Thursday, February 25, 2010

Silent Valley- Kerala

Sairandhri Vanam, meaning the forest in the valley, as referred to in the Mahabharatha and the River Kunthi give a mythological dimension to the National Park. The Silent Valley is seldom silent but it has an inexplicably unique character about it, what with the dense forest, the music of the birds and its quitet majesty.With an area of close to 90 sq.kms, the park is situated in the north-eastern corner of the Palakkad district. It rises abruptly to the Nilgiri plateau in the north ......

It is a rain forest of wordly fame. You can read more of this on the links given below separately or as hyperlinks to the words/ sentences.

How to reach Silent Valley?
You can reach from Coimbatore or Palakkad District in Kerala of Kochi in Kerala by road.

Where to Stay at Silent Valley?
There are not many good places to stay here. I did not notice any except the Forest Deptt rest houses - two numbers only near the park. There may be a few resorts hidden away in the hills.  But after lots of research I found the one I stayed at Malleeshwaram lodge. It is in the Attapadi hills before Silent Valley.  This is the best if you want a taste of nature. Read about it here. Just be prepared to stay in huts with no electricity. You will constantly hear the singing and chirping of birds and may be lucky enough to see hornbills. I was not!!!! I missed!! Does not matter if Silent Valley is actually 45 mts away because there is no place to stay near Silent Valley exactly except for the rest houses of Forest Deptt.

The Govt Site is here

The Wildlife Warden, Silent Valley National Park, Mannarghat. P.O. Palakkad – 678 058
Phone: 04924 222056/ 04924 253225 / Email:

Here are some pictures of the Valley. For pictures of the Lodge where I stayed please wait for next post here.


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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Foods of India- Kerala

This one is Puttoo- a coconut grated and rice powder mixture steamed into a compressed form. Very tasty!! Eaten with Banana and honey or like this with Gram Curry.
This one is Rice Flakes and Coconut Grated eaten with banana. This is Indian Reply to Cornflakes!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Silent Valley's Frog

The frog thought it was camouflaged!! It sat still like that!! Of course I was disturbing its habitat. poor guy!!
Yes this is a picture from the Great Silent Valley of Kerala, Palakkad District. Unfortunately I did not see any Lion Tail Macaque or Nilgiri Tahr or King Cobra or anything else! But what do you expect when a bunch of cackling women are around you or you are in a group of men who are only interested in talking!! Yes. Unfortunate but true. Indians rarely know how to behave in a forest. They will make all sort of noises instead of finding pleasure in the noises of the Jungle. So if you have to go to a jungle, always book your own jeep and trip in advance with the Forest Deptt. And talking of forest deptt if you really want to see something you need to go into places where they normally do not allow, Hence you must know someone in the Forest Service. Then you have made it! You can live with the tigers and all.

Silent Valley is called silent valley because of the absence of the Cicada the most common insect of the jungles and hence absence of their sound.
Silent Valley, Kerala

How to reach?
To Reach Silent Valley, Kerala, drive down from Coimbatore via RS Junction inside Coimbatore towards Anakatti and then Goolikadavu and then Mukkali and finally Silent Valley. Mukkali is where the Forest Office is.
Chennai -Salem= 350 kms (4 hrs to 7 hrs depending on max and min speed possible)
Salem-Coimbatore= 150 kms (3 hrs since the last 60 kms is a single road and so your speeds becomes slow on this stretch.)
Coimbatore- Goolikadavu= Takes 2 hrs. i.e. 60 kms.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Yahoo!! Yes!! Yahoo in India!
This is near the new Bangalore or Bengaluru Airport

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bengaluru (Bangalore) Airport Road

To get to Bangalore or Bengaluru International Airport (I don't know why they always refer to the Airports as International Airports when both International and Domestic Terminals exist side by side!!) from  Richmond Circle is via Cubbon Park- Vidhan Soudha, Mekhri Circle and then Straight. It is nearly 25-30 kms from the circle but 45 kms from outside Bangalore (Hosur Side). Here are some pictures during early morning & daytime. You can also see the Airport Terminal and road from the Airport in the night.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Indian Buffaloes Swimming in Pulicat Lake, Tamilnadu, India

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Child Star

All children are stars. Poorer they are greater their innocence. For their lives have still not been touched by lavishness of their rich parents.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Indian Pond Lily

Pulicat Bird Sanctuary

Indian Pond Heron.

Indian Open Billed Stork.

Above are some photos of Birds I saw at Pulicat. The boat ride I took will be hosted later.

Frankly, there is a lot of information about Pulicat and how to reach there but nobody seems to be telling the full facts that Birds are not easily seen here! In fact somewhere, maybe on the Forest deptt web page I saw Flamingos breed at Pulicat, but I saw not a single Flamingo. The sites says Oct-Nov are best season, but when I come here I am told Flamingos will be seen in March only. So there you are!!!! Facts vs Fiction! And then maybe the Birds have stopped Coming?? But who will acknowledge that from the Authorities?

Here are some links for example,

What I learnt from these sites and also from personal attempts to reach the Right Place are these:-

  1. There are at least three entry points to the Pulicat Lake and also more which are not very marked or known.
    1. Tada - A right turn under the Flyover at TADA (there will be a Liquor Shop on the left side when you are facing towards Nellore- since most look for such things so am using this landmark provided of course the shop exists in future). Take a right turn under this flyover and then take Left turn. Where to take the left turn? Drive slow and ask. It is near. This will take you to a boatinf point.
    2. Sulurpet - A round turn junction road 3km after Sulurpet and there towards Sriharikota. You will not get any boating point here. But this will be better as you can see Birds on the marshy lands both sides of the Sri Harikota Road and also before Sri Harikota you will find a Right turn which takes you on a untarred road inside by the side of the water area and here there are chances you will see birds.
    3. Ponneri - Both above are in Andhra Pradesh State since Pulicat Lake is the water between the mainland India and the Sri Harikota Island formed from the Bay Of  Bengal entering at open points. The point to turn right turn from NH 5 road towards Ponneri  is 9 kms from the 1st Toll Gate from Chennai and from there again you have to travel 13 kms to Ponneri and then 17 kms towards the Pulicat Village.
    4. There are some other points to reach the lake too I am sure. Because I went to the Pulicat lake through another point, cannot say where I took the right turn now, because there is no mark and by chance I had asked someone standing on the road and he said 'oh you just take a U-turn back towards Chennai and immediately on the left side you will find a road (there is a shop or shops at the entrance point and the road is one that looks like one going into a village) and the road actually crosses a railway crossing (there is a Bump which is rectangular and touches the bottom of low bottomed cars!! SHIT!!) but this take you to a point where you can boat.. but do not want to see birds.. here you cannot. Just boating..

  2. The Pulicat Lake got its name from the name of the Village. The lake water is placid with no waves. There are places where the depth is not much and here are the places where you will find birds. But be warned... Oct-Nov is NOT the best season as everybody says... if you want to see birds easily. I mean birds are there, but not so openly on the lake..All you will see are seagulls.. and that too frm far. If you go near the boat engine sound will make them fly away and you cannot go near because of the shallow water. So you need VERY powerful Binoculars or at least 500 mm Telephoto!

  3. You can see some birds near the Ponneri-Pulicat Road too. But if you want to see more, I am now thinking you need the right gear like Knee High Gum Boots and Walking Stick to support you in the marshes! Yes! Because you should actually go into the marshy lands and bushes and trees to see or else if you think you will just boat (they will charge 400- 500-600 depending on your ability to haggle) and birds will make an appearance for you, then you are highly mistaken! 
In fact the best places to see birds and feel happy that you have seen are

  1. Vedanthangal-  in Tamilnadu this place is a closed place and lots and lots of birds are here- Plus you can see some Peilicans and Painted Storks. which are so large that you can see them clearly.. Here you can just walk around and see.
  2. Nelapattu - in Andhra Pradesh where you can see lots of birds again being a closed place and you can see Open Bill Storks which are bigger birds. Of course both here and at Vedanthangal you can see other birds too. Here too you can just walk around and see.
  3. Kodikkarai or Point Calimere.. This is the best place to see Salt Water Birds and even Flamingos if you are lucky. Here you can go by boat and to islands and get down to the islands and then see birds.. Here there are many places to see, more in my post that will come up later.. Please read there.

Now the Flash Slide show of the Birds.

Image Map from some of my Photos - Click to visit the linked blogs

Colonial days at Calcutta, India Agra Fort Madurai Temple Architecture Fruits, India Silk Worm Cocoons, India Fish Market, India Happy Children, India Logging in Andaman Islands, India Tramcar, Calcutta, India Dharamshala, India Snowy Roads, India Painting by my wife, India Catwalk, India Fashion Show, India Beas River, Manali, India Autumn Leaves, Manali, India Snow in Manali, India Vagator Beach, Goa Mussoorie, India Mysore Palace Jaisalmer Desert, India Tamil Marriage Indian Market Scene Rajasthani Village Girl Birds of India Bay of Bengal, Pondycherry Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary Hogenakkal Water Falls, India Indian Roads Gulab Jamun, India Globalisation, India Indian Map Indian City from Sky Clay Pot Art, India Himalayas, India Benares, India Indian Palace