With the onset of spring season every year in Kashmir valley, the Asia’s largest tulip garden situated on the foothills of Dal Lake in Srinagar attracts lacs of local, national and international tourists to enjoy the serene beauty of the garden.
Every year, Kashmir valley begins the tourist seasons with the start of spring and the main attraction is the opening of Badamwari and Tulip Gardens with an open message to all the tourists of India and other parts of the World to come to Kashmir and enjoy vacations with your family and friends to see the real scenic beauty, culture, heritage and enriched known Kashmiri hospitality are the famous elites of Kashmir Valley.
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. Once called the Model Floriculture Center, the Tulip Garden was first opened in 2007 by the former Chief Minister Gulam Nabi Azad. The Dal Lake, Nishat Bagh, and Chashma Shahi Garden surround this gorgeous garden on three sides. This flower field was the first largest landscaping project undertaken by the Jammu and Kashmir government after the Mughals built pleasure spots in Kashmir in the 16th century.
Jammu and Kashmir Tourism and Floriculture Departments are all set to attract maximum tourists this year from all across the world and Bollywood personalities like actors, actresses, producers and directors which can shoot their upcoming movies in the Tulip Garden as it is scheduled to be opened in last week of March, this year.
The Floriculture department is also going to organize a tulip festival at Tulip Garden in collaboration with Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department to attract tourists as all the preparations have been put in place to provide hassle-free movement for tourists from India and abroad and local visitors as huge chuck of tourists is expected this year as compared to previous years.
According to officials, last year 3.60 lakh tourists, including local visitors, visited the tulip garden to enjoy the natural beauty and it is expected that the number of visitors in 2023 will be higher than previous years and influx of tourists will also be in huge number as COVID-19 has declined and normal life has been returned to the track.
Spread over 30 hectares, this terraced garden is built on a mountain slope. There are five terraces each with a different variety of flowers, especially tulips. With more than 46 varieties and 16 lakh tulips, new flowers are added each year. The tulip is a novelty; however, the climatic conditions of Kashmir are most suited for it.
The Tulip Festival is held at the beginning of spring in Srinagar, between March and April, when the tulip buds are ready to bloom. This festival lasts for fifteen days or a month as different flowers continue to bloom creating a rainbow of colours. The weather dictates when the Tulip Festival begins each year. So, if you’ve missed it last year, you could plan for this year.
The bloom usually lasts up to a maximum of four weeks but the efforts in making the garden reach this stage is a long, painstaking and cumbersome process involving the blood and sweat of 109 gardeners and supporting staff of Floriculture Department to make this happen, says JK Floriculture department official.
The picturesque garden, one of the biggest tulip gardens in Asia and located on the foothills of the Zabarwan range and the banks of majestic Dal Lake, has over 63 varieties of red, yellow, pink, white, purple, blue, yellow and multi-color – early blooming, mid blooming and late blooming – tulip bulbs this year. The colours are to cherish. It is an array of hues. Besides the usual ones, we also have crimson and brick red, maroon and apricot colour. The early and late blooming varieties have been added to extend the total blooming period.
Tulip Festival 2023 is a must-attend event for flower enthusiasts, nature lovers, fans, aficionados, tulip lovers, and tourists worldwide. There are many varieties of these amazing flowers; Standard Tulips, Double Bloom, Parrot Tulips, Fringed Tulips, Bi-Color Standard Tulips, Rembrandt, Fosteriana Tulips, Lily-Flowering Tulips, Single Late Tulips, Triumph, etc with wide range of shades, splendid tones and bi colors are the characteristic features of these tulips.
Nature has bestowed the garden with more varieties of flowers this year. Moreover, visitors can avail the benefits of surplus facilities like free Wi-Fi, more fountains, washrooms (separate for the specially-abled persons) and drinking points.
More green spaces are included in the garden area keeping in mind the comforts of the tourists. Extra plants like daffodils, hyacinths, narcissus and other ornamental plants are planted to ornate the area. Water channel running through the terraces will add charm to the garden.
The garden has been divided into 36 plots with 16-18 beds in each plot. There are three parks also inside the garden where the visitors can sit and visualize themselves in a sea of colours, dominated by the Zabarwan Mountains. Various small ornamental trees including the tulip tree decorate the sides of the numerous paths of the garden.
The prime location of the Tulip Garden makes it the most visiting place in Srinagar. This park is surrounded by scenic hills, attractive gardens of Mughal era and most importantly, it overlooks the awe-inspiring Dal Lake. Some other attractions that lie in close proximity are Chashme Shahi Garden – This garden is center of attraction for housing a natural spring that flows from it, Pari Mahal – Overlooking the amazing Chashm-E-Shahi Gardens.
(The author is a regular columnist and can be mailed at email@example.com)