Staff Correspondent

MYSORE: In a novel move to promote afforestation by making use of cultural and religious beliefs, the Forest Department has developed “pavithravana” (religious garden or sacred groves) consisting of plants with medicinal value, at Lingambudhikere.

According to Deputy Conservator of Forests (Social Forestry) Chikkappaiah has been divided into “navagrahavana”, (representing nine planets) “rashi-nakshatravana” (representing the 12 zodiac signs) and “ashthadikpalakavana” (representing guardians of eight directions). “nakshatravana” has 108 plants, “rashi-nakshatravana” 12 , “navagrahavana” nine and “astadikpalakavana” eight plants. Other than these, there are 500 species of medicinal plants.

While the “rashi-nakshatravana” has plants grown in a pattern similar to that of the Hindu horoscope based on the guidelines of the Rig Veda, the same is in the case with the “navagrahavana” which is a recreation of the model of “navagrahas”.

Mr. Chikkappaiah said the department was trying to popularise the concept that would help in afforestation, popularisation of medicinal plants and revitalisation of culture.

Noting that people are coming to “pavithravana” in good numbers he hoped that the idea will catch up fast with the people of Mysore. Former Deputy Chief Minister, Siddaramiah inaugurated “pavithravana” by planting a sapling on Saturday.