A series of rainbows over the hills are complemented by the colourful Tulips that kick off the spring season that everybody needs.
By Tripti Jain
Mesmerizing vibrant tulips laid beautifully across the foothills of Kashmir, Asia’s largest Tulip Garden is a vision for sore eyes. The Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden is spread across 30 hectares of land in the foothills of the Zabarwan Mountains looking over the Dal Lake. A yearly parade of flowers at the onset of the spring season is the highlight of Kashmir Valley apart from all the beautiful things Kashmir has to offer. Around the beginning of April, the Valley of Kashmir hosts an annual exhibit of Tulips which are flown from Holland to celebrate the spring season.
Kashmir valley is known for its amazing natural beauty and it has many meadows and valleys to mesmerize anyone. Blessed by God with tremendous potential for tourism in Kashmir valley and Srinagar city, in particular, is one the best tourist destinations in India.
Started by the tourism board of Kashmir, The Tulip Festival began in the year 2007, when the travellers were obsessing over the beauty of Kashmir. The mini Switzerland of India offers some of the most spectacular views and snow clasped mountain peaks along with little cute huts for the perfect stay. Houseboats and snowfall, Kashmiri Shikaras and early morning Kahwas, Kashmir is a land of scenic marvels and snow-coated roads. Blooming with more than 1.5 million tulips of about 48 varieties. The Tulip garden in Srinagar also hosts many other species of flowers like ranunculus, hyacinths and daffodils and a very rare tree called the Tulip Tree which also blooms at the same time.
While Kashmir’s beauty will leave you baffled already, a walk amidst these parallel rows of bright coloured flowers will make a mark on your mind for a lifetime. With a very minimal charge, the entry to the Tulip Festival is for all the travellers as well as the locals. You will always find something new around the city that will keep you engaged and apart from everything touristy, it is the perfect getaway.
Reach in a blink of an eye
The garden was built to promote floriculture and tourism is located at a distance of 8Kms from Lal Chowk (The Main City Centre) of Srinagar, 18 kilometres from Srinagar International Airport and 17 kilometres from Srinagar Railway Station. The nearest bus stop is on the Boulevard road near CheshmaShahi crossing at a walking distance of about 900mts from the Tulip Garden. The garden is easily accessible from the nearby hotels and resorts around the city which adds to the list of positives.
The seven terraced gardens have some beautifully picked out flowers that create parallel rows with water channels for perfect picture moments. The garden has many sections and each section is designed by gardeners to make it unique. Every section hosts different varieties of Tulips like strong gold, margaritas, candela, kung fu, early harvest, le de France, etc. Strolling in Asia’s largest tulip garden is a therapy for the mind and the soul.
There’s more in store
Every year the Tulip festival in Kashmir brings new additions for the visitors. While the valley offers a variety of activities for travellers, there are some added attractions which will make your visit worth it. Apart from the garden being well equipped with flowers, it also offers free Wi-Fi, washrooms (separately for disabled people) and drinking points. These tulips in Kashmir are imported from Holland and planted at this magnificent garden in SirajBagh. This festival reflects the culture and beauty of the place. The Tulip Garden in Kashmir is designed in such a way that in a first glimpse, one can see parallel rows of bright coloured tulips lined up. This garden is carved out of seven terraces which creates a gently sloped ground that gives a view of the entire garden from any direction.
The land of snow and food
The garden hosts stalls offering souvenirs, handicraft items and Kashmiri clothes that are up for grabs. People can splurge on some beautiful Knick knacks to take back home while hogging on yummy Kashmiri delicacies. A unique display of diverse culture, lip-smacking cuisines, beautiful handicrafts and handloom products to make your day in Tulip festival more blissful. Apart from the garden of dreams, travellers can visit the Pari Mahal which is the most amazing Chashm-E-Shahi Garden, this historic monument was a Buddhist Monastery once upon a time. The Dal Lake is said to be paradise on Earth with Shikara rides and perfect picture moments. The Shalimar Bagh is another embellished garden that the Mughal emperor Jahangir built, which is a great example of Mughal craftsmanship. Another highlight is the Shankaracharya’s Temple, soaking in the beauty of the snowy PirPanjal Range, this old-aged temple is situated at a height of 1100 ft.
Long romantic walks between the blooming tulips are all you can dream of and when in Kashmir the time stops to appreciate the beauty of the land. An entry into this garden offers a wide window to paradise. The eye gets riveted to the numerous parallel running rows of more than a million, a variety of multi-coloured tulips. The only thing to do now is to book your holiday for this spring season and fly to paradise.