ETHNO-BOTANICAL RECORDINGS FROM DOONAGIRI SACRED GROOVE IN DWARAHAT, KUMAUN HIMALAYAS (UTTARAKHAND), INDIADeepak Kholiya, Laxmi Rawat and Preeti Joshi
In Uttarakhand state villages have their sacred groove (ancient temple forests) both in Garhwal and Kumaon regions, where deities or spirits are worshipped by local communities. These protected forests containing different indigenous wild life species and natural water springs are on the verge of disappearance due to anthropogenic activities. Uttarakhand has age-old tradition of protecting temple forest near villages, where deities are worshipped in a scared grove. The vegetation growing in groves are not allowed to cut, as believed to the deity. Only the dead / dried fallen parts are used by them. Even sudden dying of plants of these forest are said to be bio-indicator of mishappenings for the villagers. This restriction in forests have helped conservation of indigenous species of these areas. The future studies should be conducted because documentation of medicinal plants present in these sacred temple forests of Uttarakhand has not been done widely. Hence this study work for future references before planning them as a tourism spots. Most species growing there occurs naturally in remote habitats. Over exploitation of forests by human greed have caused extinction of many wild flora and faunas. These sacred grooves can serve as germplasm bank and a model for biodiversity conservation. In Kumaon regions of Uttarakhand, such (enlisting) has been least done, hence this will be the pioneer work with important findings for the future reference. The purpose is to document the sacred groves biodiversity of Uttarakhand, but also look broadly at measures to conserve them and restore their lost pristine glory.