Sairandhrivanam, meaning forest in the valley is the local name for Silent valley in Palakkad, Kerala. It is probably of the affluent bio-diversity destinations of the world. Sairandhrivanam is also called as Sairandhiri meaning Draupadi (Pandava's wife) in the Mahabharata.
Silent Valley is located in the Kundali hills of the Western Ghats and with the absence of the cicadas' insects in the forest area, this place is unusually silent for a forest and thus the name silent valley. The river flowing through this forest is called Kunthipuzha meaning Kunthi (Pandava's mother) in the Mahabharata.
SILENT VALLEY TRAVEL
Silent Valley adjoins the Attapadi reserve forests in the east, Palakkad to the west, Nilambur forest division to the south and the Nilgiri forests to the south. Silent valley is located 40 kms from Mannarkkad and the nearest railway station is at Palakkad, the nearest airport is at Coimbatore. The nearest bus station is at Mukkali, 23kms from Silent Valley.
Sights at Silent Valley
The abundant tropical greenery, rolling slopes, majestic hills and rivers together contribute to the splendor of the Silent Valley National Park making it a perfect wildlife destination for tourists. The valley has four types of vegetation, the rain forests with abundant bamboo, rosewood, teak, amla and semal trees, the tropical hill forests, grasslands and the temperate forests.
With this extensive bio-diverse vegetation, the wildlife in the Silent valley is equally remarkable. Tigers, lion-tailed macaques, and elephants, Malabar squirrel's, and Nilgiri langur along with the exclusive herbs and plants are found here.
Untouched by pollution and commercialization of the cities, Silent Valley lays nuzzled in Nature's lap offering all its visitors a restful retreat. Gaze at the valley from Sairandhiri and all you can see is a lush green carpet spread below and a small piece of gray line in it, the gray line being the river Kunthipuzha.
There is an interpretation centre at Sairandhiri, information on the exceptional species of animals, plants and orchids present in this valley can be collected here. Adventure tourists can take a hike over a suspension bridge downhill to reach the Kunthipuzha River.
Many lucky trekkers may come across lone male tuskers or at times a herd of tuskers too. These are wild elephants and love to be left on their own; there is no danger from them and in particular from a lone tusker unless they feel they have an intruder in their path.
For people who love to watch animals, mornings and evenings are the best time as they can get to watch all the animals busy with their own activities. Lion-tailed macaque is the most popular among all the animals of this park and of course the most valuable reptile of this park is the king cobra.
This valley was declared as a national park in the year 1984 by the Indian Government and is home to two animals, the lion-tailed macaque and the nilgiri langur enlisted in the red list for threatened animals by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources).
Trekking in the Silent Valley can be fun but remember there are numerous chances of losing trail in this thick park. There are guides available and you can take their advice before starting on a trek.
Poochipara is a favorite spot. 7 kms of steep climbing from Sairandhiri, forest department has set up camps and with necessary permits, visitors are permitted to stay in the camps, all trekkers are accompanied by a cook and guide.
- Trekking from Mukkali requires permits from the forest department at Mukkali.
- Depending on the number of days the trekker wishes to stay, the routes can be chosen. Trekkers are permitted to stay between 1 and 4 days.
- Silent Valley is free from pollution, so do not carry polythene and plastic covers or bags.
- Leech proof jungle boots are highly recommended as the area is thick with its flora and fauna and leeches sticking on to your skin is common.
- Remain in your group and maintain silence, animals prefer to be on their own and are very shy of humans thus there are chances that you might not spot an animal at all.
Accommodation and best time to be at Silent Valley
Mukkali offers accommodation for visitors, there is a forest guest house that has 3 rooms and dormitories. Sairandhiri has an inspection bungalow with 4 rooms, totally supported by solar power. There is no private lodging available anywhere hence your reservations must be made in advance. September to March is the best time to visit Silent Valley.