Biodiversity & Environment
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Pulayar Community and Anamalai Tiger Reserve
- 07 May 2021
- 3 min read
Why in News
Two Tribal settlements (Kattupatti and Kuzhipatti) of Pulayar community within the limits of Anamalai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu are gearing up for their annual festival of local deity Vairapattan.
- About Pulayar Community:
- The Pulayar, also Pulaya, or Holeya or Cheramar, are one of the main social groups found in Kerala, Karnataka and in historical Tamil Nadu or Tamilakam.
- They are a Scheduled Caste in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
- Pulayas are noted for their music, craftsmanship, and for certain dances which include,
- Kōlam-thullal, a mask dance which is part of their exorcism rituals, and
- Mudi-āttam or hair-dance which has its origins in a fertility ritual.
- Mahatma Ayyankali was called as Pulaya King.
- Ayyankali in 1893 rode an ox-cart challenging the ‘ban’ on untouchables from accessing public roads by caste-Hindus.
- Ayyankali became a stated protestor for Pulayar rights. Because of the protests led through Ayyankali, in 1907 a decree was issued to confess students from the untouchable network to government schools.
- Anamalai Tiger Reserve:
- It is one of the four Tiger Reserves in Tamil Nadu. It forms part of the Southern Western Ghats.
- It forms part of the Anamalai Parambikulam Elephant Reserve declared in 2003.
- It is surrounded by Parambikulam Tiger Reserve on the East, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary and Eravikulam National Park on the South Western side (all belong to Kerala).
- The reserve is also surrounded by Nenmara, Vazhachal, Malayattur and Marayur reserved forests of Kerala.
- The ranges found in this reserve include Amaravathi, Udumalpet, Pollachi, Ulandy, Valparai and Manamboli.
- Anthropological Diversity:
- The area has significant anthropological diversity with more than 4600 Adivasi people from six tribes of indigenous people living in 34 settlements.
- The tribes are the Kadars, Malasars, Malaimalasar, Pulaiyars, Muduvars and the Eravallan (Eravalar).
- It includes wet evergreen forest and semi-evergreen forest, montane shola-grassland, moist deciduous, dry deciduous, thorn forests and marshes.
- The important mammals include: Asiatic elephant, Sambar, Spotted deer, Barking deer, Mouse deer, Gaur, Nilgiri tahr, Tiger, etc.
- Other Protected Areas in Tamil Nadu:
- Mudumalai Tiger Reserve
- Kalakkad - Mundanthurai TR
- Sathyamangalam TR
- Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve
- Mukurthi National Park
- Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park
- Guindy National Park