Srinagar, March 24: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday described March 25 as special day for Jammu and Kashmir as Asia’s largest Tulip garden which will be thrown open on the day.
In his tweets, Modi said that March 25 is special for Jammu and Kashmir as the Tulip garden will be thrown open. He said over 15 lakh tulip flowers of more than 64 varieties will bloom in the garden.
“Tomorrow, 25th March is special for Jammu and Kashmir. A majestic tulip garden on the foothills of the Zabarwan Mountains will open for visitors. The Garden will see over 15 lakh flowers of more than 64 varieties in bloom,” Modi tweeted.
Last year, the novel coronavirus cast its shadow over the tulip garden here on the banks of the Dal Lake – the flagship of Kashmir’s tourism.
No sightseer could visit the garden while over 1.3 million tulips of 55 varieties and colours, spread in the 10-hectares garden situated on the foothills of Zabarwan Range with an overview of Dal Lake, were in full bloom. There were also around, 15000 hyacinth flowers, brought from Holland and also locally, apart from 13 lakh tulip bulbs for added attraction in the garden.
The tulip garden normally opens in the third week of March and remains open until the last week of April. It is one of the prime attractions for tourists in Kashmir.
The first half of tourist season in 2019 was very reassuring for the tourist players and the tourism department with as many as 456525 to 428127 domestic and 28398 foreign sightseers visiting the Valley till July 2019, as per local official figures. The arrival came to a naught for the subsequent five months following the Government of India’s decision to do away with the Article 370 of the Indian Constitution after more than 70 years.
On 3 August 2019, two days ahead of the annulling of the Article 370, the government in an advisory asked all the tourists and Amarnath pilgrims to vacate Kashmir immediately. Thousands of tourists and pilgrims were evacuated followed by a massive security and communication clampdown, which has been eased since though.
Tourist players say they are hopeful that despite renewed threat of the coronavirus spread, a good number of domestic tourists would visit the “mesmerizing Tulip garden.”
“To be honest, we were not expecting many foreign tourists to come given the advisories against travel by many countries,” a tourist player said, adding, “Surely we are hopeful that there would be good domestic arrivals.”