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The Big Michelia champaka known as "Dodda Sampige" is holiest of all for the soliga tribes in Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple(BRT) Wildlife sanctuary in Chamarajanagar district.
Dodda Sampige(Michaelia Champaca), A sacred grove revered by the soliga's:
There are a large number of "champaka" trees together with several covering the area with thick shadow. To the east of the riverbank, of the river Bhargavi( a tributary of the cauvery) stands a gigantic champaka tree, about 43 metre in height and the girth of trunk measuring about 20 meters. The 600 years old Big Michelia champaka known as "Dodda Sampige" is holiest of all for the soliga tribes and other local people. The tree is compared to Lord shiva, who is having a braid. The "Doddasampige" has been the God of the soliga tribe's, who perform the fire dance surrounding the tree on the eve of "Maha Shivarathri" festival. The tree bears usual flowers of both reddish and yellowish color during April. On the east side of the platform there are more than 100 lingams, which are worshipped. This champaka tree, a sacred symbol to soliga tribal people, symbolizes the tribal relation with nature.
Those trekker's who are visiting BRT wildlife sanctuary would like to visit Dodda Sampige by trekking. The forest area is a home for many medicinal and other endemic species. The scrub vegetation type of forest is a home for "Adina cordifolia", "Zizyphus", "Emblica officinalis", "santalum album", "Doispiras", "chloroxylon" and "Acacia sps". The moist decidious forests which includes Terminalia paniculata, Terminalia tomentosa, Terminalia chalbula, Terminalia bellerica, Dalbergia lattifolia, Lagerstromia lanceolata, Tectona grandis and Pterocarpus marsupium. The semi evergreen forests which includes Kydia calycina, Michelia champaca, syzigium cuminii, Boschofia javanica and Bombax celiba. The BRT is witness for 79 species of woods. Among them, Palaquium elliptium, Mesua ferrea and Dlea glandulifere are important. Apart from the above listed species woody climber(liana) Entada pursuata with its large pods is present near B.R.Hills. The BRT sanctuary is mainly Combretaceae- rich forest. Variety of Orchids are also present in the sanctuary. The rare variety plants like Lillium nilagiricance and Remusatea vivipara grown in this area. The soliga tribes are accustomed to use more than 300 herbs for the treatment of various aliments.
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