Press release


Dr Ritesh Arya urges to frame Geo-heritage laws to preserve its valuable wealth


 July 19, 2020

Dr Ritesh Arya, a renowned Geologist urged the government of Himachal Pradesh  to frame Geo-heritage law so that the precious fossil wealth from the Himalayas which throws significant light on the evolution of angiosperms, mammals and Himalayas can be preserved and information passed to the future generation. He said this during ‘Samvad’ organized by the Himachal Academy of Arts, Culture and Language held on July 15. He also highlighted the need for establishing an university or Institute of Earth Sciences, water and Climate change to study the impact of climate change on water resources so that their long term impact on dams could be understood and also promotion of geoheritage for Geotourism.

He also revealed that during a lecture about Kasauli formation fascinated him to be a geologist. In 1864 Medlicott in 1864 came to Kasauli and collected ill preserved fossil leaves which were later identified as palm leaves by botanist  O Fiestmantel. but Kasauli Formation was generally considered to be unfossiliferous.

He wanted to locate the place from where Mediclot had collected fossils. Kasauli was not the same now. Roads were not made of rock but of Sandstone , all the retaining walls and the buildings and the churches even my own house was made of sandstone which was 20 million years old rock. It took me months to actually find the first fossil from  Kasauli but by the time he completed his graduation he had large collection of fossils of leaves, flowers, buds, fruits, roots stem logs of tree first mammal identified as Rhinocerous, insect wing, gastropods bivalves, etc from Kasauli to get PhD degree.

He started identify these in collaboration with the Birbal Sahni Institute of paleobotany Lucknow. Notably, the leaves were identified the most important thing was none of the leaves of Combretum, Clinogene Garcinia, Gluta Sygigium are today nowhere found in the Himalayas but were found in Andaman Nicobar island, and Indonesia and Malaysia. This clearly meant that Kasauli sediments were deposited near the equator and the Himalayas were not born till 20 million years ago. The Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal were nonexistent and  Tethys sea which was separating India and China

Dr Arya discovered diverse fossil assemblage from Kasauli and surrounding areas where he also found fossils of whale, shark oysters etc from Dharampur Subathu and Garkhal area. H regretted that due to lack of any museum facility all these specimens were just resting in the boxes in the buildings.  He had displayed some fossils in Chandigarh museum. But his quest to preserve fossil where these were found have made him feel to protect this prestigious geological heritage  in the geoparks so that the fossils can be preserved. This invaluable information is lost due to negligence. The four- lane of Parwanooand Solan road have already taken toll on the fossil trees and 100s of fossil trees have been lost.

Dr Ritesh Arya urges to frame Geo-heritage laws to preserve its valuable wealth

Arya is of the opinion that the development should take place but if the fossils are found they should be preserved there and then and if not then the fossils should be collected and preserved in the museum. Fossils are sold at throw away prices in Spiti where fossils of ammonites, corals etc have been found. EOM

Read more

Continental drift


A fossil calendar explains geo-heritage of Himachal

TNN | Jan 31, 2020, 07.11 AM IST

Shimla: In the absence of any geo-heritage law on fossils, most fossils sites are lost to ignorance of man and his activities like construction of roads and buildings. To tackle this, Dr Ritesh Arya, a geologist from Himachal Pradesh, has prepared calendar highlighting “geo-heritage fossil wealth of Himachal Himalayas”.

Dr Arya said the calender features one billion years old fossil to almost 20 millions years, ranging from the time of evolution of life in the form of Stromatolites (the oldest living fossils, blue green algae which is credited for the oxygen we have today) to proliferation and diversification of angiosperms (the flowering plants) and mammals.

He said the calendar has 12 prominent fossils of diverse fossil assemble, including trace fossils of insects; structural features representing closure of Tethys sea, which was once separating India and China more than 20 million years ago; marine fossils of bivalves and oysters from Subathu Formation (45-55 million years old); freshwater gastropods and bivalves (20 million years old); the well-preserved plant fossils reported for the first time from Kasauli by Dr Arya; Garcinia Combretum and Gluta (20 million years old) — these are not found in Himalayas these days and are confined to Indo- Malaysian the region; and carbonised wood fossils.



Geologists to promote geotourism in fossil-rich Ladakh
TNN | Sep 5, 2021, 04.19 AM IST
Printed from
MANALI: The Ladakh Science Foundation and IndianGeoparks have come together to protect and preserve the geoheritage sites of Ladakh to
educate the children and to promote geotourism in union territory of
Concerned about the rich geoheritage sites of Ladakh that are
unknowingly being destroyed by the need and greed of rapid
urbanisation, some geologists and scientists have come up with an idea to preserve these sites for future generations besides using them for tourism promotion.
Geologist Ritesh Arya, an alumnus of Panjab University, Chandigarh and a Guinness world record holder, who is volunteering for IndianGeoparks, said Ladakh has rich heritage and many geoheritage
sites which can be integrated to make them geoparks. “The geoheritage sites can be preserved for promotion of geotourism
and educating the children about geological evolution of Himalayas and climate changes. The study of these sites can tell us
about the changes that this place has undergone in the past. Preservation of sites can leave a good legacy for our future
generations,” he said.

1st International Webinar Series to understand the “Timing of closure of Tethys and Evolution and Birth of Himalayas” organised by Tethys Fossil Museum and Research Center and – Ritesh Arya founder of Tethys Fossil Museum and Research Center

Geothermal systems with focus on Thermal Energy Storage system organised by Tethys Fossil Museum and Research Center and Agneyodgara (Lava Energy) on National Science day 28 Feb 2022

Prof Gurmeent Kaur UNESCO Project leader on "Geoheritage Stone "



VLADIMIR ARANA Programs Coordinator International Secretariat for Water

Water, population and land : Challenges for the future


“The Cenozoic Evolution of the Himalaya-Tibetan Landscape: Stories from Plant Fossils and Isotopes” Prof Robert Spicer Open University

Organized by Tethys Fossil Museum and Research Center
Supported by

When: Mar 22, 2022 07:00 PM India

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.