Source: The post is based on the article “Tourists witness the remarkable blooming of Neelakurinji flowers in Chikmagalur that happens once in 12 years” published in Indian Express on 29th September 2022
What is the News?
The Neelakurinji flowers that blossom once in many years have turned the green patches of hill stations in Chikkamagaluru purple-blue.
What is Neelakurinji?
Neelakurinji is the famed shrub found in Western Ghats, covering the slopes of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Their scientific name is ‘strobilanthes kunthiana‘. Neelakurinji blooms once every 12 years.
It is rarest of rare plant species that grows in Western Ghats and does not grow in any other part of the world. Besides the Western Ghats, Neelakurinji is also seen in the Shevroy in the Eastern Ghats, Sanduru hills of Bellary district in Karnataka.
Significance: Nilgiri Hills, which literally means the blue mountains, got their name from the purplish blue flowers of Neelakurinji.
– Kurinjimala Sanctuary of Kerala protects the kurinji in Kottakamboor and Vattavada villages in Idukki district.
– Kurinji Andavar temple located in Kodaikanal of Tamil Nadu dedicated to Tamil God Murugan also preserves these plants.
– The Paliyan tribal people living in Tamil Nadu used it as a reference to calculate their age.
– The flower has no smell or medicinal value.