Silent Valley National Park is located at the Northeastern corner of the Palakkad district, Kerala, in an area of 237.52 sq km and shares border with Tamil Nadu. It is considered one of the most exotic biodiversity hotspot on the planet. A tropical evergreen forest, huge trees, and thick undergrowth makes this place a wonderstruck tourist destination, specially for nature lovers.
History of Silent Valley National Park started with the launch of Silent Valley Movement, which was marked by the Pan-India protest against the making of a hydroelectric dam overNilgiri hills on the river Kunthipuza river in 1970. This project was of 150MW but would have submerged 8 sq.km of untouched evergreen forests. Finally, in December 1980 after a long struggle by various individuals and groups, the Kerala Government announced the scrapping of the project. The Silent Valley was declared as a National Park and now it became a must-visit place of Kerala Tourism’s Nature tour along with the Mathikettan Shola National Park (Nature Tour > South India > Mathikettan Shola National Park).
Unlike its name, Silent Valley is filled with varied biodiversity of more than 1000 flowing plants, 200 species of butterflies, 150 species of birds, 500 species of various insects including moth, 35 species of mammals, and 128 species of beetles out of which 10 are new to science.
Flora and Fauna:
Silent Valley National Park is famous for lion-tailed macaques, an endangered species exclusively found in this park of the country. Rare bird species found here include the Ceylon frogmouth and great Indian hornbill, apart from these birds like drongos, tailorbirds, spotted dove, koels etc. are easily spotted. This area also comes under Project Elephant initiative.
This park has a unique blend flora as well, cobra plant which resembles cobra snake can be spotted on side of un-metaled roads. The common kinds of flora here are Amla, teak, rosewood, bamboo, and semal.
How to Reach:
The nearest railway station is Palghat Jn (Palakkad). From Palakkad, go to Mannarkkad, and from there to Mukkali. Both places are well connected by buses. The entrance of the park is 25km from Mukkali.
The nearest airport is at Coimbatore which is 90kms from Mukkali and one can get a direct bus from Coimbatore.
Entrance charges: Rs.210(Foreigner) and Rs.25(Indians)
Entrance charge for the jeep is Rs.50, one may also rent a jeep for around Rs.700, it will go up to 25Kms inside the park. Booking a guide is a must, charges are Rs.250 and only he can take you inside the park and the same will be assigned to your group once you get permission from the Mukkali Forest Department Office.
Things to do:
Pathrakkadave(Virgin Valley): Pathrakkadave waterfall is formed by river Kunthipuza when it enters into rocky terrene from heights of Western Ghats. One can enjoy rejuvenating bath as flow in not vicious (except during rainfall). There is lots of space for parking vehicles too. This scenic beauty and organic bath are live wire of Silent Valley tourism.
Kunthipuza river: It is a second longest river of Kerala and it passes through Silent Valley National Park. According to mythology, devi Kunthi mother of Pandavas took bath here during exile. This river provides the icing on the scenic beauty of this place. It is crystal clean, never muddy and hence a source of drinking water for animals as well as tribal civilizations.
Nature Camp: On an average, about 75 nature-tour educational camps are conducted in Silent Valley annually. Students, members of environment-related NGOs from all parts of the Country come to Silent Valley to be the participants of the Nature camps. Nature-camp program includes classroom sessions, wildlife film shows, trekking into the valley, meditation and group discussions.
This park also provides the great opportunity for Bird and Butterfly watchers.
Climate and the Best time to visit:
There is a considerable variation in climate due to change in elevation from plains to the Ghats where hills are drier and cooler, the plains are humid and hot. Minimum temperature ranges from 8’C to 14’C and Maximum temperature varies from 23’C to 29’C.
Southwest monsoon(May-August) brings heavy rainfall on western Ghats, whereas Northeast monsoon(September-November) bring comparatively lesser rainfall. From December to April it is often dry with occasional thunderstorm and sometimes even forest fire.
Entry into the valley is allowed only from 8 AM to 2 PM. Camping or staying overnight is not allowed.
Silent valley national park contact number:
- Silent Valley Division- Palakkad-678582
- Phone: 04924-222056
- Email- [email protected]