Arittapatti and Meenakshipuram Villages in the Madurai district of Tamilnadu. It is the first Biodiversity Heritage Site in Tamilnadu. The declaration was made on 22nd November 2022. These two villages have several endemic species and historic structures dating back 2000 years.
Arittapatti Sivan Koil is an ancient cave temple in the biodiversity site. It is a Lord Shiva temple. It is a rock-cut temple. This cave temple has Tamil Brahmi inscriptions. Biodiversity areas have Jain beds.
The newly created Biodiversity Heritage Sites have an area of 193.2 hectares. It is in Meenakshipuram in Madurai taluk and Arittapatti in Melur taluk.
Biodiversity Heritage Sites consist of seven hillocks rich in biological and historical value. As a matter of fact, 72 lakes, 200 natural spring pools, and three check dams are there in this area.
This biodiversity area has 250 bird species. There are three flagship raptor species in this list: Laggar Falcons, Shaheen Falcons, and Bonelli’s Eagles. Also, Endangered slender loris and Indian Pangolins are there in this area.
Additional Chief Secretary Environment Climate Change & Forests, Govt of Tamil Nadu, Supriya Sahu IAS, has notified this. Check the above image to know more details of the notification.
How Do I Go to Arittapatti and Meenakshipuram Biodiversity Heritage Sites?
Madurai Junction railway station, with station code MDU, is the closest major railway station to the temple and the biodiversity areas.
Madurai has an international airport at Avaniyapuram, 12 kilometers from the city center. Direct flights to this airport connect Colombo, Dubai, and Singapore. It is the closest airport to Arittapatti and Meenakshipuram
National highways NH 7, NH 45B, NH 208, and NH 49 pass through Madurai. State highways SH-33, SH-72, SH-72A, SH-73, and SH-73A connect Madurai to other parts of the state.