Sacred Groves of Rajasthan – complete detail – updated. How many sacred groves in Rajasthan. Tradition of sacred groves in Rajasthan.
In a state like Rajasthan, where water is scarce for farming, animal husbandry and drinking purposes, it is understandable that forests in hills reduce the runoff and help in ground water recharge.
Sacred Groves of Rajasthan
There are around 1100 major Oran’s spread out in an area of more than 1,00,000 hectares in Rajasthan providing livelihood to the rural population. The area under an Oran can vary from a few square meters to several hundred hectares. Bhadriya Oran in Jaisalmer districts has 15000 hectares, where as kundla’s Oran has 7500 hectares in Barmer district. Orans preserve the endemic, endangered or threatened species. Jiyapota (not yet identified!!) Sacred groves in Aravallis and Vindhyas can be classified into three major groups. In the first group we classify groves located near the village and close to a water source. Such groves are also at the top of small hillocks in Aravallis, where people worship Bheruji, Bawsi and Mataji. Khanpa Bheruji, Kukawas Bheruji, Badi Roopan Mata etc. are the example of such sites in Udaipur. In the Vindhyan tract of Kota Bundi, Baran and Jhalawar such groves abound.Sacred groves are known under various names in Rajasthan as Deora, Malvan, Deorai, Rakhat Bani, Oran, etc. Rajasthan provided interesting insights on tribal traditions of maintaining sacred groves.
In a state like Rajasthan, where water is scarce for farming, animal husbandry and drinking purposes, it is understandable that forests in hills reduce the runoff and help in ground water recharge. The water thus becomes available in the Bawdi or located within the sacred grove during the lean months. It is then logical that such resources are protected and conserved by the people. People might have institutionalised these arrangements during the course of time by attaching sacred value to it, to make collective management easy and long-lasting. Sacred groves are the result of a complex ethno-scientific thinking of the local communities. Important Orans in Sirohi, a semi-desert district in Rajasthan, include Pichheshwar Mahadeo near Pindwara, Voreshwar Mahadeo in Sheoganj, Sarneshwar Mahadeo near Sirohi (famous for its step-well), Mochal Mataji in Sheoganj (particularly famous for animals like Chinkara and Neelgai), Baleshwari Mataji Oran in Pesua village (famous for a very large Rayan tree) and Varada Hanuman ji which supports several old Prosopis cineraria trees. Nai-Ka-Nath (bassi, banskho) is a historical temple of Bhagwan Shiva, surrounded by hills with Coordinates: 26°49’12″N 76°8’15″E. The temple is a place where visitors from all over Madhogarh and nearby villages come and offer prayers. Every Monday a fair is held near the temple and a fair of grand scale is there on Maha shivratri and people from nearby villages come in thousands by buses, camels, cycles, cars and whatever mode of transport is available to offer their prayers to Shiva.