Sacred natural sites in the Eastern Ghats and their role in the conservation of biodiversity
Sacred natural sites are a prominent feature of many cultures, which are invariably linked to natural objects such as trees, groves, gardens, water bodies, caves, sites and mountains. Many such sacred natural sites are source of fresh water and medicinal plants and they are of rich biodiversity acting as repositories of natural and cultural heritage. Sacred mountains find references in history, literature and art and they have played a vital role in the conservation of the environment and local ecology. Sacred mountains are associated with important traditional values and also linked to identities of societies that venerate them. Local Communities have maintained and preserved their natural resources in often pristine conditions.
The paper on “Sacred natural sites in the Eastern Ghats and their role in the conservation of biodiversity” by M.Amrithalingam which was presented in the PROCEEDINGS OF NATIONAL SEMINAR ONCONSERVATION OF EASTERN GHATS( DEC 2007) attempts to summarize four sacred natural sites of Tamilnadu in the natural elements of flora and fauna and cultural elements like sacred ponds and literature. The paper identifies the increasing population pressure leading to encroachment of many such sacred sites as an important threat factor.
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