If Munnar is on your wish list, 2018 is the best year to visit it. This hugely popular hill station in Kerala is getting ready for the next flowering reason of Neelakurinji (Strobilanthes Kunthiana). When the plants bloom they wrap the misty hills in a thick purple blanket and enchant visitors from far and wide. Needless to say, during those years when these plants are in bloom Munnar witnesses record number of visitors.
Neelakurinji blooms once in 12 years. The last bloom was in 2006 and the next is in 2018. Each flowering season typically begins in July or August and lasts up to 3 months. During the 2018 flowering season, Kerala tourism department expects around 1 million people to visit Munnar. Arrangements are already being put in place.
There are around 40 varieties of Neelakurinji and most of them have blue or purple flowers. The plants mainly bloom in the Eravikulam National Park which is also home to the Nilgiri tahrs. Other places where one can find the blossoms are Kovilur, Kadavari and Rajamala. Many tour operators and adventure clubs organize trekking expeditions to places where you can find the flowers in abundance.
How to reach Munnar?
Nearest railway station: Angamaly, about 109 km; Ernakulam, about 145 km away.
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 110 kms away.