Where the dinosaurs rest: Bhimasar, Gujarat
The tribal village of Bhimasar in Anjar taluka of Kutch district in western Gujarat is at a distance of around 65 kilometres from the town head quarters of Bhuj. Hiring a private car or taxi from Bhuj is the best way to reach Bhimasar and the fossil park. Public transportation in Kutch is unreliable and depending on the bus to reach this village is going to waste a lot of your time.
The village has around 20-25 houses on either side of the main road. These houses are very traditional in make as most of them are made out of mud and dung. They have a small veranda outside which is mostly used by the family and neighbours to sit and unwind in the evening.
The flooring of the houses are made only out of cow dung and need to be maintained every fortnight by applying a fresh new layer. The dung helps keep the house cool even during the extreme summer heat. Every house has an animal pen attached to the courtyard and most houses have a handful of sheep and goats.
On entering the village, the first thing travellers will notice is a flock of young children coming to greet them with a warm smile. Most of these kids are from the village and are more than happy to give take travellers for a guided tour around their tiny tribal village.
Their tour includes first meeting their family members who like the kids are more than happy to pose for the camera. Next stop on the tour is their school and the radio tower which is located within walking distance from the village.
Bhimasar was one of the first villages in the vicinity to get their own radio tower and the children will make sure they stress on that point while walking to the radio house. The villagers from Bhimasar earn a living by rearing their flock of goats and sheep as well as from the little that can be cultivated in the barren land that surrounds their village.
The major attraction that brings people to this tribal village is the fossil park which is a short 10 minute walk from the village. The Kutch fossil park as it is more commonly known is one of the oldest in the country and houses a wide variety of fossils from shells and tiny sea creatures to giant turtles and the all conquering dinosaurs. This fossil park literally has it all. There is a small entry fee which is very nominal for what you get to see in return.
The entire desert region of Kutch is extremely rich in fossils since millions of years ago, this vast land did not exist and was under water. Over a period of time land started slowly emerging. The region of Kutch was one of the last to be formed. By this time, living pre-historic animals like dinosaurs who walked earth had evolved and reached an advanced stage.
Hence over these millions of years when layers of soil accumulated, these animals were buried at every stage making Kutch a treasure trove of fossils. The museum has fossils of around six species of dinosaurs which were found buried in Kutch.
There are zero accommodation options around the village and the fossil park. The best option is to club this as a half day excursion enroute to the Rann of Kutch. The best time to visit Bhimasar is during the winter months from November to February when the weather is most favourable for travel.
While on a trip around Kutch, the tribal village of Bhimasar and fossil park are a must visit for anyone seeking to experience the real Kutchi village life. The visit also lets one get up and close with some of the largest pre-historic animals to have ever walked the earth.
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