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Floral fascination grips visitors in Kashmir’s spellbinding Tulip Garden

Despite the partial bloom, vendors selling snacks, souvenirs, and traditional Kashmiri handicrafts lined the garden's entrance, catering to the influx of visitors.
12:34 AM Mar 25, 2024 IST | MUKEET AKMALI
floral fascination grips visitors in kashmir’s spellbinding tulip garden
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Srinagar, Mar 24:  Despite the tulips not being in full bloom yet, the craze for Srinagar’s iconic tulip garden was palpable on Sunday, with all roads in the city leading to this floral paradise.

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The garden, which has become an annual attraction for locals and tourists alike, witnessed an influx of visitors eager to catch a glimpse of the vibrant blooms.

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As the sun shone brightly over the Zabarwan hills, tourists, families and groups of friends converged on the garden, creating a festive atmosphere.

Children ran excitedly through the partially bloomed tulip beds, their laughter echoing through the garden’s pathways.

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“In Kashmir, it's like heaven. The Tulip Garden is so beautiful, though the tulips have not bloomed yet fully, but the location and setting of the garden are so admiring that one falls in love with it,” said Deepa Kumari from Delhi.

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Another tourist, Mukesh Mehta from Gujarat, said, “Once I heard about the opening of the garden date, I booked tickets. I missed travelling to Kashmir last year, but this time, I won't miss this opportunity to see India’s biggest Tulip Garden.”

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Ajaz Ahmad, a Srinagar resident, who had brought his family to the garden said, “We couldn't wait for the tulips to reach their peak. The colours, even in their nascent stages, are so captivating that we had to come and experience the magic.”

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While some visitors expressed disappointment at the incomplete bloom, others found joy in the garden's gradual unfolding.

“It's like watching a beautiful ballet unfold,” said Mehak Manzoor, a college student. “Seeing the tulips emerge from their buds is a reminder of nature's resilience and the cycle of life.”

Despite the partial bloom, vendors selling snacks, souvenirs, and traditional Kashmiri handicrafts lined the garden's entrance, catering to the influx of visitors.

The air was filled with the aroma of traditional street food, adding to the festive ambience.

Authorities at the Tulip Garden expressed their delight at the overwhelming response, stating that preparations were underway to ensure a grand display once the tulips reached their peak bloom.

To facilitate smooth visits of visitors, the Traffic Police Department has devised a route plan.

Traffic Police Srinagar on Saturday issued a traffic advisory on the opening of the Tulip Garden to regulate the smooth movement of traffic and avoid congestion on the stretch.

The officials said that due to the expected rush of people, there were chances of traffic congestion and for the convenience of people and to avoid slow movement, one-way traffic, especially on holidays should be regulated initially from March 24 till April 10.

The opening of Tulip Garden overlooking the famous Dal Lake marks the beginning of the new tourism season in Kashmir.

The Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden, formerly known as Siraj Bagh, was opened in 2008 by then chief minister of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state Ghulam Nabi Azad.

The idea of the garden spread over 30 hectares in the foothills of the Zabarwan range, was conceived to advance the tourism season in Kashmir by two months.

This year the garden houses 1.7 million flowers of tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and Muscari.

The end of March is usually when the tulip bloom starts, and it lasts for 20 to 25 days.

Late-blooming cultivars have been added to lengthen the bloom period.

The mercury must remain above 15 and below 25 degrees Celsius for the temperature-sensitive flowers.

At the garden, which is divided into 36 plots with 16-18 beds each, at least 60 gardeners are employed full-time to preserve the bloom of the sea of flowers.

Three parks are also part of the complex.

In the spring, Kashmir has seen a steady increase in visitors thanks in large part to the Tulip Garden.

Due to the overwhelming number of tourists, the government opened the garden considerably earlier than scheduled.

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