Asia largest tulip garden open from Mar 29

Srinagar: Asia`s largest tulip garden here will be thrown open to visitors from Thursday with an addition of eight new varieties.

"We have added 3.50 lac bulbs of these varieties and the garden is going to give an exquisite look on full bloom towards the end of this month," Incharge and Joint Director Floriculture Javed Ahmad Shah told PTI.

With the additions, the total of tulips in the garden had reached 20 million, he said. The average life span of the flower was three to four weeks and rains or too much of heat can destroy them, he said.

Last year, cold conditions right upto the end of March had delayed the bloom of the flowers and rainfall early in April led to their premature withering.

However, hi-tech poly-houses were used late last year, which helped them to bloom even in harsh winter.

Shah said that while the department was able to get the tulips under controlled climatic conditions, but large scale flowering was not possible with this technology.

"So we hope the weather stays pleasant and the temperature remains optimum," he said.
The 12-hectare Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden, located between Zabarwan hills and Dal Lake, was started in 2008.

The largest tulip garden in Asia was set up with an aim to give another option to tourists and advance the tourism season, which begins in May, by two months, Shah said.

The garden has been a success story with thousands of visitors thronging it every year. Floriculturists here have also seized a business opportunity by introducing the flowers on a commercial scale, he said.

The first order of `Kashmir Tulip,` which was introduced as cut flower on a commercial scale on Christmas eve, was supplied to a flower chain in Mumbai, he said.

Earlier, tulips in India were mostly imported from Holland. But, if everything goes as per plan, this variety will cater to all markets in the country.