Gandhamardan Hill Range : Biodiversity Heritage Site
The state government of Odisha declared the Gandhamardan Hill Range in Bargarh and Balangir district as a Biodiversity Heritage Site (BHS).
- The Gandhamardan hill (Gandhamardan Reserve Forest) spreads in Bargarh and Balangir districts in Odisha.
- This ecologically fragile ecosystem is rich in floral and faunal diversity and is protected under the Odisha Biodiversity Rules – 2012.
- The hill range has a diverse socio-economic, ecological and biological significance for the people of Odisha.
- This hill consists of medicinal plants, the hill system is considered the ‘Ayurvedic paradise’ of Odisha.
- The hills have 2 historical monuments (hill shrines) which are major pilgrimage sites of Odisha.
- Nrusinghanath temple is located on the northern slope.
- Harishankar temple on the southern side.
- In his chronicles, Hiuen Tsangdescribed the hill shrine as a Buddhist heritage site named
Biodiversity heritage sites:
- These are well-defined areas that are unique, ecologically fragile ecosystems with a high diversity of wild and domesticated species, the presence of rare and threatened species, and keystone species.