What is Neelakurinji Flower, Modi mentioned in Independence Day speech? – The Prime Minister tried to liken this optimism and progress with the blooming of Neelakurinji flower.
In a way, Modi meant that the nation is witnessing positive changes after a long time. In a metaphoric sense, the Prime Minister tried to convey that the wave of development sweeping the nation was like the blooming of Neelakurinji flower, considered a rare event. It was to summarise that work done by his government since 2014 has yeilded results.
“This year, the Neelakurinji flower in Nilgiri hills is blooming in full colours,” Modi said soon after saying that the nation was heading in positive direction.
Another notable fact is that, this year’s blooming of Neelakurinji is only the sixth time it has done since the Independence in 1947. The noted years of Neelakurunji’s blooming since 1947 are – 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006 and 2018.
Introduction About Neelakurinji Flower
- Neelakurinji or Stobilanthes kunthiana is a shrub found in the Western Ghats of south India.
- The plant which falls in the genus kunthiana was first studied and described by German botanist Christian Gottfried Daniel Nees von Esenbeck.
- About 250 species belong to the genus Strobilanthes and nearly 46 are found in India.
- Like the Neelakurinji, most of the species show unusual flowering behaviour which range from annual to 16 years.
- The plant grows 30 to 60 cm high in normal conditions and up to 180 cm in congenial conditions.
- Kingdom – Plantae
- Division – Magnoliophyta
- Class – Magnoliopsida
- Order – Lamiales
- Family – Acanthaceae
- Genus – Strobilanthes
- Species – S. Kunthiana
- The habitat of Neelakurinji is confined to the shola grasslands of Western Ghats – the Nilgiri hills, Palani hills and the Eravikulam hills of Munnar.
- Apart from the Western Ghats, Neela
- kurinji is also found on the Shevaroy hills in the Eastern Ghats.
Found in India
- Munnar is what you could imagine a dream destination to look like. And it turns a real fairytale land during the flowering season of Neelakurinji, when the sprawling hills drape themselves in a blue blanket of Neelakurinji blooms.
- Neelakurinji (Strobilanthes kunthiana) flowers once in every twelve years and thousands of travellers visit Munnar during this time to watch the rolling hills and the seemingly endless valleys bathed in the purplish blue.
- The last time Neelakurinji bloomed in Munnar was in 2006.
What makes the Neelakurinji flower blooming in Munnar so special?
- There is a multitude of blooming valleys and flower-laden grasslands all over the world, but there are many factors that make Munnar and its Neelakurinji unique and to stand out.
- The peculiarity of Munnar Neelakurinji is its exclusivity. Neelakurnji blooms take place only in Munnar.
- Although the plants are found in a sparse amount in other south Indian hill stations, the one in Munnar is profuse, sprawling magically across the green mountains of Munnar.
- The Neelakurinji plants are camouflaged into the thick vegetation of Munnar and they go unnoticed during off seasons.
- During the bloom season, the Neelakurinji flowers take the center stage in Munnar.
- The proliferating azure flowers turn the place ethereal and the sight of the valley decked in blue is too spectacular to be true.
Here are some facts about the Kurinji poo or Neelakurinji flower
- The prime attracting factor of the flower is its eye-soothing blue color.
- When the flower ages, it turns purplish-blue.
- The Kurinji flowers grow in places of high altitude with a chilly climate.
- It grows at an altitude of 1300 to 2400 meters.
- The plant Neelakurinji plant falls in the shrub category and is usually 30 to 60 cm high, but they can grow well beyond 180 cm under amiable environmental conditions.
Some more Kurinji facts
- Neelakurinji flowers are not just the light blue flowers we see. There are 250 different species of Kurinji and 46 varieties of Neelakurinji are found in India; it even includes red, maroon flowers.
- The flower is popularly known as Neelakurinji and it is Malayalam word which simply means blue flower. The scientific name of Neelakurinji is Strobilanthes kunthianus. The name is derived from the River Kunthi which nourishes the expanse of the renowned many grasslands and valleys.
- The word Nilgiri means ‘blue mountains’ and the famed Nilgiri mountains gets its name from the carpeting blue Neelakurinji flowers.
- The nectar collected in Munnar during Neelakurinji season is believed to be very special taste-wise and nutrition-wise. The honey bees in the areas mostly collect the nectar from Neelakurinji flowers during the season, as it is found in abundance.
- The people belonging to the Paliyan of Tamil Nadu used the Neelakurinji flowers as a reference to calculate their age.