UP's Sonbhadra Fossil Park To Soon Be A UNESCO World Heritage Site

An action plan is being developed to project the park as a tourism destination, and infrastructure is being built to attract more visitors. The goal is to put Uttar Pradesh on the global tourism map
Sonbhadra Fossil Park is regarded as one of Asia's largest and oldest fossil parks
Sonbhadra Fossil Park is regarded as one of Asia's largest and oldest fossil parksKartiktiwary/Shutterstock

The 1400 million-year-old Sonbhadra Fossil Park in Uttar Pradesh may soon be designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The state tourism administration has begun the process of obtaining the title. India is home to several fossil parks like the Ghugwa Fossil Park in Madhya Pradesh which has relics that are up to 65 million years old. In 2022, Jharkhand opened its first fossil park in Rajmahal Hills to preserve the remains of the Jurassic era. The Sonbhadra Fossils Park in Uttar Pradesh is considered to be among Asia’s largest and oldest fossil parks. Uttar Pradesh's tourism and culture minister, Jaiveer Singh, stated that efforts are being undertaken to include the Sonbhadra district's fossil park on the UNESCO list.

Singh said the District Magistrate of Sonbhadra has been ordered to draught an action plan for the Fossil Park as a tourist destination through the District Tourism and Culture Council. He also mentioned that the state administration has chosen to build the necessary infrastructure to attract more tourists and provide needed services to people who visit the area. Singh stated that the administration is working to put Uttar Pradesh on the tourism map of the world. "Keeping this in view, efforts are being made to present the fossil park to the world by getting it included in the UNESCO list," he said.

Ancient tree fossils at Sonbhadra
Ancient tree fossils at Sonbhadra @prabhat_obra/Instagram

About The Park

The Salkhan Fossil Park located near Salkhan in Sonbhadra district in Uttar Pradesh is also known as the Sonbhadra Fossil Park. Petrified trees can be found as tree trunks in this park. These are said to be about 1400 million years old and date back to the Proterozoic era. The park has a 2.5 square kilometre area in Kaimur Range, near Kaimur Wildlife Sanctuary, and is home to some remarkable algae and stromatolite samples. The place attracts a steady stream of paleontologists and tourists from around the world.

The Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta, Canada, a UNESCO World Heritage Site noted for its striking badland topography and abundance of dinosaur fossils.
The Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta, Canada, a UNESCO World Heritage Site noted for its striking badland topography and abundance of dinosaur fossils.Ronnie Chua/Shutterstock

Did You Know?

Fossils are the preserved remains of plants and animals whose bodies were buried beneath ancient oceans, lakes, and rivers in sediments such as sand and mud. Fossils are also any preserved remnant of life that is greater than 10,000 years old. There are various protected locations around the world where fossils are preserved, called fossil parks or reserves.

Getting There

The park is located 12 km from Robertsganj, near Salkhan village on state highway SH5A in Sonbhadra district.

The nearest airport is Babatpur which is in Varanasi district, about 110 km from Robertsganj. There are direct flights from Varanasi to different major cities. The nearest railway station is Robertsganj.

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