The Western Ghats of India are gems of biodiversity and have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nestled in the southern fringes of the Western Ghats is a picturesque village untouched and pristine, called Anaikatti. This charming village lies not far from the city of Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu and on the border between the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
The enchanting Anaikatti whose name translates into “group of elephants”, is a great place for a getaway from the humdrum of city life and bask in the beauty of nature. Anaikatti is in itself a destination where one can spend days forgetting one’s daily routine, however, it is also the gateway to many wonderful experiences in the wild and in the midst of nature. It is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere and the wildlife sanctuaries surrounding it hold the promise of exhilarating times.
Day Trip from Anaikatti – Silent Valley National Park
A wonderful day trip from Anaikatti is the Silent Valley National Park which is situated some 35 kilometres away. The Park is part of the famed Nilgiri Biosphere which is part of the Western Ghats World Heritage Site recognised by UNESCO.
The Silent Valley National Park is entered from a place called Sairandhri. The forests of the Silent Valley are referred to as Sairandhri Vanam in the local language which translates into “Sairandhri’s forest”. Sairandhri is another name for Draupadi who was the wife the Pandavas in the Mahabharata. It is believed that when the Pandavas were in exile and roaming about in the forests, they wandered southwards and came upon a beautiful stretch of woods with a lush valley, a river flowing enchantingly, and grasslands merged harmoniously with wooded ravines. Animals lived in harmony in this magical place with tigers and elephants drinking water from the riverside by the side. The Pandavas were mesmerised by the beauty and serenity of the place and stayed in a cave near the river for some time.
The Silent Valley earned its epithet from a British botanist in the mid 19th century when he found the region did not have the presence of noisy Cicadas which are noisy insects that are usually found in forests.
The Silent Valley stretches in a rectangular area of about 84 kilometres and is rich in flora and fauna. Some tribals also stay within the confines of the Silent Valley National Park. The Park is made up of evergreen forests, Sholas, and open grasslands making it a unique place. The sounds of more than 138 species of birds like Malabar Parakeet, Malabar Grey Hornbill, Laughing Thrush and many more break the silence of the Silent Valley National Park. Animals like Tigers, Leopards, Elephants, Deer, and many more have made the Silent Valley National Park their home.
A day trip from Anaikatti to the Silent Valley National Park is a trip to a magical land.
Day Trip from Anaikatti – Parambikulam Tiger Reserve
Another amazing day trip from Anaikatti is to the magnificent Parambikulam Tiger Reserve. The place is one of the biodiversity hotspots in the world and has a fascinating ecosystem with indigenous people too living harmoniously with the environment. The reserve stretches across an area of about 390 kilometres. The thick forests and the abundance of water ensure thriving wildlife in the area and promises thrilling sightings to tourists.
One of the not to be missed sights when in the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve is that of the world’s largest living Teak tree known as Kannimara Teak which has an amazing diameter of 7.02 metres. The modern Science Interpretation Centre makes use of the state of the art technology to disseminate interesting information about the biodiversity of the region.
The Parambikulam Tiger Reserve is home to about 36 majestic tigers that roam the forests. Keeping them company are ferocious leopards, silent crocodiles, majestic elephants and a range of mammals and reptiles. The beauty of the reserve is enhanced by the colourful presence of more than 124 species of butterflies and 250 species of birds.
The Parambikulam Tiger Reserve offers a range of exciting activities that include Jungle Safari, trekking, and Camping. A trip to the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve is sure to reconnect one with nature and create spellbinding memories.
Sterling Anaikatti is excellently poised to curate your forays into the tantalising world of the wilderness of the Western Ghats. So is it not time to pack your bags and get ready to enter the magical world of Anaikatti and be lost in the bewitching beauty of nature.