‘Breathtaking’: Neelakurinji blooms first time in 12 yearshttps://indianexpress.com/photos/india-news/breathtaking-neelakurinji-blooms-first-time-in-12-years-in-kerala-5357814/

‘Breathtaking’: Neelakurinji blooms first time in 12 years

After a gap of around 12 years, the Western Ghats are resplendent, clad in a purplish-blue carpet. The neelakurinji bloomed in the Anamalai hills near Munnar, a phenomenon that occurs once in 12 years.

After a gap of around 12 years, the Western Ghats are resplendent, clad in a purplish-blue carpet. The neelakurinji blooming in the Anamalai hills, a phenomenon that occurs once in 12 years. (Photo by Mohandas Pazhambalkode)

More photos Neelakurinji flowering season 2018

Neelakurinji plant is a tropical plant species which is generally found in Asia and Australia. It belongs to the genus Strobilanthes which has around 450 species of which 146 are found in India and of them, about 43, in Kerala. (Photo by PS Ashok)

While the blooming is associated primarily with Munnar in Kerala, the flowers are found in some parts of Tamil Nadu too. These photos are from Nilgiri district of the state. (Photo by Mohandas Pazhambalkode)

In 2006, it created quite a buzz and there was a huge surge in the number of tourists visiting Munnar to revel in its beauty. Similarly, this year, thousands of visitors are expected to flock to the scenic hills in Kerala to behold the spectacle that will last until October. (Photo by Krishna Kumar S)

Spread over 3,000 hectares of rolling hills, Munnar is home to this rarely occurring neelakurinji flower plants. (Photo by V J Raiju)

Each shrub reproduces once in its lifetime and dies after flowering. (Photo by V J Raiju)

These plants take another 12 years for the seeds to sprout again and grow up to 30 to 60 centimetres high. (Photo by Ranjith Rajendran)

The official Kerala tourism site is filled with pictures from each year of the bloom. The purple flower is a feast for butterflies, honeybees and other insects as it holds a large amount of nectar which especially attracts the Apis cerana honeybee. (Photo by Ranjith Rajendran)