|SRINAGAR, Mar 4: While tulip garden awaits full expansion; nearly three lakh new varieties of tulips have been added to the garden this year.|
The flowers have been imported from Holland and shall bloom in the garden soon. The addition has been made to the existing 1.5 million tulips of 80 varieties stretch over nearly 20 hectares .Last year, 3.24 lakh tulips of 24 varieties were added.
Though the total area of the garden located at the foothills of Zabarwan mountain is about 30 hectares, only 20 hectares have been developed. With each year, extension is done.
Director floriculture, Sunil Misri said they are gradually extending the garden and shall be developed right upto the foot hills of the mountains
“We expect that next year the whole area of the garden shall be developed.”
Formerly known as Siraj Bagh, the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip garden was opened in 2008 by then Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad. The main purpose of the garden was to pre-pone the tourist season in Kashmir which would otherwise start in the month of May.
Every year, thousands of tourists across the country come to visit the Asia’s largest tulip garden. In 2013, 1.5 lakh visitors had visited the garden. The number is likely to increase this year.
The preparations for re-opening of the gardens are in full swing. The repair works at footpaths, lavatories and lights are underway. Food point has been activated.
“We are gearing up for re-opening of the garden which should be around ending March,” Misri said.
The re-opening of the garden largely depends on the weather conditions which affects the blooming of flowers.
When asked about the revenue of the garden, the director said the biggest advantage of tulip garden is inviting visitors in spring season.
“We are not looking at whether the garden is fetching profit. The prime role of the garden has been pre-pone of tourist season which affects every stakeholder and Kashmir in totality.”
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News Updated at : Wednesday, March 5, 2014