In the early 1980s, palaeontologists stumbled upon dinosaur bones and fossils during a regular geological survey of Balasinor in Kheda District. The find sent ripples of excitement through neighbouring villages and many residents picked up fossilised eggs, brought them home and worshipped them. Since then excavations have thrown up a veritable trove of dinosaur remains - eggs, bones, a skeleton which is now kept in a Calcutta (Kolkata) museum - bringing hordes of scientists and tourists to the place.
Piecing together the evidence in Balasinor, researchers now believe that Gujarat is home to one of the largest clutch of dinosaur hatcheries in the world. 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 begun triggering off what tourism officials of the Gujarat state call "dinosaur tourism".