Silent Valley National Park
About- South India is home to a number of wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. Among them, Silent Valley National Park bears great importance as this is one of the last undisturbed areas of the tropical rain forest in South Western Ghats of the peninsular India. Silent Valley National Park is located in Palakkad district of south Indian state of Kerala. The history of this national park goes back to the time of Mahabharata and according to Hindu legend, Pandavas during their exile wandered into this area and reached this magical valley with impenetrable forest and halted in a cave on a hill slope besides the river. This national park is home to the largest population of Lion-tailed Macaque and some other endangered species of the primates.
This sanctuary was declared a national park in 1985 after a lot of deliberations between the state and the central government for undertaking a Hydro Power project. After the successful conclusion of the deliberations, Silent Valley National Park was created which is spread over an area of 236 square kilometers with river Kuntipuzha draining the entire length of the park from north to south.
Flora and fauna
Since the major area of the park is evergreen tropical rain forest, it is extremely rich in flora and fauna and its rich biodiversity attracts biologists and researchers from all over the world who often discover new species of plants and animals in this valley. Silent Valley National Park boasts of diverse flora that includes 1000 species of flowering plants, 108 species of orchids, 100 ferns, 200 liverworts, 75 lichens and around 200 varieties of algae. This national park is also home to a number of rare and endangered species of birds like Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Malabar Parakeet, Grey Headed Bulbul, Broad tailed Grass Bird, Great Indian Hornbill and many more. Threatened mammals like Lion Tailed Macaque, Nilgiri Langur, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Hairy Winged Bat are also found in this national park. Apart from the birds and the mammals there are around 730 species of insects in this park.
Silent Valley National Park is a dream destination for all nature lovers and bird watchers. Since this national park is still untouched and is one of the most protected in India, only guided tours are allowed inside the park. Visitors to this magnificent national park can enjoy a guided trip of the park jointly operated by the forest department and eco development committees. Nature lovers enjoy these guided tours through the park in the lap of Mother Nature and get amazed by the huge and diversified variety of flora and fauna. Visitors can also enjoy the riverside trail along Bhavani River which is quite refreshing and feel rejuvenated. Guided Karuwara Waterfall Trail is another amazing experience as trekkers get the opportunity to feel the vibrant nature in her pristine purity and enchanting glamour during their trekking expedition of the region.
How to reach
» By Air – The nearest airport for reaching this national park is Coimbatore which is at a distance of 55 kilometers followed by Kozhikode (Calicut) which is around 80 kilometers from the park.
» By Train – Nearest railhead is Palakkad Junction at a distance of 60 kilometers. Palakkad Junction is well connected with other south Indian cities which in turn are connected with the rest of India.
» By Road – Silent Valley National Park is well connected with other cities by well maintained state highways.
Best time to visit
Silent Valley National Park receives significant amount of rainfall between the months of June and October. The best time to enjoy the beauty of this untouched park is between the months of November and February.