This is a fairly detailed report on this particular event. What is clear is that a nuclear war was waged using aircraft of some sort against large populations and other positions as well not obviously possessing comparable technology.
“A single projectile charged with all the power in the Universe…An incandescent column of smoke and flame as bright as 10,000 suns, rose in all its splendor…it was an unknown weapon, an iron thunderbolt, a gigantic messenger of death which reduced to ashes an entire race.
“The passage tells of combat where explosions of final weapons decimate entire armies, causing crowds of warriors with steeds and elephants and weapons to be carried away as if they were dry leaves of trees,” says Ganguli.
“Instead of mushroom clouds, the writer describes a perpendicular explosion with its billowing smoke clouds as consecutive openings of giant parasols. There are comments about the contamination of food and people’s hair falling out.”
“It’s so mid-boggling to imagine that some civilization had nuclear technology before we did. The radioactive ash adds credibility to the ancient Indian records that describe atomic warfare.”
…a single projectile
Charged with all the power of the Universe.
An incandescent column of smoke and flame
As bright as the thousand suns
Rose in all its splendour…
a perpendicular explosion
with its billowing smoke clouds…
…the cloud of smoke
rising after its first explosion
formed into expanding round circles
like the opening of giant parasols…
..it was an unknown weapon,
An iron thunderbolt,
A gigantic messenger of death,
Which reduced to ashes
The entire race of the Vrishnis and the Andhakas.
…The corpses were so burned
As to be unrecognisable.
The hair and nails fell out;
Pottery broke without apparent cause,
And the birds turned white.
After a few hours
All foodstuffs were infected…
…to escape from this fire
The soldiers threw themselves in streams
To wash themselves and their equipment.
“‘Now I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds.’ I suppose we all felt that way.”
“The crater is formed in the basalt rock of thickness 600-700m (2,000 to 2,200 feet). This rock is made of many layers or flows which were laid why volcanic activity at various times, five of such flows are exposed at the crater rim. Thickness of these flows ranges from 5 to 30m.
“Lonar is a place of obscurities, especially as the only meteoric crater formed in basaltic terrain. It has remained relatively intact due to low degree of erosion by environmental agents, making it an excellent model for study. However, several strange things happen here:
1. The lake has two distinct regions that never mix — an outer neutral (pH7) and an inner alkaline (pH11) each with its own flora and fauna. You can actually do a litmus paper test here and check this for yourself.
2. There is a perennial stream feeding the lake with water but there seems to be no apparent outlet for the lake’s water. And it is also a big unsolved mystery where the water for the perennial stream comes from, in a relatively dry region like Buldhana. Even in the driest months of May and June, the stream is perpetually flowing. Lonar generates questions and more questions”. Lilyn Kamath