Neelakurinji flowers bloom at BRT now

Neelakurinji flowers bloom at BRT now

December 7, 2021

No entry for public as it is under Biligiri Ranganathaswamy Temple Tiger Reserve

Mysuru:  The Neelakurinji flowers (Strobilanthes Kunthiana) that had mesmerised thousands of tourists and localites for more than a month at Mandalpatti and Kotebetta Hills of Kodagu District has now bloomed at Biligiri Ranganathaswamy Temple (BRT) Tiger Reserve, in Hanur taluk of Chamarajanagar district.

The flowering of these rare blue and purplish flowers has been tweeted by the Karnataka Forest Department officials at the BRT. The flowers had also taken the hills of Chikkamagalur by storm.

When it bloomed at all the hills of Mandalpatti, it was a sight to behold and thousands of tourists made a beeline to witness a rare phenomenon where the flowers bloom once every seven or 12 years. So much was the attraction that a private aviation company from Bengaluru even organised helicopter rides for the rich and affluent to have breath-taking views.

 At BRT now, the flowers have blossomed on the mountains at Byluru forests, grasslands of Honnameti Estate and Punajanuru wildlife range. The whole mountain looks like it is covered with a blue-purple carpet. However, unlike Mandalpatti and Kote Betta, tourists will not be allowed to see the flowers as the entire belt comes under the limits of Tiger Reserve.

Due to the rare bloom now, it is like an endless stretch of rolling hills carpeted with tiny purplish blue flowers. It is this time of the year such flowers (also called Neelakurinji in Kerala) with 40-odd varieties, blossom in all its grandeur.

These flowers usually bloom in the Western Ghats and the BRT is a place where both the Eastern Ghats and Western Ghats meet. It extends till the Nilgiri Hills in Tamil Nadu. The hills are separated by the Moyar River from the Karnataka Plateau to the north.

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As there is no chance for tourists to see the flowers, BRT Range Deputy Conservator of Forests Santosh Kumar has posted a series of photographs on Twitter where clouds are seen hovering over the purple mountains.

“I have witnessed the Neelakurinji blooming here for the first time. This would be recorded as per the norms. Besides, it would be verified whether the Department has recorded about Neelakurinji flowers in the region earlier,” he said.


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