There's a legendary phenomenon happening in Munnar that is taking place after 12 years! Neelakurinji flowers that last bloomed in 2006 are now ready to carpet the majestic Munnar hills with their bluish-purple hues this year. There's really no better time to visit Munnar than this, so grab your cameras and plan a trip to the city of bloom.
What are Neelakurinjini Flowers and Why do they Bloom After 12 years?
Unlike normal plants that bloom often, Neelakurinjini or the Strobilanthes Kunthiana is a mon0rcarpic plant. As a monocarpic plant, Neelakurinjini blooms only once it reaches its maturity age ie. 12 years. This tropical plant species is found only in Asia and Australia. Out of the known 450 species of this flower, 146 are found in India and 43 out of these are found in Kerala alone. These plants grow up to 5-6ft. in height and it is a delight to watch them spread resplendent over the rolling hills of Munnar.
Where to Spot These Flowers
There are about 40 species of Neelakurinjini that will bloom together this year. A few places in Munnar that you can visit to see these blooms are Anamalai hills, Rajamala, Kadavari and Kovilur. The Eravikulam National Park, located at a 25 minutes' drive away from Munnar is one location you shouldn't miss. This national park hosts almost all species of this flower and boasts of being the seat of Nilgiri Tahr, an endangered species of the flower that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
When To Go:
The blooming season is to begin in August and will continue till the end of October, so go between this period.
How to Reach:
Air: Cochin International Airport, Cochin is the closest airport to Munnar, and is well-connected to all major cities of the country. Munnar is located about 125km from the airport and can be reached via easily available cabs at the airport. This cab ride will cost you about ₹2,500 to ₹3,500.
Train: The closest railway station to Munnar is Cochin Harbour Terminus in Cochin. From the station, you can opt for direct KSRTC buses or AC Volvo buses to reach Munnar.
Travel Sustainably and Responsibly
It has been reported that about 1 million travellers from all over India and the world are expected to visit Munnar especially for this phenomenon. So if you're visiting, please expect a restriction in the amount of time you can spend at the national park. We also request you to please cooperate with the tourism authorities and urge you to travel responsibly. Please do not pluck these flowers or trash the areas of Munnar that you visit.