Text: Rameez Makhdoomi
Photos: Mohsin Altaf
A tulip is a short-lived flower of love and elegance. The meaning of tulip is generally perfect love. Like many flowers, different colours of tulips also often carry their own significance. Red tulips are most strongly associated with true love, while purple symbolizes royalty. The average lifespan of a tulip bulb is three to four weeks, but heavy rains or rises in temperatures can destroy the flowers.
Asia’s largest tulip garden – Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden – is situated on the foothills of Zabarwan Range with an overview of world famous Dal Lake in Srinagar. It was opened in 2007 with the aim to boost floriculture and tourism in Kashmir Valley. It is currently blooming with more than 1.5 million tulip flowers of 68 varieties with different colours and shades attracting tourists from all over the world.
It has set the spring tourism of Kashmir on right track. More than 90,000 tourists have already visited Asia’s largest Tulip garden in Srinagar in the first week after it was thrown open for tourists, after disruptions because of the COVID-19 pandemic in the previous two years.
Earlier the garden was known as Model Floriculture Center. It is the largest tulip garden in Asia spread over an area of about 30 hectares (74 acres). It is considered among the best three tulip gardens on the planet earth. The Tulip Festival held in this garden annually attracts tourists from all over the world at the onset of spring.
“The tulip garden in Srinagar is fast becoming a jewel in the crown of spring tourism of Kashmir attracting tourism experts from all over India and the world,” Mohammad Yaqoob Dunoo, Spokesperson for Kashmir Houseboats Association, told Global Bihari.
“The tourists are enthralled watching the mega show of tulips on display with their great beauty and natural attractions. Given a different flower touch for every season the tulip garden in Kashmir can become among top spots of World,” he added.
Bindia Pardeshi, a tourist operator, said that with the range of flowers especially tulips that the garden offers, “we are able to market it as among the top spring tourism attractions of the country”. She said she was hopeful that this garden grows in elegance and attracts tourists from all over the country and world.
“Certainly, Tulip Garden is emerging among top gardens of the country,” she said. The Kashmir floriculture department informed that it also added some other flowers here to make it more attractive. The garden opens at 8 am and closes at 7 pm. The ticket price is Rs 60 for adults and Rs 25 for children.