Ethno –Botanical Documentation of some Sacred Groves of Murshidabad district, West Bengal, India
Spread over an area of 5,324 km2, Murshidabad district of West Bengal, India, lies between latitude 23043'30'' N & 24050'20'' N and longitude 87049'17'' E & 88046'00''E. Within this district there are about 153 “Sacred Groves” which are small forest patches harboring many trees, bushes, shrubs, herbs, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Sacred groves provide the inextricable link between present society to the past in terms of biodiversity, culture, religious and ethnic heritage. Sacred Groves are the ideal centre for biodiversity conservation preserving the local flora and fauna. In this present investigation documentation of the ethno medicinal plants from 12 (twelve) major sacred groves of Murshidabad, many of which are more than 100 years old have been carried out. 30 (Thirty) medicinal plants found in these sacred groves were commonly used by the traditional healers. These sacred groves which are repositories of great biodiversity are now faced with grave threats. The impact of modernization and education and growing disbelief in the traditional value systems among the local communities has impacted the preservation of the sacred groves. The traditional knowledge needs to be documented before the sacred groves or the traditional practices are obliterated.
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