The core of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, the Silent Valley National Park is probably one of the most magnificent gifts of nature to mankind, a unique preserve of tropical rain forests in all its pristine glory with an almost unbroken ecological history. Silent Valley is closed on all sides with high and continuous ridges and steep escarpments, as a result the valley is shielded from the extremes of climate as well as anthropogenic interventions and so it remained an ecological island with a special micro climate. The river Kunthi descends from the Nilgiri Hills above an altitude of 2000 m and traverses the entire length of the valley finally rushing down to the plains through a deep gorge.
Year of formation: 1984 (GO-5462/FSA3/82/AD/15.11.84)
Core area of 89.52 KM2 and buffer zone 148 KM2
Silent Valley falls within the revenue districts of Palakkad and Malappuram within the 76º 24’ and 76º 29’ East Longitude and 11º 4’ and 11º 13’. North Latitude.
Air: Kozhikode-140 km, Coimbatore – 100 km.
Rail: Palakkad – 58 km; Coimbatore – 90 km
Road: Coimbatore – Anakkatty – Mukkali – 90km.
Coimbatore – Palakkad – Mannarkkad – Mukkali – 120km
Kozhikode - Palakkad – Mannarkkad – Mukkali – 120km
The climate is tropical with summer rains constituting the bulk of the precipitation. Average minimum temperature varies from 8º to 14ºC. and average maximum temperature varies from 23ºto 29ºC . The hottest months are April and May when the mean temperature is 23 °C and the coolest months are January and February when the mean temperature is 18o C. Annual average rainfall is 2717 to 4543 mm.
The terrain is generally undulating with steep escarpments and many hillocks. The elevation ranges from 900 M to 2,300 M above MSL with the highest peak at 2,383 M (Anginda peak).
The Silent Valley is virtually a botanist’s treasure-trove. The flora of the valley include about a 1000 species of flowering plants, 107 species of orchids, 100 ferns and fern allies, 200 liverworts, 75 lichens and about 200 algae. Of these plants a good majority is endemic to the Western Ghat’s. Silent Valley Reserve Forest can be classified under four forest types viz., 1. West-coast tropical evergreen forest (600 to 1100 m), 2. Southern subtropical broad leaved hill forest (1300 to 1800 m), 3. Southern montane wet temperate forest (above 1900 m) and 4. Grassland.
The following are some of the new species and genera recorded recently from Silent Valley. Hedyotis silentvalleyensis, Kanjaram palghatensis, Porpax chandrasekharanhii, Silentvalleya nairii, Nydnocarpus pendulus etc.
New species of orchids recorded are Oberonia bisaccata, Liparis indiraii, Eriatiagii, Ipsea malabarica, a ground orchid rediscovered after a lapse of more than a century. Scutellaria oblonga and Anodendron rhinos porum, two Sri Lankan plants have also been recorded.
The family Orchidaceae which is represented by more than 100 species at the Valley includes rare, endemic and highly endangered orchids as well. Ipsea malabarica, Bulbophyllum silenvalliensis, Eria tiagii are some of the rare orchids in the valley. Cullenia exarillata,Mesua ferrea,Palaquim ellipticum etc. are the major tree species seen here.
National Park is rich in faunal diversity and harbours 34 species of mammals, 292 species of birds, 31 species of reptiles, 22 species of amphibians, 13 species of fishes, 500 species of butterflies and moths, besides a multitude of lower forms of animal life most of which are yet to be documented. The valley has a fair representation of all peninsular mammals. They are Lion-tailed Macaque, Nilgiri Langur, Bonnet Macaque, Tiger, Leopard (Panther), Leopard Cat, Jungle Cat, Fishing Cat, Common Palm Civet, Small Indian Civet, Brown Palm Civet, Ruddy Mongoose, Stripe necked Mongoose, Wild Dog, Sloth Bear, Otter, Flying Squirrel, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Indian Pangolin (Scaly anteater), Porcupine, Wild Boar, Sambar, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Gaur and Elephant.
The most famous resident of the Park is Lion Tailed Macaque whose name has become almost synonymous with that of the Valley. A shy dweller of the canopy, this primate can be seen singly or in groups. The gracious macaque depends mainly on Cullenia exarillata fruits for their food. As Silent Valley has a large number of these trees; likely the survival of this highly endangered species is ensured.
Of the 200 species of birds sighted and identified in the Valley, 14 are endemic to the Western Ghat’s.These are1. Nilgiri Wood Pigeon 2. Blue winged Parakeet 3.Greyheaded Bulbul
4. White bellied tree Pie 5. Rufous Babbler 6. Wayanad Laughing Thrush 7. Nilgiri Laughing Thrush 8. Broad tailed Grass Warbler 9. Black and Orange Flycatcher10. White bellied Blue Flycatcher 11. Nilgiri Flycatcher 12. Nilgiri Pipit 13. Small Sunbird and 14. Rufousbellied Shortwing.
The major reptile seen here are King Cobra, Cobra, Viper, Krait, Rat Snake, Tree frog, Bronze frog, Rufescent Burrowing Frog, Indian Chameleon, etc.
The river Kunthi and its tributaries harbor many forms of fresh water life.12 species of fish have been identified out of which two are new to science.19 species of frogs including 2 new species have been sighted from the valley
Of the 128 species of butterflies identified in the Valley, nine are exclusive to the Western Ghat’s.
The park also has a good representation of beetles, bugs, grasshoppers and other insects
Inspection Bungalow at Mukkali – 2 Bed Rooms (4nos)
Large Rooms (2 Nos) – 7 beds
Hut (2 suited) – 1 no
Accommodation in suits and rooms will be available only on advance booking
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The ideal time to visit the Reserve is December-April
Visiting Hours-8AM to 1PM
The Wildlife Warden
For more information please contact:
Information centre Ph: :8589895652
Assistant Wildlife Warden
Silent Valley National Park Range,
Kerala, India.PIN:678 582
Tel: 04924 – 253225