Kerala has once again become home to Neelakurinji flowers attracting people from across countries. The flowers which bloom every 12 years highlighting
the hills of Munnar's Eravikulam National Park in a purple spread is a sight to watch. The hill station which is a popular tourist destination gets visitors from the country and abroad alike around the year. Neelakurinji or just kurinji as the flowers are known colour the hills and its surrounding areas in different shades of violet adding to the beauty of God's own country.
The flowering season has begun and the national park will soon open to visitors. August is considered to be the best place to visit Munnar and see the flowers which will last until October. Last time the flowers adorned the hills in 2006. Spread over 3,000 hectares of hills, the flowers start blooming in July. Each shrub which is 30 to 60 centimetres high reproduces only once in a lifetime and dies after flowering. It takes 12 years for the seeds to sprout again and bloom into flowers.
Check some of the pictures here:
Neelakurinji plant is a tropical plant species generally found in Asia and Australia.
Strobilanthes kunthianus is the scientific name of the plant which has around 450 species of 146 are found in India and 43 in Kerala.
The flowers are a treat for butterflies and honeybees which feast on it in plenty. The honey of these flowers is said that to be high medicinal value.
You can visit www.munnarwildlife.com or www.eravikulamnationalpark.com to book tickets. The cost per ticket is Rs 120 for adults and Rs 90 for children. For usage of the camera inside the park, Rs 40 will be charged. For those from outside the country, the tickets will cost Rs 400 each.]
Last year in October, the Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had through a social media post said that around eight lakh tourists are expected for the flowering season in 2018. The post also said that the state government aims to introduce a series of measures to protect the Eravikulam National Park. The government also plans to restrict the number of visitors entering the park and the amount of time they spend there. It said to safeguard the national park, action on waste management and required tourist facilities will be taken care of.