Srinagar, March 25 : Visitors to the Kashmir Valley can have a visual delight by watching 1.2 million Tulips which have bloomed in the capital city. With the spring setting in, tulips are among the first to bloom here and captivate tourists from across India and abroad.
Kashmir almond trees covering the hilly ranges and fields of Kashmir are the first among the fruit trees to bloom. They just supplement the enchanting scenario and alongside is the grandeur of the tulip bulbs, presenting a feast for the eyes.
It is a mesmerising sight to watch from the banks of Dal Lake the almond trees bearing flowers on the slopes of the mountains with the assorted colourful tulip plants in the plains. The tulip gardens in Srinagar are considered to be one of the best in the world.
"Kashmir is a very beautiful place. And, this is visible in the blooming of a huge variety of flowers here. The tourists visit here to watch its beauty. There is a huge tourist influx this season," said a local resident Trilok Singh.
"The winter is very severe here for about four to five months. When spring starts, its greenery everywhere. As you can see the flowers have started blooming here in Tulip Garden also," said Reyaz, another local.
Blooming tulip plants and trees of apricots and almonds have turned the valley colourful.
"The early varieties have started, as I have already said that we have brought early, mid, late and very late varieties, "Inshallah" the entire Tulip Garden will get matured in a week.
People will see how beautifully the floriculture department has developed the valley of flowers with the help of the government," said G. S. Naqash, the Director of Floriculture Department of Jammu and Kashmir.
Kashmir is celebrating its first Tulip Festival at the Tulip Garden this year. It will be thrown open to the public on April 1.
Tulips originate in mountainous areas with temperate climates. They need a period of cool dormancy. They grow best in climates with long cool springs and early summers. They are also grown in warmer areas of the world.
The bulbs are planted in late summer and fall, normally from 10 to 20 cm (4 to 8 in.) deep, depending of the type planted, in well draining soils.
In parts of the world that do not have long cool springs and early summers, the bulbs are often planted up to 12 inches deep. This provides some protection from the heat of summer and tends to force the plants to regenerate one large bulb each year instead of many smaller non-blooming ones. By Sohail Ahmed