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Moving with the wildlife at the Silent Valley in Kerala

by Madhav Srinivasan 5 year, 6 months ago

The dense rainforests of the Silent Valley is one of the few preserves that have been left practically untouched by man and modernization. Surrounded by hills, the inaccessible nature of the Silent valley has proved to be its blessing.

The brooding forests of the Silent Valley are located in the Nilgiri Hills in Kerala and are said to date back to 50 million years. The 236.74 square kilometer national park is a part of the Palakkad district and is a popular place to holiday in Kerala. The diverse ecosystem of the Silent Valley includes montane grasslands, deciduous, semi evergreen as well as evergreen forests. The Valley is an important part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and lies adjacent to the Mukkurthi national park and the Attappady forests.

Legends of the Silent Valley

The Silent Valley has an interesting role to play vis-à-vis Hindu mythology. The locals call the Valley Sairandhrivanam. Sairandhri refers to Draupadi, the wife of the five Pandavas. According to local legend, the Pandavas along with Draupadi stumbled upon the beautiful, isolated valley in the course of their travels during a period of exile. So enamored were they by the green, rolling forests bursting with life that they stayed here for some time.


Exploring the wildlife at Silent Valley

The Silent Valley is home to an amazing number of mammals, birds and reptiles. Isolated due to the ring of hills around it, the forest has been able to retain the Indo-Malaysian nature of the flora and fauna that has characterized the area over the ages. 

A trip to Silent Valley will give you some stunning glimpses of wildcats like tiger, panther, jungle cats, civets and fishing cat. The graceful sambar and spotted deer, the large gaur and smaller animals like mongooses, otters, flying squirrel and the scaly anteater are other wildlife that makes the Silent Valley an absolute delight for wildlife enthusiasts making it a must to book Silent vallry tours in South India.


Among the more significant inhabitants of the forests are the lion tailed macaque and the Nilgiri langur; both of these are on list of endangered animals and the Silent Valley is one of their habitats on earth. The forests also have a large number of endangered birds. These include the Wayanad Laughing Thrush, Broad tailed Grassbird, the Malabar parakeet and the Great Indian Hornbill.

A survey conducted in 2006 reported that there were 138 species of birds in the Silent Valley. The forests also have 35 species of reptiles and 19 species of amphibians. In fact, there are two species of frogs that have been discovered in the Silent Valley. There are also several rare plants and herbs in the valley.

Reaching the Silent Valley

Given the heavy rainfall the area experiences, travelling here during the monsoon months might not be practical. The summers are warm while winters are pleasant. There are plenty of buses running from Palakkad to Mukkali. Palakkad is at a distance of 80 km, while Mukkali is 23 kilometers away. One can easily reach the wildlife park by taking up holilday tours from Chennai or Kochi. 

The distance between Mukkali and Silent Valley will have to be covered either by hiring a jeep or van. You could also trek part of the distance. As far as accommodation is concerned, there are a few guest houses within the national park. You could also stay at one of the many hotels in Palakkad town.

The Silent Valley is quite simply an unforgettable experience. It takes us back to an age when nature reigned supreme. The preserve with its pristine and untouched character is truly a unique spot in a world where else where man has left his rather heavy imprint. 

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