Himachal Pradesh

Sacred Groves in Himachal Pradesh


(Source:  http://www.wwfindia.org/?5821/Sacred-Groves#)

In Himachal Pradesh, the local myths and legends associated with sacred groves go a long way in preserving the forests from destruction. There are several groves named Dev Van or Devta Ka Jungle where one is not allowed to cut trees or even carry dry leaves outside the area. 329 sacred groves have been documented in the state.

Bakhu Nag Devta, Ringarishi Devta (embodiment of an ancient sage) and Devi, are the deities to whom these sacred groves are dedicated.

Deodar, Kail and Oak, with occasional Spruce and Silver fir are among the most commonly found plant species in the sacred groves.

The thick forests provide a good habitat for leopards, barking deer, ghorals, black bears, hares, wolves and many more animals.

There are about 10,000 temples in the State with well defined management committees and Biradari Panchayats (caste councils), and all the major deities in the State have their own groves. Hence the State can be called the Land of Deities and Sacred Groves.

List of Sacred Groves in Himachal Pradesh

S. No No.of Sacred Groves Name of the sacred grove Location
1 1 Dev Kothi Shimla
2 1 Nagrota Bagwan Kangra
3 1 Devban Kullu valley
4 300 Devta Kullu valley
5 1 Lakyntang Khasi and Jantia
6 1 Bakhu Devban Up Tukka
7 1 Banaugi devta Ringarishi
8 1 Hallan Kullu
9 1 Railla Kullu
10 1 Ringu Nag Railla
11 13 Not Known Theog sub- Division
12 7 Not Known Rohru sub- division
Total 329 groves


Source:  Sacred Groves of Himachal Pradesh, Down to Earth, 31 December, 2003

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