In India, as elsewhere in many parts of the world, a number of communities practise different forms of nature worship. One such significant tradition is that of providing protection to patches of forests dedicated to deities and/or ancestral spirits. These patches of forests are known as sacred groves. The tradition is very ancient and once was widespread in most parts of the world. The estimated number of sacred groves in India in about two lakhs. Groves are rich heritage of India, and play an important role in religious and socio-cultural life of the local people. These ecosystems harbour many threatened, endangered and rare plant and animal species.
The book covers various cultural and ecological dimensions of sacred groves in India, and describes recent initiatives undertaken by various stakeholders to strengthen this multifarious institution.
- Sacred Groves in India: An Overview:
- Anthropological Dimensions of Sgs
- Geographical Distribution of Sgs in India
- Sacred Mangroves
- Number and Size Distribution of Sgs
- Ownership and Management of Sgs
- Ethnicity and Sacred Groves
- Gender and Sgs
- Interfaces Between People and Sacred Groves
- Political Dimensions of Sgs
- Sacred Groves as Common Property Resources
- Biological and Ecological Dimensions:
- Biological Value
- Ecological Services
- Threats: Status of Sacred Groves of Meghalaya
- Duvaria' Saran
- Mizoram: Safety Forests in Manipur and Mizoram
- Meghalaya: Ki Law Lyngdoh Sacred Grove
- Kesar Chirkav Practice in Rajasthan
- Pavitravanas in Karnataka
- Initiatives for Strengthening Sgs
- In The Words of People
- Initiatives Undertaken by Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (IGRMS)
- Future Strategy and Action Plan
About the Authors:
Kailash C. Malhotra, an anthropologist and human ecologist has taught in Pune University and Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata. He has carried out extensive research on anthropological and ecological dimensions among tribals, dalits, nomads and village communities in different parts of the country. He has authored over 20 books/monographs and has published over 350 research articles in Indian and foreign journals. He is a fellow of the Indian National Science Academy and Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore. He was President of Indian Society of Human Genetics. He has served as a member or chairman on various committees of Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Planning Commission, etc.
Yogesh Gokhale is PhD in Ecology from Mumbai University. He has done extensive work on sacred conservation practices across the country. His research interests include the interface of human-nature interactions such as ecological value of various sacred conservation practices, and national and international policy frameworks such as Convention on Biological Diversity. He is Associate Fellow with The Energy and Resources Institute, New Delhi.
Sudipto Chatterjee is an Mphil in Environmental Sciences from School of environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He under-took the course on Plant Conservation Techniques at Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, U.K. and was trained on Project Cycle Management by WWF International. Ranthambhor Revisited; Forests Fires in India-Lessons from Case Studies; Natural Resource Management of the Aptanis; Relevance of Forest certification to Wood Carving Industry of India are some of his publications. He is presently working with Natural Resource Management Unit of Winrock International India, New Delhi.
Sanjiv Srivastava, MSc in Botany, was Assistant Horticulture Officer with Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, Bhopal. He was instrumental in the installation of replica of sacred groves on IGRMS campus, and contributed a great deal in organizing sacred grove campaign in different parts of the country.