Sacred Groves in Assam

Ronghang Rongbong, Hamren , Karbi Anglong  District , Assam

Forest dwelling tribes such as Bodo and Rabha inhabiting the plains and foothills of Western Assam have the tradition of maintaining sacred groves which are locally called “Than”. Dimasa tribes of the North Cachar hills in Haflong district of Assam call sacred groves “Madaico”.  17 sacred groves have been documented in the state.

Sibrai, Alu Raja, Naikhu Raja, Wa Raja, Ganiyang, Braiyung and Hamiadao are the various deities to whom these sacred groves are dedicated. Vaishnav temples called Shankara Deva Mathas are distributed all over the state. Sacred groves are attached to these Mathas.

Giant Bamboo, Pear Bamboo, Pink banana, Metico pepper, Indian smilax, Areca nut, Sand paper tree and Devil’s cotton are among the most commonly found plant species in the sacred groves. The identity of an area/village is often associated with plant resources either available in the area/village or important locally.

There is a taboo in the groves on killing of deer during their mating season and protection is extended to birds during the nesting period.

List of SG in Assam

SI.No  Name of the Sacred Grove  Area (Ha)
1 Socheng 24
2 Chinthong 5
3 Langsomepi 65
4 Linchika 21
5 Rongcheck 11
6 Amri 8
7 Long-e-luboi 19
8 Rumphum Not Known
9 Tirkim 32
10 Ronghidi 8
11 Tikka 8
12 Borgaon 25
13 Jirkinding Not Known
14 Rongpongbong Not Known
15 Umsowai Not Known
16 Rongjangphomg Not Known
17 Kungripi Not Known


Source: Karbi  Anglong Community Resource Management Society

 Sacred Groves in  North Cachar Hills District of Assam

Si.No  Name of the Sacred Groves  Village
1 Aludikho Mahurbra
2 Longmailaidikho Moti
3 Longmailumdikho Dijowahapa
4 Manjadikho Mailu
5 Damadidikho/Riaodikho Daulagupu
6 Hamridikho Palaipa/Daudungkhor
7 Misimdikho Gerem basti
8 Baiglaidikho/Baigiadikho Bongkhai
9 Waibradaikho Hajageder
10 Mongrangdikho/Semkhordikho Semkhor
11 Mongrangdikho Banjikhalu
12 Ronchandidikho (Bamin) Dajdi



Pramod Medhi and Sachin Kumar Borthakur, “Sacred Groves of the Dimasas of North Cachar Hills of Northeast India”.

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