Telangana Flora and Sacred Groves

Sacred groves (SGs) are small groves that are specific places which are protected and conserved by the local communities as being the sacred residences of local deities and sites for religious and cultural rituals. They serve as valuable storehouses of biodiversity. They are part of biological heritages and systems that have helped to preserve the representative genetic resources existing for generations. Sacred groves are the important places in which biodiversity is preserved in mostly undisturbed condition because of certain taboos and religious beliefs. Sacred groves are ancient natural sanctuaries that have supported the growth of several interesting and rare species of flora and fauna of the past.

Sacred groves represent first major effort in conserving the biodiversity.

They are part of biological heritages and systems that have helped to preserve the representative genetic resources existing in the surrounding regions for the generation. Sacred groves were a feature of the mythological landscape and the cult practice.Altogether the taboos, self-imposed restrictions and extra care exhibited by the community have significantly contributed to preserving the groves intact and in good shape thereby conserving the whole range of biodiversity that is housed in it. The sacred groves offer manifold ecological benefits in the conservation of biodiversity. In fact, the sacred groves represent the first major effort in conserving the biodiversity. The sacred groves also provide an ideal surviving habitat to several species of endemic flora and fauna.

There are 65 sacred groves documented in Telangana but conservationists say the real figure is much larger and government should take up extensive documentation. In Kerala around 1,500 sacred groves have been documented.
  1. Adilabad Dankanapally Sacred Grove
  2. Adilabad Jainath Sacred Grove
  3. Adilabad Keslapur Sacred Grove
  4. Adilabad Kunthala Waterfalls Sacred Grove
  5. Adilabad Mahagoan Sacred Grove
  6. Adilabad Narnoor Sacred Grove
  7. Adilabad Pochara Falls Sacred Grove
  8. Adilabad Sadalpur Sacred Grove
  9. Adilabad Sirichelma Sacred Grove
  10. Adilabad Tangri Madra Sacred Grove
  11. Adilabad Yekantapur Sacred Grove
  12. Asifabad Ginnedhari Sacred Grove
  13. Nirmal Basara Saraswati Temple Sacred Grove
  14. Hyderabad
  15. Babasharfuddin Pahad Sacred Grove miralam tank
  16. Chiran Palace sacred Grove{Brahmananda Reddy National Park) 400 acres
  17. Guruvayur Temple Sacred Grove, 3ha
  18. Maulali Darga Sacred Grove
  19. Nowbath Pahad Sacred Grove
  20. O.U.Campus Sacred Grove – Nagadevata / Gyanalaxmi temple
  21. Karimnagar
  22. Kaleswaram Temple Sacred Grove
  23. Konda Gattu Sacred Grove
  24. Ramagiri Fort Srirama Temple Sacred Grove
  25. Vemulawada Temple Sacred Grove
  26. Khammam
  27. Parnasala Sacred Grove
  28. Nugur Fort
  29. Sthambhadri, Khammam Fort Sacred Grove
  30. Medak
  31. AlIadurg Sacred Grove
  32. Kumaravelli Sacred Grove Siddipet Mandal, temple of Mallikarjuna Swamy
  33. Mallamma Temple Sacred Groves dubbak
  34. YedupayaJa Sacred Grove - Durga Devi.
  35. Nalgonda
  36. Chandrumgutta(Arur) Sacred Grove
  37. Ethipothala Sacred Grove nagarjunakonda
  38. Narketpalli Sacred Grove - Ramalingeswara swami / Machiyagiri Laxminarayana swami
  39. Yadagirigutta Sacred Grove - Narasimha Swamy
  40. Nizamabad
  41. Vellutla Sacred Grove
  42. Rangareddy
  43. Alwal temple area Sacred Grove
  44. Ananthagiri area Sacred Grove
  45. Chilukur Balaji temple area Sacred Grove 6ha
  46. Keesaragutta bill area Sacred Grove Kusaiguda village
  47. Kharmanghat Hanuman temple Sacred Grove osmania university
  48. Maheswaram Sacred Grove
  49. Majeedpur Venkateswara Temple Sacred Grove
  50. Pahar-e-Sherief Sacred Grove
  51. Parameswar Gutta area Sacred Grove – shiva
  52. Sanghi temple complex Sacred Grove
  53. Warangal
  54. Kotilinga Kshetram Sacred Grove 11 acre Bollikunta village
  55. Madikonda Sacred Grove Kazipet
  56. Padmakshi Gutta Sacred Grove - 1 Padmaksharnrna
  57. Mahabubnagar
  58. Jellupenta
  59. Kadalivanam
  60. Koyalakonda area
  61. Kurumurthi Konda
  62. Maniyamkonda
  63. Saileshwaram
  64. Singavatnam
  65. Umamaheswaram
  66. Yettam
Adilabad Sacred Groves
Religious people Vidhyas/ Vejjus/ Pujaris/ Vaddegudus/ Gunyas etc. belonging to Kolams, Naikpods, Pardhans, Gonds, Thotis, Chenchus and Mathuras tribal communities of the district who are still practicing traditional medicine are identified, religious ceremonies were made to collect the information different ethnic group of people who use plants materials in different rituals, ceremonies, and any other religious purposes. The information on medicinal uses of the plants was also gathered from the local and tribal people residing in the interior areas of the district and the published literature. The data on the botanical names, family, vernacular names, religious virtues, parts used and medicinal uses along with active principle and status were also mentioned in the work.

Altogether 47 different plant species have been identified as sacred plants by different ethnic groups of Adilabad district. Though there is many more information about sacred plants but only some of the most commonly used plants having medicinal value are taken into consideration. During this project work, some important information has been unearthed. Fewsuch information are given here below.There is a long experienced traditional belief among the people that they have selected some plants which are edible or not edible during or after the religious works. According to Gautamiya Tantra during the religious works, a person should eat boiled sunned rice and ghee. The Agasthya Samhita opines that the following materials may be eaten during the religious works. These materials are Cocos nucifera, Musa sapientum, Mangifera indica, Phyllanthus emblica, Artocarpus heterophyllus, Terminalia chebula, Oryza sativa, Vigna radiata, Sesamum indicum, Hordeum vulgare, Chenopodium album, Chorcorus capsularis, Raphanus sativa, Citrus aurantifolia, Citrus aurantinum etc. Plants not edible before or during religious works: According to Yoginitantra, the following plants should not be taken before or during the religious works. The plants are Tamarindus indica (Teteli), Cajanus cajan (Urohi), Benincasa hispida, Cocos nucifera (Narikol) etc. The widows should not eat onion, all kinds of spices and chilly.

The study of sacred and religious plants may give an idea about the extent of concern shown by people of different eco-floristic regions about the conservation of plants. IT may be mentioned here that most of the sacred plants usually have great utility value. If every Mandir or Masjid committee, a committee will protect their sacred plant grown around these religious places automatically a gauge number of plant species will be conserved. Many sacred groves of India are the best examples of conservation of Biodiversity. Besides, the plants of the sacred groves or religious places have many plants of medicinal use. People have a belief that using the plants of the religious places can cure any kind of disease. This infusion of superstitious myths or beliefs and medicinal properties of plants plays a very significant role in their conservation and conservation of Biodiversity,The forest is now being maintained by forest management committee comprising of the local people. Maharishi Charak has said that there are no plant on the earth which does not have medicinal value, the same is the belief that if we use any plant for performing Puja the same will definitely have the dysentery.

Below is just provided for information purposes. Need to be taken only under doctor's advice. There were instances where people died with self treatment.
  1. Uttareni Chettu - Apamarga - Chaff Flower - Achyranthes Aspera (Amaranthaceae) 
    • The plant is offered to the Hindu deity Ganesh during the holy month of Badrapada masam
    • Whole Tree : Fever, Tooth problem, Scorpion sting 
  2. Maredu Chettu - Bilva - Bel or Bael (Stone Apple) - Aegle Marmelos (Rutaceae) 
    • Shiva Pooja cannot be performed without its leaf (Bilwa)
    • Leaves and Fruits : Diarrhoea, Dysenter and Skin Problems
  3. Vepa Chettu - Aristha - Neem tree - Azadirachta Indica A. Juss (Meliaceae) 
    • Twigs are used widely in the festival of Bonalu.
    • Twigs and Leaves : Tooth Problems, Skin problems
  4. Moduga Chettu - Palasa - Palash - Flame of the forest - Butea Monosperma (Papilionaceae)
    • In Telangana, these flowers are specially used in the worship of Shiva on occasion of Shivaratri.
    • Bark : Piles, Tumors and menstrual disorder, antiseptic and cooling, Fever
  5. Erra Jilledu Mokka - Arka - Giant Milkweed or Crown Flower - Calotropis Gigantea (Asclepiadaceae)
    • high toxin plant, milk of its leaf is poisonous
    • Leaves and flowers are used to worship lord Shiva and Ganesha
    • Latex : Bone Fever
  6. Hunjika Mokka or Bharangi - Bharngi - Tubeflower - Clerodendrum Indicum (L.) Kuntze (Indicum)
    • Used for worshiping Fire
    • Roots and Leaves : Asthma, Chest pain, Cough, Cholera, and Fever
  7. Garika Gaddi - Durva - Bermuda Grass - Cynodon Dactylon Pers. Ln (Poaceae).
    • Whole plant : Body Cooling and Diarrhea
  8. Jeedi Chettu -  Kajutaka - Cashew - Anacardiaceae (L.)
    • Used in death rituals
    • Whole Plant : Cough and Fever
  9. Marri Chettu - Vatavrksha - Banyan Tree - Ficus benghalensis L. (Moraceae)
    • Used in Marriage ceremony
    • Leaves and Roots : Hair Growth, Piles
  10. Medi Chettu or Athi Chettu - Udumbara - Cluster Fig Tree - Ficus Glomerata Roxb. (Moraceae) or Ficus racemosa
    • Stem Bark Fresh Fruits : Snakebite, Red discharge, Diarrhea
  11. Ravi Chettu - Asvatta or Ashvattha or Ashwattha- Bodhi tree or Peepal tree - Ficus Religiosa L. (Moraceae) Ln.
    • Gautama Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment under a tree of this species.
    • Stem bark : Wounds, Sprains
  12. Ficus Retusa L (Moraceae) 
  13. Pedda Gumudu Teku or Peggumudu Chettu GambhariGmelina arborea Roxb. Ln. (Verbenaceae)
    • Leaf : Cough and Cold
  14. Yavalu - Yava - Barley - Hordeum vulgure L. (Poaceae)
  15. Gorinta Chettu - Henna - Lawsonia inermis L (Lythraceae)
  16. Ippa Chettu - madhu - Mahua - Madhuca longifolia var. latifolia (Roxb.)AChev (Sapotaceae)
    • Stem bark - Body Pains, Dog bite
  17. Maamidi Chettu - amram - Mango - Mangifera indica L (Anacardiaceae).
  18. Tulasi  Chettu - Tulsi - Holy Basil - Ocimum sanctum L (Lamiaceae)
    • Leaves - Coughs, Ringworm, Skin diseases and Earache
  19. Kanuga or Kaanuga Chettu - Karanja - Pongam Oil Tree, Indian Beech - Pongamia glabra(L.) Pierre (Fabaceae) or Pongamia pinnata
    • Leaves - Fever
  20. Jammi Chettu - Sami or Shami - Sponge Tree - Prosopis cineraria(L.) Druce (Mimosaceae)
  21. Baranika or Barrenka chettu - Sakotamu Chettu - Shakhotaka or Sihor - Siamee Rough Bush or Sandpaper tree - Streblus asper Lour. (Moraceae)
    • Leaves, bark, root - Ulcers, Sinuses, Swellings and boils, fevers, diarrhea and dysentery
  22. Madiphalam - Matulunga - Citron - Citrus medica L. (Rutaceae) 
  23. Kobbari Chettu - Narikela - Coconut Tree - Cocos nucifera L. Ln. Narikol (Arecaceae)
  24. Pasupu Mokka - Haridra - Turmeric - Curcuma longa L. (Zingiberaceae).
  25. Ummethu - Datura - Datura metel L. (Solanaceae)
    • Poisnous
    • Leaves, seeds : Leaves used in Asthama, epilepsy, seeds are used in leprosy and dog bite.

Uttareni - Achyranthes aspera (Amaranthaceae) 
Common Names:  chaff-flower, prickly chaff flower, devil's horsewhip, Sanskrit: apāmārga

Uttareni plant grows as a common weed or wild in India and also considered sacred. The plant is offered to the Hindu deity Ganesh during the holy month of Badrapada masam
Whole plant : Fever, Tooth problem, Scorpion sting.
  • Leaves possesses valuable medicinal properties and used in treatment of cough, bronchitis and rheumatism, malarial fever, dysentery, asthma, hypertension and diabetes in Indian folklore.
  • Its roots and stems are cleaned and used as tooth brushes. It will clear all mouth problems
Flowering and Fruiting time : September to April

Maredu Chettu - Aegle marmelos (Rutaceae)
Common Name : Bel Patra Bilva Plant, bela, bili, bilva, belo, maredu, vilwam, sriphal, golden apple, indian quince and Bengal quince or stone apple in English, Sanskrit : Adhararutha

Bael tree is considered a sacred tree. Often, it is grown near temple of the Lord shiva in india. Its leaves are offered in prayers. Shiva Pooja cannot be performed without its leaf (Bilwa)
Leaves and Fruits : Diarrhoea, Dysentery and Skin Problems
Leaves should be soaked in water overnight and in the morning strain it and use it as beverage every day. Not only peptic ulcer it relieves dyspepsia, sinusitis, cold, gastritis and indigestion.

Bael Patra is full of nutrients such as vitamins A, C, B1 and B6 along with calcium and fibre. Many don't know, but these leaves are said to be beneficial for several health issues and this is why you must have Bael Patra daily. When you consume it daily, it can help provide relief in stomach-related problems, improve heart health and liver. Health experts also recommend consuming this leaf in the daily diet. Though, this leaf can be consumed any time of the day, but experts agree that when you consume it on an empty stomach, it provides countless benefits. This happens as the body absorbs its nutrients easily. 

Boosts immunity, Get rid of stomach problems, Improves heart health, Keeps blood sugar level under control, Provides coolness to the body

You can take Bael Patra in the form of a decoction in the morning on an empty stomach. For this, boil the Bael Patra in water and then filter it and drink it.
Bael Patra can also be eaten directly by chewing. You can also get many benefits from this.
Bael Patra can also be taken by mixing it with honey. Taking honey and Bael Patra together strengthens the body's immunity.

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