Ready for a visual treat of the blue floral carpet of Neelakurinji in hill slopes? Then head to Munnar, Kerala and witness the spectacle that happens only once in 12 years, and, it is happening now.
Kurinji or Neelakurinji, scientifically known as Strobilanthus kunthianus, beautifully decorates the mountainsides in the Western Ghats of South India during its flowering seasons.
Neelakurinji is a bush with several branches which grows profusely in the shola grasslands of the Western Ghats in India. The plant is usually 30 to 60 cm high on the hills. It looks light blue in the earlier stage of blooming and have 50 different varieties.
Kurinji used to once grow abundantly in the Nilgiri Hills (part of the Western Ghats) in Tamil Nadu. The brilliant blue color of Kurinji has given the hills the name “Nilgiri”, literally meaning “Blue Mountains”. But presently, plantations and buildings have occupied the hills.
In Kerala, the Anamalai Hills of Idukki district, the Agali Hills of Palakkad district and the Eravikulam National Park of Munnar (all in the Western Ghats) also have this plant. In addition to the Western Ghats, Kurinji is also found in the Shevaroy Hills of the Eastern Ghats in Tamil Nadu as well as the Bellary district of Karnataka.
It will be a spectacular and picturesquely sight to behold for rest of our lives and it does not grow in any other part of the world. This rarity of its flowering makes neelakurinji a legend in itself that no one wants to miss the opportunity of viewing it in full bloom this year.
The Neelakurinji blossom takes twelve years as the pollination for the Neelakurinji flowers need such longer period. In Botany, this is referred to as ‘survival mechanism’ of plants. Longer pollination helps the species to escape total destruction by predators or even due to climate changes.
Apart from being a feast for the eyes, the blooming of the plant also provides sustenance for butterflies, insects, and honeybees in the region. The honey from the neelakurinji plant is said to be medicinal.
Tourists visiting the state during this time can also spot the majestic Nilgiri Tahr, an endangered mountain goat endemic to these hills. Other attractions in Munnar include Anamudi Peak, the tallest peak in south India, highly sought after trekking route.
When the plants bloom they wrap the misty hills in a thick purple blanket and enchant visitors from far and wide. Visitors to Munnar in the coming months can enjoy this marvelous sight.
If you are planning to be an eye-witness of this rare blossom, you must plan and book your Munnar tour at the earliest.
Mountain Trail Resort is built with a unique ethnic design that blends beautifully with the scenic surrounding of Munnar. The resort is nestled against the milieu of Western Ghats, offers a magnificent view of Sahya Mountain Ranges and the meritorious view of the misty valleys. It offers a memorable stay with unmatched hospitality. It is an ideal place for honeymoon couples because of its excellent location.