Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Neelgiri Thar (Varayadu) and Neelakurinchi in Munnar

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Neelakurinchi blooms once in 12 years. But the people who belongs Munnar say it is not that accurate, the plants blooms once in a blue moon day. Better say, Neelakurinchi blooms approximately in 12 years. One tourist from Thekkadi who came along with his kids to see the blossom said that this particular plant blooms now and then, but not every year, and the kind of bloom that happened now occurs around once in 12 years. The flower ‘Neelakurinchi’ is a very small one, with a length of approximately one and half inch, but when it blooms covering an entire mountain like a carpet, the scene is a visual delight. While we reached there, the bloom was almost about to finish, leaving blue patches here and there in Rajamala.

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The amount of tourists those who were coming to see the bloom were un-imaginable. We had to wait in the queue for tickets to the mountain top for almost 4 and half hours. The forest department enforced pass to the location and tourists were not allowed to walk up to the place even, but the facility arranged for the tourists were very limited, causing every body to wait in the queue for long. The bad thing was that some of those forest guards helped people who bribed them to get a pass without waiting in the queue and the police force that were present over there, also were practicing these kinds of corruptions.

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The mountain thar or so called Neelagiri thar (Varayadu in Malayalam) is an endangered species and is only seen in these mountains of Idukki in the entire earth. Scientists say that the age of these mountain goats can be determined by counting the number of rings formed in the two horns of these animals. A male is clearly distinguished by the darker color in its body and the size.

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In the past, sighting once of these mountain goats was luck, but now, Munnar is a crowded place, and these animals are so tamed that they will come so near to humans without any fear. This is a dangerous fact since it opens a better chance for diseases to be spread to these wild animals from Humans. More over poachers can easily catch one of these animals, even though these species are protected as a wild animal as well as an endangered one. The sign boards that ask tourists to preserve the Neelakurinchi and Varayadu for the future generation is really a good work. But people need to develop a more eco friendly and nature loving mind to make them disciplined towards the nature.

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2 comments:

  1. The Neelagiri thar is seen not only in Idukki, in the Western Ghats both in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. I have seen then on the way to Valparai from Alyar dam and this animal is the state animal of Tamil Nadu.
    In the Western Ghats from Kanaya Kumari to North of Ooty Mountains they are seen.

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    1. Thank you Janetius for sharing the information here.
      Your statement made me read more about this mountain thar from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nilgiri_thar)
      I will edit the details soon.
      --Deepu George V

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