Damange

The last few decades witnessed impairment to the habitat of Neelakurinji. Plantations of tea, cardamom and timber devastated stupendous range of pristine forests home to this rare bush. Vast stretches of virgin rain forests got drowned by some Hydro-electric projects. Tea plantations engorged the most of kurinji filled hills. Now the kurinji thrives in the valleys and gorges that remain undistorted.

Another anthropogenic threat witnessed this year is the indiscriminate collection and destruction of bushes and stocks of Neelakurinji by some unaware and unruly visitors. This is particularly noticeable in some of the Nilakurinji habitats around Ooty in the Nilgiris. In the last week of September many tourist were observed to make rampant inside Neelakurinji thickets at Kodanadu in Kotagiri. They were also found to collect bunches of these flowers.

In addition to habitant destruction, such impudent activities may well prove serious threats to this long term survival of this important member of the biodiversity of these mountains.



Support

In support of the endeavors to save Kurinji the postal department has released a Rs.15/- postal stamp on the Neelakurinji at Udhagamandalam on 29th may 2006.

The Kurinji's campaigners conduct and annual trip from Kodaikanal (Tamil Nadu ) to Munnar ( Kerala ) to proclaim their demand to declare the 95sq.km expanse between Kodaikanal and Munnar, at a heigh of 1,600m, as a Kurinji sanctuary.

The Kozhikode Philately Bureau has brought out a special postal pack `Bouquet of Western Ghats' in connection with the release of the postal stamp. The pack contains the depiction of the postal stamp on the Neelakurinji and picture post card of the stamp. This will be a valued souvenir for the tourists.