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Neelakurinji sanctuary

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Neelakurinji sanctuary

Why in news:

  • Though the Union government has included Neelakurinji on the list of protected plants from Kerala, the proposal for a Neelakurinji sanctuary in Idukki still remains a distant dream.
  • On October 6, 2006, the then Forest Minister Benoy Viswom had announced a 32­ Neelakurinji sanctuary in the Kottakamboor­Vattavada area in Devikulam taluk, Munnar.
  • The main aim of the proposal is to protect Neelakurinji plants.
  • But even after 16 years, the proposed sanctuary is still on paper.
  • As per the government order, the proposed sanctuary is in 3,200 hectares of land.

About Neelakurinji plants:

  • It is a shrub that is found in the shola forests of the Western Ghats in Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
  • The purplish blue flower blossoms only once in 12 years, and gave the Nilgiri Mountains range its name, from the Tamil language Kurinji (flower).
  • The Paliyan tribal people living in Tamil Nadu used it as a reference to calculate their age.This plant flowers during September–October.
  • Kurinji grows at an altitude of 1300 to 2400 metres. The plant is usually 30 to 60 cm high. They can, however, grow well beyond 180 cm under congenial conditions.
  • Kurinji flower is used to describe the associated mountainous landscape where it blooms in Sangam Literature classical Tamil literature.

Syllabus: Prelims + Mains; GS3 – Environment and Ecology

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