The Silent Valley is a small plateau located on the southwestern corner of the Nilgiri Hills,of the Western Ghats and is apart of Palakkad District.The Silent Valley is situated in the Kundali Hills, 40 Km from Mannarkkad.This forested plateau is the point of orgin of the Kunthi River which joins the west flowing Bharathapuzha. The Silent Valley (236.78 sq.km) also forms the core area of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.The Silent Valley is considered India’s last area of tropical evergreen rain forest and is a precious biodiversity resource.(Threatened by the construction of a dam across the Kunti River, which flows out of Silent Valley National Park, during the 1970’s, Silent Valley was rescued as a result of an agitation by environmentalists and conservationists in Kerala.
SILENT VALLEY NATIONAL PARK
The area is locally known as “Sairandhrivanam” literally, in Malayalam: Sairandhri’s Forest. In local Hindu legend, Sairandhri is Draupadi, the polyandrous wife of the five Pandavas, who disguised herself as Sairandhri, queen Sudeshna’s assistant, while they were in exile. The Pandavas, deprived of their kingdom, set out on a 13-year exile. They wandered south, into what is now Kerala, until one day they came upon a magical valley where rolling grasslands met wooded ravines, a deep green river bubbled its course through impenetrable forest, where at dawn and twilight the tiger and elephant would drink together at the water’s edge, where all was harmonious and man unknown. Beside that river, in a cave on a hill slope, the Pandavas halted.
The Silent Valley Park comprises of two parallel south-slopping valleys.The western Kunthi Valley is part of the basin of west flowing Bharathapuzha and the eastern Bhavani Valley is part of the basin of east-flowing Cauvery.
The coservation of entire Silent Valley forest area is vital to ensure the perinnial flow of water through the Bharathapuzha,the Bhavani and Cauvery providing water to Kerala,Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.The Kunthipuzha which originates from here is the main source of water for Bharathapuzha,Keralas longest River.It provides drinking and irrigation water to the districts of Palakkad, Malappuram and Thrissur.A tributary of tha Bhavani which originates on the eastern side of the Valley is the perinnial source of water for this major inter-stae river.It provides drinking and irrigation water to Tamil Nadu.
In the estimation of scientists,the Silent Valley evergreen rainforest is more than 50 million years old.It is perhaps the only remaining undisterbed tropical rainforest in India.The flora and fauna here are quite unique.The Silent Valleys dark and cool ambience,vibrating with life has been discribed as “the richest expression of life on earth” and a “cradle of evolution”. The Silent Vally receives the second highest rate of rainfall in the country after Cheerapunji.
It was declared a National Park in 1980.Called Silent Valley because the loud calls of Cicadas heard elsewhere in this region are not heard here, Silent Valley has an amazing range of wildlife. Tigers, deer, and mammals native to the South Indian Peninsula, such as the Nilgiri Langur, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Lion-Tailed Macaque, Flying squirrel and Civet Cat are found in Silent Valley National Park.
More than 100 butterflies species and 400 moth species have also been observed in Silent Valley National Park. Birds such as the Malabar Hornbill, Great Indian Hornbill, hoopoes, tree pie, barbets, crow pheasant, woodpeckers, rollers, drongoes, kingfishers and parakeets can be seen in abundance in Silent Valley National park. Many varieties of snakes, amphibians and lizards can also be seen in Silent Valley.
There are more than 110 species of plants in Silent Valley National Park, including many plants that are known for their medicinal properties. The best time to visit Silent Valley is from September to March, during the pleasant winter
Nearest Towns:Coimbatore 45 km., Palkkad 60 km.,Shornur 75 km.
Nearest Railway Station: Coimbatore 45 km., Palkkad 60 km.,Shornur 75 km.
Nearest Air Ports: Kochi International Airport 135 km., Coimbatore International55 km. and Calicut International Airport 80 km.