👉The Tamil Nadu government recently issued a notification declaring Arittapatti and Meenakshipuram villages in Madurai district the first biodiversity heritage site in the State.
👉Arittapatti, known for its ecological and historical significance, houses around 250 species of birds, including three important raptors — Laggar Falcon (Falco jugger), Shaheen Falcon (Falco peregrinus) and Bonelli’s Eagle (Aquila fasciata).
👉It is also home to wildlife such as the Indian Pangolin (Manis crassicaudata), Python (Python molurus) and Slender Loris (Loris spp).
👉The area is surrounded by a chain of seven hillocks or inselbergs, that serve as a watershed, charging “72 lakes.
👉The Anaikondan tank, built during the reign of the Pandiyan kings in the 16th century, is one of them.
👉The site also features various megalithic structures, Tamil Brahmi Inscriptions, Jain Beds and 2200-year-old rock-cut temples adding to its historical value.