Kurinji Comes Down the Hill!

Neela Kurinji in Santhan ParaKurinji (Strobilanthes Kunthiana) which is part of South Indian culture and ecology from atleast the Sangham age is blossoming yet again in the Ghats. This time it is near Santhan Para in Udumban Chola taluk in Idukki district.

Those who have missed this lifetime spectacle (that rarely happens once in twelve years) in 2006 can experience this magic of nature now! Check out the image of the purplish grassland posted.

This time there are two blooming locations. Santhan Para and Kzhuthakkulam Medu near Sankappan Para (7 km south of Santhan Para on the Kumaly highway).

In Santhan Para flowers have started withering away due to bad wind. But visitors can enjoy the large scale blooming at Kazhuthakkulam Medu, which will certainly sustain for another month or so.

Santhan Para is 35 km from Munnar through Devikulam route; and around 40 km from Kattappana through Nedum Kandam.

Let us make this an opportunity for launching a popular campaign to declare these areas as a buffer zone for the Kurinji Mala Sanctury that is yet to materialize! Let us hope for the best and believe in the future.

Birding in the Nilgiris

Last week(9th to 12th April 2009) I visited Ooty and the surrounding Nilgiri peaks. The botanical garden and the suburbs of the town are brimming with Oriental white eyes and house sparrows. they are as common as the abundant wild flowers that intoxicate you. Another common bird is jungle myna, so is jungle crow. A group of coots seems to be anchored in the lake. Blackbirds and bushchats were also fairly visible. Sunbirds are literally absent in the Nilgiris at the moment. Some interesting sightings are:
Nilgiri Laughing Thrush at Dodabetta peak deep down in the shola.

  • Common Rosefinch
  • Blackbird
  • Oriental White eye
  • Common Coot
  • Grey Wagtail
  • Pond Heron
  • Little Cormorant
  • Spotted Dove
  • Great Tit etc.

Some photos are posted here.