The Bold Voice of J&K

Asia’s largest tulip garden opens today, all set to welcome millions of visitors

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SHAKEELA ANDRABI

SRINAGAR: Asia’s largest Tulip Garden in Srinagar, home to more than a million tulips has always been one of Kashmir’s major tourist attractions. After being closed for nine months, it will be opened for tourists from today and likely to be inaugurated by the Jammu and Kashmir LG Manoj Sinha in the afternoon. Every year, the government of Jammu and Kashmir organises the tulip festival to kick off spring and the tourism season. The celebrations include various cultural programmes, musical events, food fests and conferences. The blend of spring colours in the garden attracts many tourists to Kashmir from various parts of the country. This year four new Tulip varieties with a rainbow of colours -Cap knowya, sweet heart, Hamilton and Christmas dream imported from Holland, will add to the charm of the garden. The garden usually contains 68 colourful varieties of Tulip bulbs besides eye catching flowers, daffodil, hyacinth, muscari, spring blooming shops besides Plum, Apricot, Peach and Almond trees in the garden remains the eye catching attractions for the visitors and the new four multicolored tulip varieties would raise the charisma of the garden. The Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden, formerly known as SirajBagh, is located on the foothills of the Zabarwan range and overlooks the infamous Dal Lake in Srinagar. It was opened initially in 2008 by Ghulam Mabi Azad, the Chief Minister at that time and has been attracting lakhs of visitors to Srinagar every year. Over the course of nine months, dozens of gardeners have been working tirelessly to have this limited edition tulip garden ready in time for the festival. The garden remains open until the end of April, which is how long the tulips stay in bloom for. Srinagar’s tulip garden, spread over 30 hectares of land, features not only tulips but also a variety of daffodils, hyssen and muscari blooms. However, the hero attraction still remains the tulips, of which there are approximately 15 lakh in over 68 different varieties. The average life-span of a tulip flower is three to four weeks; but since the tulip bulbs in the garden are planted in a phased manner, they tend to stay for at least a month or more.
A string of cultural and musical events will also be hosted in Srinagar’s tulip garden this year. As they are expecting more tourists this year, the Floriculture Department has made arrangements for entry tickets to be sold online and e-ticketing facilities are also set up on the department’s website in order to avoid chaos at the ticket booths and allow hassle-free ticketing for tourists.

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