Asia's largest tulip garden to open for visitors from tomorrow
Asia's largest tulip garden, overlooking the famous Dal Lake in Srinagar, will be thrown open to the public on Thursday, said Tulip Garden in-charge, Inam Rehman Sofi.
This will mark the beginning of a new tourism season in Kashmir.
Formerly known as Siraj Bagh, the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden was opened in 2008 by then Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Garden covers over 30 hectares in foothills of Zabarwan Range
The idea of the garden, which is spread over 30 hectares in the foothills of the snow-clad Zabarwan Range, was conceived to advance the tourism season in the Valley by two months.
Sofi said that the Floriculture Department planted nearly 15 lakh bulbs of different varieties this year.
"The garden has so far achieved a bloom of about 25 percent," he added.
Garden houses 62 varieties of tulips this year
The official said that the garden houses 62 varieties of tulips this year.
The average lifespan of tulip flowers is three-four weeks, but heavy rain or too much heat can destroy them.
The Floriculture Department plants tulip bulbs in a phased manner so that the flowers remain in the garden for a month or more.
It aims to advance the tourism season in the Valley
The Tourism Department has planned a cultural program at the garden in the first week of next month as part of the beginning of the new tourism season in the Valley.
The aim of setting up the largest Tulip Garden in Asia was to give another choice to tourists and to advance the tourism season, which used to begin in May every year.
Garden is opening after a two-year gap
The garden has been a success story with thousands of tourists thronging it every year during the three weeks of its bloom. The garden will be opened after a two-year gap as it remained closed for the visitors due to the coronavirus lockdown last year.
Visitors will have to follow COVID-19 protocol
Officials said that the Floriculture Department has put in place adequate measures to ensure the implementation of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) in letter and spirit.
"No visitor would be allowed to enter the garden without face masks," the officials said, adding that thermal scanners and sanitizers would be available for them at the garden.
PM Modi appealed to people to visit the Tulip Garden
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the opening of the garden was special for the union territory. He appealed to the people to visit the Tulip Garden and experience the warm hospitality of the people.