Neelakurinji Flowers Bloom In Kodagu

Neelakurinji Flowers Bloom In Kodagu

Tourists are swarming to Mandalapatti in Kodagu to see valleys immersed in surreal shades of Neelakurinji.

Mother nature works in mysterious ways. And little do we know why or how it executes its beautiful plan seasonally. Be it the rain, snow or heat, several places on earth embrace the condition and shine like none other. For instance, have a look at the beautiful lands of Kodagu in Karnataka; here in the foothills of the rustic village called Mandalapatti, a spectacle takes place every 12 years. A burst of purplish-blue flowers called Neelakurinji carpets the valleys of Mandalapatti; a miracle on its own. Consequently, attracting tens and thousands of tourists and travellers.

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Located 17 kilometres from Madikeri, Mandalapatti is one of the most visited and sought after tourist destinations in Karnataka. The direct local translation of Mandalpatti is ‘Heaven meets the Earth’ and the tourists must visit this marvellous place to know why it is kenned so. Also, the serene beauty and the mist during the monsoon season is a visual treat.

Due to the exceptional bloom now,
it displays an unending stretch of rolling hills blanketed with tiny purplish-blue flowers. It is this time of the year such flowers (also called Neelakurinji in Kerala) with 40-odd varieties, bloom in all their glory. Botanists call it the blooming of ‘Strobilanthes kunthiana’, the botanical name of the flower. Locally, the flowers are called ‘Kumandhari’, ‘Aralupoo’ and ‘Kurrelpoo’. The flower belongs to the Acanthaceae family and was first spotted on the banks of River Kunthi in the Silent Valley of Kerala. Hence it was named Kunthiana. It is normally found in the Shola grassland in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

The flower usually blooms in cold weather after the monsoon and it is a shrub plant that has medicinal value. There are several species of the plant. One of the species ‘strobilanthes sessilis’ blooms every year and is found along the grassy slopes of Thadiyandamol Hills in Kodagu. In fact, the flowers blooming once annually or once in seven or 12 years depends on the availability of sunlight and water.

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