The conservation of entire Silent Valley forest area is vital to ensure the perennial flow of water through the Bharathapuzha, the Bhavani and the Cauvery providing water to Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The Kunthipuzha, which originates from the Silent Valley National Park area, is the main source of water for Bharathapuzha, Kerala’s longest river. It provides drinking and irrigation water to the districts of Palakkad, Malappuram and Thrissur. A tributary of the Bhavani that originates on the eastern side of the Silent Valley forest area is the perennial source of water for this major inter-State river. Its protection is vital for drinking water and irrigation water projects in a couple of districts of Tamil Nadu. It later empties into the Cauvery.
Thus the protection of the Silent Valley and its adjacent forests that form the core area of the Nilgiri Biosphere is vital for the peaceful sharing of the water sources of three major rivers by the three neighboring States. This major benefit to the people of three States is the best justification for the struggle for the protection of the Silent Valley and its adjoining buffer zone covering an area of 237.52 sq km.
The Park comprises essentially two parallel south-sloping valleys. The western Kunthi valley is part of the basin of the west-draining Bharathapuzha. The eastern, Bhavani Valley is part of the basin of the east-flowing Cauvery. In the estimation of scientists, the Silent Valley evergreen rainforest is more than 50 million years old. It is perhaps the only remaining undisturbed tropical rainforest in peninsular India. The flora and fauna here are quite unique. The Silent Valley’s dark and cool ambience, vibrating with life, has been described as “the richest expression of life on earth” and a “cradle of evolution.” “Silent Valley is not just an evergreen forest, it is a very fine example of one of the richest, most threatened and least studied habitats on earth.” Thus, it is the “sacred grove” for the world, and a gene pool of rare flora and fauna. This precious chunk of dense forest is perhaps India’s last, largest and oldest tropical rainforest remaining undisturbed, undisturbed because of its relative inaccessibility, oldest because its age is estimated to be 50 million years.
Wettest Rainfall belts in India
- Cherrapunji and Mawsynram in Meghlaya - Annual Rainfall of 10000 - 12000 mm
- Agumbe and Hulikal in Karnataka - Annual Rainfall of 7500 - 8500 mm
- Walakkad, Poochippara and Silent Valley in Kerala - Annual Rainfall of 7000 - 8000 mm
- Amboli, Gaganbawada and Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra - Annual Rainfall of 6000 - 7500 mm
The Silent Valley National Park, gets one of the highest or even the highest average annual rainfall in the Western Ghats, data for the past 10 years show.
Available Rainfall data in the Silent Valley in past 10 years in mm
Source: Compilation from The Hindu
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