Sunday, August 7, 2011

Silent Valley National Park : Introduction, Location, History, Beauty, Interesting Facts & Tourism

Place: Palghat district, Kerala
Nearest town : Mannarkkad (40km)
Best time to visit:September to March
Area : 89 sq km
Altitude : 658 - 2,383 metre above sea level
Rainfall :624.3 mm
Maximum Temperature : 39°C
Minimum Temperature : 20.4°C
Main attraction:Lion-tailed Macaque and Nilgiri Langur

Located in the Kundali Hills of the Western Ghats, the Silent Valley National Park holds a valuable reserve of rare plants and herbs. The park is rich in its wildlife, and elephants, lion-tailed macaques and tigers are the most common denizens of this park. A visit to this park should be considered a lifetime experience, as this is the last representative virgin tract of tropical evergreen forests in India.
Though smaller in size in comparison to the other national parks in India, what makes it unique is the sylvan environment the region has along with its high altitude peaks and several rivers that run through it

Enjoy the thick jungle, see the birds, you are lucky if you see the big mammals (on the short trek). Mostly you will see the Malabar Giant Squirrel, black langurs and of course many kinds of birds. Trek down to the Kunti river. There is also a watch tower overlooking the jungle. The back of the Inspection Bungalow at Mukkali is a great place for bird watching.

Silent Valley has a very eventful history in comparison to the other wildlife parks in the country. The local name for the park is Sairandhrivanam (the forest in the valley) and had been a centre of hot debates and protests in the decades of the 70's and 80's of the 20th century. The history of the park goes way back to 1888 when the region was declared a reserved land under the Forest Act and later notified as a Reserved Forest by the Government of Madras in 1914.

In the later half of the 1970's, Kerala State Electricity Board decided to construct a Hydel Power Project in this region and when in 1980, this region was declared as National Park, the area of Hydel Project was not included. This started fierce discussions and protests and the Board had to drop its plan. Subsequently, in 1984, the park was again renotified as a National Park with the project area included. In 1986, the Silent Valley was declared the core area in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.

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