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Mandla Plant Fossils National Park complete detail – updated

Mandla Plant Fossils National Park complete detail – updated. Geography of Mandla Plant Fossils National Park. Dominant flora and fauna of Mandla Plant Fossils National Park. How to Reach Mandla Plant Fossils National ParkTotal area of the park is about 0.27 Km2. It was declared as a National Park in the year of 1983. 
In Mandla Fossil Park, tourists can see fossils showcased in open platforms. Informative notes have been provided in written format so that tourists may have understanding of what they are watching. In addition to this, a small museum can be seen there seeds and leaf fossils have been preserved and showcased. 
The fossils that were found were that of plants, climbers, leaves, seeds, flowers and fruits. In fact, those that were found belong to 31 genera of 18 plant families that have been so far identified. The park is well-known for its large collection of plant fossils which include palms, gymnosperms, angiosperms – monocotyledons, bryophytes…………..
National park is an area which is strictly reserved for the betterment of the wildlife & biodiversity, and where activities like developmental, forestry, poaching, hunting and grazing on cultivation are not permitted. Their boundaries are well marked and circumscribed.
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Click here to view State wise list of Indian state animals (symbols) – updated

Mandla Plant Fossils National Park is a beautiful place, located in the Mandla district of the state of Madhya Pradesh.

The Park has fossil forms that existed in India between 40 million and 150 million years ago. Mandla is one exquisite place in India where a treasure trove of fossils has been found. It was declared as a National Park in the year of 1983. Total area of the park is about 0.27 Km2.

It was found that these fossils were like plants that existed some 65 million years ago. These fossils exist in seven villages of the District. The villagers are Barbaspur, Chanti Hills, Chargaon, Deorakhurd, Deora Khoani, Ghuguwa and Umaria.

Fossils are also found in Dhangaon village. There are three other villages where fossils have been found but they exist outside the perimeter of the Park.

The fossils that were found were that of plants, climbers, leaves, seeds, flowers and fruits. In fact, those that were found belong to 31 genera of 18 plant families that have been so far identified.

The park is well-known for its large collection of plant fossils which include palms, gymnosperms, angiosperms – monocotyledons, bryophytes.

In Mandla Fossil Park, tourists can see fossils showcased in open platforms. Informative notes have been provided in written format so that tourists may have understanding of what they are watching. In addition to this, a small museum can be seen there seeds and leaf fossils have been preserved and showcased.

The news of the discovery of these fossils of late had unscrupulous people digging them up and selling them for what they really are. This was a place for collectors also. The villages where extensive damages have been done are Chargaon and Deori Khoani.  It has been suggested that the places be fenced and protected.

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History

The ancient fossils of Mandla Plant Fossils National Park reflect the appearance of Madhya Pradesh over millions of years ago. It was declared as a National Park in the year of 1983.

The scientists believe that the fossils found here are aged more than millions of years and the exact period is still to be found. It was believed that the areas were covered with dense forests at that time with semi evergreen and evergreen forest that are seen in the Western Ghats.

The fact whether the fossils belong to the early or mid-Cretaceous Age, or the latter part of Jurassic Age is still clouded in mystery. Geologists have claimed that this occurred due to the shift of the subcontinent Pangaea in to Gondwana and Laurasia, at certain point of time between the Cretaceous and Jurassic Ages.

Fossils of mollusks are also existent within the plant fossils and it is believed that the locale of the fossils, near Narmada Valley, Mandla, was previously a deep intrusion of the ocean into the peninsular part of India till the Post-Cambrian Age, which dates back to more than 40 million years ago.

The Birbal Sahani Institute of Palaeobotany, in Lucknow, has done some preliminary work on the plant fossils of Mandla. Gymnosperms and Angiosperms – Monocotyledons and Palms have been identified in the villages of Ghuguwa and Umaria that fall in the area of the park.

There is an existence of Bryophytes too. There is a debate as to whether the fossils belong to the Jurassic or the early-mid Cretaceous age. This is because of the mass break up of land called Pangaea that split the continental drift into Gondwanaland and Laurasia which was somewhere between the Jurassic and Cretaceous ages.

India was a part of Gondwanaland. Depending on the age during which the split occurred, the fossils would belong to either the Jurassic or Cretaceous age. Molluscs can also be found in the area.

Geography

Mandla Plant Fossils National Park is located in the Mandla district of the state of Madhya Pradesh.

The Park is spread out in an area covering seven villages has an ancient story. It is believed that the plant evolution in this area was in its initial stages because of the absence of Di-cotyledons.

The park lies on agricultural fields that have been cultivated since a long time ago. The agriculturists have dug up these fossils and have discarded them as rocks and stones since they look like ordinary rocks.

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Mandla Plant Fossils National Park is stretched over vast tracts of agricultural fields within the boundaries of residential villages, which is the reason why it is quite a challenge to preserve the fossils.

The old fossils resemble ordinary rocks and are often replaced from their original spots by agriculturists or destroyed by tourists. Many people make attempts to sell these unique rock-faces and earn quick money out of it. Excavations of embedded mollusks have led to extensive damage in Deorhi Kohani and Charagaon villages.

The trees that were believed to have thrived then were of three tiers which consisted of small trees or shrubs, the moderate type and the taller ones. The palms fossils that were found belonged to the middle tier type. It is also believed that the Tethys Sea extended to this are. The area had the tropical climate and the conjecture of the scientists is that the preservation came on with the climate and the then large water bodies.

Dominant flora

Tectona grandis, Diospyros melanoxylon, Madhuca indica, Buchnania latifolia, Anogeissus latifolia, Lannea coromandelica, Bosswelia serrata, Lantana camera, Grewia sp., Nyctanthus arbortristis, Zyziphus mauritiana, Apluda mutica, Themeda quadrivalvis, Meteropogon contortus, Arishtida sp. etc.

Dominant fauna

MammalsTiger, Leopard, Wild Dog, Gaur, Chinkara, Hyena, Jackal, Sloth Bear, Sambar, Nilgai, Wild Pig, Chausingha, Barking Deer, Palm Civet, Small Indian Civet, Jungle Cat, Porcupine, Langurs, Spotted Deer, Indian Fox, Common Mongoose, Common Giant Flying Squirrel etc.

Birds – Long Billed Vulture, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Indian Pitta, Osprey, White Backed Vulture, Himalayan Griffon Vulture, Grey-headed Fishing Eagle, White-eyed Buzzard, Spotted Dove, Rose-ringed Parakeets, Indian Roller, Little Green Bee-eaters, Black Kites, Black Drongos, Jungle Babblers, Common Indian Crow, Red-vented Bulbuls, Baya weaver, White-throated Kingfishers, Crested Serpend Eagle, Crested Hawk Eagle, Treepies, Racket tailed drongos, White bellied drongos etc.

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Best time to visit

The Park is open throughout the year and is a place to visit anytime of the year, the best time of the year to visit the Mandla Plant Fossils National Park is between the months of October to February.

State wise list of Wildlife Sanctuaries of India – updated 

Timings

8 AM to 5 PM

How to Reach

By AirNearest airport is Jabalpur airport, about 115 Km from the Mandla Plant Fossils National Park. Jabalpur airport is well connected by road to Mandla Plant Fossils National Park.

By Rail Nearest railway station is Umaria railway station, about 65 Km from the Mandla Plant Fossils National Park. Umaria railway station is well connected by road to Mandla Plant Fossils National Park.

By Road Mandla Plant Fossils National Park is well connected to Major Cities and Places by road network. There are a number of government and privately operated vehicles that go to Mandla Plant Fossils National Park at frequent intervals.

Accommodation

There is no accommodation available at the park. The nearest accommodation is available in Jabalpur.

Some of the hotels are –

  1. Narmada Jacksons Hotel – The hotel has all modern amenities and the tariff rate ranges upward of Rs.5251/-. There is a restaurant serving variety dishes.  Log on to :holidays@welcomeheritagehotels.com
  2. Kalchuri Residency – This hotel is near the railway station. A government hotel, the service is good and beyond what is expected. The tariff ranges from Rs.3085/- onwards. Log on to : kalchuri@mptourism.com
  3. Hotel Satya Ashoka – Room rates start at Rs.3150/-. The restaurant is excellent and the rooms are spacious. Log on to: hotelsathyaashoka@hotmail.com
  4. Hotel Prestige Princess – The review by travelers finds this place excellent. Rates for rooms start at Rs.2386/-. For details log on to: hprerstigeprincess@rediffmail.com
  5. Hotel Krishna: The rates for the rooms are upwards of Rs.2049/-. Some comment the hotel as good. Log on to: krishnalodge@hotmail.com

Useful Contact

Jabalpur Regional Office, Railway Station, Jabalpur. Ph.: (0761) 2677690.

Telefax: (0761) 2677590

Other National Parks in Madhya Pradesh. Name of National Parks, Year of Notification and Total Area is as follows…
S. No. Name of National Park Year of Notification Total Area(km²)
1 Bandhavgarh National Park 1968 448.85
2 Kanha National Park 1955 940
3 Madhav National Park 1959 375.22
4 Panna National Park 1981 542.67
5 Pench (Priyadarshini) National Park 1975 292.85
6 Sanjay National Park 1981 466.88
7 Satpura National Park 1981 585.17
8 Van Vihar National Park 1979 4.45

About Vijay Choudhary

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