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Neelakurinji blooms in Attappady

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SPREADING CHEER: Neelakurinji (Strobilanthes kunthiana) flowered in Perumal Mudi and Ramar Mudi, near Moolagangal, in the Sholayur forest area of Attappady Hills in Palakkad district.
SPREADING CHEER: Neelakurinji (Strobilanthes kunthiana) flowered in Perumal Mudi and Ramar Mudi, near Moolagangal, in the Sholayur forest area of Attappady Hills in Palakkad district.

Staff Reporter

In 200 acres in Perumal Mudi and Ramar Mudi, near Moolagangal

PALAKKAD: The mystical plant Neelakurinji (Strobilanthes kunthiana) has flowered in large areas in the Sholayur forest tract of the Attappady hills.

A team of officials of the Attappady Hill Area Development Society (AHADS) visited the spot three km from the Moolagangal grasslands in Perumal Mudi and Ramar Mudi, where the flowers were found in more than 200 acres on Monday.

Moolagangal is 4,000 ft above mean sea level (msl) in the Attappady Forest Range of the Mannarkkad Forest Division bordering the Nilgiri forests in Tamil Nadu.

The AHADS team consisting of forest official M. Shaji, Arumughan and V. Ratheeshan, hydrologist, visited the spot to survey the area where neelakurnji was found in bloom for the first time.

They said though neelakunrji flowered in some other parts of Attappady in small patches 12 years ago, this was for the first time it was found in vast areas of the two hills.

The flowered plants were identified as Strobilanthes kunthiana of the Kurinji family.

"It is a beautiful sight to see the two small hills fully covered with this mystical flower," Mr. Shaji said.

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