Preserving the Devrais in Maharashtra

Devrais are sacred groves situated in the Western Ghats, Maharashtra. The word devrai comes from two words: dev which is God and rai which is forest. These sacred groves or God’s forests are key hotspots of biological diversity wherein the felling of trees and killing of animals is considered taboo by the local communities. They play a pivotal role in the maintenance of the local ecological balance, conservation of watersheds, and preservation of bioresources.