Valley National Park
is so special about this tiny patch of forest called Silent
Valley? Why is it named Silent Valley? Apart from the
pristine tropical evergreen forests and serene surroundings,
this valley has the unique distinction of being the most silent.
This is due to the absence of an insect called 'Cicada'
which creates a racket during its mating season. As Silent
valley is devoid of this insect, it is evidently silent.
Located in Kundali Hills in Palakkad district, it is
a part of the Western Ghats. Silent Valley National Park holds
a valuable reserve of rare plants, herbs and wildlife. A visit
to this park is considered an experience of a lifetime, as
it is the last representative virgin tract of tropical
evergreen forests in India. This park, measuring 89 sq
kms, is tiny in comparison to the other national parks in
India, but what makes it unique is the sylvan environment
the region has, besides the high altitude peaks and several
rivers that run through it.
valley, locally called 'Sairandhrivanam' (the forest
in the valley) has a eventful history. It had been the centre
of hot debates and protests in the 70's and 80's of the 20th
century. The history of this park dates back to 1888 when
the region was declared a reserved land under the Forest Act
and later notified as a Reserved Forest by the British Government.
In the 1970's, Kerala State Electricity Board decided
to construct a hydel power dam in this region and when in
1980, this region was declared as a National Park, the area
of hydel project was excluded. This brought out fierce
protests from environmental groups and the board had to
drop its plan. Subsequently, the project area was included
and in 1986, Silent Valley was declared the core area in the
Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
Valley is a rectangular tableland with an altitude of 658
- 2,383 mts above sea level, enclosed by a high ridge and
flanked by steep cliffs, which descend 1,000 mts to the plains
of Kerala. Kuntipuzha River flows through the entire
15 km length of the park, dividing it into narrow east and
west parts. Kuntipuzha and its five tributaries are among
the less torrential rivers of the Western Ghats, with
a pesticide-free catchment area.
The park has a strong fauna of endangered species like the
Elephant, Tiger, Lion-tailed Macaque, Gaur, Wild Boar,
Panther and Sambar. More species of wildlife have
also been recorded here including numerous species of snakes,
Amphibians and Lizards. The park has a total of 26 species
of mammals and 120 species of birds, most of them endangered.
So the next time you plan a trip to the God's own country,
Kerala, make sure you include Silent Valley in your itinerary.
Nearest Town: Mannarghat, 32 km away
Nearest Rail Head: Palakkad, 75 km away (frequent bus facility
to the park)
Nearest Airport: Coimbatore, 155 km away
Lodging: Basic accommodation in rest houses (better facilities
Food: local food stalls available (carry ur own food)
Best time to visit : September to March
Contact: Divisional Forest Officer, Palakkad- 678009 or
Wildlife Warden, Silent Valley National Park,
Camp Mukkali, via Mannarghat, Palakkad, Kerala
STD Code: 04924 (Mannarghat)