Envis Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Sunday, September 20, 2020

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