The Sacred Forest

The Sacred Forest:
- a self-discovery through interconnections via a set of tetrahedron puzzles:

‘Sacred Forests’ or ‘Sacred Groves’ are sanctified forestlands and vegetation set aside to propitiate/please the tree spirits. In India they are called ‘Vandevatas’ – the forest gods – giving company to all the other elements of Nature (such as the clouds, the wind, the sun, the water bodies) that are located within the designated area of the forest.
When the rains arrive in a sacred forest, they become “Indrajal” (the waters of the Rain God, Indra), and when this water flows to become a stream it is called ’Varun’.
Essentially, these are forests that were always bound by a set of forestry codes meant to ensure the rules of care of the forest. Little wonder then, that Sacred Forests were created on the very early belief that “God resides in places of natural beauty.”
In India, ‘Sacred Groves’ or vanrai/tapovan continue to exist and are considered as “cradles of ancient rural civilizations”

For city-bred folks this would be all too alien a concept. Could there be a playful way to understand the secret paths to Nature’s ways?

In order to provide a glimpse of it, we have devised a puzzle-like game whereby one will have to assemble the various parts of a ‘Sacred Forest’ to make it into one whole unit. In the process, one would get acquainted with the various elements of the forest – both day forest and night forest: with their trees, shrubs, herbs, fruits, flowers, the insects, the birds, the animals the fish, the water bodies. And at nightfall, when the forest becomes dark, it is the practice to leave the forest to its own devices.
The idea of a puzzle for ‘Sacred Forest’ was to introduce to the audience a fairly complex system of sustainability that is otherwise far removed from our physical realities and indeed our consciousness. By interacting with the puzzle, the player gets a glimpse of this magical entity that goes by the name ‘sacred forest.’ The tangible media of the tetrahedron enables precisely these interactions.


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IDC School of Design
IIT Bombay,
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