Tam: நீலகிரி nīlakiri
‘Blue Mountains’ District, Tamil Nadu
From Skt/Tam: nīla(m) ‘blue’, ‘indigo’; and Skt/Tam: giri, ‘mountain’, ‘hill’, ‘rock’
Some suggest that the name comes from the purple-blue flowers of the kurinji [Strobilanthes kunthiana], but since it only blooms every twelve years (most recently in 1982, 1994, 2006 and 2018) this seems unlikely. Far more likely is the blue ‘haze’ the range has when viewed from a distance.
The Nilgiris has over twenty peaks exceeding 2,000m (the highest is Doddabetta: 2,637m).
The Nilgiris region is a protected bio-reserve famous for its grasslands, shola forest, waterfalls, lakes, endangered species (flora and fauna), and its unique tribal culture.