Spring in Kashmir: Tulip Garden’s flowers, fountains & food festival

Spring in Kashmir: Tulip Garden’s flowers, fountains & food festival

Spring in Kashmir: Tulip Garden’s flowers, fountains & food festival asia largest tulip garden food festival wazwan 30stades

In the spring season, Srinagar’s Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden comes alive with rows of beautiful flowers every year. Fountains and lush green trees add to the beauty of the largest tulip garden in Asia spread over 74 acres.

Nestled on the foothills of the Zabarwan mountain range at an altitude of 5600 ft, overlooking the fabulous Dal Lake in Siraj Bagh, the garden is home to several flower varieties apart from tulips like the daffodils, hyacinths, roses, ranunculi, muscari, and iris among others.

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The Tulip Garden was first opened in 2007 by former Chief Minister Gulam Nabi Azad. The Dal Lake, Nishat Bagh, and Chashma Shahi Garden surround this gorgeous garden on three sides.

Previously called the Model Floriculture Center, this massive flower field was the first and largest landscaping project undertaken by the government after the Mughals built gardens and other holiday spots in Kashmir in the 16th century.

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Built on a mountain slope, the garden has seven terraces, each with a distinct variety of flowers, especially tulips.

The blend of spring colours in the garden attracts many tourists to Kashmir from various parts of the country.

In winters, water freezes in Kashmir. Spring is a time of celebration amid water fountains at the Tulip Garden. Pic: Parsa Mahjoob 30stades
In winters, water freezes in Kashmir. Spring is a time of celebration amid water fountains at the Tulip Garden. Pic: Parsa Mahjoob

The garden is tended to by a 130-gardener team from different areas of the Kashmir valley. Among them, around 51 are permanent employees and the rest work as casual labourers and daily wagers.

Also See: In pictures: Winter in Kashmir through its food, fire pots and pherans

The stunning garden blooms with 1.5 million tulips of 62 varieties during the 30-day flowering season.

Every year, the Department of Tourism in Jammu and Kashmir organises the Tulip Festival to welcome spring and celebrate the cultural diversity of the valley. The celebrations include various cultural programmes, musical shows, food fests (Spring Food Festival) and conferences.

Serving kehwa at the Spring Food Festival in Srinagar. Pic: Parsa Mahjoob 30stades
Serving kehwa at the Spring Food Festival in Srinagar. Pic: Parsa Mahjoob

The booming Spring Food Festival has several stalls that offer dishes from Wazwan – the multi-course meal in Kashmiri cuisine, along with counters serving traditional Kashmiri breads with sweet and hot saffron kehwa.

This celebration of spring attracts thousands of tourists from across the country and currently has visitors thronging the garden every day. More pictures here:

Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden in the evening. Pic: Parsa Mahjoob 30stades
Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden in the evening. Pic: Parsa Mahjoob

Also Read: Kashmir’s street food: Lotus stem & fish fritters, chickpea tacos, sweet snowballs & more

The Tulip Garden is spread over 70 acres. Pic: Parsa Mahjoob 30stades
The Tulip Garden is spread over 70 acres. Pic: Parsa Mahjoob
The garden is home to several flower varieties apart from tulips like the daffodils, hyacinths, roses etc. Pic: Parsa Mahjoob 30stades
The garden is home to several flower varieties apart from tulips like the daffodils, hyacinths, roses etc. Pic: Parsa Mahjoob

Also Read: Award-winning Kashmiri artist paints an ode to Srinagar of yore

The garden blooms with 1.5 million tulips of 62 varieties during the 30-day flowering season. Pic: Parsa Mahjoob 30stades
The garden blooms with 1.5 million tulips of 62 varieties during the 30-day flowering season. Pic: Parsa Mahjoob
Tourists from across the country visit Tulip Garden every year. Pic: Parsa Mahjoob 30stades
Tourists from across the country visit Tulip Garden every year. Pic: Parsa Mahjoob

Also see: Visuals of Kashmir’s beauty in autumn

The garden is tended to by a team of 130 gardeners. Pic: Parsa Mahjboo 30 stades
The garden is tended to by a team of 130 gardeners. Pic: Parsa Mahjboo
Kashmiri Rista: A saffron flavoured dish of mutton meatballs in a thin, non spicy red curry. It is part of the traditional multi-course meal Wazwan. Pic: Parsa Mahjoob 30stades
Kashmiri Rista: A saffron flavoured dish of mutton meatballs in a thin, non spicy red curry. It is part of the traditional multi-course meal Wazwan. Pic: Parsa Mahjoob 
Spring Food Festival at the Tulip Garden. The stall serves kehwa and a variety of Kashmiri breads. Pic: Parsa Mahjoob 30stades
Spring Food Festival at the Tulip Garden. The stall is serving kehwa and a variety of Kashmiri breads. Pic: Parsa Mahjoob

Also Read: COVID-19: Srinagar’s Dal Lake gets first-ever boat ambulance service

Pani puri or golgappe or phuchka are popular in Kashmir as well. Pic: Parsa  Mahjoob 30 stades
Pani puri or golgappe or phuchka are gaining popularity in Kashmir. Pic: Parsa Mahjoob
A child enjoying the cool water in Tulip Garden. Pic: Parsa Mahjoob 30stades
A child enjoying the cool water in Tulip Garden. Pic: Parsa Mahjoob

Also Read: Kalaroos caves: Kashmir’s Russia connection through tunnels

A visitor offers the Namaz while on a visit to the Tulip Garden. Pic: Parsa Mahjoob 30stades
A visitor offers the Namaz while on a visit to the Tulip Garden. Pic: Parsa Mahjoob

(Parsa Mahjoob is a Srinagar-based  freelance journalist)

Also See: Kashmir: Visuals of Asia’s largest tulip garden

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