Imagine you are standing in the middle of a gorgeous garden, surrounded by fresh, beautiful tulips. The breeze is light, and the scenic beauty makes you instantly take out your cameras to capture the flowers. India now boasts of having the largest tulip garden in Asia, and if you are someone who seeks out flower exhibits and beautiful gardens when travelling for that added visual pleasure, you might want to soon visit and photograph it.
Perched at the foothills of the majestic Zabarwan mountain range, overlooking the serene waters of Dal Lake, this Kashmir tulip garden has achieved a remarkable distinction by being officially recognized as the largest one in Asia. The garden's exceptional status has been engraved in the prestigious World Book of Records (London), a testament to its grandeur and significance. The Department of Floriculture, Gardens and Parks was bestowed with this coveted certificate during a ceremony held in Srinagar.
Nestled amidst the enchanting landscape of the Zabarwan mountain range, this recognition shines a spotlight on the garden's status as the largest repository of tulips in Asia. With an astounding collection of 1.5 million tulip bulbs boasting an impressive assortment of 68 unique tulip varieties, the garden is a vibrant tapestry of colours and fragrances, attracting a large number of visitors from near and far. This recognition echoes the sentiments of the local community, following the belief that Kashmir holds an untapped reservoir of potential. The region's intrinsic natural beauty, coupled with the resplendence of the tulip garden, has once again brought the allure of Kashmir to the forefront.
This recognition proffered on the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden in Srinagar serves as a momentous milestone. This not only elevates the reputation of Srinagar's floral treasure but also contributes to the burgeoning local economy within the realms of Kashmir's valleys.
Renowned for its breathtaking panoramas, the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden is not only home to an exquisite array of tulips but also offers refuge to a diverse range of flower species. Among the iconic tulips, delicate Daffodils, fragrant Hyacinths, resplendent Roses, charming Ranunculi, vibrant Muscaria, and enchanting Iris blooms thrive, weaving a tapestry of hues and fragrances that captivates the senses of every visitor. This year, Asia's largest tulip garden saw more than 16 lakh tulips of 68 different varieties bloom and around 3.75 lakh people visited the garden during the one-month tulip season. It takes about 6-8 months every year for the Department of Floriculture to prepare the garden for opening to the general public.
The Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden was established in 2008, and in the last fifteen years, all the gardeners, officials and other people associated with the garden have maintained it well, making it one of the special attractions of Kashmir. During springtime, when the flowers are in full bloom, the influx of tourists also increases in the valley, boosting tourism.
Kashmir's beauty is reflected in its many beautiful scenic vistas, including the many lakes and gardens that are scattered about in the region. Here are a few gardens that are popular among tourists.
Referred to as "The Garden of Bliss," Nishat Garden, located in Srinagar, graces the shores of the picturesque Dal Lake. Against the backdrop of the snow-capped Pir Panjal mountain range, this garden offers a captivating vantage point for witnessing the sunset over the tranquil Dal Lake. A meandering water channel flows gracefully through the heart of the garden, adding to its allure. Designed by Asaf Khan, the brother of Nur Jahan, in 1633 AD, Nishat Bagh boasts 12 terraces, each dedicated to a zodiac sign, ascending the mountainside. These terraces are adorned with a colourful array of roses, lilies, geraniums, and asters. Nishat Garden stands as an emblematic attraction in Srinagar, drawing a multitude of visitors to its beauty and splendour.
Nestled along the serene shores of Dal Lake, Shalimar Garden, one of the most renowned gardens in the Kashmir valley, holds a storied history. Emperor Jehangir crafted this opulent garden around 400 years ago as a tribute to his beloved wife Nur Jahan. The meticulously manicured Shalimar Garden exudes verdant lushness and sophistication. Its layout encompasses terraced lawns, enchanting fountain pools, vibrant flower beds, and the majestic presence of chinar trees and elegant pavilions. The interior of the garden is structured into four terraces, with the uppermost terraces reserved exclusively for royal women, making it a paragon of beauty and elegance. During the transitions of autumn and spring, the magnificent Chinar trees paint the surroundings with hues of green and orange, casting a mesmerizing spell. Known interchangeably as Shalamar Garden, Farah Baksh, and Faiz Baksh, this enchanting haven remains a treasured gem within Srinagar's landscape.
A visual delight of terraced lawns, captivating fountains, and vibrant floral displays awaits visitors at Chashme Shahi Garden, nestled along the banks of Dal Lake. The meticulously terraced design of this garden, coupled with its riot of colourful blossoms, distinguishes Chashme Shahi as an exceptional oasis in the heart of Srinagar. Originally conceptualized by Shah Jahan in 1632, the garden has undergone successive renovations to preserve its enchanting allure. The appellation "Chashme Shahi" originates from a mountain spring that graces the garden with its life-giving waters. To explore this captivating garden, obtaining permits from the information counter is a prerequisite, and the experience rewards with an unforgettable encounter with nature's splendour.
From late March to end of April is the ideal window to visit the tulip garden in Srinagar as then the flowers are in full bloom and the Spring weather is pleasant
The Srinagar International Airport is well connected to most cities in India and abroad. Alternatively, you can also take a train or bus to Srinagar. The nearest railhead is the Jammu Tawi Railway Station in Srinagar.