At 85, Saramma defies age, climbs steep slope to see Neelakurinji

At 85, Saramma defies age, climbs steep slope to see Neelakurinji
At the age of 85, Saramma proves the adage right as she climbs a steep slope of more than 1 km to see the famed Neelakurinji. Photo: Siby Kollad

They say age is just a number. At the age of 85, Saramma proves the adage right as she climbs a steep slope of more than 1 km to see the famed Neelakurinji. Fellow tourists were amazed to see the ease with which the octogenarian strode along, but Saramma hardly broke a sweat.

Hundreds of tourists are flocking to the Kallippara Hills in Idukki to witness the blossoming Neelakurinji flowers that have turned the green patches into a purple paradise. Photo: Jimmy Kamballur

A native of Muniyara in Idukki, Saramma, along with her children and grandchildren, came to Kallippara Hills in Kerala's Idukki district to witness the blooming of Neelakurinji. Saramma has a grand family of nine children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Her husband passed away 10 years ago. At the age of 13, she had moved to Muniyara from Kanjar in Thodupuzha.

This time, Neelakurinji (Strobilanthes kunthiana) has bloomed at the Kallippara Hills, which is part of Santhanpara gramapanchayat. Over the past few days, scores of people have been flocking to Kallipara to behold this rare yet beautiful phenomenon. If favourable weather conditions prevail, Neelakurinji would be in bloom for two more weeks.

How to reach Kallippara?

Travel for 6 km from Santhanpara, along the Munnar-Thekkady state highway, to reach Kallippara. From here, another 1.5km needs to be covered to arrive at the hills covered with Neelakurinji. The jeep service from Kallippara, which was suspended following some dispute, has been resumed now. Travellers, who can climb the hill, should definitely undertake the short trek as it is a rewarding experience.

Neelakurinji (Strobilanthes Kunthiana) bloomed widely at Kallippara hills in Santhanpara gram panchayat of Kerala's Idukki district. Photo: Jimmy Kamballur
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