Neelakurinji – the bloom of a unique ecosystem

The bloom makes the mountains blue; We make the landscape brown?
-E Kunhikrishnan

Vanishing kurinji landscape

The present situation in Munnar is not giving any hope to those who love the kurinji landscape. The area under kurinji is dwindling after each kurinji season. There is a strong lobby active in usurping government land and encroaching into the kurinji grasslands and hills. Many reports, even from the top bureaucrats in the government, reveal how the authorities,  who are supposed to protect public land are supporting the encroachers. Here is a quote from a 2014 report on Kurinjimala land by Nivedita P. Haran, the then Secretary of the Revenue Department; “the revenue department had an excellent opportunity to arrest the mischief and take corrective action in 2010 when the issue came to light. But the government lacked the will to pursue action. Since then, over the last 4 years, matters have only got worse. If the government does not act now, this crucial part of our State will be handed over for good to encroachers and land grabbers. Tourists visit the State attracted by its natural beauty, be it the highlands or the coastline. If these are allowed to be destroyed by the greed of few, the harm caused will indeed be irreparable.”   

After a longstanding demand from the kurinji enthusiasts in Kerala, the Kurinjimala sanctuary notification was given in October, 2006, during the last neelakurinji bloom. It is very unfortunate that the final notification could not be brought out after finishing the formalities and fixing the boundaries of the sanctuary by the revenue and forest departments till date. It is the next kurinji season now. It is time to decide whether we want the landscape in shades of green and blue of the bloom or in brown and black of the doom.



Neelakurinji – the bloom of a unique ecosystem

Various Strobilanthes species found in Nilgiris ...more

Cholakurinji – the bloom of the sholas

There are many species of shola kurinji (locally k ...more

Tracing the bloom history

The first European settlers in Nilgiris recorded t ...more

The fate of the Strobilanthes Landscape

The British planters who discovered new pastures i ...more

Vanishing kurinji landscape

The present situation in Munnar is not giving any ...more