MUNNAR: A Jupiter year has passed and the time is ripe for the 'Neelalurinji flowers’ to spread a purple carpet over the hillocks. The flowers, which usually bloom after the southwest monsoon, have started to mark its arrival here and there. They are expected to give a real feast to the eyes of the tourists within a few weeks.
The season will last only for a sweet three months and one has to wait for a long twelve years to get a glimse of the nature's regal dance once again.
Tourist have already started to flock to the hill station to view the beauty of the neelakurinji flowers. Due to the landslide followed by the heavy rains, district administration had restricted tourists earlier. Though the ban has been lifted, some blocks in the Kochi-Danushkodi road have been a hindrance to the tourist inflow. However, officials concerned stated that the work on a temporary bridge connecting Munnar is in full swing and it will be ready in one - two days. They assured that there is a not safety concern now. Forest department has also put in place enough arrangements to ensure tourists' comfort.
Though the flowers bloom every 12 years and this spectacular event is much connected with the life and lures of the inhabitants of the place, tourists started to visit the place for seeing Neelakuriji only since 1994. But since then, the year of kurinji flowers beckoned tourists from far and wide. According to the official projections, not less than eight lakh people would visit the hill station before the end of the season.
There is no one particular spot where the flowers bloom. The Rajamala hills, coming under the Eravikulam national park, are one such area where the flowers bloom in abundance. Nilgiri tahr, a species of wild goat endemic to Munnar, is another attraction of the locality. The horns of these wild goats in groups moving like a breeze amidst the purple flowers are really a sight worth watching.
Both the genders of these affable tahrs have horns. The animal is very gentle towards human beings and will let the visitors to touch them. But there is a caution: you will be fined if caught red handed by the forest officials.
How to reach?
By travelling around 15 kilometres from Munnar town one can reach at the entrance of the Eravikulam national park. Tickets can either be taken from there or can be booked online. From the gateway of the park, the mini buses being operated by the Forest department can be used to visit Rajamala hills. The tourists can get down at the check post and trek around 2 kilometres to reach the hill top. The sights of flowers and the tahrs will delight the visitors en route to the hill top.
(Image Credits: Kerala Tourism)