The Arittapatti and Meenakshipuram villages in the Madurai district have been named the first biodiversity Heritage site by the government of Tamil Nadu. The area will be called the Arittapatti Biodiversity Heritage Site, and it covers Arittapatti village ( 139.63 hectares ) and Meenakshipuram village ( 53.58 hectares ). The government introduced it as a biodiversity heritage site to protect cultural, biodiversity, and architectural heritage.
Around 250 different bird species can be found at Arittapatti, which is famous for its ecological and historical value. These include three significant falcons: the Laggard Falcon, Shaheen Falcon, and Bonelli’s Eagle. Animals like the Indian pangolin, slender loris, and pythons reside also in the area. A series of seven hilltops, or inselbergs, surrounds the region and acts as a drainage for “72 lakes, 200 natural springs, and three check-dams.
One of them is the Anaikondan reservoir, which was constructed in the 16th century under the rule of the Pandiyan monarchs. The area is historically significant because of several ancient stone constructions, rock-cut temples, Tamil Brahmi inscriptions, and Jain graves.
According to The District Forest Officer S. Gurusamy Dabbala, the region of a biodiversity heritage site would contribute to safeguarding its unique and diverse environment. Actions will be taken by the Forest Department that might threaten biodiversity.