefish (mossuscs-coleoids) rather than the shelled species such and Nautilus. Ammonites are considered excellent index fossils because they can be used to trace geological time periods.

The name Ammonite is considered to be derived from the Greek God with ram’s horn called – Ammon. Ammonites first appeared in the seas 415 million years ago. Ammonite fossils are found in every continent. In Nepal Ammonites are found in the Kali Gandaki Basin and are called Saligram in the Nepali Language.

“The Kali Gandaki river corridor is situated between the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) and the
Chitwan National Park (CNP). The Kali Gandaki gorge is said to be the deepest gorge on the planet; running
between the 8,000m+ peaks of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri, the river valley is up to 5000 meters deep while the river flows at an average of 3000 meters above sea level. The river however, is older than the mountains; as evidenced by the ammonite fossils known as “Saligram” found in the upper stretches of the corridor at elevations of above 4000m.

The Gandaki River (also, the Kali Gandaki and the Narayani in Nepal, and the Gandaki in India) is one of Nepal’s
major rivers and a left bank tributary of the Ganges in India. The headwaters of the river are formed at an altitude of 3,900m (12,795 ft) in the Mustang region of Nepal which borders Tibet. The two headwaters (Nup Chhu and Shar Chhu or West River and East River) meet near the town of Lo Manthang in upper Mustang. The river then flows southwest and is referred to as the Mustang Khola. In Kagbeni, a major tributary – the Kak Khola – coming from Muktinath in the North, meets the Mustang Khola; from this point on, the river is called the Kali Gandaki. South of the gorge, the river is joined by the Rahughat Khola at Galeshwor, the Myagdi Khola at Beni, the Modi Khola near Kushma and the Badigaad at Rudrabeni. The river then takes a right-angle turn and runs east along the northern edge of the Mahabharat Range. The largest hydroelectricity project in Nepal is located along this stretch of the river.

Turning south again and breaking through the Mahabharats, the Kali Gandaki is then joined by another major
tributary, the Trishuli, at Devighat and then by the (East) Rapti where it drains into Chitwan in the Inner Terai. The river then crosses the outermost foothills of the Himalayas – the Siwalik Hills – and continues to the plains of the Terai and is known as the Gandaki. It also flows southwest at Devighat; this stretch is known as the Narayani or the Sapt Gandaki, which later curves back towards the southeast as it enters India. The river system has a total catchment area of 46,300km2, most of which is in Nepal and is located between the Koshi system to the east and the Karnali system to the west. Major towns and cities along the banks of the Kali Gandaki are Lo Manthang, Jomsom, Beni, Baglung, Kusma, Ridi, Devighat, Narayangarh, Valmikinagar and Triveni.”
Source: USAID – Tropical Forestry and Biodiversity (FAA 118 & 119) Assessment Report Nepal – May 17, 2010

One Response to “Ammonite”

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