Silent Valley is one of the most environmentally different areas and is a tropical evergreen forest with heavy monsoon rains feeding the heavy undergrowth and the huge trees with enough water to last the whole year. Why is silent valley, called Silent Valley? Even in the densest forests, in the deepest woods, it’s never silent, even in the mid of the night, because of the scream of the crickets!!! But here at Silent Valley, there are no crickets, so it’s totally silent, but for the hustle of leaves or birds singing. In the middle of night after the birds retire for the day, its dead silent except for the leaves! That’s why it’s called the Silent Valley. The whole area is about 90 sq. km. The actual valley is 22 km from the point of entry. This 22 km on all sides is a buffer zone where numerous estates are happening incl. coffee, teak, pepper etc. The people of this forest are busy in this plantation and are given daily wages, thereby protecting their livelihood without migrating them! This buffer area is another 142 sq. km reaching there. In Hindu mythology this forest was called the Sailendhri forest where in Mahabharata, the Pandavas & their mother Kunti, went on a forest refuge for 14 years. In 1958, plans were made to build a dam here. Later on, thanks to the intervention of all citizens’ incl. students, the plans were dropped. If the dam had been built, a major portion of the valley would have gone under water! In 1984, Ms.Indira Gandhi, planned to pay a visit to this place before her assassination.

In 1985, then Prime Minister, Mr.Rajiv Gandhi, visited this area and christened the place as Silent Valley and declared the place a protected area, a national park. The animals here are Giant Squirrel, Lion Tailed Macaque, Serpant Eagle apart from Elephants, wild boar, Leopards, bear etc. The animals that are not here are spotted deer, lion, crows, crickets, and peacock. 146 types of butterflies and 268 types of birds have been documented here. There are way too many unique plants incl. orchids that are endemic. The office opens up at 9. So it’s better to go around 8.30, so get to be the first person to go into the forest. In that case, the chances of spotting wildlife is more. The more the number of vehicles pass the dirt track, more disturbance and more chances of wildlife going away, and less chances of spotting. A jeep is about 1200 bucks. A jeep and guide could be booked over phone prior to visiting the place. If you’re not really acclimatized to ghat roads, you may want to take a medicine to prevent vomiting sensation on the route to reach the Silent Valley. You can reach the park via Coimbatore or Palakkad. We left Coimbatore by 6am and reached the park in 3 hours via Anakatty-Agali and then Mukkali (20 kms). The total distance via the Coimbatore route is only about 65kms. The scenic roads keeps one captivated all through

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