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COVID19: Asia’s biggest tulip garden closed this year

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For the first time since its inception in 2007, Asia’s biggest Tulip garden located in the foothills of the Zabarwan hills will not be opened for the public this year.

By Yana Mir

Srinagar, 08 Apr 2020

Due to ongoing COVID 19 crisis and the lockdown, the tulip festival has been cancelled by the government this year.  Every year the 10 days festival starts on April 5 and culminates on April 15.

More than 1.3 million tulips were to be showcased this year. However, the flowers will start wilting from April 15 when the temperature will increase in the valley.

Every year grandeur, serenity, and colourful tulip beds with beautiful Zabarwan mountain range overlooking the garden mesmerize the tourists and mark the spring beauty in the Valley.

“Everything is shut. April is the month when we throw it open for the public.  As of now, the garden is closed by the order of the government,” said Farooq Ahmad Rather, Director of Floriculture, Gardens and Parks, Kashmir.
Spread over 600 kanals (20 kanals form one hectare) of land, the tulip cultivation has been done on 200 kanals of the garden area. Located in the foothills of the Zabarwan hills, the Tulip garden has been the biggest draw for the tourists since it was opened in 2007.

“This year, we were planning to showcase 13 lakh flowers of 55 different varieties. Last year 51 varieties of flowers were showcased in the garden. Eighty percent of the flowers bloom from April 5 to 15 when we organize the tulip festival. After April 15, the flowers start wilting. Normally the garden closes by the end of the April,” said Rather.

Tulip Festival is the biggest draw for tourists every year. Not only tourists enjoy the beauty of the garden, but they are also exposed to Kashmir’s rich culture, heritage and handicrafts.  Last year, the garden was opened on March 31 and more than 2.58 lakh visitors visited the garden.

“This garden is in full bloom. We are taking all precautions no matter the garden opens or not. Plus there are no stalls which have made our maintenance job easier,” said an officer.

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