Silent valley national park is situated in Palakkad District, Kerala, India. The park is a part of Nilgiris and covers some 236.74 kilometers of area.
The river Kuntipuzha flows through Silent Valley National Park dividing it into two parts. Its tributaries Kunthacholapuzha, Kummathanthodu, Karingathodu, Valiaparathodu and Marimaranthodu start their journey in this park.
Silent Valley National Park
This park is a result of environmental social agitation against establishment of a hydroelectric project in these parts in the seventies.
It was declared a national park in 1980 and renotified in 1986. There are many places in this park not explored by man.
How It is Named ?
There are few versions to naming this park as Silent Valley national Park.
- One version goes that since there were no noise-making cicadas present, it was called Silent Valley park
- Another version says the park is named after the large lion-tailed macaques scientifically called Macaca silenus
Of course visitors who have gone to this valley have really experienced this silence. Even the crickets or other insects have not broken this silence. The locals call this forest Sairandhirivanam.
Flora and Fauna of Silent Valley National Park
The surface area of this place is full of Tropical wet broadleaf forests. About 108 orchid species, 1000 flower plant species, 100 fern species, 200 liverworts species, and 200 types of algae are some of the flora varieties here; Teak, amla, rosewood and bamboo to name a few. Some of these are not found anywhere in the world.
Silent Valley Park has its share of endemic and threatened animal species. These include birds, mammals, insects, and others. A frog, silent valley bush frog is named after the valley park itself.
The bird population in the Silent valley national park is amazing. More than 138 species of birds are found in this park. Bird Fauna include Nilgiri woodpigeon and blue robin, White bellied blue-flycatcher, grey-headed bulbul, black flycatcher, white-belly blue fly-catcher, Nilgiri pipit, Ceylon frogmouth, Waynaad laughing thrush, broad-tailed grassbird, raptors like buzzard, Malabar Parakeet, Malabar grey hornbill, rufousa babbler, the crimson backed sunbird, great Indian hornbill, redwinged crested cuckoo, Malabar pied hornbill, Pale harrier and Nilgiri laughing thrush. Of these, three birds Malabar pied hornbill, red winged crested cuckoo, and pale harrier species are endangered and feature in IUCN Red list.
The mammals that are found here are lion-tailed macaque, tahr unique to Nilgirs, Peshwas’ bat, Nilgri langur, dhole, Malabar giant squirrel, hairy winged bat, bonnet macaque, hanuman langur, tiger, leopard. Others include sambar, fishing cat, jungle cat, ruddy mongoose, clawless otter, leopard cat, porcupine,spotted deer, tiny Travancore flying squirrel, sloth bear, stripe-necked mongoose, wild boar, elephant, gaur, Indian Pangolin,mouse deer and barking deer.
More than 730 species of insects have been found in these parts. These include 41 bugs species, 33 cricket and grasshopper species, beetle species, 128 butterfly species and 400 varieties of moths. Some butterflies are endemic and protected.
Inside the Park…..
Travelling by jeep is the best option to travel within the park. The park office opens at 8.00am and issues tickets until 1pm. You need to exit the park by 4.30 to 5 p.m. else you will incur Rs.100/- fine for every extra hour you are at the park. Most traveler’s have spotted rare birds and insects. Some have spotted the lion-tailed Macaque and the black-faced panther.
How To Reach Park
Peelamamedu Airport in Coimbatore is the nearest airport, at a distance of 155 kms, to Silent Valley National Park. Coimbatore is connected to most major cities in India.
From Coimbatore you need to travel by road to Mukkali, a distance of 99 kms, to reach the park’s office. By Road
There are many buses travelling from Tamilnadu and Karnataka to the park.
You can travel by train to Pallakad railway station from whence you need to travel to Mukkali by Road.
Best Time to Visit
Best time to visit here the months of December to April. The months of June to September bring heavy rains hamper travelling in these parts.
Silent Valley National Park is a part of the Western Ghats World Heritage site as some of the flora and fauna here are endemic. Approximately, 1,455km2 of the park comes under International Biosphere Reserve while more than 6000kms of area is marked as Nilgiri Sub-Cluster area.
Places Near Valley
Parambikulam, Choolanur peacock Sanctuary, Mountain Valley and JP Smriti Vanam are some wildlife sanctuaries near this Park.
Other places nearby are Coimbatore city and Conoor hill station.
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