Munnar: While environmentalists are worried whether the iconic neelakurinji (strobilanthus kunthianus) faces extinction due to severe changes in climatic conditions, the Kolukkumalai has been draped in an enchanting blue carpet of the flowers.
Many were concerned as the recent floods severely affected the natural growth of the flowers this season. However, the nature lovers have heaved a sigh of relief after the neelakurinji bloomed in huge numbers at Kolukkumalai, a part of Tamil Nadu which lies close to the Kerala border.
Kolukkumalai stands at a towering height of 6500-8199 ft above sea level. The mountain ranges in the majestic Western Ghats got its name as the summit of a range which lies to the left side of the mountain path, is twisted inwards, making it look like a 'clasp' (kolukku in Tamil means clasp).
Earlier, when the neelakurinji bloomed, once in 12 years at the Western Ghats, less number of flowers used to appear at the Kolukkumalai. However, this time, the flowers bloomed in huge numbers along the paths to the Korangini woods. The 12 km long off road trip from Suryanelli to Kolukkumalai offers a thrilling experience to the adventure buffs as well.