International Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 6 Issue 6 2016- May 2016 Pages: 995- 1005 <<Previous    Next>>

Studies on sacred trees of big temples in Cuddalore district, Tamil Nadu, India

Author Information:

Sivalingam D1, Rajendran R2 and Anbarasan K3

1- Ph.D., Research Scholar, Department of Botany, Annamalai University, Annamalai Nagar-608 002, Tamilnadu, India.

2- Assistant Professor, Department of Botany, Annamalai University, Annamalai Nagar-608 002, Tamilnadu, India.

3- Ph.D., Research Scholar, Department of Botany, Annamalai University, Annamalai Nagar-608 002, Tamilnadu, India.

ABSTRACT

Sthalavriksha is a sacred plant, mostly occurs in tree habit, in main or big temples of Tamilnadu.  In some temples it occurs in herb, shrub, grass or climber forms.  There are 383 temple sthalas in tamilnadu, of which 275 represent ‘siva sthalas’ and 108 ‘vaishnava sthalas.  Besides the architectural and sculptural values of these sthalas, their most significant feature is the maintenance and conservation of ‘sthalavriksha’ (sacred temple trees).  These plants are conserved and have been considered sacred because of their cultural, religious and economic importance.  In tamilnadu state, some sacred trees are in the status of extint, endangered, threatened, vulnerable and vary rare habit.  The sacred trees are very good example of exsitu conservation, where a single plant is conserved and worshipped.  Such sacred trees are either medicinal plants, or a representative element of respective ecological region or a source of edible parts of a plant.  In this situation, very few field studies have been conducted on the sthalavriksha of big or main temples of cuddalore district and their role in social, ecological and environmental impacts.  In particular, ethnomedicinal values of sthalavrikshas, occuring in the temples of cuddalore district, tamilnadu have been unexplored.  Hence, in the present study, a survey was conducted at six big temples of six plant species.  As a result of the present study, it can be concluded the sacred plants play an important role in the health care of human being and people rely on medicinal plants to treat various diseases.  As the out put of this study, having conservation status of plants, their religious value, social and economic values are also given.

Keywords: Sacred trees, Conservation, Ethano-medicine, Sthalavriksha, Big Temple Cuddalore district.

DOI:10.6088/ijes.6094

© 2016 Copyright by the authors, licensee Integrated Publishing Association.This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (3.0) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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