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Silent Valley National Park complete detail – updated

Silent Valley National Park complete detail – updated. Geography of Silent Valley National Park. Dominant flora and fauna of Silent Valley National Park. How to Reach Silent Valley National Park. The Silent Valley region is locally known as Sairandhrivanam, which means Sairandhri’s Forest. Sairandhri is Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas in the epic Mahabharatha, who disguised herself as Sairandhri, the maid of a queen named Sudeshna while her family was in exile. In 1914 the forest of the Silent……………
Total area of the park is about 237.52 Km2. It was declared as a National Park in the year of 1984. The Park is famous for its unique and diverse wildlife and bird species. The rich wildlife includes Long tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur, Malabar giant squirrel, Nilgiri tahr, Hairy winged bat, Hanuman langur, Tiger, Leopard, Leopard cat, Jungle cat, Fishing cat, Common palm civet, Small Indian civet etc.
National park is an area which is strictly reserved for the betterment of the wildlife & biodiversity, and where activities like developmental, forestry, poaching, hunting and grazing on cultivation are not permitted. Their boundaries are well marked and circumscribed.
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Silent Valley National Park is a beautiful place, located in the Palakkad district of the state of Kerala. The park is located in the Nilgiri hills. Silent Valley region is locally known as Sairandhrivanam.

This park is one of the last undisturbed tracts of South Western Ghats mountain rain forest and tropical moist evergreen forest in India.

It was declared as a National Park in the year of 1984. Core area of the park is about 89.52 Km2 and the buffer zone of the park is about 148 Km2. Total area of the park is about 237.52 Km2.

Click here to view state wise list of Indian National Parks – updated

State wise list of Wildlife Sanctuaries of India – updated 

A varied blend of habitats supporting a huge biodiversity can be found here. The park also has immense historical significance. Silent Valley is considered one of the most ecologically diverse areas on the planet.

Silent Valley National Park is situated in the core of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The park is a rich storehouse of biodiversity.

The Park is famous for its unique and diverse wildlife and bird species. The rich wildlife includes Long tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur, Malabar giant squirrel, Nilgiri tahr, Hairy winged bat, Hanuman langur, Tiger, Leopard, Leopard cat, Jungle cat, Fishing cat, Common palm civet, Small Indian civet etc.

Silent Valley is home to the largest population of Lion tailed macaques, an endangered of primate. Various species of birds such as Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Rufous Babbler, Crimson Backed Sunbird, Nilgiri Blue Robin, Grey Headed Bulbul, White-Bellied Treepie, Malabar Grey Hornbill, Ceylon Frogmouth, Red Winged Crested Cuckoo are also found here.

The Park holds a valuable reserve of rare plants and herbs. The River Kunthi descends from the Nilgiri hills, from an altitude of 2000 m above sea level, and traverses the entire length of the valley and rushes down to the plains through the deep gorge.

History

The Silent Valley region is locally known as Sairandhrivanam, which means Sairandhri’s Forest. Sairandhri is Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas in the epic Mahabharatha, who disguised herself as Sairandhri, the maid of a queen named Sudeshna, while her family was in exile. In 1914 the forest of the Silent Valley area was declared a reserve forest.

Plans for a hydroelectric project that threatened the park’s rich and unique wildlife stimulated an environmentalist social movement in the 1970s, known as the Save Silent Valley movement, which resulted in cancellation of the project.

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Nationwide protests in India by environmentalists and mass publicity by the media led the then prime minister, Indira Gandhi to order the state government to abolish the hydroelectric project.

In 1973 the valley became the focus of “Save Silent Valley”, India’s fiercest environmental movement of the decade, when the Kerala State Electricity Board decided to implement the Silent Valley Hydro-Electric Project centered on a Dam across the Kunthipuzha River.

In 1976 the Kerala State Electricity Board announced plans to begin dam construction and the issue was brought to public attention. In 1983 the then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, decided to abandon the Project.

In the year of 1984, it was declared as a National Park with the project area included. In 1986, the Silent Valley was declared the core area in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.

In the year of 2001, a new hydro project was proposed. The proposed site of the dam (64.5 m high and 275 m long) is just 3.5 km downstream of the old dam site at Sairandhiri, 500 m outside the National Park boundary. In the year of 2003, a rapid Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was carried out.

On February 21, 2007 ex-Chief Minister A. K. Antony told reporters after a cabinet meeting that “when the Silent Valley proposal was dropped, the center had promised to give clearance to the Pooyamkutty project.

On April 18, 2007, Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan and his cabinet approved the Pathrakkadavu Hydro-electric project and sent it to the Union Government for environmental approval. On June 6, 2007 the Kerala cabinet approved the buffer zone proposal.

On November 21, 2009, Union Minister of Forest and Environment and Kerala Forest Minister Binoy Viswam declared, while inaugurating the silver jubilee celebration of Silent Valley National Park in Palakkad, that the buffer zone of the Park would be made an integral part of it in order to ensure better protection of the area.

Geography

Silent Valley National Park is located in the Palakkad district of the state of Kerala. The park is located in the Nilgiri hills. This park is one of the last undisturbed tracts of South Western Ghats mountain rain forest and tropical moist evergreen forest in India.

Core area of the park is about 89.52 Km2 and the buffer zone of the park is about 148 Km2. Total area of the park is about 237.52 Km2.

A place bustling with life forms of all kinds lies shielded by the cover of unique rainforests, the last of its kind to be surviving in the state of Kerala.

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The park gradually slopes southward down to the Palakkad plains and to the west it is bounded by irregular ridges. The altitude varies from 658 m to 2383 m at Anginda peak, but most of the park lies within the altitude range of 880 m to 1200 m.

Soils are blackish and slightly acidic in evergreen forests where there is good accumulation of organic matter. The underlying rock in the area is Granite with Schists and Gneiss, which give rise to the loamy laterite soils on slopes.

Kuntipuzha River divides the park into a narrow eastern sector of width 2 kilometers and a wide western sector of 5 kilometers. The river is characterized by its crystal clear water and perennial nature.

The main tributaries of the river, Kunthancholapuzha, Karingathodu, Madrimaranthodu, Valiaparathodu and Kummaathanthodu originate on the upper slopes of the eastern side of the valley. The river is uniformly shallow, with no flood plains or meanders.

Latitude – 11°03′ to 11°13′ N, Longitude – 76°21′ to 76°35′ E

Rainfall: 6000 mm

Temperature:       Maximum: 29o C

                             Minimum: 4o C

Dominant flora

Lpsea malabarica, Ellettaria cardamomum, Piper nigrum, Impatiens sivarajanii, Cullenia exarillata, Palaquium ellipticum, Mesua ferrea, Calophyllum elatum, Myristica dectyloides, Elaeocarpus glandulosus, Litsea floribunda, Mesua nagassarium, Cinnamomum malabatrum, Agrostistachys meeboldii, Calophyllum polyanthum, Actinodaphne campanulata etc.

Dominant fauna

Birds – Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Rufous Babbler, Crimson Backed Sunbird, Nilgiri Blue Robin, Grey Headed Bulbul, White-Bellied Treepie, Malabar Grey Hornbill, Ceylon Frogmouth, Red Winged Crested Cuckoo, Black-And-Orange Flycatcher, Broad tailed grassbird, Rufous babbler, Black and rufous flycatcher, White bellied blue flycatcher, Nilgiri pipit, Great Indian hornbill, Long legged buzzard, Red winged crested cuckoo, Black bulbul etc.

Mammals – Long tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur, Malabar giant squirrel, Nilgiri tahr, Hairy winged bat, Hanuman langur, Tiger, Leopard, Leopard cat, Jungle cat, Fishing cat, Common palm civet, Small Indian civet, Brown palm civet, Ruddy mongoose, Sloth bear, Indian pangolin, Porcupine, Sambar, Spotted deer, Barking deer, Mouse deer, Elephant etc.

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Other Attractions

Ayyappa Vishnu Temple

Government goat farm

Kavundikkal Gorge

Parambikulam

Choolanur Peacock Sanctuary

Mountain Valley

Best time to visit

The best time of the year to visit the Silent Valley National Park is between the months of September to March.

How to Reach

By Air – Nearest airports are Calicut (80 km), Coimbatore (91 km) and Cochin (135 km) airport, from the Silent Valley National Park. These airports are well connected by road to Silent Valley National Park.

By Rail – Nearest railway station is Palghat railway station, about 70 Km from the Silent Valley National Park. Palghat railway station is well connected by road to Silent Valley National Park.

By Road – Silent Valley National Park is well connected to Major Cities and Places by road network. There are a number of government and privately operated vehicles that go to Silent Valley National Park at frequent intervals.

Useful Contacts

Wildlife Warden, Silent Valley National Park, Mannarkkad, Palakkad dist., Kerala. PIN – 678582. Phone: 04924-222056, 04924253225, +918589895652

Email – mail@silentvalley.gov.in, wlwsvnpmkd@sancharnet.in

Assistant Wildlife Warden, Silent Valley National Park, Mukkali P.O, Palakkad, Kerala, Pin-678582 (Tel: 04924-253225).

Email-awlwsvnpmkd@sancharnet.in

Other National Parks in Kerala. Name of National Parks, Year of Notification and Total Area is as follows…
S. No. Name of National Park Year of Notification Total Area(km²)
1 Eravikulam National Park Kerala 1978 97
2 Mathikettan Shola National Park Kerala 2003 12.82
3 Periyar National Park Kerala 1982 350
4 Pambadum Shola National Park Kerala 2003 1.32
5 Anamudi Shola National Park Kerala 2003 7.50

About Vijay Choudhary

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