Kurinjimala Sanctuary, or Neelakurinji National Park, is a National park in Kerala state. This park is home to Neelakurinji flowers (Strobilanthes kunthiana), which blossom once in 12 years.
The next primary Neelakurinji flowering season at Munnar is 2030. Flowering may occur sporadically in other years also.
The last Neelakurinji flowering season was in 2018. Around one million tourists visited the hill station in the previous flowering season.
Neelakurinji last bloomed from August to October 2018. With the popularity of social media and the liking for selfies, millions of tourists visited Kurinjimala.
In 2016, as a long-term measure to safeguard the area’s biodiversity, a protected sanctuary named Kurinjimala Sanctuary was created. It is in the Kottakamboor and Vattavada villages of Devikulam Taluks. It has an area of 32 square kilometers in the Idukki district.
Sometimes, entry to these areas may be restricted or banned, mainly because of land sliding or heavy rainfall warnings. Please check with the metrological and forest departments before heading to Munnar and the surrounding areas.
Getting entry passes to visit the areas is challenging due to the limited number of passes available. Eravikulam National Park issues 500 passes daily. However, you need not have to get counter passes as online passes are available.
How Do I Go to Kurinjimala Sanctuary alias Neelakurinji National Park?
The world-famous hill station town of Munnar is close to Kurinjimala Sanctuary.
You can reach Munnar by road from cities like Kochi, Kottayam, and Alappuzha in Kerala state at around 175,190 and 220 kilometers, respectively. Cities like Bodinayakanur, Cumbum, and Theni, in Tamilnadu state, are also close to the Kurinjimala National Park at around 107, 125, and 131 kilometers, respectively.
Angamaly railway station and Aluva railway station on the Ernakulam – Palakkad railway line are nearby, around 160 to 165 kilometers away. Ernakulam North railway station (Ernakulam Town) and Ernakulam South (Ernakulam Junction) are two MAJOR nearby railway stations, at around 175 kilometers.
Cochin International Airport (Nedumbrassery Airport) is at around 157 kilometers distance. Madurai International Airport is around 215 kilometers distance. Tiruchirapalli International Airport (Trichy Airport) is around 300 kilometers distance.
Environmental Dangers Associated with Bloom
Millions of tourists are expected to watch the Neelakurinji flowering during the next bloom in 2030 at Kurinjimala Sanctuary. Hence, Munnar and its nearby areas will likely face severe environmental problems.
There are direct and indirect damages to the environment. Indirect damage includes pollution caused by vehicles, an increase in the usage of fossil fuels, etc.
Educate tourists to exercise extra caution and refrain from discarding plastic bags, pet bottles, plastic packing materials, etc., in the area. Educate individuals attempting to take selfies deep inside the sanctuary to avoid damaging the plants and shrubs in the area. We should preserve the biodiversity of this delicate area at any cost.
I greatly appreciate your comments on protecting the environment from further damage. Furthermore, will you be a responsible tourist during the next Neelakurinji blooming time in 2030?