Kaavu in Kerala (Sacred Groves in Kerala)
Sacred groves are “small forests or stands of trees whose produce is set aside for the exclusive use of a deity” which has conservational and religious values attached to such “pockets of abundant and diverse flora and fauna” . Dietrich Brandis, the first General Inspector of Forest in India, identified the religious conservation of kaavu and termed it sacred grove . Sacred groves have been studied from various perspectives – ethnographic, ecological, theological, sociological, and mythical.
The Ecology of Sacred Groves
Ecologists look at sacred groves as a rich conservatory of “rare and endemic species of plants” . Approximately 13,720 sacred groves are identified in the 19 states of India with maximum number of them in Kerala, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, and Tamil Nadu . Sacred groves have withstood the massive deforestation initiated by the British administration in India. But due to various reasons such as population growth, deforestation,...
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