Neelakurinji , scientifically called Strobilus Kunthianus, is a shrub found in the Nilgiri mountain range and blooms at a height of 180 meters above sea level. On an average, these flowers grow from 30 to 60 meters tall. However, they can grow up to 180 cm.The rarity of this event along with its wondrous beauty makes it a visual feast for the onlookers. Usually, the Neelakurinji blooms during the months of August and October. Though it has neither smell nor medicinal value, many find the massive blooming therapeutic. There are a few places in Munnar where you can see these occasional blooms.One of them is the Kurinjimala sanctuary. The Pulaya tribes used to determine their age with the appearance of these flowers. You can also spot these flowers at Eravikulam National Park. There are about 250 species of Neelakurinji in this world out of which 35 are found in India. Though the next bloom is expected at 2030, the exotic flower bloomed this year in Anappara of Munnar and Mullayanagiri, the highest peak in Karnataka. The blossoming of these flowers takes longer periods as their pollination take time. Neelakurinji flowers have an internal calendar to study day length and bloom accordingly and flowers like bamboo plants. It is believed that the honey collected during this period would taste best and is high in nutritional value. There is great demand and price for the honey collected during this period. You may go to nearby locations like Mattupetty dam, Tea Museum and waterfalls. There are certain things to take care in mind while visiting the blooms. If you are allergic to pollen grains or bees, you should take anti allergens, anti-histamines and refrain from touching the flowers. Since there would be huge rush during the season, it is advised to pre-book your tickets in advance.
How to reach
The nearest railway station from Munnar is Aluva railway station at a distance of 109 kilometers and Ernakulum, located 145 kilometers away. The nearest airport is Cochin International airport located 110 kilometers away.
- During the Neelakurinji bloom, vehicles might not be allowed into Munnar town due to rush. Old Munnar might be the last spot for two and four wheelers. From there, you have to take shuttle service to reach to the hills.
- Since there would be huge rush during the season, it is advised to pre-book your tickets in advance. Tickets will be available in the Kerala Tourism website or office counter at Munnar.
- It is advised to take warm clothes as the climate would be extremely cold.
- Both the blooming area and Eravikulam National Park is strictly no plastic zone. Refrain using plastic in these areas.
- There are certain things to take care in mind while visiting the blooms. If you are allergic to pollen grains or bees, you should take anti allergens, anti-histamines and refrain from touching the flowers.
Eravikulam National Park, being a wildlife protected area is under 24 hours surveillance. Creating nuisance might lead to capital punishment.