2020, VOLUME 7 ISSUE 3Pages: 553-564
Dhwaj sacred grove: A unique example of cultural beliefs and traditional conservation
Harsh Singh* and Vaibhav Kumar
*Department of Botany, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, Meghalaya, India
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Sacred groves are well-protected areas managed by strong spiritual beliefs by the local communities and often represent the relict climax vegetation the region. The present study was conducted in Dhwaj sacred grove from the Central region of Indian Himalayas, releasing its role in biodiversity conservation through traditional and cultural belief systems. Total 81 species belonging to 67 genera and 50 families of plants were identified; in which 40 species were flowering plants, 23 species were lichens, 7 species bryophytes, 12 species were pteridophytes and only one species was gymnosperm. Rhododendron arboreum and Quercus leuchotricophora is the most dominant tree species in the grove showing highest IVI values. Ethnobotanically, 40 species belonging to 38 genera and 27 families are used by the local communities for the treatment of various ailments. But, due to high anthropogenic pressure, this grove facing several threat of degradation, hence special attention is needed towards its conservation and motivation to promote our traditional knowledge.