Sarpakaavu-The Sacred Serpent Grove

The sarpakavu (sacred serpent grove) helps a lot in protecting the ecological balance in nature. These patches of jungle are traditionally considered as the sacred abode of the serpent gods, Naga raja and Naga yakshi. The presence of such divine forces in the premises of the Brahmin families is a natural sanction against disrupting the traditional biodiversity of the land. Naturally, people will not dare felling a tree or even removing a twig from these holy jungles. Thus, right from the olden days, even without any legislation the prestile nature of the ecosystem used to be preserved by assigning holistic qualities. Besides these small jungles are infested with hundreds of rare medicinal plants and gigantic tress and creepers, the whole atmosphere in and around these sarpakavu is so mysterious that people often afraid of entering it or go near unless during the time of the periodic pujas offered to the serpent deities. The age old system of our illom having 7 ponds, associated with sarpakavu explains the ancient method of water harvesting and sharing, may be considered as the back bone of this village economy. Sarpakavu act as an abode for many rare, endemic, endangered species and economically important plants of fruit bearing and medicinal properties.

Some of the rare medicinal plants like Ballataka- Semicarpus anacardium-Marking nut tree used to treat arthritis, tumor, cancer, skin disease, etc, Ankolam-Alangium saalvifolium wang- Sage-leaved Alangium used to treat hypertension,antidote for several poisons especially for rabies, etc, Chandana-sandal wood, and so on are seen here.

We are protecting more than 300 rare medicinal plants in this ecosystem.

The animals and birds in this sarpakavu are of two types, those which inhibits the grove like snakes, frogs, lizards and other lower group of organisms and higher group of fauna who visits this kavu temporarily for food, shelter,etc.

The fertility of the agro-ecosystems is very high due to the humus and nutrients generated in the sarpakavu.

Unlike a botanical garden where a wide range of trees and plants are collected and cultivated for the purpose of education and enjoyment, our sarpakavu is one method of expressing our gratitude to the trees which sustain and support life under a given agro-ecological condition.

`In the wake of the tendencies of ancient symbols of culture disappearing fast, our Naalukettu and sarpakavu remains a residual monument of the glorious past. Our attachment to this symbol is so strong that we can never imagine demolishing it and raising a sophisticated modern type building as our illom is so meticulously designed that they are found adaptable even to modern lifestyle.