Temples, Turtles and Divine Intervention:
Updated: Nov 23, 2019
Through a dint of hardwork, and perhaps divine intervention, rare species of turtles that had disappeared or were on the verge of extinction, are being actively bred and given new life in Assam’s shrines.
India hosts 28 species of turtles, of which 20 are found in Assam. But consumption of turtle meat and eggs, silt mining, encroachment of wetlands and change in flooding pattern have had a disastrous impact on the State’s turtle population
The rarest of India’s 28 turtle species are reportedly back, when they had actually been decalred extinct a few years ago.
The black softshell turtle (Nilssonia nigricans) figures in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List as “extinct in the wild”. But a few temple ponds in Assam and Bangladesh are bringing these turtles back from the brink.
Hayagriva Madhab Temple at Hajo, about 30 km west of Guwahati, regard the turtles in the pond as Kurma avatar of Lord Vishnu to whom the Hajo temple is dedicated is being effectively aided by one conservation organisation Help Earth – led by Jayaditya Puryakashta.
This is a milestone in Assam’s turtle conservation history, and it would not have been possible without the interest shown by the temple authorities in the artificial breeding programme. And indeed it is a milestone for the leaps and bounds that these positive changes have now made into restoring the ecological balance of the environment.
Assam is a beautiful state & very close to nature. Manuhe Manuhor Babe is a famous news website giving latest news updates of Assam.