Asia's largest tulip garden in Srinagar to be in full bloom soon

Asia's largest tulip garden in Srinagar to be in full bloom soon

Nestled in the foothills of Zabarwan range, Asia's largest tulip garden here would be a riot of colour as by the end of this month more than a million tulips are expected to bloom in the garden.

Situated on the shores of the famous Dal lake, tourism players expect the garden will once again attract tourists to  violence-hit Kashmir.

Tulips remain in bloom for 15-20 days from the last week of March to mid-April depending upon the temperature.

Mathora Masoom, director of the floriculture department, said they are hopeful  of having a full bloom of 12.25 lakh tulips by the end of this month.

"Sprouting of the bulbs has started and the tulip garden will be opened in the last week of March," she said.

In 2016, due to the rise in mercury in February and March, tulips had bloomed early and authorities  were forced to throw open the garden in the second week of March, 20 days ahead  of the usual routine.

Officials in the department have been nervous during the course of this winter as the long dry spell meant that tulips would not show the growth that they usually have in a more conducive climate.

"However, last month's snowfall and recent rains  proved to be a boon for the tulip bulbs," Masoom said.

An added attraction this year in the garden is a terrace with bulbous plants like hyacinths, daffodils, narcissus and other ornamental plants.  

Mehmood Shah, director  of tourism, Kashmir  said the garden has become one of the major tourist attractions of the Valley.

"Our tourism season used to begin from May every year. However, since 2008 the garden has advanced our tourism season by over a month," he said.

To woo tourists, Shah said, they will be organising a tulip festival by the end of this month and will also launch a campaign to give it wider publicity through social media.

Situated at an altitude of 5,600 feet, the tulip  garden, curated by former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad at the foothills of Zabarwan in Srinagar, came as a shot in the arm for the tourism department in 2008.

It attracted 12 lakh footfalls in 2012 and is fast emerging as a major spring season attraction for tourists across the country.

While tulips are normally associated with Turks and Dutch, Kashmir is fast catching up with this craze to somehow squeeze itself into the exclusive zone of tulip-growing regions of the world.

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