Fossil National Park

Fossil National Park is situated in Dindori, This national park has plants in fossil form that existed in India anywhere between 40 million and 150 million years ago spread over seven villages of Mandla District.

The Mandla Plant Fossils National Park is an area that spreads over 274,100 square metres. Such fossils are found in three other villages of the district also, which lie outside the national park. In Ghuguwa and Umaria the standing, petrified trunks of trees have been identified as Gymnosperms and Angiosperms- Monocotyledons and palms. There are certain Bryophytes also. There is some doubt about whether the fossils are from the late Jurassic or the early and mid-Cretaceous age. This is because when the breakup of the single land mass, Pangaea occurred, it was split by the continental drift into Laurasia and Gondwanaland somewhere between the Jurassic and Cretaceous ages. India formed a part of Gondwanaland. Interspersed with the plant fossils are to be found the fossils of molluscs. One theory is that the area in which the fossils are located, i.e., the Narmada Valley near Mandla, was actually a deep inundation of the sea into peninsular India till the Post- Cambrian Tertiary age, about 40 million years ago. This means that Narmada was a very short river which terminated in the inland sea above Mandla, and that the recession of the sea caused geological disturbances, which created the present rift valley through which the Narmada River and Tapti River flow in their present journey to the Arabian Sea.

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