Asia’s largest Tulip garden on the banks of Dal Lake in Srinagar was thrown open to visitors on Saturday, even as the inclement weather conditions have delayed blooming of majority of the bulbs.

“The garden was thrown open for the public today. The weather this year delayed the blooming of the tulips and delayed its opening,” an official of the Floriculture Department told PTI.

He said most of the bulbs had not bloomed due to inclement weather and incessant rains in the month of March this year. “Even with the bad weather conditions, around 50,000-60,000 bulbs have bloomed and we expect around 10 lakh bulbs to fully bloom in the next five or six days,” he said.

The official said the department has imported 2.96 lakh fresh bulbs this year including new varieties, taking the total number of varieties in the 15-hectare garden to 120.

The garden in the foothills of Zabarwan Range has a total of 1.5 million tulips and its opening marks the beginning of a new tourism season in Kashmir Valley.

Formerly known as Siraj Bagh, the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip garden was opened in 2008 by the then Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad. The idea of the garden was conceived to advance the tourism season in the Valley by two months.

Last year the garden was thrown open to public on March 27.

The average life span of the tulip flower is three to four weeks but heavy rains or too much of heat can destroy them.