CHENNAI : Ariyalur district in Tamil Nadu will soon have a fossil museum, a `2 crore project by the department of museum at at Keelapazhur village off the Thanjavur-Manamadurai highway.Coming up at a sprawling area of 54 acre, the musuem will have display galleries featuring fossils, minerals, rocks, general geology, river geo-morphology and the solar system. “The project of constructing the on-site fossil museum has almost been completed. We are waiting for an appointment from the CM to open the museum,” Minister for Tamil Official Language and Tamil Culture K Pandiarajan said.
Several fossils were stumbled upon at many places in Ariyalur during mining works carried out by the cement factories in the district. “In view of the large depository of fossils found in Ariyalur, the government decided to set up the on-site museum at Keelapazhur to preserve and conserve fossils,” said Kavitha Ramu, Director of Museums.The Department of Museums has written to various government departments, agencies and private entities for donating fossils so that the treasures can be displayed at the museum.
A local man known as ‘Fossil’ Subramanian had collected a large number of fossils and handed them over to a college in Tiruchi. The department has approached the college to get the fossils, another official said. Moreover, the Geological Survey of India (GSI), Tamil Nadu Minerals Limited and Tamil Nadu Department of Geology and Mines were also requested to share fossils in their possession in order to display them at the upcoming museum, he added.Pandiarajan informed that steps were being taken to set up site museums at four other archaeological sites — Adichanallur, Korkai, Alagankulam and Keezhadi in Tamil Nadu. The state has approached the Centre for funds for these museums.