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Kurinji is a unique, small purple blue flower, which blooms once in 12 years. It is found in Ooty in the Nilgiris, Kodaikanal in the Palani hills, Yercaud in the Shevaroy hills and Munnar in the Western Ghats.

It is believed that Nilgiris, literally the Blue Mountains, got its name from these blue flowers. From the 200 species of Kurinji family, about 30 species are found in South India alone.

This flower finds mention in Tamil literature and tribal lore. The Todas, oldest hill tribe of Tamil Nadu, calculate their age with the blooming of the flower.

The season of the bloom is very short often from September to November. It is popularly known as Neelakurinji.

Updated on 7th June, 2005

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