Silent Valley is no longer silent now, Sorry to disappoint you, there's a
distant traffic noise and some thoughtless drivers blow their horns like maniacs.
Went there 25 years ago and believe me I could hear my own heartbeats. It is still very silent there, your footsteps are so loud, you feel that suddenly your ears have cleared up and become very sharp and you can hear the tiniest noise. But there's great deal of disturbance now.
It is called silent valley because it IS a silent valley. For some strange reason crickets the most noise making insects are completely absent there. Normally they make one big racket in any forest.
I was sitting with the forest officer this time, I nearly had a heart attack when his mobile suddenly went off with a ghastly Malayalam film song. It was so loud that a person 30 feet away could hear the voice coming from the mobile.
This is a 50 million years old tropical rain forest. Been there long before the humans came. the local Government has no respect for its age, as it made an attempt to destroy it 25 years ago.
All the pictures are taken in and around the silent valley, couldn't post them all. Long story how i reached there 25 years ago, there was no bus service except for a jeep or two there was absolutely no traffic on the road.
These clowns wanted to construct a dam on river Bhavani, as a result the entire 50 million year old tropical rain forest would have come under water completely destroying rich plant insect and animal life.
there was a loud protest from the environmentalists.
During that controversial period, I like a damn fool walked in with my back pack. I had to cross two check posts, deparment of forest, who let me in and the second check post of Electricity department clowns who wanted to build the dam, they wouldn't let me in. they thought I was a journalist.
I am not a journalist, I said
you have a beard
you what ? who says only journalists have beards ? I have a right to grow a beard and shave it off when ever I want and be a musician.
Your beard is wild, growing in all directions, you have not combed your hair in years, you ARE a journalist, I can smell a journalist from miles away. he said.
no fighting, I decided to beg and plead
No reporters, He kept repeating.
I am a school teacher I lied
still worse, no school teachers no journalists, he was adamant
and we have orders, no bearded guys, bearded guys like you are big trouble, they are trying to stop our project. You look like big trouble to us, its written on your face.
This is Sherji my friend who took me there this time.
so i went back to the forest check post and pleaded again. they had no problems with me. Those chaps were very nice, one of them said I'll take you inside through the bushes to the forest rest house at your own risk as the area is infested with deadly poisonous snakes. I said fine.
I did not see any snakes.
Finally the environmentalists won the case, the silent valley dam project was shelved after a couple of years of making some big noise. that was a relief.
Stayed at the forest rest house for 2 days, took long treks had good vegetarian food cooked by Velayuthan, sweet chap, still remember his name.
Took me 25 years to go there again. The entire forest was covered in mist, it was like a white semi transparent veil had descended on the valley. Visibility was very poor, couldn't take pictures.
Now there is no problem staying there, the forest is untouched, but the traffic has increased.
room is 300 rupees per head and the dormitory is 80 rupees per head, pretty reasonable I think
Please check Blunt knife for more pictures. I have posted the road to Silent valley there. please click on the pictures for full screen view. You don't see much in these smaller pictures.
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