Like clockwork, every twelve years the hillslopes of Kodaikanal don a vibrant shade of blue. Like a magician, the grassy hillocks of Nilgiris will transform itself from a seemingly unending sea of greenery into a blue lagoon of Kurinji gardens. This truly surreal phenomenon is a unique and rare experience that you should definitely add to your bucket list.
What the months of September and October do to the hillslopes of the Nilgiris every twelve years is truly miraculous. As the monsoon fades, a sweet scent of romance spreads through the air of Nilgiris like mystic fog. The mighty peaks and the rolling hillocks adorning a deep shade of monotonous green undergo a rapid transformation. Blooms of purple and blue will start to emerge from the shrubs dancing in the mountain breeze. And like an explosion of blue, the entire mountain ranges don a blue blanket of beautiful Kurinji flowers. The endless green undulations of Nilgiris will transform itself into a festival of different shades of blue and live upto its name. Considered as a symbol of unending ardour and eternal love, the blooming of Kurinji attracts hordes of couples and hopeless romantics to Kodaikanal, the princess of hill stations.
Neelakurinji or Kurinji (Strobilanthes kunthiana) is a shrub that is found in the shola forests of the Western Ghats. Found in large numbers in the Kodaikanal region, these shrubs blossom once every twelve years, transforming the entire mountain range into a distinct shade of blue. The Nilgiris gets its name from these magical flowers that transform its slopes once every twelve years. This flower has a significant place in the myths and culture of the local tribes of Muthuvas and Todas. Believed to be the flower of Lord Muruga, who married a tribal girl by gifting her a garland of Kurinji flowers. Based on this myth, these flowers have become a symbol of love and passion.
The Kurinji Garden, set up along the slopes of Coaker’s Walk in Kodaikanal is the best spot to witness this wild and carnivalesque celebration of nature. The experience of witnessing Kurnji blooming amidst a thin veil of mist and fog is a truly enchanting one that you should experience at least once.