Wood Fossil Park is located near Illambazar in Birbhum, West Bengal. The local villagers of Amkhoi while digging a pond in 2006 found something and they called upon the forest officials to examine it. Wood fossils were found burried at different layers 14 feet below ground level and are said to be 15 million years old. West Bengal Forest Department set up the park in the site of the village in 2017 to preserve the wood fossils for benefit of researchers, students, visitors and common people. The park is basically taken care by the villagers, and they take your written feedback about the place after your visit. The park is open from 08:00 to 17:00 everyday. It may take a maximum of around one hour to explore the park. You can also have some tea and snacks from the cafeteria run by the village women just outside the park.
The fossils found are mainly trunk portions of angiosperms and they have almost become rock like structure due to petrification. Recovery of wood fossils from Amkhoi village in Illambazar forests is an indication of the vast forests that thrived in the uplands of Rajmahal Hills and Chotanagpur plateau at North West of Birbhum. It is presumed that the trees were carried by the occasional floods and deposited under fine sand and clay, gradually to transform into wood fossils.
How to reach from Kolkata
By train: Board a train from Howrah(HWH), Sealdah(SDAH) or Kolkata(KOAA) to Bolpur(BHP). From Bolpur railway station, take a rickshaw upto bus stand. Board a bus towards Illambazar, and get down at Dhalla bus stop. Take another rickshaw upto Wood and Fossil Park. Return same way upto Bolpur and board a train from Bolpur towards Howrah.
You can also board a train from Howrah to Panagarh, then take a bus towards Bolpur or change bus at Illambazar if direct bus not available, and get down at Dhalla. bus stop. Return same way upto Panagarh and board a train from Panagarh towards Howrah. You will also get a lot of state buses from Kolkata/Karunamoyee to Panagarh/Illambazar and vice versa.
By road: Distance from Kolkata to Wood and Fossil Park is 186 kms.
From Kolkata, take the 2nd Hoogly Bridge to avail Kona Expressway, keep to your right and take to flyover going towards Durgapur Expressway/Kolkata-Delhi Highway. After 153 kms of drive, take right from Panagarh towards Illambazar, take right from Illambazar towards Bolpur. Drive 5 kms and take right turn from Dhalla bus stop. Take the red mud road and follow the road directions to reach the park.
I had planned a day’s trip from Kolkata to Mama Bhagne Pahar in Dubrajpur and Wood Fossil Park together since they are very close to each other.Coming from Dubrajpur, I got down at Dhalla bus stop, and walked all the way through the forest and red mud road. At one junction, the road direction shown right and my Google map shown straight. As there was no one to ask directions, I tried to be smart and assumed the road indicator board may have turned around somehow showing wrong direction and continued straight. But after a few steps, a bike carrying a couple coming from opposite direction stopped in front of me and asked for the directions of the park. As I assumed they may have crossed it without noticing, they corrected me that there was nothing except forest on that way. I advised them to try out the way, that the direction board indicated and I too headed that way and was able to ultimately reach.
There was no entry fees to the park and it was still under development. It seemed workers were digging up more ponds in search of more fossils. I started exploring the park and reading about the fossils displayed. The couple on bike was seen romancing in the corner bushes. After spending about an hour, I had some tea and snacks from the cafeteria outside. The villagers took my feedback and everyone visiting there. I headed towards Dhalla and boarded a bus towards Illambazar, and another one to Kolkata.
Nearby places to visit
- Mama Bhagne Pahar, Dubrajpur
- Bolpur Santiniketan