Silent Valley National Park

Silent Valley is situated in the north-eastern part of Palakkad district, Kerala. The nearest town is Mannarkkad (66Km).The Silent Valley Park, with an area of 90 sq km, is located in the north-eastern corner of the district. It rises abruptly to the Nilgiri Plateau in the north and overlooks the plains of Mannarkkad. The park is the core of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. the valley is anything but silent with the clamour of cicadas and sounds of teeming wildlife. The inhabitants of this endangered virgin tropical forests include rare birds, deer and tiger.

Nowhere else does one find such a representative collection of peninsular mammals, 100 species of butterflies and 400 species of moths and other fauna like the Ceylon Frog Moth, Great Indian Hornbill, the Nilgiri Laughing Thrush and the Lion-tailed Macaque. The Kunthi river descends from the Nilgiri hills, an altitude of 2000 m, and traverses the entire length of the valley through the deep forest. The river never turns brown. It is always clear, perennial and wild.

Silent Valley is an ideal destination for nature lovers, researchers and gutsy trekkers. Undulating mountains and lush greenery greet the eye at Silent Valley. View from the watch tower at Sairandhiri is panoramic and the entire valley below appears to be a wavy green enormous carpet. A silver line that runs through is the Kunthipuzha.

The interpretation centre at Sairandhiri imparts information on various rare species of orchids, plants and animals. Kunthipuzha is a 2 km down hill trek over a suspension bridge. With fresh elephant dung strewn around on the path leading to Kunthipuzha, it is the nearest one can get to wild elephants. Lone male tuskers are a dangerous proposition as can be judged from the frenzied paths they pave through thick foliage. However, there is no danger from them unless of course, you bump into them.

The most famous resident of the park is a medium sized species of monkey, called the lion tailed macaque. Other animals include tigers, leopards, snakes, Malabar squirrel, Nilgiri langur and the malabar laughing thrush. The only nest-building snake, the king cobra is a prized possession of the park. Vibrantly coloured butterflies, fluttering their enormous wings create an artistic mosaic, which is a sight to behold. Early mornings and evenings are the best time to spot animals.