As Spring has set in the capital of Kashmir, this year a little earlier than its usual arrival, the Asia's largest Tulip Garden in Srinagar has been thrown open for visitors, since March 25.
Spreading over an area of about 15 hectares, the garden is situated on the foothills of Zabarwan range, with an overview of picturesque world famous Dal Lake. The tulips of 46 varieties adorn and add colour to the landscape, at 5,600 feet altitude.
Experts say that Tulips are a week away from full bloom.
This garden was conceived, conceptualized and created by the then Chief Minister of Jammu a Kashmir, Ghulam Nabi Azad, in 2006-07.
In 2014, it was declared as the second best tulip garden in the world by World Tulip Summit Society.
Originally known as Siraj Bagh, Srinagar's Tulip Garden has been described as a 'flori-marvel' by cultivators as the tulips spread a rainbow of red, orange, purple, white, pink, parrot and yellow colour on the precincts when in full bloom. About 500 gardeners and labourers have worked hard over the past few weeks to give final touches to what has become a major tourist attraction in Indian administered Kashmir's main town.
The garden is expected to attract large number of nature-lovers including domestic and foreign tourists to enjoy the view of plant life and around 1.3 million exotic tulips. Many of the tourists on inaugural day were seen taking selfies with their cell phones
Tulip Festival in Kashmir celebrates the blooming season of the magnificent Tulips. Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden adds to the natural beauty of Srinagar. Nestled on the foothills of Zabarwan Range, the largest tulip garden in Asia presents a stunning view of the Dal Lake. The seven terraced garden was built with the intention to promote tourism and floriculture in Kashmir.
Once known as the Model Floriculture Center, Tulip Garden of Srinagar is a home to varied species of flowers like daffodils, hyacinths and ranunculus. However, Tulips cover the major area of the space. A walk through these sweet smelling flower beds will make you stay here for longer.
A major highlight of the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden is the Tulip Festival that is celebrated every year. It is one of the best reason that will compel you to visit this garden.
Commencement and Duration of Tulip Festival
Tulip Festival is hosted in Kashmir Valley during the onset of Spring Season. You can get ready to be a part of it this year as the festival has been thrown open from 25th March .
Major Highlights of the Festivals
Tulip Festival 2018 is a must attend event for the flower enthusiasts, nature lovers, fans, aficionados, tulip lovers, and tourists from around the world. There are many varieties of this amazing flowers, some of them are mentioned below.
Standard Tulips – These are the normal tulips that are available from florists to local gardens.
Double Bloom – Instead of a single petal of standard tulip, double bloom has many layers.
Parrot Tulips – They appear as ruffled petals in various hues depicting the plumage of tropical parrot.
Fringed Tulips – The edges and shape are frilly and fringed.
Bi-Color Standard Tulips – They display a variation in terms of color when compared with the standard tulip.
Rembrandt – pale colored tall tulips
Fosteriana Tulips – They vary in height and have pretty bud.
Lily-Flowering Tulips – These flowers have long, pointed petals with arch at the tips.
Single Late Tulips – Stunning cup-shaped tulips with widest range of colors
Triumph – Wide range of shades, splendid tones and bi colors are the characteristic features of these tulips.
What's special in Tulip Festival of 2018?
There are some added attractions in the Tulip Festival of 2018. 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 especially-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 terraces will add charm to the garden.
Visitors will now be able to buy souvenirs and savor Kashmiri dishes from outside the garden area. This will be possible because of the decorated stalls and kiosks exhibiting cuisine and handicrafts of Kashmir.
Places to visit near Tulip Garden
The prime location of the Tulip Garden makes it the most visited 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. Given below are some other attractions that lie in close proximity.
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, this historic monument was once a Buddhist Monastery.
Shankaracharya Temple – Soak in the beauty of snow-cladded Pin Panjal Range from this age old temple situated at a height of 1100 feet.
Dal Lake – Dal Lake is truly a paradise on Earth. The beauty of this breathtaking lake is beyond description. A Shikara Ride is a must here.
Nishat Gardens – Spotted at a distance of 3.2 km from Tulip Garden, Nishat Bagh is a home to long avenues of Cypress and Chinar trees, rare flowers and fountains.
Mughal Gardens – A confluence of Nishat Bagh, Shalimar Bagh and Chashm-E-Shahi, this park draws the crowd for its cascading fountains.
Shalimar Bagh – Another well-manicured garden built by Jahangir, a Mughal emperor. Praise the outstanding craftsmanship of the Mughals in terms of horticulture here.
Nagin Lake – The azure waters of this lake are sure to leave you spellbound.
Hazratbal – This sacred Muslim shrine is visited by many on religious occasion to see a relic of heir of Prophet Muhammad. A vibrant fair is held afterwards.
Local Markets – Visit the local market to buy the specialties of Srinagar like leather products, Cashmere Shawls, carpets, mats, rugs, woolen clothes and dry fruits etc.
This time, visitors can enjoy soothing music inside the garden as Cultural Academy will hold a 15 day long musical festival there.