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Research Article Open Access
Sacred Groves, one form of nature worship, are considered as “Sacred Natural Sites”. Indian sacred groves represent a diverse spectrum of ecosystem. Groves are present amidst the barren landscape or grassland (e.g., in Meghalaya), hill slope (Nagoni in Himalaya), amidst the agricultural landscape (in West Bengal, Karnataka), coastal plain (e.g., Edayilekkadu in Kerala) and Rajasthan desert. With the rapid ongoing changes in society and land use patterns, nowhere except groves one can expect regional ecosystem characteristics which can be served as models or replica for researchers and educators. The importance of sacred grove in nature conservation has been increased manifold in recent time especially after the declaration of Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Community based conservation initiatives are one of the prime agendas for CBD for which sacred grove tradition can be portrayed as role model. The importance of sacred groves in socio-religious life as well as livelihood security has been felt by the indigenous communities from time immemorial which are actually substantiated by numerous local customs, folk lore, social and religious taboos throughout India.
Floristic diversity, Conservation, Sacred groves, Biodiversity, Afforestation, Forest fire, Forest ecology