Save the Sacred Trees of the Biodiversity Rich Tansa Valley in Maharashtra India

Vata Puja in progress. The Ficus tree is believed to be the king of all trees, for its endurance and longevity.

The Tansa Valley  is only 60 km from Mumbai in the state of Maharahstra but is a site sacred to many as it hosts some of the hottest sulphur springs in Asia and many people come here to bathe and be healed. The indigenous tribal communities living here have a philosophy deeply rooted in Nature and the other subsequent religious groups also respect and worship the natural bounty of the place.

The Road that brings you into the valley. Photo: Jangara Hjavedi

The Road that brings you into the valley. Photo: Angana Jhaveri

Sign this petition against the logging of 3000 iconic and sacred trees that gird the entrance road to the Tansa Valley.

Temple remains and beautiful sculptures, particularly of silahara period located in deep jungles have been graphically described. Apart from the archaeological wealth of Tansa Valley, religious and social customs along with the rich tribal art of the valley have been scientifically documented, see Arun Khumars Book on Heritage of the Tansa Valley.

The valley lies very close to the Wildlife Sanctuary  Tungarshwar, that houses large mammals such as leopards. Protecting this valley from unplanned development is important for several ecological reasons:

  1. It forms the water shed for the city of Mumbai and most of the drinking water supply for Mumbai comes from the lakes and rivers here
  2. It is an important geo thermal zone which lies on fault lines that caused the sulphur springs
  3. It is the buffer to the wildlife sanctuary and can provide a corridor for wildlife
  4. It is home to indigenous communities that will surely perish if the area gets urbanised

There have been several efforts to get the government to give it a protected area status – the Ecologically Sensitive Area status would allow some development without harming the natural resources. The Supreme Court has now insisted that state governments declare buffer zones around sanctuaries and so there is some hope. However the delay in this declaration is allowing roads and highways to come in now.

This road expansion will destroy nearly 3000 fully grown trees. Over the last week interest groups have mobilised around 900 signatures on an online petition and more signatures are still needed:


Have a look at the Facebook Page on the Valley and its trees and an album for the trees.


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