Srinagar: Alongside a bloom of 1.5 million bulbs and six new flower varieties, the Jammu and Kashmir government has put in place special provisions for lactating mothers this year at the Tulip Garden.
As the garden is all set to open here on coming Wednesday, Director Floriculture, Farooq Ahmad Rather said they have set up a ‘special room’ so that lactating mothers did not face any problems.
“Among other facilities, we have put in place a special room for lactating mothers in case they need to change clothing of child or for feeding….everybody who visits will be impressed and will like the facilities we have put in place,” the Director Floriculture told reporters after a visit to the garden to review preparations ahead of its reopening.
68 tulip varieties, six new
He said there will be six new varieties of tulips this year at the garden located in the foothills of the Zabarwan range in Kashmir.
“There will be nearly 15 lakh tulips of 68 varieties. Six are new and there will be other flowers like daffodils and hyacinths. Spring blooming trees will be there too like apricots. Magnolia will also be there. I want to appeal to the visitors not to bring polythene so that the beauty of the garden is not affected,” he said.
Officials expect ‘record bloom’ of tulips
The Director Floriculture said it took the department one full year to prepare beds at the garden at Kashmir’s popular garden that has become a major tourist attraction along with the Mughal gardens.
“We worked very hard during the past one year. Our work starts in April only (after the garden shuts). It takes us a year for proper alignment, color scheming, fumigation, etc and a lot depends on the temperature. We are having a good bloom this year as the temperature has remained on the higher side. We are expecting a good bloom that will be record-breaking,” he said.
Asia’s largest garden of its kind
The Tulip Garden, formerly known as Siraj Bagh, was first opened for the public in 2008 and is credited with having extended the tourist season in the Valley. Even though the garden remains open for around a month only, it receives around two lakh visitors including tourists from March-end only. The tourism season would usually peak in May in the Kashmir valley.
The garden close to the Mughal garden ‘Cheshmashahi’ overlooking the Dal Lake is considered to be the largest of its kind in Asia.
‘Dekha ek khwab to yeh Silsilay huway’
Pertinently, tourists specially visit the garden to see a similar background of tulips as seen in the famous old Bollywood song – ‘Dekha ek khwab’ of ‘Silsila’ film starring Amitabh Bachan and Rekha.
“When tourists would come here, they would tell us they are here only to see ‘Silsila’ like scenery. A trip to Kashmir in spring is incomplete without a trip to the Tulip Garden. Also, all visitors love posing for a picture in the backdrop of tulips,” said a consultant for the Tulip Garden, Javed Ahmad Shah.