The Flight of Gods
Icons worshipped in a sacred grove in Sattari – photo by Mohan Pai
Devachirai or the Sacred Groves are more or less pockets of climax vegetation preserved on religious grounds. Several such pockets are located in remote tribal areas of the Western Ghats and Goa has quite a number.The ’protection’ tradition originally forbade any interference with the biota of the grove in any way whatsoever, and not even the leaf litter could be touched. Grazing or hunting was not allowed within the grove and hence they represented a sample of vegetation in its climax state. In view of the protection and optimum growth condition prevailing in the sacred groves some arboreal species exhibit their grandeur and become a fascinating sight. Earlier, human beings relied on sacred groves for the supply of various medicinal plants, shrubs and creepers. In order to pluck these plants they had to perform some rituals to please the forest God. Even today, in the remotest parts of Goa, locals who are still far away from any rural health services, go to these sacred groves for herbal medicines.
Bambar is located approximately 60 kms. from Panaji on the Valpoi-Nanode road and is easily accessible.
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