- If you are not yet a Down To Earth subscriber, please click here to subscribe: Subscription
- If you are an existing Down To Earth subscriber, please log in to download digital archives.
Down To Earth traveller Jemima Rohekar's stunning photos of the Silent Valley National Park opens up before us a diversity of life rarely experienced
This 200-year-old jackfruit tree inside the forest still produces fruits for elephants, birds and Lion Tailed Macaques Credit: Jemima Rohekar
Our traveller spotted this wild variety of bean in all its glory. The species diversity of Silent Valley is similar to that of the tropical rainforest of the Barro Colorado island in the Panama canal, considered worldwide as a prototype for measuring plant and animal diversity. The Botanical Survey of India noted that the Silent Valley plateau was home to wild relatives of domesticated plants, including cardamom, pepper, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and beans Credit: Jemima Rohekar
A bumblebee busily sucking nectar from a flower. The forest is home to 1,000 species of flowering plants Credit: Jemima Rohekar
A Lion Tailed Macaque perches on the branch of a tree. It is a primate classified as “endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The animal had become the mascot of the Save Silent Valley movement in the 1970s and 80s, with protestors arguing that a hydropower project would destroy its habitat and severely diminish the primate's numbers Credit: Jemima Rohekar
Silent Valley is one of India’s few rainforests. It is deep and virtually impenetrable. So secluded is Silent Valley that there is no written record of any human habitation in its core area Credit: Jemima Rohekar
Ferns jostle for space along with other tree species. There are about 100 ferns and fern allies in the forest Credit: Jemima Rohekar
The misty beauty of Silent Valley when seen from the forest watch tower. The forest is so dense that wildlife sightings are rare Credit: Jemima Rohekar
A worm is one of Silent Valley's smaller inhabitants, not usually noticeable Credit: Jemima Rohekar
Bright yellow-coloured orchids cling to the branch of a tree. In total, 107 species of orchids are found in the forest. The Silent Valley forest, with an evolutionary age of more than 50 million years, is home to thousands of exciting species Credit: Jemima Rohekar
More orchids spotted on the way. This time a reddish one greets our traveller Credit: Jemima Rohekar
The Kunthipuzha river flows through a dense foliage of trees. The river is named after Kunti, the mother of Pandavas. The hydopower project planned on this river in the 80s never saw the light of day, thanks to the environmental movement opposing the disaster. Silent Valley has remained untouched since then Credit: Jemima Rohekar
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.