Every 12 years from the month of July to December the Nilgiri hills turn blue as the Neelakurunji flowers that the hills derive their name from coming into full bloom. This absolutely spectacular phenomenon turns the entire Nilgiri hills into magnificent shades of bluish purple and makes the entire expanse look like a carpet in blue.
Neela Kurinji (Strobilanthes Kunthiana) is a beautiful bushy shrub. Kurinji flower is exclusive to the shola forests of the Western Ghats in the state of Kerala. The species name or the scientific name of neelakurinji, Kunthiana is derived from the River “Kunthi”. The plants flourish over the mountain slopes of the Nilgiris and a few other the shola grasslands in South India. Out of the 46 plant species that blooms in 10 to 16 years found in India, Neelakurinji is the best known. While “Neela” means blue in the Malayalam language, “Kurinji” is the local name of the flower. Neelakurinji english name is Strobilanthes Kunthiana, this is its scientific name. The english people also call it as neelakurinji or kurinji.
Though 12 years is a very long time, we are indeed lucky to see them flowering in 2018. The next blooming period of Neelakurinji will start in June 2018 and will last until September or even until November 2018. While massive flowering happens once in 12 years, Neelakurinji blooms in small quantities at a few places around Munnar.
Below are four months to gaze, experience and adore the flowering of the flower in Munnar:
Year: 2018, Months: June, July, August, September, November. Biologists say that the climatic and topographical changes can affect the blooming time of the flower.