Asia’s largest tulip garden was thrown open to the public, marking the beginning of new tourism season in Kashmir. The garden witnessed an impressive footfall of locals and tourists on the first day of its opening this year. Formerly known as Siraj Bagh, the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden was opened in 2008 by then Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad. The idea of the garden, 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 average life span of tulip flower is three to four weeks, but heavy rains or too much of heat can destroy them. This year the department has planted nearly 12 lakh bulbs of different varieties.