Hills of Munnar and the Neelakurinji
Hills of Munnar and the Neelakurinji, munnar, kerala
The misty hill station of Munnar located in Idukki district of Kerala is a tourist's paradise that is blessed with a rich variety of exotic flora and fauna. SituatedSpice Shop about 1600 mts above sea level, Munnar is well known for its vast expanse of Neelakurinji flowers. It bloomed in the year 2006 and once again in 2009 and attracted large crowds to Munnar. Though the massive flowering happens once only in twelve years, the Neelakurinji blooms in small quantity, sometimes a few plants only, at places around Munnar such as Santhampara owing to the fact that different varieties of plants have different flowering cycles.The plant has a strange life cycle in that it dies after the once-in-twelve-year blooming phase. Botanists identified its periodic flowering as early in 1838. These belong to 'Acanthecea family'.In facts there are different varieties of 'Kurinji', which flower at intervals between seven and twelve years, they say. This delicate shrub grows to the height of about two feet, and takes root on the poorer soils on steep grassland slopes.