Quaternary palaeoclimatic studies in India, with reference to palynology, commenced in the early part of the twentieth century. Sporadic studies continued until the 1940s. A watershed in palynological research in the country occurred in the late 1940s, primarily with the inception of the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany (recently renamed the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences). Since then, other academic centres and universities have also steadily contributed in augmenting palynological research in India. Preliminary studies, though seemingly rudimentary, nonetheless helped in the expansion of the palynological database for the country. The pioneering workers, in spite of limited resources, did a creditable job in undertaking palynological studies across a vast territory. Earlier, studies were limited to local data generation; recent research has featured stronger global contextualisation. This includes the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), Younger Dryas (YD), Holocene Climatic Optimum (HCO), Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and Little Ice Age (LIA). The recent progress of palynology in India, with reference to Quaternary palaeoclimatic studies, is discussed and reviewed in this article.
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Vol. 43 • No. 1