Marudhamalai , An Elephant corridor's plight .

Posted by: Keerthikrutha on

Coimbatore is considered one of the hottest cities in India now, from being one of the most pleasant in the Country a long time back .Heavy deforestation, encroachment into forest lands etc, are the main reasons . One such example is Marudhamalai. 

There are around 90 elephant corridors in Tamilnadu . Marudhamalai range  (Etymology :- Marudham: Plains/Agricultural Land and Malai: Hills) is one such and is approximately 500m above mean sea level .The vegetation is predominantly Thorn and scrub. 

There are 2 temples which are located on the elephant corridor , one the Maruthamalai temple and another at  Anuavi.

I am discussing about the Marudhamalai temple.  The history of the temple is foggy with a two sided view that the place was a table land and the temple was built atop it ; another that the place was blown up with explosives a long time back for the construction of the temple. 

Well all the history apart, this temple lies on an elephant corridor and has affected elephant migration a lot in the past and at present.There are also various cases of poaching recorded in the surrounding area. The extent of man animal conflict in the nearby areas is very common and is increasing every year. 

Encroachment of forests by  villagers who earn a living out of a temple by selling goods like coconuts , flowers and various plastic items also have a major impact on the animals, red vented bulbuls and black kites even (This was within a span of 3 yrs from when i joined college) , due to continual human movement. 

The foot hills has a bus stand and numerous food stalls & in accordance to the upcoming Tamil Conference , which will take place in Coimbatore, operations for building a hightech bus stand at the foothills , renovation in the temple, building a new foot path are a few of the other things which would happen.  

All this will again add on to pollution and deforestation in the area. 

 Another story is that of an IT park and a housing complex , that would be coming up in a few years in the same locality and acres of land including a stream , once upon a time perennial have been destroyed. 

Few of the animals that were commonly found in here :Elephants (Elephas maximus) , Leopard (Panthera pardus), Indian hedgehog (Paraechinus micropus) , Sloth bear (Melursus ursinus) and saw-scaled viper (Echis carintus), Green keelback(Macrophistodon plumbicolor), Hump-nosed pit viper (Hypnale hypnale) Black eagle (Ictinaetus malayensis) and an endemic to the list , Kollegal ground gecko (Geckoella kollegalensis). 

I conclude that god did not ask for temples on hill tops , clearing forest lands or destructing nature ;He thought us to live in harmony , 

Blind beliefs of humans blind us from seeing what is Truth.