The tulip garden, formerly known as Siraj Bagh, was inaugurated in 2008 by then chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Asia’s largest Tulip garden, the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden, opened for tourists in Jammu and Kashmir’s Capital city Srinagar on Thursday.
On the occasion, Baseer Ahmad Khan (Indian Administrative Service officer), who is currently an advisor to the Lieutenant Governor of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha, also visited the garden.
Apart from government officials, hundreds of tourists were seen visiting the garden with their families and clicking photographs, with the Tulip flowers adding lustrous colours to the pictures.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed March 25 as a “special day for Jammu and Kashmir”, pointing to the opening of the Asia’s largest Tulip garden.
“Tomorrow, 25th March is special for Jammu and Kashmir. A majestic tulip garden on the foothills of the Zabarwan Mountains will open for visitors. The Garden will see over 15 lakh flowers of more than 64 varieties in bloom,” Modi tweeted.
PM Modi invited people to visit the tulip garden, by tweeting, “Whenever you get the opportunity, do visit Jammu and Kashmir and witness the scenic Tulip festival. In addition to the tulips, you will experience the warm hospitality of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”
The Tulip garden is spread over 30 hectares in the foothills of the Zabarwan range. It has 15 lakh tulips of 62 varieties this year. Apart from Tulips, there are also other species of flowers like hyacinths, daffodils and ranunculus. However, cold weather conditions, spells of rain and snowfall have delayed the blooming of the flowers this year.
The tulip garden normally opens in the third week of March and remains open until the last week of April. It is one of the prime attractions for tourists in Kashmir.
The garden, formerly known as Siraj Bagh, was inaugurated in 2008 by then chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Last year, Coronavirus cast its ugly shadow over the tulip garden, situated on the banks of the Dal Lake – the flagship destination of Kashmir’s tourism.
No sightseer could visit the garden while over 1.3 million tulips of 55 varieties and colours were in full bloom. There were also around, 15000 hyacinth flowers, brought from Holland and also locally, apart from 13 lakh tulip bulbs for added attraction in the garden.
The first half of tourist season in 2019 was very reassuring for the tourist players and the tourism department with as many as 456525 to 428127 domestic and 28398 foreign sightseers visiting the Valley till July last year, as per local official figures.
The arrival came to naught for the subsequent five months following the Government of India’s decision to do away with the Article 370 of the Indian Constitution after more than 70 years.
On August 3 last year, two days ahead of the annulling of the Article 370, the government in an advisory asked all the tourists and Amarnath pilgrims to vacate Kashmir immediately. Thousands of tourists and pilgrims were evacuated followed by a massive security and communication clampdown, which has been eased since though.
Tourist players say they are now hopeful that despite renewed threat of the coronavirus spread, a good number of domestic tourists would visit the mesmerizing Tulip garden.
Dil-Paziir (Urdu; meaning ‘heart-pleasing’) is a special edition positive news series brought to you by Digpu, sourced from conflict areas, starting from Kashmir. Our local journalists have successfully shared many inspirational stories from the valley – from the invention of E-Charkha, automatic ventilator in Kashmir, stories of brotherhood through to the first-ever cricket tourney for Blind sportsmen, all the stories make us awe-struck. These are NOT FOR REPRODUCTION.