Gujarat, the state famous for its rich heritage and culture, art and craft, fairs and festivals and mouthwatering cuisine, has some other mystical aspects that make its past. Not many may know that Gujarat has been a home to dinosaurs in the pre-historic times. The state is the third largest fossil site in the world and has the second largest hatchery of dinosaur eggs in the world.This is the exact site which officials of the Geological Survey of India (GSI) accidently stumbled upon in 1983 while surveying the area for mineral deposits. Palaeontologists later excavated several dinosaur fossils and eggs in Raiyoli, the village in Balasinor making it the second largest hatchery to have been found till date.
Balasinor is an erstwhile princely state in Central Gujarat, about 90 km away from Ahmedabad. It was also in Raiyoli that the bones of the famous Rajasaurus Narmadensis, Rahiolisaurs Gujaratensis (named after the town where it was first traced) and Titanosaurs were excavated in 1983 and 2003.
To honour this history and legacy of Gujarat, a new Informatics Centre and Museum was inaugurated by H’ble Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri Vijay Rupani todayat the Raiyoli village in Balasinor –approximately 100 km away from Gandhinagar.
The museum beautifully showcases the journey of dinosaurs from their inception to extinction. It also has a range of displays on their habitat, habits, food and other traits and aims to protect and preserve this 6 million-year-old heritage. The museum is equipped with a Time Machine, 5-D theatre, 3-D film, a vivid display of mesozoic times, an impressive souvenir shop etc. A giant sculpture of the Rajasaurus Narmandensis will be on display in addition to a display depicting the evolution of Earth. The museum will depict as many as 40 sculptures that will throw light on different facts related to dinosaurs found during the era. These patterns have been prepared after careful study done by paleontologists over the years.A Fossil Park Development Society has been established in order to maintain this ultra modern museum.
The museum is spread on an area of over 25,000 sq. feet with 10 galleries spread in the basement and the ground floor depicting various forms of displays including films and exhibitions. An exclusive 3-D film has been prepared on Rajasaurus Narmadensis. Other galleries display details on Dinosaurs of India and Gujarat, Fossil Exhibits and many other features. One can enjoy this museum through digital, print and static form. The state government has not only catered to those seeking information on dinosaurs and their fossils , but also to kids by creating a Dino Fun for Kids area which will be interactive and amusing. The atrium features an exact replica of the habitat of these creatures. A step in the atrium will transport you 65 million years back.
Despite being on the global map for more than two decades, what people know about this Gujarat is still less.The State has taken initiativeto make the world awareof these lesser-known facts like how it is the third largest fossil site in the world and has the second largest hatchery of dinosaur eggs in the world. This museum aims to depict the history of dinosaurs from their inception to extinction. It also has a range of displays on their habitat, habits, food and other traits.The museum will go a long way in quelling the curiosity in the minds of visitors
The state is also home to the Indroda Dinosaur and Fossil Park located in Ahmedabad which is the second largest hatchery of dinosaur eggs in the world. The State Forest Department started its plantation and renovation work in the 1970.Also known as India’s Jurassic Park, it is spread in an area of 428 hectares and contains a number of sections like the Dinosaur section, fossil section etc. From life sized dinosaur status to fossilised eggs that range from the size of duck eggs to canon balls, palaeontologists suggest that the eggs are more than 65 million years old. It is believed that the area in and around park could have been the dwelling place of these gigantic creatures. It also contains life sized statues of the giant creatures and an interesting display of a fossilised snake that fed on dinosaur eggs. A skeleton of a 3.5 m fossilised snake is believed to have fed on the eggs of Sauropods. It is probably the first evidences of feeding behaviour in a fossilised primitive snake.
If you are someone who has visited the Fossil Park or even if you haven’t, it’s now time to head to the new museum on dinosaurs that will help you dig deeper into this interesting history!