Tuesday, 27 May 2014


Patratu Valley

Jharkhand is a state in eastern India which was carved out of the southern part of Bihar on 15 November 2000. The name Jharkhand means 'the land of forests”.
The state of Jharkhand is a part of Biodiversity rich regions of India because of its diverse physiographic and climatic conditions. The forest for the most conform to the type- Tropical Dry Deciduous Forest, Moist Deciduous Forest, Dry Peninsular Forest and Dry mixed Deciduous Forest.

The forests of the state form catchments of the three main rivers- Koel, Damodar and Subernekha. State is also rich in wildlife. The species found represent a wide range of taxa for both plants and animals. This can be attributed to a variety of terrain and land forms (including water bodies). Various ethnic groups such as Munda, Ho, Oraon, Santhal, Paharia, Chero, Birjea, Asura and others have influenced their ecosystems in varying practices of agriculture and pasture.

The existence of Jharkhand is for the tribal cause who like the Hindus also worships in lot many places. These sacred sites therefore can be regarded as their temples. The tribals worship primarily in major water holes known aschuiyan, caves called as kho, megaliths locally known as sasandiri, birdiri,haragarhi. jaangraha or jaanbagha et al and also in their sacred groves known as Sarnas

Sarna is a cluster of trees where the adivasis would worship in various occasions. Such a grove among many others must house at least five saal (shorea robusta) trees also known as sorjum, held very sacred by the tribals.

The origin of the word Sarna lies in mystery, but the noted scholar on tribal matters,the late D.B.Kisku of Dumka who has authored more than five books on the Santals and is also an authority on tribals' history, believes that  the adivasis had migrated from Sumeria/Chaldea, where among many other goddesses they also worshipped  Goddess Anna or Anu. 

Arriving in India thousands of years ago they carried Goddess Anna too with them along with other deities who they later 'placed' within their Sarnas.

Sarna therefore can be understood to have stemmed from the confluence of two words Sar or the Sal trees and Anna or the goddess Anna. Sarna therefore can be regarded as the sacred grove of Sar(sal) trees where the Goddess Anna resides.

The non-tribal Hindus also worship in such Sarnas in many villages of Jharkhand although these villages may not house a single adivasi family today. The adivasis having moved away from these villages left behind their sacred Sarnas which the Hindus later began worshipping naming them Mandar as on today. Mandar may be a mutilated form of the Sanskrit term Mandir or temple.

Many anthropologists believe that the Mundas arrived in Jharkhand first (this claim is of course shunned by the austric Asurs who believe that they had arrived in Jharkhand prior to the Mundas) claiming their khunkatti. The Mundas cleared the woods and left a cluster of the primitive forest as a memory and began worshipping it as their Sarna.

Sarnas in Jharkhand are the new target of destruction resulting from mining and other destructive activities on going in Jharkhand and in many other states as no one has respect for the tribal way of life, their temples and heritages.



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