Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Forest Department will be deploying more wildlife watchers in the hills and valleys of high range Munnar to protect 'Neelakurinji', the rare purplish blue flowers which bloom only once in 12 years.
The blossoming of the beautiful flowers in Munnar in Idukki district, located in the biodiversity hotspot of Western Ghats, is attracting a large number of tourists and nature enthusiasts to the hill town.
"Strobilanthes kunthiana" in scientific parlance, the flowers have bloomed in profusion at Mattupetty, Devikulam, Kundala and Thenmala this year. It is mostly found in the shola forests in the region.
Minister for Forest Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan has directed the wildlife officials to deploy more guards and watchers in and around the locations where the flowers are in bloom, department sources said.
The direction was given in the wake of complaints about the destruction of the flowers and plants by the visitors, they said.
The hill town has been witnessing a rush of holidayers to have a glimpse of the flowers, they added.