One of world's largest tulip gardens in Srinagar

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Srinagar, Mar 24 (UNI) One of the world's largest tulip gardens on 600 kanals of land at the foot of the Zabarwan Hill, overlooking the famous Dal Lake here, will be thrown open to the public in the first week of next month when about 12 lakh bulbs would be ready.

Meanwhile, ''Badam vaeri'', with matchless almond blossoms in pristine white at the foothills of Kohimaran, will be thrown open to public from tomorrow.

The Asia's largest garden is all set to be thrown open to public in the first week of April as a workforce of about 400 labourers and gardeners has been working round the clock in three shifts to give final touches to the garden before opening its beautifully-built gate plaza for visitors.

As many as 12 lakh tulip bulbs would be ready by the first week of April in the garden, which would be one of the major attractions for the tourists in the summer capital.

The authorities have plans to develop it as an all season garden.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who visited the garden whenever he is in the city, directed the authorities for levelling various sections of the tulip garden and maintaining the ornamental trees.

In all, 60 varieties of early, mid, late and very late blooming tulips will spread a rainbow of red, orange, purple, white, pink, parrot and yellow colours on the garden.

A UNI correspondent saw the garden has started come to life with white, red, orange and purple varieties of tulips already in bloom.

The full bloom is only about a week away, the officials said.

They said as many as 400 labourers including 150 gardeners are working in three shifts to complete the job by tomorrow.

Majority of the labourers and gardeners have been engaged through contractors while a total of 40 departmental gardeners are currently working in the tulip garden.

The garden will have four fountains, gate plaza, cemented paths, landscaping and a guest house.

However, the entry to the garden will be through tickets as adults have to pay Rs 50 and children Rs 20.

''The tickets will be beautifully printed which could be retained by visitors as souvenirs'', the officials added.

The Badam Vaeri, developed by Jammu and Kashmir, will be thrown open tomorrow when Mr Azad and PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed will be Chief and special guests respectively.

UNI BAS YSS SG BD1650

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