Been a while since i wrote something on travel; here I’m writing about one of the place I visited which was a very enriching experience.
Ever watched Jurassic park movie?? Been a dinosaur lover? Ever wished to see these majestic creatures?? From childhood since I watched Jurassic park I always wished to visit the sets… visit the place where dinosaur fossils remain, unaware that they were so close. Balasinor- a place located in Mahisagar district of Gujarat… just 2 hrs drive from Ahmedabad, formerly a princely state of Babi dynasty (famously related to Parveen Babi) is believed to be home to ONE OF THE LARGEST clutch of dinosaur hatcheries in the world. Paleantologists stumbled upon the dinosaur fossils in 1980s in this district of Gujarat and since then it’s been frequented by hordes of scientists and tourists!
At least 13 species of dinosaurs lived here, possibly for more than 100 million years until their extinction some 66 million years ago. The soft soil made hatching and protecting eggs easier for the animals. So well-protected are the fossilised eggs found here that many researchers call them the best-preserved eggs in the world after the ones found in Aix-en-Provence in France.
These fossilised dinosaur remains have triggered what tourism officials of the Gujarat state call “Dinosaur Tourism”. (Source- wikipedia)
I happened to find out about this place coz of my search for short trips in Gujarat which are something different than where everyone usually goes. I had read about the Balasinor palace stay as the only stay option out here, which gives you luxury to try the royal meals and also have a guided tour with the Princess of the palace Princess Aaliya Babi herself who is also known as the “Dinosaur princess” coz of her keen interest and vast knowledge about dinosaur fossils and her fight for its preservation! My husband being a dinosaur lover and me being interested in archeological finds this seemed like a perfect gateway. I couldn’t manage to do this trip till a year later as I couldn’t get the number for the palace. Finally after a year, just a day before my birthday I managed to find it, and since I was in Ahmedabad thot of visiting Balasinor as a day trip. What a memorable day.
We were greeted by the Princess who is super sweet. We relaxed at the palace for a while and got talking about the dinosaur site with her before going and seeing it.
The way to dinosaur fossil park is also beautiful-
We reached the site and she showed us every fossil visibly present at the site, How to identify the difference between a normal rock and fossil. It was 2 hours of amazing education. Tons of ppl hv come digging here. I felt the pride surge thru me to know that India has been one of the biggest home grounds to them; and to think of it that you are standing on the same land where they lie in the ground below ur feet in fossilized forms. Check it out ????
With the Princess ????
After taking in all this, we went to a small museum they hv made which had statues of different dinosaurs that lived in this region. It’s beautiful… a must visit for kids to enhance their knowledge.
We proceeded to the palace and had a lavish royal lunch with the Princess
After this she showed us the fossils that she has in her personal collection. Part of limbs of dinos and 3 perfect dino eggs found whole which is rarest in the world.
Do u see the perfect eggs?? I wish I had the powers of Daenerys Targaryen to bring the fossils to life. Instead of dragons id hv dinosaurs creating a mayhem… sigh! Even to hold those eggs..actual dinosaur eggs, fossilized, was a feeling in itself. Beautiful trip, amazing experience, hospitality, food and education. Could never thank princess Aaliya Babi enuf for giving her valuable time. Try visiting this place for a day with kids if u live in Gujarat or plan to visit it during summer break. It would be an enriching experience. The palace has beautiful rooms to accommodate guests overnight… we didn’t stay overnight but we did get a look at them.
Cost- dinosaur park entry and meals all included for 2 ppl was around 1000 rs 2 years back when v went. The stay was 4000 a night at that time. Pretty affordable.