Srinagar: Come spring, tulips will bedeck paradise again. Jammu and Kashmir government has decided to reopen Asia’s biggest tulip garden next month after a gap of two years.Last year, the government had not thrown the garden open due to the COVID lockdown. With COVID cases recorded a sharp drop, the government has decided to reopen the garden for the general public next month.More than 1.5 million tulips will be showcased this year. Last year the department had planted 13 lakh tulips bulbs, which was one lakh more than 2019.Every year grandeur, serenity, and colorful tulip beds with beautiful Zabarwan mountain range overlooking the garden mesmerize the tourists and mark the spring beauty in the Valley.
Director of Floriculture department Farooq Ahmad Rather told The Kashmir Monitor that as many as 15 lakh tulip bulbs have been planted at Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip garden.
“The preparations are in full swing and the 15 lakh bulbs have been planted in November last year. In addition to tulips, other flower varieties including hyacinths, daffodils, and muscari have also been planted to give a new look to the garden,” he said.Rather said they have planted 62 varieties of tulips with almost five lakh new varieties being imported from Holland. “Last year we had planted 54 varieties. We are making new innovations each year to attract tourists worldwide,” he said.Spread over 600 kanals (20 kanals form one hectare) of land, the tulip cultivation has been done on 200 kanals of the garden area. Located in the foothills of the Zabarwan hills, the Tulip garden has been the biggest draw for the tourists since it was opened in 2007.
Meanwhile, the tourism department is launching a massive promotional blitzkrieg to lure tourists this year.
“The department has many promotional programmes in the pipeline. Bollywood’s arrival in Kashmir is helping in tourism promotion. Almond and tulip bloom will be highly promoted this year,” he said.
Sources said this year river rafting at Pahalgam will be a value addition for Kashmir tourism.
“Pahalgam is a big attraction for adventure lovers. Similarly, hot air balloon in Srinagar too lures tourists to have fun. We are trying our best to put Kashmir back on the tourism map this year,” they said.