ALAPPUZHA: Deforestation and destruction of vegetation have been causing immense harm to the ecology. The sacred groves (Kavu) are, perhaps, the last link to a generation that took great care in protecting the environment. But even that link too is on the brink of extinction, owing to a variety of reasons such as the ever-swelling population. Meet, then, P Krishnan Nampoothiri of Neelamana Illam at Kalarkode, Alappuzha. A priest by profession, Krishnan Nampoothiri has dedicated his life to protect the sacred groves in the vasthu way. He has already reconstructed many groves in the state.According to Krishnan Nampoothiri, the forefathers preserved the groves to protect nature and medicinal plants and trees. They gave a touch of divinity to the groves, making them the abode of Sarpams (Snake Gods).
“People were once afraid to touch the groves because they were home to Nagarajavu and Nagayakshi,” said Krishnan Nampoothiri. Nampoothiri further said: “Grove is actually a mini-forest constructed in a few cents of land in the court yard. Many trees with medicinal values were planted there. The divine tress like, peepul (arrayal) ashoka, Mimusops Elengi (elengi),Devil Tree (pala), strychnine tree (kanjiram) were a common feature. The trees and plants were used for makingayurvedic medicines as well. So our forefathers were precise in their vision,” he said.But as the society embraced modernity, Krishnan Nampoothiri said, people have started to destroy the groves. “But there are still some nature lovers who preserve the groves in their court yards. So I have started the reconstruction of dilapidated groves and I used my knowledge in vasthu as well.”