6th International Young Scientist Congress (IYSC-2021) and workshop on Intellectual Property Rights on 8th and 9th May 2021.  10th International Science Congress (ISC-2020) will be Postponed to 8th and 9th December 2021 Due to COVID-19.  International E-publication: Publish Projects, Dissertation, Theses, Books, Souvenir, Conference Proceeding with ISBN.  International E-Bulletin: Information/News regarding: Academics and Research

Floral Diversity Conservation through Sacred Groves in Koraput District, Odisha, India: A Case Study

Author Affiliations

  • 1 Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation of Natural Resources, Central University of Orissa, Koraput-764 020, INDIA

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 3, Issue (9), Pages 80-86, September,22 (2014)


The tribal dominated Koraput district of Odisha has rich tradition of nature conservation through cultural and religious practices. Though maximum number of sacred groves has been reported from Koraput, there is hardly any scientific documentation of plant species in them. The present study has documented floral diversity and uses of 94 sacred plant species distributed in 63 genera belonging to 43 different families from 6 different sacred groves in a systematic manner. Most of the plant species are distributed under Caesalpiniaceae followed by Asteraceae and Combretaceae. The plant species are distributed in 48 trees, 26 shrubs and 21 herbs. Many of the plant species are used as herbal medicines (39%) by the tribals followed by religious importance (23 %), and food (13 %) plants. Some existing threats related to the sacred groves as well as plants under threat categories have also been recorded. While only plant species Pterocarpus santalinus comes under IUCN endangered category and 3 species of plants Shorea robusta, Buchanania lanzan and Woodfordia fruticosa comes under low risk and least concern categories whereas 6 species are under least concern category. The plants under vulnerable categories are Ageratum conyzoides, Dalbergia latifolia, Delonix regia, Pterocarpus marsupium, Santalum album and Saraca asoca. Thus, for assessing the ecological role of sacred grooves and formulating strategies for their conservation, a holistic understanding of their structure and function as well as their current status is essential.


  1. Hughes J.D. and Chandran M.D.S., Sacred Groves Around the Earth: An Overview. In: Ramakrishnan P. S., Saxena, K.G and Chandrasekhar U.M (eds.), Conserving the Sacred for Biodiversity Management, Oxford and IBH Publ. Co. Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, 69-86 (1998)
  2. Jena M.K., Pathi P. and Acharya U.S., Biodiversity and its Cultural Diversity: Mode and Means in Primitive-Modern Continum, Environment and Disaster Management, 31-40 (2000)
  3. Anthwal A., Sharma R.C. and Sharma A., Sacred Groves: Traditional Way of Conserving Plant Diversity in Garhwal Himalaya, Uttaranchal, The Journal of American Science, 8, 35-43 (2006)
  4. Gadgil M. and Vartak V.D., Sacred groves of India - A plea for continued conservation. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 72, 313-320 (1975)
  5. Gadgil M. and Vartak V.D., Sacred groves in Maharashtra – An inventory. In: Jain, S. K (Ed.), Glimpses of Indian Ethnobotany, Oxford and IBH Publishers, New Delhi, 279-294 (1981)
  6. Jena M.K. and Pattnaik K.K., Where trees do matter for society: the socio-cultural aspects of sal (Shorea robusta) and salap (Caryota urens L.) in the Similipal hills of Orissa, India, Nature is Culture, Intermediate Technology Publication, 79-89 (1997)
  7. Malhotra K.C. and Das K., Interface between faunal biodiversity and cultural heritage in southwest Bengal in India, In: Fujiki N and Macer R. J (Eds.), Bioethics in Asia. Eubois Ethics Institute, Japan, 346-351 (1997)
  8. Malhotra K.C., Chakravarty K.K., Bhanu B.V., Chatterjee S., Deb D., Gokhale Y. and Shrivastava S., Sacred Groves of India: A Travelling Exhibition, Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, Bhopal (2000)
  9. Khan M.L., Khumbongmayum A.D. and Tripathi, The Sacred Groves and Their Significance in Conserving Biodiversity An Overview, International Journal of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, 34, 277-291 (2008)
  10. Rath P., Devi Kanta Bausuni- A Sacred Groves of Koraput, Orissa Review, 44-45 December (2011)
  11. Pattanaik C., Reddy C.S. and Murty M.S.R., Ethnomedicinal observation among the tribal people of Koraput District, Orissa, India, Research Journal of Botany, 1(3), 125-128 (2006)
  12. Saxena H.O. and Brahman M. The Flora of Orissa” 1-4 Orissa Forest Development Corporation Ltd., Bhubaneswar, India (1996)
  13. Khumbongmayum A.D., Khan M.L. and Tripathi, R.S., Ethnomedicinal plants in the sacred groves of Manipur, Indian J. Traditional Knowledge, 4(1), 21-32 (2005)
  14. Raut S., Raut S., Sen S.K., Satpathy S. and Pattnaik D., An Ethnobotanical survey of Medicinal Plants in Semiliguda of Koraput District, Odisha, India, Research Journal of Recent Sciences, 2(8), 20-30 (2013)