Arittapatti Biodiversity Heritage Site boasts of historical significance as it has several megalithic structures, 2,200-year-old rock cut temples and Tamil Brahmi inscriptions (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@supriyasahuias)
Tamil Nadu has notified its first biodiversity heritage site. A total of 193.21 hectares spread in Madurai district’s Arittapatti and Meenakshipuram villages have been declared as Arittapatti Biodiversity Heritage Site under the Biological Diversity Act, 2002.
BHS are areas which have unique, fragile ecosystems with high diversity of wild, including the rare and threatened ones, and domesticated species.
Arittapatti village has a chain of seven barren granite hillocks and there are 72 lakes, 200 natural spring pools, and three check dams there. Anaikondan Lake which was built in 16th Century during the rule of Pandyas has significant presence of 250 species of birds, which includes three raptors species – Shaheen Falcon, Bonelli’s Eagle and Laggar Falcon – and other creatures like slender loris, Indian pangolin and python.
Apart from animals, this BHS has historical significance as it boasts of several megalithic structures, 2,200-year-old rock cut temples and Tamil Brahmi inscriptions.
In Tamil Nadu a total of 35 BHSs have been identified and a proposal for three has been received by the State Government from Tamil Nadu Biodiversity Board. While Arittapatti has been notified, the other two are Tirunelveli’s Vaagaikulam and Coimbatore’s Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.
The objective of creating BHS is to improve the life of communities living there through conservation measures.