20 lakh Tulips adorn and add color to 20 acres of the Kashmiri Landscape at 5600 feet altitude in Asia’s largest Tulip Garden - the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden. A delightful sight - the Flower bed sprawls all over the foothills of the towering Zabarwan Mountain Range, and overlooks the beautiful and the world famous Dal Lake in Srinagar – the Capital of Jammu and Kashmir State of India. Located at 34.964 74.8791, the Tulip Garden is surrounded on three sides by the Nishat Bagh and Cheshmeshahi Mughal Gardens of Srinagar.
Tulip being one of the most expensive flowers in the world was once treated as currency because of which it earned the title and symbol of abundance and indulgence among the affluent. This explains the pride and joy that Kashmiris feel as…. for them it is more than mere long-stemmed bulbous plants – it is a whole new Tulip Culture & Revolution that has added yet another feather to the already-crowded cap of Kashmir! From its humble origin in Persia, the Tulip has travelled a long way to add colour and charm to the Kashmir Valley.
Kashmir’s Tulip Garden is referred to on par with the Holland’s Keukenhof – though there certainly is room for improvement. But nevertheless, nowhere else in Asia is such a big Garden collection of Tulips in one place. More than 70 varieties of Tulips of different colours – are on display here to wow you.
Take a walk on the terraced-terrain of the Tulip Garden and stroll by the millions of velvety Tulips in White, Yellow, Red, Purple, Orange and Pink which appear splashed on the grounds like paint on a canvas. It’s a burst of brilliant colours of this exotic flower. These tall-stalked beauties will definitely tickle your flori-fancy and won’t let you leave in a hurry.
It is this ‘tulip-appeal’ that attracts lakhs of tourists to this Tulip Garden each year. Basically perennial flowers that currently bloom in March, April and May, the Floriculture Department of J&K State Government is on the verge of making the Tulip affair a round-the-year attraction. This could be a challenge considering that the Tulip requires the mountainous area with temperate climate and long exposure to winters.
The Tulips bulbs were all imported from Holland for cultivation in Srinagar. And to add to all this joy, the Tulips will now have company – Roses. Several beds of Roses are being cultivated to add to the enchantment of the tulip Garden. And it takes more than 150 flower-farmers to maintain this Garden.
Every April, the Tulip Festival meets the Kashmir spring when the millions are in full bloom in myriad colours and varieties which allow the pleasure of viewing them at their best advantage. As a part of the Tulip Festival, Kashmiri cultural programs comprising the Kashmiri folk-lore – song, dance and drama are showcased for the Tourists to enjoy and pick up the true essence of Kashmir. The State government also organizes several stalls selling the rich Kashmiri handicrafts and Kashmiri cuisine to whet your appetite and make you come back for more.