Grassland catch fire in Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary
Agasthya peak

Fires consumed grassland in the Athirumala section of the Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary today.

The fires are believed to have been caused by either tribals living in the nearby areas, poachers or people visiting the Agastyar peak (Agasthyakoodam). Fires spread easily on the grassland when the grass is dry.

The Forest Department is permitting a few hundred trekkers to visit the peak supposedly as part of pilgrimage to the Agasthya statue installed at the peak. Though the Department sends watchers along with them, the number of visitors makes it difficult to monitor all of them.

Cutting of forest trees for construction of huts for the trekkers had cause a controversy when the season began. Trekking would be permitted until the Sivarathri Day.

Agastyakoodam and its enviorns is one of the biodiversity hotspots of South India.

[Picture shows the Agasthya peak (on the right) and its enviorns.
Photo: Roy Mathew]

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