Many times in life we tend to get so tired of the daily routine that all we want is to run away to a secluded nature's enclosure. We wish for a place which is surrounded by green, just so we can breathe clean air and observe mother nature playing her magic.
We crave to listen to the chirping of birds, buzzing of insects and a distant sound of an elephant's call. But a lot of times we fail to think of a single place that can offer seclusion, peace and green all at once! Put your worries at ease right away because we have just the place you are looking for!
Nestled in a quaint corner of Palakkad and on the Nilgiri Hills, is the beautiful and undisturbed Silent Valley National Park. It is a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and is Kerala's second largest National Park. Rich in its biodiversity, this national park has plenty of herbs and medicinal plants.
PC: Sancia Morris
Silent Valley happens to be the only place where no traces of human intervention can be found in the history! It was named "Silent Valley" by the British simply because they heard no loud chorus of the cicadas.
Wildlife Of Silent Valley
Home to the second largest number of the endangered species of Lion-Tailed Macaques, Silent Valley houses many other animals such as Nilgiri Langur, Hairy-winged Bat, Nilgiri Tahr, Striped-neck Mongoose, Barking Deer, to name a few. The National Park is made of breathtaking virgin evergreen rainforests with the river valley formed by the Kunthi River located close by.
Apart from being home to fresh forests of evergreen vegetation and unique animals, the Silent Valley National Park also houses over 1000 species of flowering plants such as orchids, 150 species of birds and 200 species of butterflies! Such is the wealth of natural resources of Silent Valley! Therefore, it makes for a perfect haven for nature lovers.
PC: Dr. Raju Kasambe
Best Time To Visit And Details
The ideal time to visit Silent Valley is between the months of December and April. June to September have heavy rains while the month of May might have a climate of scorching heat.
The visiting time into this forest is between 8 am to 1 pm. The entry fee is Rs 25/- per person for Indian Nationals. An extra Rs 200/- might be charged for using the video cameras.
Things To Do At Silent Valley
Although chances of sighting animals are normally slim as their habitat is mostly in the areas which are restricted, nevertheless, Silent Valley must be visited simply to experience its pristine beauty. Also, the Kerala Tourism does allow a few fun things such as trekking, bird-watching, nature walks, jeep safari, etc, to do in the forest.
Mukkali is a small village located 23 km from the national park, which is the final stop for all the private vehicles. Jeeps have to be hired or bus tickets have to be purchased from this point onward. Visitors can go on this 23 km trip wherein they get to see deciduous to evergreen forests.
PC: Sreejith K
A bird's eye view of the breathtaking landscape can be seen from the 100 ft tall watch tower inside the forest. The entire trip may take about 5 hours. Since accommodation isn't available closer to the forest, it is best to make a one-day trip to this point.
After driving into the forest, you must trek in order to reach the pristine waters of river Kunthi. An energising trek of about 2-3 km will take you to the river . The forest officials are quite strict about their rules and this is understood immediately at the sight of this serene river. Untouched by pollutants and just crystal clear river water welcomes you to take a dip, swim or ever drink the clean water.
A slightly off-beat trail is the Keerippara Trek. This is especially loved by those who love bird-watching and spotting rare insects. It is a 10 km trek so its better to begin early. The difficulty of both the treks ranges from easy to moderate, depending on the level of expertise.
PC: Jeevan Jose
How To Reach Silent Valley National Park
By Air: Peelamedu Airport in Coimbatore is 155 km from the Silent Valley, and is the closest airport. Regular flights are available from places such as Chennai, Kozhikode, Madurai, etc.
By Train: Olavakkode Railway Station in Palakkad is the closest railhead, with trains connecting regularly to major cities like Chennai, Cochin, etc. It is located 75 km from the Silent Valley.
By Road: The closest town to Silent Valley is Mannarkkad, located 32 km away. From here, regular buses to Palakkad, Coimbatore, etc., are available. However, as mentioned, from Mukkali, jeeps need to be rented to enter the forest.