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PM asks people to visit Kashmir’s tulip garden as it opens today

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PHOTO-Javed Khan/Kashmir Images

Srinagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday asked everyone to visit tulip garden, located at the foothills of Zabarwan range in Kashmir, and enjoy the warm hospitality of the people of the Union territory.

Tweeting about the gardens, the prime minister said, “Whenever you get the opportunity, do visit Jammu and Kashmir and witness the scenic Tulip festival.

“In addition to the tulips, you will experience the warm hospitality of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

“Tomorrow, 25th March is special for Jammu and Kashmir. A majestic tulip garden on the foothills of the Zabarwan Mountains will open for visitors. The Garden will see over 15 lakh flowers of more than 64 varieties in bloom,” Modi said in another tweet.

Pertinently, Kashmir’s Tulip Garden, billed as the Asia’s largest, will be thrown open to the public on Thursday, marking the beginning of new tourism season in the Kashmir.

Formerly known as Siraj Bagh, and renamed as Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden by the then chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad in 2008, the idea of this garden overlooking the Dal Lake  and spread over 30 hectares in the foothills of snow-clad Zabarwan range, was conceived to advance the tourism season in the Valley by two months.

“The garden will be thrown open for public on Thursday,” Tulip Garden incharge Inam Rehman Sofi said.

PTI quoted Sofi as saying that the department has planted nearly 15 lakh bulbs of different varieties this year. “The garden has so far achieved a bloom of about 25 percent,” he added.

The official said the garden houses 62 varieties of tulips this year. The average lifespan of tulip flowers is three-four weeks, but heavy rain or too much heat can destroy them.

The Floriculture department plants tulip bulbs in a phased manner so that the flowers remain in the garden for a month or more.

The Tourism department has planned a cultural programme at the garden in the first week of next month as part of the beginning of the new tourism season in the Valley.

The aim of setting up the largest tulip garden in Asia was to give another choice to tourists and to advance the tourism season, which used to begin in May every year.

The garden has been a success story with thousands of tourists thronging it every year during the three weeks of its bloom.

However, the garden will be opened after the gap of two years as it remained closed for the visitors due to the coronavirus lockdown last year.

Officials said the Floriculture department has put in place adequate measures to ensure the implementation of the standard operating procedures in letter and spirit.

No visitor would be allowed to enter the garden without the face masks, the officials said, adding that thermal scanners and sanitisers would be available for them at the garden.

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