SRINAGAR : With the onset of spring, Asias largest tulip garden, situated in the foothills of an imposing mountain in Srinagar, was thrown open for public today.
The garden is expected to attract thousands of nature-lovers, including domestic and foreign tourists to enjoy the view of plant life and around 1.3 million exotic tulips.
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 46 varieties adorn and add colour to the landscape at 5,600 feet altitude.
This garden was conceived, conceptualized in 2006-07 with the aim to boost floriculture and promote tourism in Kashmir Valley. In 2014, it was declared as the second best tulip garden in the world by World Tulip Summit Society.
Originally known as Siraj Bagh, Srinagars Tulip Garden has been described as a flori-marvel by cultivators as the tulips spread a rainbow of red, orange, purple, white, pink, parrot and yellow colours on the precincts when in full bloom. About 500 gardeners and labourers have worked hard over the past few weeks to give final touches to what has become a major tourist attraction in Kashmirs main town.
Local residents are equally enthused by beautifully laid garden next door. “The garden has started come to life with white, red, orange and purple varieties of tulips already in bloom. The full bloom is only about a week away,” an official of Kashmirs Department of Parks, Gardens and Floriculture (PG&F Kashmir) said.
He said that the department has imported around 220,000 tulip bulbs this season, mainly from Holland. As spring has set in Kashmir, the gardens and fruit orchards in the Valley are also in full bloom.
Tourist said that the Tulip Garden with its alluring colourful buds in particular will be a major attraction for the tourists.
Meanwhile, many nature lovers and stakeholders in Kashmirs tourism industry have expressed dismay over reports that the PG&F Kashmir is planning to convert the exclusive Tulip Garden into an all-season garden by planting other flower varieties like Lilium, Dahlia, Peony, Hydrangea, and Ranunculus besides fruit trees like Pome, berry and nuts along with tulips.
If done, the Tulip Garden will only lose its peculiarity and wont be known as Asias largest tulip garden as such then, said owner Farooq Ahmad bhat houseboat who has been showing Tulip Garden as one of the main attractions a furlong away in his business promotion drive.
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