Every twelve years, the hills of Munnar in Kerala burst into a sea of blue, a rare natural spectacle for which travellers make a beeline for. An endless stretch of rolling hills carpeted with tiny blue flowers welcomes the visitors. It is the time Neelakurinji, a flower with 40 odd varieties, blossoms in all its grandeur.
The long wait of twelve years is finally over. The hills will soon be bathed in a dreamy shade of blue from August 2018 to October 2018. Are you ready?
Botanists call it the blooming of 'Strobilanthes kunthianus', the botanical name of Neelakurinji. Neela in local parlance translates to the colour blue and Kurinji is the local name for the flower.
This stellar phenomenon can be witnessed between the months of July 2018 and October 2018 when the flower blooms in all its glory unleashing a visual extravaganza. In fact, there is no better time to visit Munnar than when the Neelakurinji blooms en masse.
The Nilgiri Tahr, the endangered mountain goat, is endemic to these hills. The majestic mountain goat ambling down the hills that are swathed in Neelakurinji makes for an extremely enigmatic sight.
Flooded with travel requests, many tour operators have opened their bookings well in advance. A host of packages are now available for travellers. Moreover, tour planners and adventure clubs organise trekking in these hills when the Neelakurinji blooms. This unique lifecycle of the plant makes the hills a must-visit destination for biologists and nature enthusiasts alike.