Srinagar: As Spring has set in Kashmir, the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden in Srinagar opened for the season on Sunday. This year, 1.2 million tulips across 60 varieties have been cultivated in the garden that has the most perfect setting: on the banks of the Dal Lake with the lower slopes of the Zabarwan Hills for backdrop.
Deemed as Asia’s largest tulip garden, it is situated on the foothills of Zabarwan mountain range by the banks of the picturesque world famous Dal Lake.
The central part of the Zabarwan Range is also home to the Shankaracharya Temple. The highest peak of this range is Mahadev Peak at 13,013 feet (3,966 m), which forms the distant background of the eastern mountain wall.
Tulip is a very short-lived flower that comes to bloom in spring and lasts for barely a fortnight.
The garden, which is credited with having extended the tourism season in Kashmir, usually attracts over 1.5 lakh visitors every year.
Since 2007, at this time every year, the garden, located on the slopes of the Zabarwan hills, is opened for visitors, the aim to boost tourism and floriculture in the region and the undertaking was a success, since this garden came into existence. In fact, the garden was ranked among the top 5 tulip destinations in the world at the Tulip Summit in Canada in 2017. The garden was also declared as the second best tulip garden in the world by World Tulip Summit Societ in 2014.
The flowers bloom for about 15 -30 days in a year, between the end of March and early April. This garden has often formed the background for a number of Bollywood and other movies.
Tulips, which are very short-lived flowers and come to bloom in the season of spring and last for barely a fortnight.
With thousands of Hyacinth tulip bulbs planted in a separate terrace and further fresh plantation is in full swing, tourists, both local and foreigners, besides local people in long queues are seen waiting for their turn to enter the Asia’s largest Tulip Garden and enjoy the beauty of blooming tulips.
“I have been to Asia’s largest tulip garden for the 2nd time and I like this beautiful view ” Zubair Mushtaq, a visitor said.
It’s awash with dozens of varieties of tulips and other flowers like daffodils. With its terrific location – at the foothills of the Zabarwan Range – Tulip Garden in Srinagar is a veritable Eden as it has steadily evolved into an event that aims to provide visitors with an even more enriching experience. The venue provided free Wi-Fi, washrooms for differently abled people and more drinking points.
“Visitors are always expecting something new every year and hence we have undertaken the task of presenting the visitors with the same, we are working round the clock in expanding the garden’s green space by planting more flower seeds in order to provide more sitting and relaxing space for the visitors,” said one of the official of the concerned department.
It doesn’t bloom all-year-round, however, so you need to plan your vacation carefully. While the garden itself is a sight to behold and you could spend hours just exploring it and admiring the flowers, the highlight is the annual festival that runs in spring, between March and May. This year, Tulip Garden Kashmir 2019 was held from March 30th onwards.