India is a country of vivid phenomena. Whether it is the culture, tradition, beauty, or people, the place never fails to amuse. India has expressed the beauty of its history starting from the Mohenjodaro or Indus Valley Civilization aged till date. But no one could ever imagine the outstanding collection of the pre-historic period that India has been parenting. Balasinor Fossil Park in Gujarat is one of such places in India that has cultured the pre-historic pieces of evidence of the existence of dinosaur. That’s not all. This fossil park is ranked amongst the world’s largest Dinosaur Fossil Park.
The Story of its Discovery
A world heritage site declared by the UNESCO, this place is was found about 40 years back in 1981. The discovery of this area was absolutely accidental. Certain geologists had come to this area to study about mineral resource survey. Songhir Bagh Basin followed by Himatnagar basin of Balasinor was the first place where the fossils were uncovered.
Since then, numerous excavation processes continued to bring to light about the existence of fossils in the areas like Kheda, Vadodara, and Panchmahal districts of Gujarat. The area has now attracted a number of tourists from all over the world and has drawn the attention of scientists. Set up by the Geological Survey of India, the park is the only eke out of a living fossil park in the country.
Fascinating facts about the Park
The park has numerous interesting attractions and facts that are rare and indigenous to this place. Verification by multitudinous prominent institutions has come to the conclusion that the fossils found in the park are the oldest amongst the other dinosaur fossils found from the mid-Jurassic period; most of them found at Kutch basin in Parcham. The carbon dating of the fossils declares that the age of these is as old as 66 million years.
These age-old fossils date back to the upper Cretaceous age. Not just the boney fossils the park is also a reserve of dinosaur eggs. The fossil eggs are even older than the fossil bones aged to 65 million years. This is the one and only place in the world where the tourists are allowed to witness and touch the remains. There exists a limb of a dinosaur perfectly protected and trapped in a rock along with skin intact. Egg rings and other strange bones can be found too.
A dinosaur park would be incomplete without dinosaur display. Megalosaurus, Stegosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Tyrannosaurus rex, Titanosaurus, Iguanodon, and more; the place has been beautifully maintained by such life-like huge models of dinosaurs. The Tyrannosaurus rex species discovered from this area is actually a new species, named as “The Prince of Narmad” Rajasaurus narmadensis. Brachiosaurus, Antarctosaurus, and Barapasaurus are the other species that were aboriginal to the site.
There were about seven dinosaur species to have resided here, as per the records by paleontologists. To the wonder, there were more than 10, 000 eggs of the reptiles that were recovered. The eggs range in sizes from that of a duck’s to the size of a cannonball and can be as heavy as a human body! The details of each of these reptiles have also been engraved along their models. Although a man-made park, the samples on display are truly from the third largest excavation site of the world and second largest hatchery at Balasinor.
“The Jurassic Park of India” is spread across an area of 428 hectares and is divided into different sectors for the convenience of touring. Sections such as dinosaur, mammal, fossil, walk-in-aviary, avifauna, reptile, marine and earth, plant, botanical sections are the main areas for one to wander around.
Maintenance and Promotion
The fossil park has huge potential to be one of the most precious pre-historic reserves on the planet. This park is currently maintained by the GEER (Gujarat Ecological and Research Foundation). The promotion of tourism to this park is not just being carried out by the Government of India but also by the former Princess of Balasinor, Gujarat, Aaliya Sultana Babi.
She has worked selflessly toward the protection and maintenance of the dinosaur bequeathal. Due to her endless contribution towards the publicization of the dinosaur remains, she is often known as “The Dinosaur Princess”. She knows the area in and out and does justice to the place while explaining to the tourists.
Raiyoli, Mahisagar, Balasinor, Gujarat 388265
How to reach
One can board a flight or train to Ahmedabad. The park can be accessed easily by road through motorbikes, cars, buses, etc. from Ahmedabad. It takes only an hour or two to reach the destination.
A day of outing is all that is needed. An amazing place to explore, the fossil park surprises every person who pays a visit. Regardless of age, the park enchants everyone by its displays. A trip to the park is worth planning. Such incredible sites are unusual to be found in the world.