Kashmir's tulip garden thrown open to visitors
Kashmir's tulip garden, where the flowers are in full bloom, was thrown open for visitors in summer capital Srinagar Thursday, an official said.
“The garden has become a major attraction and an ideal visiting spot for both tourists and locals," said Sheikh Farhan, assistant floriculture officer. “Red, yellow, variegated, pink, white, orange, light blue, and magenta are the main colours of tulips that are in bloom right now,” Farhan said.
Farhan said in order to prolong the flowering season, many annual bulbs including phlox, candytuft, antirrhinum, and pansies have also been sown in the garden this year. “In order to prolong the flowering season of the garden, we have planted around 25 lakh bulbs of these annual flowers since tulips remain in bloom for just 15 to 20 days depending on the temperature here," he added.
“If the temperature remains cool, the tulips remain in bloom for a longer period,” he said. The department of floriculture that maintains the tulip garden and other historical Mughal gardens like Nishat, Shalimar and Chashma Shahi in Kashmir has imported nine lakh tulip bulbs from Holland this year for the tulip garden.
The tulip garden in Srinagar is situated on the foothills of the Zabarwan mountain range on the banks of the Dal Lake here. “The tulips cover an area of over 12 acres and gradually the area is being increased," Farhan said.
“Last year the department made a revenue of over Rs 25 lakh and this year we expect to overshoot that target as annual flowers planted in the garden would prolong the flowering season attracting more and more locals and the tourists,” the official said.
In order to maintain the garden, the department has fixed an entry fee of Rs 50 for adults and Rs 25 for children. The visiting hours are from sunrise to sunset. The idea of a tulip garden in Kashmir was originally envisaged by Ghulam Nabi Azad, the Union health minister who was chief minister of the state in 2007.