Secret Uncovered: Gujarat Houses One of the World's Largest Dinosaur Fossil Sites
It is time to move over the regular charms of Gujarat, such as the Rann of Kutch and Ahmedabad, for the state houses a huge secret for travellers. For the uninitiated, Gujarat is home to Balasinor, the largest dinosaur fossil site in the world. Surprisingly, this startling fact has managed to evade the attention of travellers to Gujarat, for not many people know about it.
Paleontologists have found more than thousands dinosaur eggs in a village called Raiyoli in Balasinor, which also makes it the third largest hatchery to have been found till date. These eggs are believed to be at least 65 million year old, and year 2003 also saw the discovery of a new species at the site. This species was named Rajasaurus narmadensis, and can now be seen in Kolkata’s Indian Museum.
While the remains are considered a huge breakthrough in the world of science, you would be surprised to know that the site was discovered accidentally. Yes, you read that right; it was in the 1980s when the Geological Survey of India (GSI) was surveying the area for its mineral deposits that researchers stumbled upon the fossil site. Other than the eggs, the GSI team also found bones and other dinosaur remains.
Needless to say, the locals as well as the team, were thrilled to discover about the 30 ft animals that once roamed their neighbourhood.
The site has been converted into a dinosaur fossil park and is spread over 70 ac. Once in, you can even touch some of the fossil remains and even hold an egg that has been kept at the site for the visitors.
How to reach Balasinor and where to stay?
Balasinor is just a drive of 1.5 hours from Ahmedabad, and you can easily reach it via a car in around an hour. Once there, you can have a great stay at the Garden Palace Heritage Hotel, which is run by the royal family of Balasinor.
In fact, it is a great option as Aaliya Sultana Babi, Princess of this erstwhile state, organises tour of the fossil site and is a keen protector of the site as well. An expert, Princess Babi will also help you identify body parts, eggs and other identification spots on the fossils. She is also referred to as the Dinosaur Princess by the locals for her outstanding prowess in the field.