Sunflowers in full bloom at Gundlupet farms
Gundlupet: Malayali families are making a beeline to the Karnataka village of Gundlupet as the sunflowers in the farms there are now in full bloom.
The sunflower plants, which grow up to a height of 300 cm, bloom only once a year. Having the scientific name helianthus annuus, they originally belong to the American continents and were brought to India in the 16th century. They are farmed mainly for the purpose of producing oil. Seeds, leaves and roots of the plant are used for manufacturing medicines. Roasted sunflower seeds are a snack and are available in the border villages.
Malayalis who reach Gundlupet via Wayanad visit the sunflower fields to take pictures. Malayalis also own some farms but the workers are farm keepers and are people from other states.
The workers gladly welcome the visitors to the farms. They charge Rs 10 to 50 from those who want to take pictures after entering the fields. The people who ruin plants during the process will have to pay fine.
However, the ban on traffic through the Bandipur forests during night hours is a setback for the visitors to Gundlupet. Absence of clean restaurants and lodge owners who charge exorbitant rent are other problems.