BHOPAL: Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, Bhopal, has displayed Sarna, sacred groves of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh on its social media platforms with its basic information, photographs and videos.
The exhibit has been displayed as part of 26 series of its online exhibition, which began from Thursday. Museum director Praveen Kumar Mishra said Sarna is a term used to refer to the sacred grove in Chota Nagpur Plateau (Jharkhand) and Chhattisgarh.
Sarna is a religious centre of community within the village eco-system where the village deity resides. The Munda, Oraon, Korwa, Raotia communities perform puja at Sarna. Mahadani Sarna is a type of Sarna found in many villages. Its deity is Mahadani (a male god) who protects village and its property from natural calamities and diseases. The village performs puja at Sarna regularly, according to Mishra.
Assistant horticulture officer Dheer Singh said prominent trees found in Sarna are saal, peepal, behara and bargad. The most prominent ritual associated with Sarna is Sarhul. It is celebrated in March-April at the time of flowering of Sal tree to mark beginning of New Year.
Other festivals like Kadleta (worship of oxen), Hariyali (crop festival), and Nawakhani (harvest festival) are also associated with Sarna. The religious representative of the village, known as Pahan or Baiga, takes care of vegetation of Sarna and conducts rituals there.