Thu, 28 Mar 2013 08:45:00 GMT | By ANI

Asia's largest Tulip garden opens in Kashmir

The floriculture department has planted 2.3 million bulbs over an area of 15 hectares with eighty varieties of the flower added this year


Asia's largest Tulip garden opens in Kashmir (© Reuters)

Srinagar: Asia’s largest Tulip garden on the banks of Srinagar’s Dal Lake opened yesterday for both tourists and local residents.

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. Javed Ahmed, the man in charge of the tulip garden said: “From today, we have opened the Tulip Garden for the public and tourists. Despite the flowers not blooming, we were receiving many tourists from the past 10-15 days. They were adamant to look at the flowers and take photographs. Though the tulips have begun to flower, we have obliged the tourists and opened the garden a little before the scheduled date.

Over the next two to three days, all flowers in the garden will bloom.” Enthralled by the beauty of the valley, a tourist, Ragini, 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.” Asia's largest tulip garden is named after former prime minister Indira Gandhi.

It is located at Siraj Bagh Cheshmashahi in the vicinity of the world famous Dal Lake. Jammu and Kashmir is a well known tourist destination for winter activities such as snow boarding, skating, sledge rides, gondola jaunts, cable car rides and snow skiing making tourism one of the mainstays of the state's economy.

Kashmir was once dubbed the Switzerland of the East. It was once a Mecca for climbers, skiers, honeymooners and filmmakers drawn to the state's soaring peaks, fruit orchards and timber houseboats bobbing on Dal Lake in Srinagar, the summer capital of the state.

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