Bengaluru: In the deep, dense forests of the Western Ghats in Kerala lies a verdant valley that is largely untouched by human activities. It’s a valley where you can hear your breath, it’s a valley where silence reigns!
Hush, don’t even whisper, it seems too loud. Quiet, just be quiet and feel the silent hum of the nature. Feel the breeze puffing on your face, feel the scents of the gentle giants, feel the soft, sensuous touch of their shade, feel the occasional warm streams of light, feel the soothing melodies of its inhabitants, feel the whispers of its dancing streams, feel the nature at its pristine best.
It’s a valley where one can just lose in the moment, lose in the aura of its embrace, lose in the magnanimity of its grace. It’s a valley where one can be one with nature!
On this World Environment Day, let’s embark on an unforgettable journey and experience one of the last remaining pristine wonders of nature.
Silent Valley is the queen of the Western Ghats, boasting one of the richest and most unexplored landscapes in the world. Its forests harbour some of the most pristine, endemic and highly diverse ecosystems in the world. Located in the South-western corner of the Nilgiri Mountains, it is the last remaining stretch of evergreen forests in Kerala and one of the largest in India.
Home to 41 mammals, 211 birds, 49 reptiles, 47 amphibians, 12 fishes, 164 butterflies and 400 species of moths, this gorgeous valley is estimated to have hundreds of wildlife yet to be undiscovered. More than anything else, this wonder of nature is unlike any other forest in India, it is devoid of the piercing shrill that is synonymous with all rainforests. Hence, it is called the Silent Valley.
The valley has been silent for centuries, except for the melodies of its inhabitants. The valley has been a silent witness to the miracle of its existence and survival! Silently wondering how it has remained untouched!
The survival of Silent Valley amidst all the destructive activities of humans around it is nothing short of a miracle of nature. It has remained untouched and unblemished by human activities for thousands of years, especially its core zone of 89.52sqkms where conditions that prevailed before anthropogenic activities continue to exist.
Declared a national park in 1984, the 143.52 sqkms stretch is part of the Nigiri Biosphere Reserve in the Western Ghats, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Silent Valley National Park finds itself in the news occasionally due to increasing human-wildlife conflict. It is home to several native tribes and as human activities increase, which means greater encroachment into the territory of the wildlife, the chances of wild encounters rise which on many occasions result in disasters for both the humans and the wildlife.
Silent Valley National Park in Kerala is one of the world’s last remaining rainforests that is untouched by human toxicity.
Part of the fragile and immensely diverse Western Ghats range, it is a miracle that this pristine valley has remained unblemished by human activities for thousands of years.
Known for its trance-inducing silence, largely due to the complete absence of cicadas, the 89.52sqkm core zone of the Silent Valley is among the very few places on earth where nature lovers can still enjoy conditions that prevailed before humans began their polluting activities.
A Unesco World Heritage site, the 143.52 sqkms stretch located in Kerala’s Palakkad district is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve in the Western Ghats.
A verdant paradise on earth, with trees as old as humanity itself, a walk through the last stretches of one of India’s unspoilt rainforests is truly mesmerising.
A must visit place for all nature lovers, the park is best experienced through slow, silent exploration. Access to the park is possible only on the jeeps run by the park authorities from the Silent Valley Base Camp.
If you are looking for a silent, slow exploration of pristine nature, look no further than this. Please make sure you don’t carry any plastic (it’s a plastic-free zone) or any other polluting agents.
For bookings and timings visit www.silentvalley.gov.in
-- Shafaat Shahbandari is a Bengaluru-based independent journalist. He is the founder of Thousand Shades of India, an alternative media platform that celebrates the diversity of India.
That is not all! Rainforests release water into the atmosphere, playing a crucial role in regulating rainfall. Destruction of the rainforests across the world is one of the major causes leading to ecological imbalance and natural catastrophes.