LIFE STYLE
20 million years old tree fossil found in Kasauli
- Y.S. RANA
20 million years old tree fossil found in Kasauli



In reality there are not many around the area that understand the importance of Kasauli site. New found in Garkhal in Himachal Pradesh by Dr Ritesh Arya, an international fame Geologist, shows that it is buried under the ravages of time and witness to the history of the region. Dr Arya claimed that the tree fossil was 20 million old. While talking to Daily Post he said that he was fascinated by Medilicott who in 1864 had discovered few ill preserved fossilised leaves which were identified as Palm leaves by O Fiestmental. After then the Kasauli Formation was considered to be fossiliferous..
                     
Earlier, he also discovered huge fossil assemblage from Kasauli. Since then Kasauli Formation was considered to be un-fossilifierous sand but Dr Arya has presented a diverse assemblage of fossils consisting of angiosperm leaves, Molluscs, Rhinoceros, insect wings, woods, stems flowers and it made all the difference. "Kasauli Formation is turning out to be fossiliferous and the age-old notion of Kasauli Formation being unfossiliferous is broken,” said Dr Arya. 
                     
He claimed that his fossil discovery was that the Himalayas were born later then the age of Kasauli Formation which was calculated to be around 20 Million years based on charophyte fossil assemblage. He further stated that the Himalayas were not borne and the Arabian and Bay of Bengal were connected by waters of Tethys Sea which was separating India and China. This also meant that the birth and evolution of Himalayas was much later then this time.
 
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It is chance discovery that some of the fossils see the light of the day and be part of the museum.
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Dr Arya is preparing to showcase his founds in International Geological Congress to be held in New Delhi in 2020. He said that all sites still were potential fossil bearing sites and could be shown before the International Fraternity during their visit to the Himalayas during the field trips. Dr Arya is also constructing a GeologicaI Museum at Garkhal where his collection would be kept.
                       
He suggested that the administration should declare the area a geo-heritage site and preserve the same so that not only the scientific community but also the tourists visiting Kasauli can benefit from this beautiful tree persevered for 20 million years ago and today discovered by chance as a result of new link road constructed. 
                       
He said that a number of fossil trees have already been found in and around Kasauli in the last 30 years. Most of them have been destroyed and only one has been preserved at Jagjitnagar. Fossilisation is a very difficult process. All living organisms which die do not become fossil. We need special conditions to form fossil and once those conditions are full filled the fossils are formed. It is chance discovery that some of the fossils see the light of the day and be part of the museum. Majority of the fossils are lost in nature or now a day due to road construction. 
                       
Where the locals have shown utter disregard for their glorious past, the government of Himachal Pradesh should step in to preserve and develop as tourist hub for foreign and local tourists. Nevertheless, time has left its imprints how successful we will, is a question of present time, says Dr Arya. 
 

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