Kerala is known as "God's own country" for more reasons than one. Beaches, hills, and forest teeming with rare plants and wildlife - the state is blessed with nature's bounty.
Neelakurinji, a tiny blue flower that blooms once in 12 years, is one of the many attractions in the southern state. The tiny flowers have formed a majestic blue carpet Idukki's Shantanpara Shalom hills under Santhanpara Panchayat. The flower blooms between mid-July and October.
A video of the flowers on the hill was shared this morning by news agency ANI.
The clip shows the flower in bloom, swaying to the wind amid lush green grass. "Shantanpara Shalom hills under Santhanpara Panchayat in Kerala's Idukki are covered in hues of blue as Neelakurinji flowers bloom, which occurs once every 12 years," ANI reported.
Watch the video here:
The scientific name of the flower is Strobilanthes kunthiana. It is locally known as ''Neelakurinji'' and gets its name from its blue hue. “Neela” means blue, while “kurinji” is the local name for the flower. In fact, the Nilgiri Hills, which translates to blue mountains, has these flowers to thank for its name.
Neelakurinji is categorised as a 'plietesial' plant that may bloom only once in its lifetime, sets seeds and dies.
Such plants flower gregariously in a single season, the official website of the Kerala Tourism Department said. “The time taken to mature varies in different species of Kurinjis. So different species of Kurinjis have different intervals of flowering. Neelakurinji matures in 12 years time and flowers gregariously every 12 years,” reads a section on the website.
The clip shared by ANI on Twitter has received 8,500 views in less than two hours and is being widely shared on the microblogging platform. Replying to the post, several users could not stop praising the beauty of the flowers. A user said, “One of the most magical sights.”
One of the most magical sights https://t.co/eAzTUVTdzl— Sandhya Vishal (@sandyvis) August 2, 2021
“Beautiful,” said another user.
Beautiful ???? https://t.co/FekfoSD9DG— Raman Chahal (@chahal_ra) August 2, 2021
In addition to the Neelakurinji, tourists also flock to the area to catch a sight of Nilgiri Tahr, the endangered mountain goat native to the hills. However, amid the pandemic, this year most nature lovers will have to do with just photos and videos.