Absorb The Sights And Sounds Of The Silent Valley.

Nature's Bounty At Its Best




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Trudging Into the Valley of Silence

The tropical, evergreen forest nestled in the folds of the Nilgiri hills is a heaven of flora and fauna and a must-visit place for nature lovers and savvy trekkers. Touted as ‘the richest expression of life on Earth’, Silent Valley stays true to its name in the absence of the usual tropical flavor of cicadas chirping away noisily.

The undulating mountains and lush greenery is cut through by a river that flows down the forest. The locals know the place as Sairandhiri Vanam (the name being synonymous with Draupadi, the wife of Pandavas) and the river as Kunthi Puzha (Kunthi, the mother of Pandavas), thus placing the forest into the annals of myths.




Getting There

Silent Valley is located in the north-eastern part of Palakkad district in Kerala. Located midway between Mannarkad and Attapadi, the place is accessible by road. The nearest airport is at Coimbatore and the nearest railway station is at Melattur.

Entry is between 8:00AM and 1:00PM and you have to get the permission in advance from the District Forest Officer




The Start Of The Trek

Silent Valley had always been on my list of places to visit so the first chance I got at a mini-vacation, I was rumbling on a bus towards the green paradise. The misty road winds its way up along the mountains and is a pleasant ride with lush greenery on either side.

Alighting at Mukkali, we proceeded towards the Silent Valley Information Center, where we hired a jeep to head into the forest. The jeep ride was quite a long one, jostling along a beaten, stony path for about 23 kms. A guide accompanying us shared information on the forest, often pointing out an interesting fact, like a large 500 year old tree with a huge trunk.




The 'Crystal Clear' Kunthi River

We passed the Mudukar tribes of the Attapadi forest reserve at Karuvara, to reach a watchtower, which was our destination. From here we had to make a 2 km trek down into the forest.

The watchtower stood at 100 feet with three resting floors. We climbed up to the most breathtaking panoramic view of the forest, surrounded by oceans of greenery and the Kunthi River slicing through. The guide explained that Kunthi River is one of the few remaining fresh water rivers of Kerala. The river water is always crystal clear, never turning brown even once. Local legends state that no human has ever touched foot inside the Kunthi River, and even now, visitors are not allowed near it.




Nature At Its Bewildered Best

Except for the occasional leech attack, the trek down to Kunthi River was a monotonous affair. The guide pointed out exotic plants and we glimpsed a lion-tailed macaque flitting across trees and a Giant Malabar squirrel basking atop a broad branch. A Nilgiri langur seemed interested in us for a short while and then jumping off into the wilderness.




Do's and Don’ts

Leeches are in abundance, so wearing high ankle boots are recommended. Take along salt as a leech repellant; a pinch of salt on the leeches would make it drop right off.

Walk without much noise. Calling out and howling would deter the animals and would also get you reprimanded by the guards.




Trekking Information

Beside the 2 km walk to the Kunthi River, trekking into the thick terrain is no cakewalk and only those who are really into the activity find themselves in Silent Valley. The trek routes into the deep forest is based on the duration of stay, ranging from 1-4 days. Additional permission should be procured from the forest department at Mukkali or from the Wildlife Warden at Mannarkad to delve into the forest reserve





Wildlife Warden, Silent Valley National Park, Mannarkkad, Palakkad, Kerala, Pin-628582 (Tel: 04924-222056) Email- wlwsvnpmkd@sancharnet.in

Assistant Wildlife Warden, Silent Valley National Park, Mukkali P.O, Palakkad, Kerala, Pin-678582 (Tel: 04924-253225). Email-awlwsvnpmkd@sancharnet.in

Tourist packages, although not common, are also available like the ones in YourKeralaHolidays.com (http://www.yourkeralaholidays.com/destination_details.php?grpid=10).