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Silent Valley National Park

Silent Valley National Park is one of the country’s most picturesque and biggest national parks. This magnificent wildlife protected area, located in Kerala’s Palakkad district, covers 92 square kilometres and is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. Silent Valley National Park has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2012. Silent Valley National Park is home to lion-tailed macaques which are exotic, uncommon, and vulnerable animal species. This Old World Monkey is a rare species that is only found in the magnificent Western Ghats. Other exotic species that live in this thick wildlife habitat include tigers, leopard cat, fishing cat, small Indian civet, dhole, sloth bear, and many more. Silent Valley National Park also serves as a natural habitat for a variety of local birds, as well as attracting a variety of migrating birds throughout the year. The British officials who discovered this place gave it the name Silent Valley National Park due to the lack of cicadas (an insect).

Despite the fact that there are other intriguing legends about how the park got its name, this story is well-known and widely accepted. Silent Valley was declared as a national park only in 1984.

‘Sairandhrivanam’ is another name for the Silent Valley National Park. This is owing to the belief that this location is said to be the hiding place of Sairandhiri ( Draupadi’s secret identity )when she hid with her five husbands, the Pandavas from their evil cousins, the Kauravas. The river Kunthippuzha which supplies water to the forest is named after Kunthi (the mother of the Pandavas).

Fact files of Silent Valley National Park

District: Palakkad

State: Kerala

Country: India

Established: 26 December 1984

Nearby attractions: Wildlife sanctuaries such as the Parambikulam, Choolanur Peacock Sanctuary, Attappadi or Mountain Valley in Agasthyakoodam, and JP Smriti Vanam, Hill stations like Coonoor.

History of Silent Valley National Park

The botanist Robert Wight conducted the first Western study of the Silent Valley area’s watersheds in 1857. Because of the lack of cicadas, the region was given the name Silent Valley by the British. According to another legend, the name comes from the Anglicization of Sairandhri. The presence of numerous lion-tailed Macaques (Macaca silenus) is considered to be the third story for the place getting its name. The Silent Valley area’s woodland was designated as a protected forest in 1914. Forestry operations were carried out on parts of the Silent Valley forest between 1927 and 1976. Plans for a hydroelectric project that would have jeopardized the park’s biodiversity gave rise to an environmentalist social movement known as the Save Silent Valley campaign in the 1970s, which led to the project’s cancellation and the park’s creation in 1980.

Major attractions in Silent Valley National Park

Sairandhri

The entry point of the Silent Valley National Park is Sairandhri. It features a visitors’ centre with an exhibit building that contains photos and information about the park’s numerous types of orchids, plants, and animals. There is also an observation tower which offers spectacular views of the lush green pristine landscapes.

Lion-tailed Macaque

The Lion-tailed Macaque is a rare old world monkey that only lives in the Western Ghats. The silver-white mane extends from the top of the head to the cheeks and chin. The lion-tailed Macaque’s fur is dark brown or black in colour.

Activities in Silent Valley National Park

Trekking

You may take a stroll across a lovely stretch of land to see the Valley’s splendour. The Sairandhri Trip and Boommiyampadi Trekking package takes you through the forests to the charming village of Bommiyampadi.

Camping

There are also some intriguing camping options available at Silent Valley. Keerippara Camping is a two-day package that includes hiking and an overnight stay. Another programme available here is Walk with the Master, which is a paid nature camp that allows nature enthusiasts and students to meet and converse with specialists or masters who are knowledgeable in the area.

The best time to visit Silent Valley National Park

The best time to visit Silent Valley National Park is between November and February.

Winter season

Between November and February is the best time to explore Silent Valley National Park. The atmosphere and ambience of Silent Valley National Park becomes more beautiful and attractive from December and lasts until late winter, in February. There will be a lot of moisture in the early months of the winter, particularly in November. Visitors who want to see Silent Valley National Park at its best should visit between December and February.

Summer season

As summer season arrives, the temperature begins to rise in the Silent Valley National park. The atmosphere becomes more visible as a result, providing excellent possibilities for animal viewing. Temperatures may touch the upper limit with maximum humidity towards the end of March.

Monsoon season

With the onset of monsoon, Silent Valley National park becomes greener and more gorgeous. Monsoon, on the other hand, may not be an ideal season to visit Silent Valley National Park since rain and floods cause you inconveniences.

During monsoon, you cannot ignore leeches and it makes your trip uncomfortable.

How to reach Silent Valley National Park

By air

The nearest airport is Peelamamedu Airport in Coimbatore. The silent valley national park is around 155 kilometres distant from this airport, which is located in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. Flights from all major cities operate to and fro from this airport. Another option is Cochin International Airport which is at a distance of 102 km from the destination. Visitors may access Silent Valley National Park via road through Mannarkkad from the airport using various transportation options like bus and cabs.

By train

The Olavakkode Railway Station in Palakkad, 75 kilometres from the Silent Valley National Park, is the closest railway station. Regular trains run from the railhead to most of the country’s major cities. After reaching the railway station, tourists can use state-run or private buses, cabs, or local taxis to get there.

By road

Mannarkkad, a town 32 kilometres from the Silent Valley National Park, is the closest town. The town is well connected to major towns in Kerala, particularly Palakkad. Silent Valley National Park is also accessible by road through Mannarkkad for those who are coming from Coimbatore.

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