After all how much honey can the bees gather from a sea of blue flowers!?
A very famous woman journalist in Kerala was detected with cancer long ago. As her friends knew she would only have a few more months to live they asked her whether she was not going to see the kurinji flowers in bloom, a sight she had always cherished to have. Luckily it was the kurinji season then. She said no. Her calm reply that she would visit it only when it flowers next time in Kerala, which would be another twelve years away, is often cited as an example of a woman’s courage in the face of tragedy.
She has already lived out many kurinji seasons since then.
The incident also throws into relief how eagerly people wait for the time, when mountains and valleys in and around Eravikulam near Munnar turn into a magical hue once in every twelve years.
Not only for Malayalees, but for tourists from far off places in India and elsewhere, a visit to God’s own country during the kurinji season is top on the bucket list of experiences they would have before they die.
Even without the exotic flowers and its season, tourists must have heard a lot about the verdant hills of Munnar, shrouded in mist round the year. Whenever the dense curtain of fog lifts, the ethereal sight of blue mountains, green valleys, streams traipsing along boulders and leaping off rocky ledges into shiny ropes of silver tumbling down and tea estates shimmering in the sun could take the breath away for a traveler.
Come the season of kurinji, all roads in Kerala show the way to Eravikulam where you see the green tapestry of hillsides switch into a stunning purple. As if so many elements under the thin earth have been preparing for this magical feat for more than a decade. Can paradise be any more beautiful, you wonder as you stand devotedly as a pilgrim in the serpentine queues at Rajamala, in Eravikulam National Park to savour the sight of Mother Nature in all her shades of blue glory.
Neelakurinji, what the botanists call Strobilanthes Kunthianum, is a shrub that blooms in nearly 40 varieties but at different intervals in various areas of Nilgiris. But the most eye-candy of the lot is the one that blossoms in places in and around Eravikulam, carpeting whole hillsides with different shades of blue.
You’d only need to feast your eyes on a postcard picture of Munnar, of hillsides that come alive with the blossoms, to set this place as your dream destination. Once again on this August, kurinji wakes up from its 12-year slumber. Authorities who know what kind of excitement it would cause are already on their toes to arrange vantage grounds for tourists who flood in during the time to watch the miraculous spectacle. A rough estimate says that nearly ten lakhs people visited the hills of Munnar in the last season to witness Nature running riot with blue and purple on its hillsides.
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