With Asia’s largest tulip garden, here, set to be thrown open later this month, four new varieties of tulips will be showcased this year to thousands of tourists, who are expected to visit the garden.
Tulips in Kashmir remain in bloom for 15-20 days from last week of March to mid April depending upon the temperature. Nestled on the foothills of Zabarwan range, the Tulip Garden in Srinagar would be a riot of colour as 1.5 million tulips of 68-varieties are expected to bloom in the Garden.
According to officials, four new varieties of tulips added to this Garden this season have been brought over from Holland.
“Every year we import some new varieties to make Tulip Garden more appealing. This year we have imported four varieties – Cap Knowya, Hamilton, Sweet Heart, and Christmas – from Holland,” said Ikhlas Shayiq, Deputy Director Floriculture Kashmir.
He said this year they have also expanded the channel to the top of the Garden. “In addition, some fountains have been set up in the garden to make it more attractive. We are hopeful the visitors will love this channel,” Shayiq added.
Inam-ul-Rehman, in-charge of Tulip Garden, said they were expecting a massive tourist season this year. “This year the Garden will have more than 1.5 million tulips with 68 varieties,” he said.
While the Garden was thrown open for tourists on March 23 last year, this time authorities are trying hard to open it a day or two earlier due to the huge influx of tourists in Kashmir. More than 1.20 lakh tourist footfalls were recorded in Kashmir in February and the number is expected to rise in March.
Tulip Garden in Srinagar has become one of the major tourist attractions of the valley since it was inaugurated in 2007. Situated at an altitude of 5,600 feet, the Garden, curated by then Chief Minister of J&K Ghulam Nabi Azad at the foothills of Zabarwan in Srinagar, came as a shot in the arm for the Tourism Department.
While Tulips are normally associated with the 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.