Silent Valley National Park
#3 of 23 Places to Visit in Palakkad
Distance (From Palakkad): 53 Kms
Trip Duration (Including Travel): Full Day
Transportation Options: Bus / Cab
Travel Tips: 1. Own vehicles are also allowed into the park with Rs. 100 entrance fee
2. Vehicles are allowed into the park only till 1 PM (should exit the park by 5 PM)
3. Tourists can trek from Mukkali to Sairandhri (23 Kms) - 5 hrs trek
4. It is mandatory to hire a guide to enter the park
5. Tourism is not encouraged in the park in the fearing of damage to the wildlife
6. Accommodation is available at Mukkali & Sairandhri (Ph: 04924-222056 & 04924-253225)
At a distance of 53 km from Palakkad, & 102 km from Coimbatore, Silent Valley National Park is a national park located in the northeast corner of Palakkad district in Kerala. It is one of the famous national parks in Kerala, and among the top Palakkad tourist places.
Silent Valley National Park is a beautiful representation of the last remaining rain-forest of Kerala. Historically it is a paradigm of people's movement to protect the forest. In 1914, Silent Valley forests were declared as Reserved Forest. It was declared as National Park in 1984 and formally inaugurated in the year 1985. Till 1921, Silent Valley was part of the South Malabar Forest Division with headquarters at Nilambur. In 1921, it came under the control of the Palakkad Forest Division and managed so until 1988.
Silent Valley was called 'Sairandhrivanam' as it was the place where Sairandhiri (the secret identity donned by Panchali, from the epic Mahabharata) hid along with her five husbands, the Pandavas, during their exile. The Kunthippuzha River which feeds the entire forest was named after Kunthi, the mother of the Pandavas.
Initially, the park has only 89.52 sq. km area that forms the core zone of the National Park while in 2007, an area of 148 sq. km was added to this as a buffer zone. It is one of the smallest national parks in India and among the must-include places in Palakkad sightseeing packages. The altitude of the park varies between 658 to 2383 meters. It is shielded by the Nilgiri Plateau to the North and the Mannarkkad Plains to the South. It constitutes the centerpiece of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, sanctified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2012.
This is one of the best places of wildlife near Coimbatore. The park provides shelter for a variety of species including elephants, tigers, leopards, wild boar, sambhar, gaur, and the endangered lion-tailed macaque. Along with them, one can view over 1000 species of flowering plants and another 110 species of orchids here. Over 400 species of moths and 200 species of butterflies have been cataloged here.
The Silent Valley core zone has National Park status while the buffer area has Reserve forest status. The headquarters of both ranges are at Mukkali and the Divisional office is at Mannarkkad. The National Park along with the buffer zone is a part of Nilambur Elephant Reserve declared under Project Elephant. Mukkali (on Mannarkad-Anaikatti-Coimbatore road) is the entry point to the park where private Jeeps are found to get into the park (guides are also available here). Vehicles are allowed till Sairandhri watchtower (23 km from Mukkali). Visitors can trek to the Kunthi River from the watchtower (1.5 km).
Timings: 8 AM - 5 PM
Silent Valley National Park
Mukkali P.O, Mannarkkad, Palakkad - 678582
Phone: +91 8589895652, 9645586629