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Shubhyatra >> Kerala Yatra >> Silent Valley National Park

SILENT VALLEY NATIONAL PARK

District : Palakkad
Location : 40 Kms from Mannarkkad, Kerala
Known As : Sairandhrivanam
Main Attraction : Butterflies

Silent Valley National Park - Where Silence Is The Only Sound You Can Listen

Great Indian Hornbill - Silent Valley National Park
Great Indian Hornbill - Silent Valley National Park



FACT FILE
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 : Nearest Airport – 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.

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"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.

Even Where Nature Becomes Speechless

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.

A Walk Through The Silence

Rainforest near Silent Valley National Park
Rainforest near Silent Valley National Park


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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.

Let Your Spirits Go High

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.

The Valley Destination

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.

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Top 5 Reasons To Visit Silent Valley National Park


Elephants

Visit The Heart of Nature
Plan a holiday trek through the greens of the Silent Valley National Park in Kerala and enjoy the closeness with nature. Visit the Karivara farm inhabited by the Mudukar tribes of the Attapadi forest reserve, while on the way to Mukkali.


An Animated Scrapbook of Nature
Visit the Silent Valley National Park and experience an impeccable blend of space and time on the wild pages of the woods - a present hub of ambrosial butterflies, jumping macaques and laughing thrushes - and a past home of archaic amphibeans of the Jurassis age.


The Terrifying Tuskers
Take a memorable trek downhill upto the banks of the Kunthipuzha river. Enjoy a cup of herbal tea as you look for the footprints of the wild elephants, that cluster here for quenching their thirsts.


An Unforgettable Experience of Trekking
It is a fun to wander around on the undulating terrain amidst thick bushes of the Silent Valley. Look for the unexplored shrubs and trees dotted around the corners and vulnerable mammals darting around in God's own country..


A Walk In The Greens
Enjoy a cruise through the dark patches of Silent Valley. Try to record the melody of the birds with every beats of nature. Try to catch a butterfly. Look for some long tailed drongo perching on tree tops. Whatever you do with nature, you will always have a colourful memory to cherish.


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