The menacing pre-historic predator Rajasaurus drank water from the Narmada in Madhya Pradesh, as did the first man to live in India before some wayward meteors wiped them out permanently from earth.
Their fossilised remains, unearthed in the rich Narmada valley, as well as meteorites could be part of the display when the country’s first national geology museum opens in Gwalior.
The director of the Geological Survey of India’s (GSI) state unit, LL Vishwakarma, told Hindustan Times on Wednesday that Union mines minister Narendra Singh Tomar has directed officials to build the museum in his hometown, Gwalior.
Museum will have samples of mineral resources, rocks, fossils, and meteorites
He and Gwalior district mining officer Manish Paliwal did a recce on June 9 of a site in the Thatipur area of the city for the proposed museum. “It will be country’s first national geology museum, which will have samples of mineral resources, rocks, fossils, and meteorites from across India … all to be exhibited at one place,” he said.
The GSI has a repository of meteorites as well as tools used by the modern man’s stone-age ancestors, who lived between 800,000 years and 10,000 years ago.
For his part, Paliwal explained why minister Tomar chose Gwalior for the museum, “because the city is centrally located as well his hometown”.
“Gwalior’s location makes sense to have a collection of minerals and rocks from across the country here for public display. Second, Tomar wants people to come to the historical city of Gwalior to see the mineral and fossil wealth of the country,” he said.
Fossilised remains of pre-historic animals were first found in 1828 in Jabalpur
he central state of Madhya Pradesh is rich in fossils, especially those of dinosaurs such as Rajasaurus whose bones were found in the upper Narmada basin. Fossilised remains of pre-historic animals were first found in 1828 in the Jabalpur Cantonment area.
Also, India’s first human bone — a partial skull — that put the nation on the world fossil map and proved the presence of early humans in the subcontinent was found by geologist Arun Sonakia on the banks of the Narmada in Sehore district. It is known in natural history circles as the Narmada Man.
Madhya Pradesh has a rich legacy of mineral wealth as well. Besides having the thickest coal seam of Asia in the Singrouli area, the state has the country’s lone operational diamond mine in Panna district.
Nearly 20 varieties of minerals are being mined in the state, including bauxite, china clay, iron ore, marble, coal, limestone, and dolomite.