The Asia’s largest tulip garden was thrown open on Thursday in Srinagar, with around 4,000 visitors enjoying the bloom of the 25% of the 15 lakh flowers planted over 30 hectares located at the foothills of the Zabarwan Range.
“Due to the cold weather, 25% of flowers are in full bloom and the rest will start blossoming as temperature improves in the coming days. We recorded a footfall of around 4,000 tourists on the first day, probably the highest in the past few years,” Director, Floriculture, Farooq Ahmed Rather, said.
Baseer Ahmed Khan, advisor to L-G Manoj Sinha, threw open the garden, which also found a mention in the tweets of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday with an appeal to visit the place.
“Entire Kashmir is famous for its natural beauty. The opening of the tulip garden will add more charm to the tourism of J&K. We aim to make the garden not only an attraction for domestic tourists but a global tourist destination,” Mr. Khan said.
He said a festival is being organised from April 3 when the garden will be in full bloom. “The six-day festival will showcase handicraft, culture, cuisine.”
Referring to the PM’s message about Kashmir’s hospitality, Mr. Khan said, “People in the Valley are hospitable and their hospitality is famous across the globe.”
Inam Rehman Sofi, caretaker of the garden, said around 15 lakh bulbs of different varieties “will mesmerise the visitors this year”.
“The garden has 62 varieties of tulips. They stay in bloom from three to four weeks,” he said.