When I was a kid residing in the Old City area of Hyderabad, flooring of a house was synonymous with the term 'Shahabad'. It was much later when my Geographical knowledge gained some proportion that I came to know that Shahabad was actually a small town in the Gulbarga District of North Eastern Karnataka.
This variety of stone, technically a yellow flaky limestone, is found in the entire North Eastern region of Karnataka (commonly referred to as Hyderabad karnataka owing to its proximity to Hyderabad) and the adjoining borders of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. It is of ideal weight, texture and color to serve as an excellent material for florring. In fact the stone is used in its native region not only for flooring, but also for making walls and roofs. A special alternating stone size arrangement is used on the roofs to provide excellent ventilation while also providing a solid cover. This typical arrangement also helps in allowing a few rays of sunlight to pass through them, thus illuminating the hutments while also acting as natural ventilators. The region is a dry and hot area and surprisingly, the hutments having the Shahabad roofs are cooler than concrete structures.
But, technology takes its toll. Shahabad stone is a perfect raw material for cement and these are being mined hopelessly and turning these natural hutments into concrete jungles. Huge cement factories have come up in the region which today produces 40% of India's cement.
Long Live the Shahabad !