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Akal Wood Fossil Park in Rajasthan, India
17 km from Jaisalmer, Aakal Wood Fossil Park that houses fossils, which are 180 million years old! Considered to be geological landmarks, these fossils recreate the world of Jurassic period before us when the entire Thar Desert lay under the sea, just as indicated by a legend in Ramayana (the great epic of Hindu religion). Sea shells and massive fossilized tree trunks in this park record the geological history of the desert. The whole area is now preserved for posterity as a natural wonder.

The park sprawls over the area of 10 sq km and boasts of 25 petrified trunks, the largest being 13 m long. It is believed that the area was once covered with thick forests of non-flowering trees, mainly comprising of Chir and Deodar. It is believed that the sea retreated about 36 million years ago and left behind a fossiled forest in this area and the wood fossils of the place, has given ample evidence to the geologists to believe that a possibly hot and humid climate existed in the region 180 million years ago as well as the area has been under the sea on four different occasions.

The area of wood fossil Park, Akal is 21 hectare. It is 15 kilometer form Jaisalmer on the Jaisalmer Barmer road. The fossilized wood logs are lying prostrate in random orientation. 25 wood logs are visible on the surface of which 10 are well exposed. The largest exposed log is 7 m. in length and width. There are more wood fossils lying deep under the surface. Evidence of similar fossils is surfacing in many other areas in Jaisalmer region.

Wood fossils of Akal are an example where the process of petrification took precedence over disintegration of organic matter and fossilized the wood. The fossilization took place about 180 million years ago, and the whole forest composed of huge trees was petrified. In that geological era there were only non flowering trees. Therefore the wood fossils are considered to represent gymnosperms like Chir, Deodar or Red wood of lower Jurassic age.

The presence of gigantic trees suggests that the land that is desert today had a different hot and humid climate which supported a luxuriant forest. These tree trunks were buried in sediments in a horizontal form and petrified. Subsequent geological activities caused shifting and upheaval of the sandy basin bringing these fossils to the surface. These now stand exposed in the present form due to weathering by wind and erosion by water. There are large numbers of petrified logs and innumerable pieces of woods scattered on the surface in the area and evidence of fruits have also been discovered.

Just 17 kms from Jaisalmer and a kilometre away from the Barmer Road are fossilised remains of 180 million-year-old forests. These are beautiful forest vistas and any forester around can show you. There is a ticket to visit the Park and for vehicle.
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