Local support is crucial for the preservation of Amarankavu

In the quaint little village of Kolani near here, a 1,000-year-old cultural legacy is strictly adhered to. Amarankavu, a sacred grove in 2.80 acres of land here, is mostly off-limits for people. Nature is allowed to hold sway here. In stature, Amarankavu may not match the more expansive Iringolekavu, Theyottukavu, or Amedakavu.

However, in terms of biodiversity, Amarankavu, the largest sacred grove in Idukki district, holds its ground.

The Forest Department estimates that a ‘thampakam’ (hopea parviflora) tree here is more than 1,000 years old.

It has found a place on the ‘maramuthashi’ (old tree) list prepared by the department, says S. Bhaskaran Nair, Kolani Devaswom president.

Though the ‘kavu’ is considered second in the State for the girth of trees, it tops the list in undergrowth. Mr. Nair said that tourists were allowed to see the ‘kavu’ only from the side wall as human entry could disturb the undergrowth. “Moreover, one cannot rule out waste dumping in the grove,” he said.

Local people believe that not even a twig should be taken out of the ‘kavu.’ “Their support is crucial for the grove’s preservation,”