Kerala's Silent Valley National Park is a wildlife park worth visiting. It is an excellent place to have in a bit of neat wildlife watching.
Silent Valley is one of the least disturbed, extensive patches of tropical rainforest remaining in the Western Ghats, in north-eastern Palakkad district. The topographic isolation of the plateau has prevented human habitation. So the forest remained as it were until the middle of the 19th century.
A 238 sq km stretch of tropical evergreen woodland tucked away along the north-eastern edge of the state. In total area 90 sq km is the core and 148 sq km is buffer zone. Silent Valley wildlife sanctuary is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere reserve, the vast protected forest across Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.
The forests of National Park in Silent Valley have a biodiversity that can comparable to only a few places in the world. Most of the park lies between altitudes ranging from about 900m to 2300m, in the Western Ghats mountain range.
The Kunthipuzha river flows down the entire length of Wildlife Sanctuary in Silent Valley, watering an area rich in forests and grasslands. The park is home to number of species of vegetation.
Inhabiting this reserve is an array of rare and highly endangered species. They include Malabar giant squirrel, the Nilgiri leaf monkey, the lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri tahr besides tiger, leopard, wild dog and elephant. Silent Valley's list resident creatures also include 120 species of birds.
Silent Valley, so named for its unusual quietness, was originally designated a national park in 1980.
All visitors to the Silent Valley National Park are required to obtain permits from the Division Forest Officer at Palakkad. Trekkers need to obtain a special permit from the Conservator of Forests, Northern Region, Palakkad.
Visitors are permitted only up to Sairandhiri. It is 23 km from Mukkali, a small town that houses the office of the Deputy Director of the Kerala Forest Department. There is a huge 60 metre tall watchtower at Mukkali.
Visitors may walk from Mukkali to the park, where there are about 80km of bridle-paths, but cannot stay there overnight un less they get special permission from the Wildlife Warden.
Then, you may stay at the Rest House at Mukkali, beside the Bahvani river, which offers a bracing bathing experience and jeep drives into Silent Valley.
The airport closest to Silent Valley is not in Kerala, but in Coimbatore in neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu.
The park can be accessed from Calicut (80 km) and Cochin (135 km). The nearest town to the park is Mannarkkad. The park entrance Mukkali is 19 km from Mannarkkad.
The nearest rail head is at Palakkad. It is 60km away from the base camp of the Silent Valley.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Silent Valley is between November and March. This is when weather is at its best and the chances of seeing animals are pretty high.
Accommodation and Other Facilities
Accommodation options in and around Silent Valley are fairly limited. There is a Forest Department Rest House at Mukkali. The Rest House has rooms, a log hut and dormitory at budget rates. It is necessary to make reservations in advance.
For the wider range accommodation options, you have to head away from the park. Amballoor and Mukkali have a few privately owned budget hotels. For those who looking for more comfortable place to stay, go to Palakkad. The town has fairly wide range of hotels and guesthouses, including a couple of 3-star hotels and health resorts.
Contact for Accommodation
Silent Valley National Park
Contact for Entry Permission
Assistant Wildlife Warden
Silent Valley National Park
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