Nahan (Himachal Pradesh): Lack of interest and neglect on the part of the government, Suketi Fossil Park, also known as Shivalik Fossil Park, is losing its charm among tourists for its condition is only going from bad to worse with each passing day.
The six sets of life-size models of Stegodonganesa, Sivatherium, Hexaprotodon sivalensis, Colosschelys atlas, Paramachaerdus and Crocodilia, Mesozoic animals, fossils of which have been recovered from neighbouring Shivalik mountain ranges, are all in a cracked state and deteriorating further.
The park is located on the left bank of the Markanda River but condition of the approach road is in bad shape and there are no signs of it being repaired anytime soon.
The surrounding area of the park is forested, which has been carried out by government authorities and does make the area an attractive proposition for a picnic spot or for a day excursion.
The Park also has a museum, which is extremely attractive. The museum exhibits are mainly fossils, but there also are numerous animal models, charts and paintings of flora and fauna that used to inhabit the Shivalik range in geological time scales.
Realising the potential the Park holds for being a place of tourist and educative interest, Riju, a student of Himalayan College says “surely the fossil park can have a much better maintenance and it would definitely become very popular, especially among students.
A finding around the Park area on 30 October, 2010 by a senior lecturer of commissioned interns with department of Geological Survey, was a two and half feet long ivory that was buried in sand soil.
On testing ivory by carbon dating tests it was found that the fossil was about 150,000 years old.
Shivaliks are said to have one of the world’s largest number of mammalian fossils at anyone place and are of much interest for a palaeontologists for studying life forms that existed in prehistoric or geologic times by collecting fossils of plants, animals and other organisms.
The fossils found at Shivalik Fossil Park have enabled paleonthologists to retrieve evolutionary links about life forms from pre historic times and also provided clues to climatic conditions as well as the environment that prevailed over geological time in the area.