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Overview of Silent Valley
The Silent Valley National Park is located in the Palakkad district of Kerala, against the backdrop of the mystic Nilgiri Hills. This park has the distinction of being the crux of Nilgiri Biographical Reserve and of being included in the Western Ghats World Heritage Site as recognised by UNESCO. This area came to light during 1847, when it was explored by the botanical scientist, Robert Wright.
History of this place
The Silent Valley National Park was known as Sairandhrivanam, which means Forest of Sairandhri. Draupati, who was the wife of the Pandava kings, took the form of Sairandhri when she was in a 14 year exile with her husbands. She was the maid of Empress Sudeshna during this time. The Pandava kings had moved to many places during their exile of 14 years and when they touched upon this place, they just didn’t want to move as the beauty of this place tied them here forever. The rhythmic flow of water from the rivers, mist-covered peaks, dense forests and peaceful co-existence of wildlife made them look up in wonder at this place.
Robert Wright, who started exploring this place around 1847, named this as “Silent Valley” as the bustling cicadas found in most of the forests and reserves elsewhere were not found here. During 1914, this place was recognised as a Reserve Forest. This forest is famous for its collection of Macaques with lion-tails, which is considered to be an almost extinct species.
Silent Valley, located in Palakkad district of Kerala is one of the best wildlife reserve forests of the country. It is quite accessible from all the major cities of the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. It is set up on around 236sq.km and is at 11.08 degrees towards the North and 76.28 degrees towards the East.
How to reach and local transport
Air – Coimbatore Airport, at a distance of 120km, is the closet to Silent Valley.
Rail – Palakkad railway station, at a distance of 58km, is the nearest to Silent Valley.
Road – Mukkali, which is the entrance of Silent Valley National Park, is well connected to major cities like Palakkad, Mannarkad and many more in Kerala and Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu through government and private sector buses. Cars and taxis too are available from the airport and railway station.
Local transport – Jeeps are available for hire for commuting within Silent Valley. Tourists must refrain from driving cars in the park as the terrains here are quite challenging.
Tourist Attractions and things to do
Sispara Peak, Kuntipuzha River, Angindia Peak and Ooty are the some of the common sight-seeing places around Silent Valley National Park. Tourists can engage themselves in viewing some of the most exotic species of wildlife, bird-watching and trekking activities when they come here.
Places to eat and local cuisine
Sairandhri Restaurant on the top of a tree is one of the most preferred eating joints in this area. This place serves excellent vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian food. Fish curry, vegetable stew, Puttu, Appam, aviyal etc. cooked with general doses of coconut oil and coconut milk are the local specialities of this place.
Places to stay
Most of the tourists who come here opt for the dormitory and other accommodation options available at the Guest House of the Kerala Forest Department. The price range on these facilities is very nominal and the services are decent. This is the best option if one wants to absorb the nature around, into the wee hours of morning.
STD, PIN and Emergency Contact Numbers
The STD and PIN codes of Silent Valley National Park are 04924 and 678582 respectively. The warden at the wildlife reserve forest can be reached at 04924 222056 for any emergency issues. Other 24/7 helpline numbers that tourists need to keep in handy are 100 (Police), 101 (Fire) and 102 (Ambulance).
Banks, Hospitals and Tourist Office
Banks – There are no banks here as this area predominantly is a wildlife reserve forest. Tourists need to travel to Mannarkad for their banking needs.
Palakkad District Hospital, Ph: 0491 2534524
Palakkad Medical and Research Centre, Ph: 0491 2521751
District Tourism Promotion Council of Palakkad district,
West Fort Road, Palakkad,
Ph: 0491 2538996