Kerala Tourism Targets Over 8 Lakh Tourist Arrivals During Neelakurinji Blooming Season
June 4st, 2018: It’s soon to be Neelakurinji season in Kerala’s Munnar soon, and Kerala Tourism expects over 800,000 travellers to visit the picturesque hill station during the July -October 2018 period. It is during these months that the Neelakurinji flowers will blossom after 12 years across the hills of Munnar in Idukki district. Neela in local parlance translates to the colour blue and Kurinji is the local name for the flower.
Neelakurinji(Strobilanthes Kunthiana), commonly found across the Western Ghats, blooms inall its glory unleashing a visual extravaganza once in every 12 years. Thedecade-long blooming cycle of the flower is what makes it a rarespectacle. Last time, the flower had flourished in 2006. Munnar has thelargest concentration of the Strobilanthes out of the 46 varieties found inIndia. The mass flowering of Neelakurinji will begin in July for next threemonths, and will paint the hills blue.
Talkingabout the Neelakurinji blossom season, Mr. P. Bala Kiran, IAS,Director, Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala, said, “Thereis no better time to visit Munnar than the time when Neelakurinji plants bloomen masse. As many as 628,427 tourists had visited Munnar in 2017 with anincrease of 34.31 percent as compared to 467,881 vacationers in 2016. The TourismDepartment is expecting a growth of 79 percent in tourist arrivals to Munnarthis year. This unique lifecycle of the plant makes the hills a must-visitdestination for travel enthusiasts.”
The majesticNilgiri Tahr, the endangered mountain goat endemic to these hills can also bespotted. Tour planners and adventure clubs will be organising trekking in thesehills during the Neelakurinji blooming season. Some of the nearby attractionsinclude Anamudi Peak, the tallest in South India that has best trekking trailsin the country and Eravikulam National Park, the first of its kind, where theendangered Nilgiri Thar is protected. The Eravikulam National Park is themain Neelakurinji flowering area and nearly 2,750 tourists are allowed everyday. The authorities would allow an additional 40% visitors during theflowering season.
In theinterim, Kerala Tourism has been undertaking several steps to improve thetourism infrastructure in Munnar to accommodate the maximum number ofvacationers at Neelakurinji hotspots. Vehicles would be regulated and providedwith adequate parking space, while action would be taken for hassle free wastemanagement.
Enticinglyperched at a height of 1600 m above sea level, and nestled in between theconfluence of the cool Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala streams, Munnar isone of the most sought-after leisure travel destinations in India. Adding tothe charm are the efforts taken by Kerala Tourism to garnish the Munnardelicacy with well charted out tourism plans for every traveler who travelsuphill to partake of the beauty of the place and immerse in it. TheDistrict Tourism Promotion Council of Idukki also helps travellers to explorethe hills.
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