It is finally that time of the decade when the beautiful and the majestic Neelakurinji will be blooming. The time nature lovers and travel buffs will be most waiting for is finally here. It is the Neelakurinji blooming time.
Brace yourself to witness the floral carpet that is going to be definitely a feast for your eyes. But to witness it, you need to head to Munnar.
Munnar, one of the most visited destinations for tourists in India is located in Kerala. The spectacle happens only once every 12 years and the Neelakurinji flowers will start to bloom during July-August. The place will look amazing during the time with the bloomed Neelakurinji flowers.
Blooming Neelakurinji Flowers
Kurinji or Neelakurinji scientifically known as Strobilanthes kunthianus is a shrub that is found in the shola forests of the Western Ghats in South India. Nilgiri Hills, which literally means the blue mountains, got their name from the purplish-blue flowers of Neelakurinji that blossoms only once in 12 years.
This rare flower that is found and grows in the Western Ghats is found in abundance in the Munnar hills and the flowers bloom once every twelve years. It is their blooming time now.
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 have medicinal values as well.
The really popular and attractive tourist destination in Kerala is Munnar and the best time to visit the hill station is definitely while these flowers are blooming and as they don’t bloom every year, blooming happens once every twelve years, so you just can’t miss this time.
The floral season will usually begin in July and will continue till October giving the visitors sufficient time to witness the scenic beauties of the flowers and nature.
Neelakurinji flowers will be in a purplish blue colour which will give an eye soothing feel to your eyes. The blooming flowers will leave you awestruck.
When They Last Bloomed
The Neelakurinji flowers last bloomed in 2006 at the Eravikulam National Park. About 3 lakh tourists came to witness the spectacle at that time.
This year the Kerala Tourism officials are expecting about 8 lakhs of visitors from around the globe.
Planning Your Trip
After learning this much about the Neelakurinji flowers, you must definitely be interested in traveling to Munnar this Kurinji season, then don’t worry. It will be a delightful and memorable experience if you plan it properly and here we offer you some tips and suggestions for planning your trip.
It is advised to make the stay arrangements as soon as you can. This flower blooming is the much-awaited tourism event in Kerala and the Government of Kerala has already started promoting the event.
So, the hotels and resorts in Munnar are expected to be fully booked during the season. So, you need to make the move before it is too late.
When: Late July-October 2018
Where: Kovilur, Rajamala, Eravikulam National Park, Kerala (Five-hour drive from Kochi) 7.30am-4pm, Rs.120 entry fee for Indian nationals
Nearest Railway Station: Angamaly (109kms away)
Nearest Airport: Kochi airport (140kms away)
Kerala Tourism official P. Bala Kiran said in a statement “There is no better time to visit Munnar than the time when Neelakurinji plants bloom en masse.
As many as 628,427 tourists had visited Munnar in 2017 with an increase of 34.31 percent as compared to 467,881 vacationers in 2016. The Tourism Department is expecting a growth of 79 percent in tourist arrivals to Munnar this year.
This unique lifecycle of the plant makes the hills a must-visit destination for travel enthusiasts.”
The local tour operators and resort owners everyone is excited and all set to welcome the Neelakurinji visitors. The biggest tourists’ season is ahead in Kerala.
While visiting the blooming flowers, how can you head back to your place without covering the other attractions located around it? There are a few things you can cover according to your time and convenience.
Nilgiri Tahr, an endangered mountain goat endemic to these hills is one that you shouldn’t miss.
Anamudi Peak, the tallest peak in south India, highly sought after trekking route if you love trekking.
Marayoor, Periyar, Mattupetty, Rajamala, Devikulam are some other places that you can cover if you have some leisurely planned vacation time.
The guidelines issued for Neelakurinji Munnar visitors
- Do not pluck the flowers or plant. They are an endangered endemic species and an integral part of the ecosystem. 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. So, plucking 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.
- The Neelakurinji flowering area is a STRICTLY NO PLASTIC ZONE. Please cooperate.
- Do not forget, our Earth is our responsibility.
Book your trip here
The price of a ticket for adults will be Rs 120 per person while it is Rs 90 for children and Rs 400 for foreign tourists.
When you visit the place, be a responsible tourist. Do not pick the flowers or plants, it is for everyone to enjoy.
There could be retribution for damaging the plants or disturbing the biodiversity, the Government is planning to deploy volunteers to ensure that the plants are not destroyed and the vandals are punished.
Rush or else you have to wait until the Neelakurinji flower next bloom!!!!