Sometimes, we take the most obvious things for granted, like the humble Kurunji. This flower blossoms only once in twelve years. I was well aware of its rare appearance and the various conservation movements that have been established to nurture this light lavender flower. Nevertheless, it never struck me that I should make a trip this year to see the flowers, until I chanced upon my colleague's blog, from whom I take inspiration to travel.
I made up mind to see these rare flowers. A couple of enquiries told me that the season was almost coming to an end in Ooty, but that I might still stand a chance in Kodaikanal. So after scrambling for tickets, I was on my way to Kodai for the weekend to see the Kurunji. The trip turned out to be one of my most memorable trips. My guide was only too obliging and climbed down steep cliffs to get me a handful of these Kurunji flowers. For my part, I felt fulfilled and went Kurnji crazy.
The next season will see the Kurunji only in 2018. I visited the Kurunji Andavar temple, believed to be the birth place of the Kurunji. But while interacting with the locals, it became obvious that there are various theories about the Kurunji's birth place and how the temple got its name. Some tell me that the temple was earlier known as Saravana or Karthikeya temple, which was later changed to Kurunji Andavar temple following the flower's popularity.
The Palani slopes aroud the temple premises are surrounded by the Kurunji flowers, and I believe that it is quite a sight to see the slopes blanketed by lavender blooms.
But the day I chose to visit the temple, it was clouded in fog and mist. However, the day day was meant to be mine, because I was surrounded by the Kurunji flower everywhere. The stalls outside the temple premises were selling bunches of Kurunji flowers, and a house nearby had a fully bloomed kurunji plant.
At that moment, I felt transported into a world of my own.