PHYTODIVERSITY AND CONSERVATION OF NITHYPOOJA KONA SACRED GROVE OF NALLAMALA HILL RANGE, EASTERN GHATS, ANDHRA PRADESH S.K.M.BASHA, P.SIVA KUMAR REDDY, M. JOHN PAUL
NBKR Medicinal Plant Research Centre, Vidyanagar – 524413, SPSR, Nellore (Dt) A.P. Bharatiyar university, Coimbatore
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Sacred groves are climax forests and are the only representatives of natural or near-natural vegetation. These are dedicated to deities or ancestral spirits worshipped by local tribes along with surrounding plants and trees. These are ecosystems by themselves and perform all the ecological functions. Nithyapoojakona Sacred grove is one of the important sacred grove in kadapa district. The present paper deals with the phytodiversity of the above grove used by local tribes.This paper deals with the 181 species of probable medicinal potential belonging to 138 genera and 71 families. Key Words: Sacred Grove – Deities – Tribes –Nithyapooja kona- phytodiversity INTRODUCTION
Sacred groves (SGs) are small groves that vary in size from a few hectares to a few kilometersprotected by local communities as being the sacred residences of local deities and sites for religioculturalrituals. They serve as valuable storehouses of biodiversity. They are part of biological heritages and systems that has helped to preserve the representative genetic resources existing in thesurrounding regions for generations. Sacred groves are the important places in which biodiversity ispreserved in mostly undisturbed condition because of certain taboos and religious beliefs. They areancient natural sanctuaries that have supported thegrowth of several interesting and rare species of flora and fauna. The sacred groves harbor genotypes offuture importance that may be very vital for breeding programmes. The institution of sacred groves dates back to the pre-agrarian hunting-gathering phase of human civilization, and is known to thrive in most parts of India (Kosambi, 1962)
Plants have tremendous potential to become renewable sources of high quality raw materials for industry as well as providing a wealth of genetic diversity which can be lead to the discovery of new things (Bartle, 1997).The state of Andhra Pradesh has 800 Sacred groves eneumerated so far (Bhandary and Chandrasekhar, 2003) locally known as Pavithra-vanalu. According to “WWF-AP”, 1996 76 groves were identified Kadapa district.. The strands in the Sacred groves were more diverse, had high basal area and showed fewer signs of disturbances than the Natural forest land. This supports the view that local communities afford better protection and management to Sacred groves (Ravi Prasad Rao, 1998). Biodiversity of Sacred groves is preserved in mostly undisturbed condition probably due to certain taboos and religious beliefs (Lakshmi Narayana and Venkaiah 1998).Ethno botanical wealth of sriharikota island of Nellore studied and reported 18 plant species of high medicinal importance (Savithramma and Basha 2002). This scenario motivates use to explore the medicinal Flora of Penchalakona Sacred grove which is studied by Basha et-al (2012) the second largest of the district after Narasimha Konda Sacred grove. Yanadis, yerukalas tribes living in this sacred grove. It is precariously protected by the tribal population of the grove. TOPOGRAPHY:
Nityapoojakona is one of the scared Groove located in the southern part of Lankamalleswara wild life sanctuary of Eastern Ghats 33 Km from Kadapa. It lies between 14.32’2’’N -78.56’39 E. It is a grove of the temple of Lord Shiva. To reach the temple everyone has to trek the trail up to 2.5kms form Panchalinga. The trail is formed with huge rocks and with some water deposited and plenty of trees on the both sides of the trail you cannot able to catch the sky with your eye at some places either you can see hill or green leaves only. Particularly saying,...
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