Neelakurinji Flowers

Chikmagalur is one of the most beautiful districts in Karnataka. Renowned for its coffee plantations, this destination offers pleasant weather and a scenic view of the Baba Budangiri hills. Chikmagalur is also home to picturesque sightseeing attractions like Mullayangiri, Kalhatti Falls, Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary and more.

Neelakurinji flowers are undoubtedly a sight to behold. The Neelakurinji blooms once in 12 years and is found in the Shola forest in the Western Ghats across Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. These beautiful purplish-blue flowers were used by a tribe in Tamil Nadu called Paliyan to calculate their age, as they bloom after every 12 years during the months of September and October.

tree-clad mountain ranges
purple shade flowers

Strobilanthus kunthianus is the scientific name for the striking Neelakurinji flowers. Chikmagalur has the most favourable climate for these flowers that are found around the Baba Budangiri hills. The 19th century botanist Christian Gottfried Nees von Esenbeck was the first person to scientifically describe this flower. Since it blooms once in 12 years, it is called a monocarpic plant. This perennial flower blooms once in its lifetime, sets seeds and then dies. Earlier, the Neelakurinji flowers used to envelope the Anaimalai, Nilgiri, Palani, Kudremukh and Baba Budangiri hills in a panoramic purplish hue. In recent years, due to an increase in local occupancy, these flowers mostly bloom around some parts of Chikmagalur, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

a field of purple flowers
purplish flower field

With a purplish-blue hue, Neelakurinji flowers can grow up to a height of 60 meters at an altitude of 1300 to 2400 meters. This treasure of India, which grows in the Shola forest, is named after the famous Kunthi River in Kerala. This rare beauty does not have any smell of its own or medicinal value. However, during its bloom season around September to October, the territory buzzes with honeybees. The honey near the blossoms is considered to be the sweetest, which is why bees come in search of nectar here. Travellers across the country wait for years to witness this breathtaking beauty. Most travel junkies plan treks during the blossom of the Neelakurinji flower. Devaramane in Chikmagalur is home to various trekking spots ideal for beginners and professional trekkers, who travel through hilly areas to reach Haarlu, where these purple beauties blossom and give the area a carpeted look.

Perched atop the scenic mountains, this purple paradise was last seen in 2010. For tourists waiting to witness this beauty, now is the time. What makes Neelakurinji flowers significant is the fact that they are indigenous to India. This flower also helps in maintaining a proper ecological balance as insects like honeybees and butterflies collect nectar and help in pollination during its blossom. These flowers also attract thousands of tourists during their blossom, making Chikmagalur one of the most frequently visited tourist destinations from September to October.

purplish flower field

Chikmagalur certainly is a captivating destination in Karnataka. The Serai Chikmagalur offers splendid and luxurious villas for our guests to kick back and relax after a tiring day of witnessing the stunning beauty of the Neelakurinji flowers while you create everlasting memories with your friends and family.

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