National Fossil Wood Park, Tiruvakkarai
The National Fossil Wood Park located in Tiruvakkarai in Viluppuram District is maintained and protected by the Geological Survey of India (GSI) since 1957. The park was established in the year 1940 and is located 1 kilometre east of Tiruvakkarai village, 35 kilometres from Puducherry on the road to Tindivanam.
The park is an archive of preserved fossilized trees that are at least 20 million years old.The place gives a glimpse of the floral composition that belonged to the ancient times. The park also has Ancient Burial Site.
The Wood Fossils
More than 200 wood fossils are spread over 247 acres in nine separate enclaves around Tiruvakkarai. But the portion of the park open to public is relatively small.
It is believed that the fossils were formed during the massive flooding that occurred aeons ago. Over time, the organic matter inside the trunk got replaced by silica and they got hardened and fossilized. The colour, shape, annular rings and texture was retained. The high level of perfection in petrification process and brilliantly preserved fossil forest in Tiruvakkarai is a rare sight indeed.
The fossilized trees or trunks of trees range from 3 to 15 metres in length. The trunks are scattered and are partially buried in the ground. According to GSI, the absence of roots, barks and branches indicate that the trunks were transported and fossilized in the park.
How to reach National Tiruvakkarai Fossil Wood Park
The park is located 1 kilometre east of Tiruvakkarai village and lies 155 kilometres south-southwest of Chennai following NH 45 up to Kutteripattu via Tindivanam. It is located at a distance of around 28 kilometres from Puducherry Railway Station and about 22 kilometres from Puducherry Airport.
The park is a geological wonder and a relic that stands as a testimony of the past. The rock formations of the woods leave a spectacular impression on one’s minds. Entry to the park and photography is not charged.