The tradition of the sacred grove is as old as Kerala itself.

They host rare wetland birds including migratory ones. Sacred groves occur in a variety of places – from scrub forests in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan maintained by the Bishnois, to rain forests in the Western Ghats of Kerala. Courtesy: S. Gopikrishna Warrier. Only few are reported from the foothills and the high ranges.

Sacred groves are scattered all over the country, and are referred to by different names in different parts of India. They are often seen on the premises of Hindu ancestral homes (tharavaadu) in the villages.

As the crow flies, the grove … The sacr ed groves of North Kerala are mostly associated with Goddess whereas the sacred groves of South Kerala are associated mostly with snake worship. Sacred groves have always been a part of the cultural life of the Meghalaya (Tiwari et al., 1995). Most of the sacred groves represent the relics of once gregarious and abundant low lying evergreen forests of the WG. Sacred groves occur in a variety of places – from scrub forests in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan maintained by the Bishnois, to rain forests in the Western Ghats of Kerala. A tropical dry evergreen forest sacred grove in coastal Tamil Nadu. On a rough estimate Kerala has about 1500 sacred groves which are distinct and unique in biological diversity. The Kodavas of Karnataka alone maintained over 1000 sacred groves in their region. Sacred groves of the tribal inhabiting near and around the forest areas are known as „Madankavu ‟ or „Yakshikkavu ‟. Sacred groves feature in various cultures throughout the world. The sacred groves of Kerala are the remnants of evergreen forest patches, protected and conserved based on religious beliefs and a great repository of many endemic, endangered and economically important plant species. At the global level sacred groves have been reported from Afro-Asian countries like Nigeria, Syria, Turkey, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Malaysia. The study reports revealed that floristic diversity indices of the sacred groves of Kerala are equal or nearly equal to the forests of the Western Ghats. 644 sacred groves have been documented in the state.

The sacred groves in Kerala are locally known as Ayyappan kaavu or Sasthan kaavu, Bhagavathi kaavu or Amman kaavu, Vanadevatha and Cheema or Cheerumba depending upon the ownership and the deities to whom these groves are dedicated. In fact, kavus are prevalent by other names throughout India—dev in Madhya Pradesh, devaraee in Maharashtra, jogmaya in Rajasthan, lakyntang in Meghalaya… And many other cultures, in the East and the West, have similar traditions. On a rough estimate Kerala has about 644 sacred groves which are distinct and unique in biological diversity. In Kerala, sacred groves are called kavusand at least 2,000 have been documented. Kerala. On a satellite map, Kammadam Kavu, the largest sacred grove in Kerala, is in line with the Talakaveri Wildlife Sanctuary.

Mannan Purath Kavu, Nileshwaram. A small sacred grove inside the Technopark, Trivandrum, India. A sacred grove or sacred woods are any grove of trees that are of special religious importance to a particular culture. Only very few are reported from the foothills and the high ranges. Sastha, Bhagavathi, Sarpa kaavu, Amman, Kamaljai, Mariai, Bhavani and Bhagavathi are the … The Bishnoi tribes manage sacred groves called orans in the arid and desert regions of Rajasthan, in northwest India. Sacred groves that include mangrove forests and swamps are the peculiarity of very few north Kerala kavus. Hundreds are dedicated to snakes, which protect agricultural crops by controlling insect and rodent populations. Himachal Pradesh in the north and Kerala in the south are specifically known for their large numbers of sacred groves. Kavu is the traditional name given for sacred groves across the Malabar Coast in Kerala, South India.


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