The day nature lovers waited for is near. Botanists have dreamt of this day. The day the purple treasure rises. Neelakurinji or ‘Strobilantheskunthianum’ is a perennial flower that matures in 12 years time and flowers gregariously every 12 years. Another characteristic shown by such plants is that these will flower gregariously in a single season. They bloom in 40 or so varieties, a majority of them being blue in colour. ‘Neela’ literally translates to ‘blue’ and kurinji is the name given to it by the tribals of the area.
The blooming of ‘Strobilanthes kunthianus’; its what botanists have coined this amazing natural wonder. The flowers last bloomed in 2006. And soon this stellar phenomenon can be witnessed again between the months of August 2018 and October 2018 when the flower blooms in all its glory unleashing a visual extravaganza. In fact, there is no better time to visit Munnar than when the Neelakurinji blooms en masse.
How do I get there?
The place is not too far off from you. Listed down here are the distances from the prime hotspot of Kerala
~ Kochi : 141 km (04h 30min)
~ Kasargod : 458 km (12h 40min)
~ Thrissur : 168 km (05h 20min)
~ Kottayam : 143 km (04h 30min)
~ Alappuzha : 183 km (05h 30min)
Nearest railway station: Angamaly, about 109 km; Ernakulam, about 145 km away.
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 110 km away.
So pack your bags and fill up your tanks. Its gonna be a long ride.
- Do not pluck the flowers or plant. Even being an integral part of the Any harm to even a single plant will impact the entire region at large.
- Please understand that the plants will grow only above an altitude of 1500 meters and pluck them in hopes of growing them at home will be in vain.
- The Kurinji plants are fire resistant and act as a natural protector to the grasslands from forest fires and also check soil erosion so please refrain from harming the plant.
- If harmed the Kurinji will cease to exist not only denying future generations the sacred experience of witnessing its flowering but also irreparably damage the delicate balance of the environment.
- Most importantly, the Neelakurinji flowering area is a STRICTLY NO PLASTIC ZONE. Please cooperate.
What else should you check out?
The Neelakurinji is the true gem of Munnar. But since you are there, don’t forget to check out some more stuff.
- Anamudi Mountains: It is the highest peak in the Western Ghats, at an elevation of 2,695m from ground level. It is also the highest point in South India. Public access is currently restricted due to the rare wildlife thriving in these areas. Anamudi and the Eravikulam National Park surrounding it is home to the largest surviving population of the Nilgiri tahr (Nilgiritragus hylocrius). Asian elephants, gaur, Bengal tigers, and the Nilgiri marten (Martes gwatkinsii) are some of the species of animals found here.
- Marayur: A small town in the tucked away towards the north of Munnar, Marayur or Marayoor is a town in Idukki district of Kerala, connecting Munnar with Udumalpet, Tamil Nadu. Marayur is the only place in Kerala that has natural sandalwood forests. Ancient dolmens and rock paintings in Marayur date back to the Stone Age.
- Camp Woody : one of the best camps in Kerala and one of the most sought out places, Camp woody is situated at the Prime point to Thatched bamboo roofs are a perfect addon to ensure a hassle-free and comfy camping experience.