Mystery flowers in southern India

Growing profusely across the shola grasslands of Western Ghats in southern India, the mysterious Neelakurinji flower is found in the hilly regions of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. But only once every twelve years!

Carpeting the vast terrains of Nilgiris so rarely, the mystical Neelakurinji in its full-bloomed glory is a sight to behold. In fact, it is from these purplish-blue flowers that the legendary mountains take their name.

This shrub is commonly found across the Western Ghats but the rare blooming period of the flowers is what makes it a unique spectacle.

For the tribal communities inhabiting the steep mountains of Munnar and Nilgiris, neelakurinji is an object of utmost reverence, and its blooming is considered to be an auspicious phenomenon.

Habituated to a colder climate zone and grow up to 30 to 60 cm high, the blossomings have been documented since 1838, with last mass blooming recorded in 2006.

One of the interesting aspects observed by botanists and zoologists alike during the blossoming period is the large increase of bees flocking to the vicinity for the nectar. The resulting honey is famed for its sweetness and in great demand.

The 2006-issue postage stamp. (Source: Facebook)

The 2018 blooming period is expected between July and November.

(Source: The Better India - author Lekshmi Priya S)

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Read more about Kerala here...

 
 

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