SILENT VALLEY NATIONAL PARK
District : Palakkad
Location : 40 Kms from Mannarkkad, Kerala
Known As : Sairandhrivanam
Main Attraction : Butterflies
Great Indian Hornbill - Silent Valley National Park
|Major Wildlife Attractions :
|Elephants, Lion-Tailed Macaques, Tigers, Great Indian Hornbill, Nilgiri Laughing Trush, Ceylon Frog Moth.
|Major Safaris :
|Elephant, Jeep Safari.
|Other Attractions :
|Birdwatching, Photography of beautiful Butterflies.
|Best Time To Visit :
|September to March.
|Don't Miss :
|Sighting Birds like the Great Indian Hornbill.
|Getting Around :
|Parambikulam, Choolanur Peacock Sanctuary, Attappadi or Mountain Valley.
|Getting There :
Coimbatore - 55 km.
Nearest Railhead Palakkad 75 km.
Road Bus from Palakkad to Mukkali 80 km.
|Inside Tip :
|Do not forget to carry your Cameras whenever you undertake a Safari in the Sanctuary.
|Important Distances :
|40 km NW of Mannarkkad, Coimbatore 55 km, Palakkad 65 km, Mukkali 23 km.
|Where to Eat :
|Ashok Bhawan Unniappams, Spicy Bajjis, Noorjehan Hotel Biryanis, Pathiris, Motton Curries, Curry House Crisp Dosas, Appams.
|Staying Options :
|Sri Chakra International, Hotel Indraprastra, Hotel KPM International, Kanoos East Fort Resort, The Fort Palace Hotel, Rest House Mukkali.
"O thou little virgin of the peaceful valley,
Giving to those that cannot crave,
the voiceless, the o'ertired;
He crops thy flowers while thou sittest smiling in his face,
But Thel is like a faint cloud kindled at the rising sun:
"I vanish from my pearly throne, and who shall find my place? "
- William Blake (1757-1827)
As you drive up the road with its hairpin curves of the Kundali Hills to Mukkali, you will experience a swift shift in the mood of the atmosphere. As you will reach Mukkali, the boisterous winds will request you to slow down, and let your eyes roll over the picturesque terrain, like a hungry sparrow hunting over tiny grains of wheat. Silent Valley, eulogized as a scientist's dream and a researcher's paradise, is situated at about 50 km north-west of Mannarkkad. Ecologists describe this area as the sole surviving pad of evergreen rain forests, that were once a signature of the Sahya Ranges.
Interestingly, a solitary silence overrules the hilly terrain and the vast greens of the national park, a home devoid of the chirping of cicadas (tropical insect with a loud, chirpy sound). Climb the giant steel watchtower (60 mt) of the Silent Valley National Park, and look at the 'Kunthipuzha' river - popularly known as Kunthi - flowing like a diaphanous silver ribbon down the Western Ghats. The geographical isolation of the plateau, cut off on all sides with steep ridges and escarpments, has kept this pad with 'the richest expression of life on Earth' unsullied by man until the middle of 19th century. This fine sense of seclusion has also allowed the valley to endure as an ecological paradise, espousing diverse species of flora and fauna over 50 million years, that is said to be the evolutionary age of the Silent Valley. A testimony to the above belief was discovered in the year 2003, when a new frog genus, supposed to be of the Jurassic era, was found in the woods.
Rainforest near Silent Valley National Park
Cut-off from civilization and commercialisation of the global corporate, Silent Valley is an paragon trekking destination for nature lovers, researchers and rubber-necked travellers. Puffy mountains, serpentine tributaries and lush greenery carpeted all around always gives an impetus to carry on with the walk through the wilds. Walk 2 km down hill to reach the banks of the Kunthipuzha river and relax over a mug of coffee on the suspension bridge. Take care of the fresh elephant dung strewn around on the path leading to Kunthipuzha, the bridge being the nearest pad from where one can see wild elephants. Remember, lone male tuskers are a dangerous psyche as can be judged from the frenzied paths they make through thick foliage. As you follow the marks of the mammoth, look at the clandestine corners of the trees, untouched and unexplored haven of more than 100 species of ambrosial butterflies. As the soft pattering wings dash around your head and tickle your ears, try to hear their voices, slowly whispering "follow us". As you will lift your hand to grab one, they will fly by as colourful mosaic of orange and black.
The formidable treetops of the valley is a home for much-hyped lion tailed macaque along with Malabar squirrel, Nilgiri langur and the laughing thrush.
Although it is of great fun to trek through the virgin bushes of the Silent Valley, only serious trekkers find their way to the interiors, as trekking in this undulating terrain with thick vegetation is no cakewalk. There are different itineraries to choose from, according to budget, stamina and convenience. One can trek upto the Cat's rock at Poonchipara, 7-Km steep climb from Kunthipuzha. Tourists can also opt for a 4-day trek route, which starts from Mukkali and goes through Sairandhiri - Poochipara - Walakkad - Sispara and Anginda. Trekkers are advised to procure all requisite permits from the forest department office at Mukkali or from the Wildlife Warden at Mannarkkad, to enjoy a hassle-free cruise. You can also get a guide-cum-cook, who will accompany you through the trek route for the entire duration. If one is interested in knowing the Silent Valley to the core, he can approach the Tourist Interpretation Centre at Sairandhiri, who will bestow you with complete details of the topography.
Regular bus service is available from Mannarkkad, the nearest town situated at 66 km from the wild reserve. Tourists can also hire a private jeep from Mukkali to Sairandhiri or trek right up. Jeep takes around an hour while a trek uphill takes between 4-5 hours. On the way uphill don't forget to visit the Karivara farm inhabited by the Mudukar tribes of the Attapadi forest reserve. There are many rest houses where tourists can stay within the Silent Valley National Park. One can also choose from a wide array of hotels and guesthouses in the nearby Palakkad town and visit cyber cafes to be in touch with the world, even staying in the quiet retreat of Silent Valley.
Top 5 Reasons To Visit Silent Valley National Park
Visit The Heart of Nature
An Animated Scrapbook of Nature
The Terrifying Tuskers
An Unforgettable Experience of Trekking
A Walk In The Greens
South & Beaches