Neelakurinji flowers wither away, tourists inflow continues

The panchayat closed the ticket counter on Sunday

Updated - November 07, 2022 08:10 pm IST

Published - November 07, 2022 08:01 pm IST - Idukki

Though the Neelakurinji flowers (Strobilanthes kunthiana) atop the Kallippara hills in Idukki have withered away, the inflow of tourists to the picturesque landscape continues.

According to Santhanpara panchayat officials, Neelakurinji largely bloomed on the Kallippara hills from the first week of October. It is estimated that more than 10 lakh people flocked to the hills in the past 30 days.

Santanpara panchayat president Liju Varghese said the local body closed the ticket counter on Sunday. “Even though the flowers have dried out, tourists are continuing to visit the Kallippara hills,” he said.

“Considering the tourism potential of the Kallippara hills, the panchayat has decided to develop it as a tourism destination. A memorandum will be submitted to the District Collector in this regard,” Mr. Varghese added.

Tourist footfall has generated a revenue of ₹15,03,180 lakh this blooming season, officials said. About four tonnes of waste collected from the site has been transported to the Material Collection Facility (MCF) centre that is functioning under the grama panchayat.

Haritha Karma Sena members will conduct another massive clean-up drive on the Kallippara hills, said officials.

The stunning view of Tamil Nadu and the windmills in Chathurangapara hills are also attracting the tourists to the Kallippara hills.

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