Srinagar, Mar 4 : One of the world's largest tulip garden '' Siraj Bagh'' which is spread over 600 kanals of land at the foothills of Zabarwan overlooking the famed dal lake here is gearing up to celebrate tulip festival this year.
With the spring setting and tulips the first to bloom in spring, the scenic valley of Kashmir is ready to attract more and more tourists.
Srinagar's Tulip garden having 60 varieties of different coloured tulips will give one an impression of being somewhere in Holland, the original home of Tulips.
As many as 12 lakh Tulip bulbs will be ready by the first week of April in the garden, which is being developed over 100 kanals of land.
G. S. Naqash Director Floriculture-Kashmir said, new varieties of tulips have been imported so that the tulip season can be prolonged during the tulip festival which is expected to start by end of this month.
He further added that 50-60 more exotic varieties of tulips have been imported from Holland this year and parrot tulip will be blooming in valley this year for the first time.
The director, while talking about the garden, said that last year in the first week alone some 25 to 30 thousand people visited the garden from which its popularity can be judged and this year a tulip festival would be orgainsed so that more people come to know about this garden across the country and world.
People associated with the tourism trade in Kashmir have expressed hope that the garden would bring in bulk of tourists to the valley.
Tulip, which has its origin in Persia (Iran), was introduced in Europe in 17th century, where it had been developed in different varieties.
Siraj Bagh, which has become home to tulips in Kashmir, has a unique and feasible topography with a plane area in the centre that suits different varieties of flowers. It has slopes suited for different varieties of fruit plants and hilly slopes with wilderness suitable for wild flora and bushes
Belonging to the Liliaceae family, Tulips are best suited for dry soil of mountain areas and require small amount of water but on regular basis.
Floriculture experts see a great scope in cultivating tulips from aesthetic point of view.
Holland is the largest producer of tulips, which inhabit the mountain areas extending from Europe to Central Asia.
The plantation of tulips begins from September, before the start of winter season, which inhibits its growth.
Tulips are bulbous underground monocotyledon plant. The bulb is remade each year and reproduces either sexually (from seed after pollination) or vegetatively (bulbils). By Suhail Ahmad