by Syeda Sakeena/ Uruss Shah
As Spring has set in Kashmir, Kashmir’s Tulip Garden in Srinagar was thrown open by Minister for Floriculture, Javed Mustafa Mir for visitors on Sunday, March 25, making the beginning of new tourism season in the valley.
Spreading over an area of about 15 hectares, the garden is situated on the foothills of Zabarwan range with an overview of picturesque world famous Dal Lake. The tulips of 50 varieties adorn and add colour to the landscape at 5,600 feet altitude.
This garden was conceived, conceptualized and created by then Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Ghulam Nabi Azad, in 2006-07.
In 2014, it was declared as the second best tulip garden in the world by World Tulip Summit Society.
The garden is expected to attract a large number of nature-lovers including domestic and foreign tourists to enjoy the view of plant life and around 1.3 million exotic tulips. Many of tourists on an inaugural day were seen taking selfies with their cell phones.
On the inaugural function, Floriculture Minister Javid Mustafa said: “all visitors are our guests and their place is in our hearts.”
“Tourism department is taking concerted efforts to promote the state as a major tourism destination and woo domestic as well as foreign tourists to the State,” he said.
Tulips are very short-lived flowers that come to bloom in the season of spring and last for barely a fortnight. However, many tulip varieties are yet to bloom in the garden but it is a long process and hard work of a whole year, we introduced photo gallery which depicts this whole process of the tulip farming all around the year, said Director Floriculture, Kashmir, Mathura Masoom.
“We have added attractions like waterfall channel and additional green spaces are being created to attract more visitors and the department has also provided free Wi-Fi services inside the garden, people can come sit and enjoy,” she added.
“There are 50 varieties of tulips in the garden this year and a total of 12.5 Lakh bulbs, adding colour to the landscape at 5,600 feet altitude,” she further added.
Masoom said that the extension of Tulip garden has been undertaken by way of growing other plants like Hyacinths, Daffodils, Narcissus and other ornamental plants.
In this season, 40,000 Hyacinth tulip bulbs are planted in a separate terrace and further fresh plantation is in full swing, she said.
Tourists, both local and foreigners, besides local people in long queues were seen waiting for their turn to enter the Tulip Garden and enjoy the beauty of blooming tulips on a sunny Sunday.
This garden is nice to see in the month of March to April. The place is heaven, with so many different colours of tulips. It’s also very clean. A water channel could also be seen running through the terraces, adding to the beauty of the garden.
“We have been to tulip garden for the first time and I like the view in tulip garden” Atif, the tourist said.
“The view is very beautiful and the tulips look amazing and refreshing.” Abdul Muqeed a politician from Maharashtra said.
Local residents are equally enthused by beautifully laid garden next door. “The garden has started coming to life with white, red, orange and purple varieties of tulips already in bloom. The full bloom is only about a week away,” said an official of Kashmir’s Department of Floriculture.