Kashmir blooms with tulips

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By Suhail Ahmed

Srinagar, Apr 1 : The splendid aura of thousands of bloomed tulips in one of Asia's largest tulip garden '' Siraj Bagh'' located in Kashmir is attracting hundreds of tourists.

Tulip garden is situated at the foothills of the Zabarwan Mountains on the banks of the Dal Lake spread over 12.5 acres of land and has 1.2 million tulips in full bloom.

"I like it very much because of all these nice colours here and it remembers me a little bit of Europe," said Yuhana, a tourist from Germany.

This year 60 varieties of early, mid, late and very late blooming tulips have spread a rainbow of red, orange, purple, white, pink, parrot and yellow colours to the garden.

State authorities said that the number of tulips would cross two million next year. They also said that over 500 kanals of land are being speedily developed into a unique garden which would have all-season flowers of different species in the next one or two years.

For many, the blooming tulips translate into business and feel that it the garden will spell a sure-fire boom for tourism.

"We have opened the tulip garden for public to showcase the varieties of flower that we have grown here," said G. S. Naqash, Director, floriculture.

Referring to the valley's typical 'Gul-e-Lala or Gulal', authorities said that Kashmir is the only place in the world where species of tulip are grown indigenously.

Projects like this would create many jobs in tourism sector and boost the State's economy with an influx of tourists from all over the country and overseas.

The garden, inaugurated by UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on March 29 is named Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden.

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