Located in the Dindori district of Mandla,Madhya Pradesh, Plant Fossils National Park has distant plant fossils in India which are around 40 to 150 million years old. These fossils are spread around 7 villages in Mandla district.
The Fossil National Park covers around 274100 sq. meters of area and these fossils are mainly found in 3 different villages outside the park. In Umaria and Ghuguwa, the petrified, standing trunks are known as Angiosperms, Gymnosperms, palms and Monocotyledons. Some bryophytes are also found here. It is believed that these fossils are either from mid-Cretaceous age or from late Jurassic age. When Pangaea takes place in the separation of single landmass, it was divided between Gondwana Land and Laurasia due to continental drifts which happened somewhere around Cretaceous ages or Jurassic ages.
Gondwana Land is formed in India. The fossils of mollusks are found with the plant fossils with which Gondwanaland was interspersed. According to another theory, the Narmada Valley is the area where fossils are found in the deep blizzard in the peninsular regions till the age before Cambrian Tertiary, i.e. around 40 million years back. A short river which flown in the inland sea was Narmada. Geological disturbances were occurred because of that sea recession and made rift valley with which Tapti River and Narmada River flow in the Arabian Sea today.
Look alike normal rocks, these fossils are either damaged due to dodgy people who tried to make money faster with their sale and by the tourists or removed accidentally from the fields. Ghughua Fossil National Park is really a unique travelers’ paradise in the country. It has precious treasure in the form of ancient plant fossils. These fossils were identified from 31 generations of eighteen plant families. Somewhere around 65 million years ago, such fossils were alive in this park. You can find well-preserved fossils of climbers, woody plants, flowers, leaves, seeds and fruits and several palm fossils.
Dr. Dharmandra Prasad was the first person to discover such fossils. He is an honorary secretary and Mandla’s statistical officer from the archeology union. From Science College Jabalpur, Dr. S. R. Ingle discovered them and then Dr. M. B. Bande (Birbal Sahni Institute, Lucknow). They started proper study of such plant fossils.
Because of having significant archeological and scientific value of these fossils, this area has been declared as Fossils National Park by the State Government in 1983. It is spread around 27 hectares in Umaria and Ghughua villages.
The interpreted, self-guided fossil trail and interpretation center has complete details about the fossils. You can see them in natural setting in fossil trail.