Neelakurinji Flowers at Kurinjimala Sanctuary

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.

Neelakurinji (Strobilanthes kunthianus)
Neelakurinji Flowers (Strobilanthes Kunthianus).

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.

This sanctuary adjoins Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary, Eravikulam National Park,  Anamudi Shola National Park, and  Pampadum Shola National Park.

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?


  1. […] 2006. It is expected to flower again in 2018. Neelakurinji flowering areas were declared as “Neelakurinji National Park” by the state government in […]

  2. Avatar for George Blair villanueva

    These are gorgeous flowers! Hope to have a good opportunity to visit this place and explore the locality.

    1. Avatar for George touristi

      Its a delight to the eyes and hope you get an opportunity to visit the place. Thank you very much.

  3. Oh no. if I miss 2018 then next time it will be 2030. Instagram will be full of this I am sure

    1. Avatar for George touristi

      Ha. Ha. Instagram from this part of the world will be full of this flowers.

  4. Once in 12 years! That must be an event. I never knew about these!

    1. Avatar for George touristi

      Yes Popkov, its going to be a grand event with millions of tourists.

  5. Avatar for George Rye Santiago

    Why do they bloom only once every twelve years? This is intriguing. I hope the local government is doing its best to protect the flowers.

    1. Avatar for George touristi

      Blooming once in 12 years is what this species is. Yes Santiago, the local government has taken steps to protect it.

  6. Avatar for George Rahul Khurana

    That’s awesome, I think I should start preparing. Didn’t knew about this sanctuary though i have heard a lot about Munnar’s Beauty. Great Read.

  7. Avatar for George Chris

    Wow what an exciting event. That’s so awesome you got to experience it. Did you plan to in advance or did you just get lucky?

    1. Avatar for George touristi

      Its true that it needs to be experienced. I am planning in advance to stay there for 3 or 4 days.

  8. What an interesting story! Although I would expect a bigger bloom after 12 years of preparation 😀

    1. Avatar for George touristi

      Its really interesting. Its a massive bloom which covers 32 square kilometers contiguously. It blossoms in some other nearby areas also, outside the sanctuary.

  9. The flowers bloom only once in12 years, you say! Its so true, conscious travel will go a long way in preserving such endangered heritage. Posts like these will certainly help.

    1. Avatar for George touristi

      Yes Punita, I totally agree with you. Conscious travelers will surely help in preserving the biodiversity of the region.

  10. Interesting! I never thought there’s a flower such as that. This is something new to me and I’m glad I’ve learned it through this article.

  11. Wow! Its next year? That’s awesome. Let’s see if I’ll be able to make it to Munnar by the time! Munnar is a place I love and to be able to witness the bloom without contributing to the environmental hazard would be nice!

  12. […] Park, Eravikulam National Park, Pambadum Shola National Park, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary and the Kurinjimala Sanctuary are the surrounding national parks to Anamudi Shola National […]

  13. […] 2018 and is coming to an end in October 2018. Neelakurinji flowering areas were declared as “Neelakurinji National Park” by the state government in […]

  14. […] 2018 and is coming to an end in October 2018. Neelakurinji flowering areas were declared as “Neelakurinji National Park” by the state government in […]

  15. […] Park, Eravikulam National Park, Pambadum Shola National Park, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Kurinjimala Sanctuary are the surrounding national parks to Anamudi-Shola National Park. Thoovanam waterfall is a fall […]

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