Monday, December 26, 2011

A Date with Fossils

December 18, 2011

7:30 AM

Today is Sunday. A winter morning and there is no sun. I and my husband started from Anpara for Fossil Park. Our car driver is Dinesh and he enjoys driving. Most people here do not know anything about fossil park . Their facial expression seems like “Fossil what?? What is this??” We came to know about the fossil park in Sonbhadra from the official web site of Sonbhadra district ( It took us quite a few days to locate the park. Finally I searched it through google map. The map shows us a boundary of fossil park. But there was no clear road to reach there. Then I located the area name Salkhan. We asked Dinesh take us to Salkhan first.

Click for full view of the Map. This is a screenshot of what Google Map shows. Below you can see the Chopal Pul, and at the top, you can see Robertsganj. Fossil Park is between the two, away from the Highway.

8:00 AM
The car is passing Rihand dam. From the bridge that mega structure of the dam is not visible. All that we could see was a white screen of mist and fog. Fog is growing denser. Outside the car temperature is 5-6 degree Celsius. Inside the car Abhijit is sleeping. After all past few days he was sleeping 3 or 4 hours a day less due to his office work load and more due to Face Book addiction. (That’s my own opinion ofcourse).

9:30 AM
We stop for a cup of tea in front of Dalla Cement Factory. Fog is still covering the surroundings. Life is hardly visible on the road. Only a few motor vehicles could be identified when they were very near, otherwise even the headlights were not visible beyond 5 meters.

10:00 AM

We crossed the Chopan pul (a bridge over river Son). The fog is clearing up and faint rays of the Sun is shinning. The nearest boundary of the park is about 10 km further towards Robertsganj from Chopan bridge and the google map did not show the road to park from the state highway. So we started asking people about the park. Some looked at the sky in thoughtful manner; some honestly told that they never heard about such park. At last at a paan shop a man gave us some direction. He offered his services to take us to the crossing from where we had to leave the state highway and turn left for the park. We readily agreed. He showed us the crossing and gave further directions. This person’s name is Shri Seet nath and he is a local farmer.

On Left: The farmer who showed us the way. 

A board with descriptions of Fossil Park
10:30 AM
We enter in the park. Fossil park is situated in District Sonbhadra in U.P. INDIA. India has such a precious asset that hardly people know about this. I also did not know about this spot, but when I came to Anpara and tried to find out the interesting places around this area only then I came to know about this fossil park. This is a wonder full experience. The park is full of stromatolite colony . Some trees or other vegetation in fossil form are spread all over the park area.

Fossils are preserved remains or traces of animals, plants or other organism from remote past. The study of fossils across geological time, how they were formed and evolutionary relationship between taxa (other living things) are some of the most important functions of the science of paleontology. Fossils are formed when a living organism buried and preserved under the rock or between the sedimentary layers.

Stromatolites are most intriguing fossils that are our singular visual portal into deep time on earth, the emergence of life and the eventual evolving of the beautiful life form from cambrian to modern time. In broad term stromatolite are fossil evidence of Prokaryotic life that remain today. These are very first DNA on this earth. When the earth atmosphere was cover with CO2 that time these stromatolite releasing O2. These micro-organisms were building community. The oldest colony was dating back 3.5 to 4 billion years old. The scientists explain that stromatolite are formed in the sea bed. When the tectonic plate of Australia and India divided these stromatolites came up and as time passed it became fossiled.


Fossilized tree

Fossilized tree


Fossilized tree trunk

Stromatolite Bed

The big question is why they are in Vindhyachal range???? Lots of other vegetations are also found there in fossilized form. If anyone knows about this subject then please do tell me.