Forests and Caves in Kerala

Silent Valley
Silent Valley, which is about 50 kms northwest of Mannarkad is described as the sole surviving bit of evergreen forest in the Sahya ranges. These forests devoid of the chirping of Cicadas have aptly got that name. Vehicular transport is allowed only up to Mukkali. From Mukkali, at least 24 kms have to be covered by foot to reach the source where Kunthipuzha merges with Bharathapuzha. It is estimated that more than 1000 types of trees grow in this forest. Silent Valley is rich both in terms of wild life and natural resources.

The trekker’s paradise is situated 60 km. from Kottayam. The mist covered places like Kuttikkanam and Wagamon are known as Kerala’s Kodaikanal.

The only place in Kerala having natural growth of sandal wood trees is situated in the outskirts of Munnar at Idukki. This may be called as a historian’s treasure house. It is believed that Pandhavas stayed at Maravoor during their exile.

Bedecked among the hills, Lakkidi is considered to be the gateway to Wayanad. It receives the highest annual rainfall in Kerala. The mist-covered mountains make this place an enchanting one.

Jatayu Para
‘Jatayu Para’ is a huge rock near Kollam where it is believed that ‘Jatayu’ the giant bird in the Epic Ramayana fell after failing in it’s attempt to stop Ravana from taking Sita away. It also offers an exhilarating hang gliding experience.

Nedumkayam, in Malappuram district is famous not only for its thick forest but also for the elephant training. Near to Nedumkayam, is Macheeri, the settlement of Chola Naikans, the primitive tribes.

Attappady, mainly a tribal area, is about 38 kms north east of Mannarkad. This is a nature-blessed area with forests, rivers and mountains. Mainly Irulas and Mudugas inhabit it. These tribals worship the mountain peak ‘Malleswaran’ as a gigantic Siva ling (Idol).

Edakkal Caves
These are two caves in the Ambukuthy mountains located 3 kms away from Ambalavayal and 25 kms. from Kalpetta. These caves contain several paintings and pictorial writings of the new Stone Age civilization.