Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden is the largest Tulip Garden in Asia. The garden was opened in 2007. This tulip garden is undoubtedly the first major landscaping project undertaken since the time the Mughals established pleasure spots in Kashmir in the 16th century.
A walk in the Tulip Garden in Kashmir will stay with you longer than you expect.
Here are few interesting things about Tulip garden:
1. A smooth cruising drive of a mere 9 kilometers from the Srinagar along the soothing Dal Lake towards the south brings us to the Indira Gandhi Tulip Garden.
2. This garden cradles in the gentle slopes of the mighty Zabarwan hills. It is flanked by a manicured lush green golf course in the north and the pristine Dal Lake almost washes its entrance to the west.
Antiquity and an ambience of timeless regality are bestowed by the nearby Chashme Shahi and Pari Mahal complexes to this Tulip Garden.
3. An entry into this garden is akin to savoring paradise as God intended it to be. The eye gets riveted to the numerous PARALLEL running rows of more than a MILLION multi-colored tulip flowers.
4. The garden is full of red, orange, yellow, purple and mauve tulips to name a few. Apart from them there are numerous multi-colored hybrid flowers too. Nature has liberally run riot with the color combinations of these hybrid flowers.
5. The flowers too have their own distinctly varied shapes. Some are hemispherical like turbans, others are elongated, many have scattered petals or simply loose and upward flowing petals and sepals that look like erupting flames.
6. However, each hybrid variety is grown in its unique flower bed which is about 1 meter wide and 80 meters long.
7. Tulip garden has been created by carving out seven terraces on a gentle sloping ground; a move in any direction leaves us spell bound by the multi tier flowers.
8. A gentle uphill climb brings us to the delightful fruit trees that dot the rim of this garden. The slender branches of these trees are covered with different coloured buds and flowers. Since these trees at this time have not yet re-grown their leaves after the winter; the abundant luscious flowers look divine when viewed against a dazzling blue sky.
9. Beyond the trees, further upslope, the Pari Mahal benignly smiles at the tulip scapes, much like an aging queen smilingly admires her feminine progeny coming of age.
10. Gazing downhill the eye runs along the striped mosaic of tulips, created by compactly laid complimentary and contrasting colored flowers that appear to reach all the way down to the shore of the Dal Lake.
11.The lake itself sports beautiful floating fountains.
12. In addition to tulips the other bulbs material grown in the garden include Hyacinths, Narcissus, Daffodils, Muscaria and Iris.
13. A tulip flower is about 6 cm long having a steep tapering apex and a gradual curvaceous base. Each flower has three petals and three sepals that appear to huddle together like a half opened bud having a diameter of 4-6 cm. Generally one flower grows per plant which is about 1-2 feet in height. The tulip plant bears 6-12 long sliver shaped lush green leaves. However certain varieties grown in Netherlands are known to produce up to four blossoms per plant.
When these tulip laden beds are viewed from a distance, it appears as if a rainbow has descended on the earth. Hence the universal dream of philosophers the world over, to reach the end of the rainbow gets symbolically satiated here.
How to get there: The Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden is located at Siraj Bagh Cheshmashahi, in the capital Srinagar. It is a very popular location.
Entry Fee: The entry fee to the gardens is Rs. 50 for adults and Rs. 25 for children.
When to go: The flowers bloom only for about 15 -30 days in a year. Depending on the temperature, the blooms may be delayed or arrive early, between end of March and early April.
Timing: The garden opens from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm every day.
Author: Ali Khan