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Inside Kashmir's breathtaking tulip garden

Last updated on: March 28, 2013 12:58 IST

Inside Kashmir's breathtaking tulip garden

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar

The resplendent tulip garden of Kashmir nestling in the Zabarwan foothills was thrown open to public on Wednesday.

The garden is in full blossom right now with tulips of various colours, making it quite a feast for the eyes.

The terraced garden situated on the banks of the world famous Dal Lake is apparently in for lesser tourist attraction this spring as the Valley has been in the grip of turmoil triggered by the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

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Image: Tulips in full bloom
Photographs: Umar Ganie/Rediff.com
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Inside Kashmir's breathtaking tulip garden

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The chain of curfews, shutdowns, security forces-protestor clashes and recent incidence of terrorist attacks in capital Srinagar and other towns has led to fall in tourist arrivals this spring.

However, die-hard tulip lovers are already in the Valley and have visited the garden even before its public opening.

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Inside Kashmir's breathtaking tulip garden

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Thousands of tulips of different hues have bloomed in the garden presenting a breathtaking spectacle of colours.

The garden has rows of tulips.

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Inside Kashmir's breathtaking tulip garden

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State Floriculture Minister Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed, while opening the garden, emphasized the importance of tourism sector to Kashmir saying: "It is in everybody's interest that tourism flourishes in the state as it opens better economic options for people."

"It is the responsibility of every one of us to ensure tourists come to the state and get the taste of best possible hospitality."

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Inside Kashmir's breathtaking tulip garden

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"This year we have 10 to 15 lakh tulips planted in the sprawling garden of which nearly a lakh tulips are in bloom in the 14 hectare garden," Javed Ahmad Shah, the officer incharge of the garden told rediff.com.  

The garden, Shah said, received four thousand visitors most of them tourists on the opening day which spoke of its popularity.

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Inside Kashmir's breathtaking tulip garden

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"We have introduced new tulip varieties in the garden imported from Netherland. Ornamental and fruit trees have also been planted so that their bloom also synchronises with the tulip bloom and enhance the gardens charm," Shah said.

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Inside Kashmir's breathtaking tulip garden

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The garden laid out by the Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad during his tenure as chief minister of the state has not only added a new tourist attraction in the Valley but advanced the tourist season by a couple of months.

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Inside Kashmir's breathtaking tulip garden

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"I have not witnessed such an out-of-the-world scene ever before. The garden has freshened up my mind and soul. It has soothed my nerves. I want to stay here till these tulips last," said Raj, a tourist from Delhi.

"Kashmir is blessed with not only scenic beauty but also climatic and that is why you have these wonderful flowers in full bloom here," he added.

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Inside Kashmir's breathtaking tulip garden

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Enthralled by the beauty of the valley, a tourist, Ragni, said: "This was a really good experience, as the garden was more beautiful than what we had heard. In my entire trip to Kashmir, after Gulmarg, this was the best place. It was a great experience."

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Inside Asia's largest tulip garden

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The floriculture department has planted 2.3 million bulbs over an area of 15 hectares with eighty varieties of the flower added this year. Although the tulips are yet to bloom fully, the authorities opened the garden in response to the consistent demands of tourists.

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