Maharashtra to have fossil park soon

Maharashtra to have fossil park soon

Maharashtra's Gadchiroli district will soon have a fossil park.  Located 950 km from Mumbai, Gadchiroli district in Vidarbha region is rich in nature and fossils have been found here.

Work is in progress for the fossil park at Wadadham, which would be a first-of-its-kind of tourism destination in the country.

The park will house replicas of dinosaurs and exhibits of their bones and plant fossils dating back to the pre-historic period - a rare and rich collection.

"We expect to commission the project in a year's time," Tushar Chavan, deputy conservator of forests, Sironcha forest division, told DH over phone on Saturday.

"We have over 100 exhibits as of now…and these are several million years old," Chavan said.

In fact, Wadadham has also been approved as a biodiversity heritage site by the Maharashtra State Biodiversity Board due to the presence of fossils, rare plants and stone-age tools that have been found.

"It is geologically, archaeologically and culturally very rich," said Kishor Rithe, a member of Maharashtra State Board for Wildlife, who is a former member of Maharashtra State Biodiversity Board.

"It is a biodiversity hotspot," said Rithe, the founder of Satpuda Foundation.

Some of the fossil finds are on display at the Geology Museum in the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata and at a museum in Hyderabad.

"We would also be writing to them if we can get some exhibits," forest department officials said.

Chavan said that the region will also open up new avenues of research by geologists, archaeologists and palaeontologists.

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