By: Pankaj Sood
Solan: A 25 million-year-old tree fossil found near Kasauli in Himachal some two years ago by Chandigarh’s enthusiastic art collectors would now be showcased for tourists coming to state. Himachal Pradesh tourism department is setting up a Geo-Fossil park near Kasauli, which will showcase various geo-fossils found in the Shivalik ranges of western Himalayas. This park will also work for conservations of these fossils and will facilitate researchers in this field. Shivaliks are also said to have one of the world’s largest number of mammalian fossils that can help paleontologists understand evolution and prehistoric era.
This project is being started with the help of Chandigarh Museum & Art Gallery, which will provide all necessary technical & academic support to the park. An agreement in this regard between the museum & tourism department would be signed today (March 22) at Shimla. Director tourism Arun Sharma while confirming the deal informed that Dr PC Sharma, curator, & NPS Randhawa, director, Chandigarh Museum & Art Gallery, will be visiting Shimla to sign the agreement.
It is necessary to mention that the 25 million-year-old mammoth size geo-fossil was first discovered by NPS Randhawa in July 2008. After sensing its importance, Randhawa brought specialist geologists including Dr PC Sharma of National History Museum, Chandigarh to Jagjitnagar near Kasauli and they took one rock piece of it with them for further studies. Later many specialists including those of UNO recognized that these were fossils of a 25 million-year-old palm tree.
Now the government is gearing up to cash this discovery and tourism department after setting up of park is hoping to attract more tourists to this less traveled hill station. Though it is also truth that another fossil park situated at Suketi in Sirmour is bleeding due to bad upkeep, the fresh project is expected to fare better as specialists from outside the state will also be involved in it.