Asia’s largest Tulip garden in Kashmir now open

Srinagar, March 23 : Who can forget, the mesmerizing scenes of “Silsila”, with Amitabh Bachchan in his prime, romancing Rekha in a Tulip garden. On Wednesday, many a visitor to Asia’s largest Tulip garden sprawling the Zabarwan foothills here tried to recreate such scenes as the garden was thrown open to visitors. The garden, with 15 lakh tulips of 68 varieties of different colours, was officially inaugurated by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta. There are also varieties of Daffodils that draws attention with their golden hue, Hyssen, Muscari, spring blooming trees catching the visitors’ eye this year. “The tourism department will hold a grand tulip festival very soon. All necessary preparations are afoot with some national celebrities and local artists set to perform at the event,” Director Tourism Kashmir G N Itoo told the media. He said: “I hope people coming to visit the valley from all over India and abroad are eager to see Asia’s largest Tulip garden as it opens today.” Without a tour of the Tulip garden, stay in a houseboat or taking a Shikara ride in the Dal Lake, a visit to Kashmir is incomplete, he said. With the easing of Covid restrictions all across India and the world a large number of tourists are expected. Covid was a tough period for the tourism industry in Kashmir. The Tulip garden was opened for a short period last year also, but this time it will be much better. A large number of tourists, locals and government officials with their families visited the Garden on the first day. Ramesh, a tourist from Mumbai who had come to Kashmir along with his family only to see the Tulip garden was excited and jubilant and suggested all countrymen to come once at least to have the experience. “It is entirely a different experience and I had it for the first time in life,” said a small kid Janika from Mumbai. Although the Tulips are yet to bloom, tourists were busy taking selfies, groupies, videos, boomerangs. The health department was prepared for the numbers and they conducted swab Covid tests of tourists in the Garden to ensure the safety of the visitors. A record 2 lakh tourists visited the garden last year. QAB ING

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