JAIN SHRINE OF 'PARASNATH HILLS' LOSSES IT'S GLORIES
Once known for a widespread presence of precious herbs and herbal (trees/plants), the centuries – old Jain shrine of ‘Parasnath Valley’ (Also known as Sammed Shikhar ji /Sammet Shikhar ji) is gradually losing its glories. While, large chunks of herbal plants and trees have diapered, sections of these trees are on the verge of extinction.
The green covers of Parashnath valley, including the small hills & hillocks, were significantly known as the hub of ‘herbs and herbals’ in the country.
Located amid dense forest and thorny hills, the highest mountain of Jharkhand state is situated under Naxal-hit Pirtand block of Giridih district, about 220 Km from the state capital at Ranchi.
Varieties of rare found medicinal trees and herbal plants, which are often used as life saving drugs, are found across the region.
However, valuable species of such trees and plants are gradually disappearing over the past few decades. Besides, varieties of herbs are now at the verge of extinction.
Gratuitous interference by the citizens and other human made trouble are considered as the main reason behind it.
According to the wildlife officials as well as the local organizations and herbal traders, uncontrolled fire, ignited by the Mahua pickers, grazing of rare grasses by cattle, felling of valuable trees are among other activities that have been affecting these natural bounties and heritage of the Parasnath hills.
“Definitely fire and uprooting of plants and trees are affecting the regeneration of these species. It is very difficult to speak about particular species, unless we conduct specific survey in this regard, but possible extinction of various such trees or plants cannot be ruled out”, said a forest officer said.
“Apart from our preventive actions, we are also trying to create awareness among the masses so that these valuable wildlife species could be preserved and protected”, he added.
As per the available data there are almost 67 species of trees, herbs 29, climbers – including parasites and semi parasites are 14, and grasses, including bamboos, 11 apart from few other species of trees or plants in and around the Parasnath hills and suburban areas.
“Apart from uncontrolled fire ignited by the Mahua pickers, which has largely damaged the floras and faunas of the forests, felling of trees by the timber mafias along the foothills, continuous grazing of plants, herbals and grasses by cattle, which directly uproot these plants are the basic reasons behind the situation”, said Manoj Agarwal, the convener of ‘Parasnath Makarsankranti Mela Samiti’ sah ‘Jungle Suraksha Samiti’, a Madhuban based organization, meant to look after the local management of the shrine and the nearby forest areas said.
Teliyakand and Soudhani the two important herbs usually termed as life saving drugs, which were adequately found on the Parasnath hills till recently, have now become a reverie for us”, a trader said.