Sarpa Kavu ( abode of Snakes ) :- The god and goddess of snake- nagar and nagayakshi.

Sarpa Kavu ( abode of Snakes ) :- The god and goddess of snake- nagar and nagayakshi.

The concept of ‘ Kavu ’ was a place dedicated to the god and goddess of snake- nagar and nagayakshi. Thick foliage, made up of interwoven creepers , over grown climbers clambering up huge trees and the self sufficient eco system, demarcated this place from the rest of the courtyard. The fear of these imminent reptiles kept all – adults as well as kids – away from it. Hence, the flora and fauna thrived and was preserved. Some of the creepers were as thick as the trunk of a tree. The fragrance of blooming jasmine and champaka and illanji wafted through the air. The fragrance filled the air as nobody dared to touch the flowering plants. Some seasonal and native fruit trees also found its place among the foliage. Maybe this was the lung space that flushed in the necessary oxygen. 

Sacred groves have existed in India from time immemorial as patches of densely wooded areas, venerated on religious grounds. Sacred groves have preserved many rare and endemic wild plant species, many of which hold potential benefit to man in medicine, agriculture and industry. In fact, sacred groves represent the ancient Indian way of in situ conservation of genetic diversity. Reverence for all forms of life human, animal or plant, characterizes our ancient thought and continues to this day as a legacy laced with spirituality, humility and recognition of the importance of the elements and nature. Sanctity attached to places where nature shows her bounty was both spiritual and secular. These places were considered ‘sacred’, as Gods were supposed to bless them and naturally their protection was considered an obligation on the part of the society. Thus many a sacred grove has been preserved as sustainable resources, ensuring the basic capital in tact. These sacred groves are therefore valuable gene pools and the first major effort to recognize and conserve biodiversity. People were prohibited from felling trees and even removing a twig was considered as taboo. Trees such as Borassus, Alstonia scholaris, Antiaris toxicaria, Hopea parviflora, Strychnos nux-vomica, Ficus religiosa etc are being worshipped in many sacred groves.

Sacred groves act as an abode for many rare, endemic, endangered species and economically important plants of fruit bearing and medicinal properties. Apart from conserving biological diversity, sacred groves that are situated in the middle of the human habitation are responsible for conserving water and soil. This is evident from the perennial nature of ponds, wells and tanks, which are situated near the sacred groves. The fertility of the agro-ecosystems is very high due to the humus and nutrients generated in the sacred groves.

Proud to be born in India
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