IndiaRA SpecialTravel

Asia’s Largest Tulip Garden in Jammu and Kashmir Charms Tourists

By Mariyam Alam

Jammu and Kahsmir opens its gate once a year for one of the most captivating attractions- the largest tulip garden in Asia. Popularly known for its vivid hues and picturesque landscapes, the tulip garden has emerged as a prime destination for tourists hailing from different corners of the globe.

The history of tulips in the territory dates back to centuries, with the Mughal Emperior Jahangir being fond of these flowers. Historical accounts suggest that the Mughal Emperor Jahangir, brought these flowers to the Kashmir Valley from Persia in the 17th century. This event is considered to be the beginning of the region’s association with tulips, which later became a symbol of Kashmir’s natural beauty.

The Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden, formerly known as Siraj Bagh, represents a relatively recent addition to Srinagar’s tourism landscape. Conceived as a means to bolster floriculture and tourism in the region, this garden spans approximately 30 hectares at the base of the Zabarwan Range, affording panoramic views of Dal Lake.

Fast forward to the present day, the tulip garden in Srinagar has become an iconic destination, attracting visitors not only for its historical significance but also for its stunning display of over 2 lakh tulips in various colors.

The tulip garden in Srinagar has become an iconic destination for attracting visitors for its display of over 2 lak tulips in various colors and not just its historical significance. The number of tulip plantation has grown significantly in recent years, contribution to the growth of tourism in Jammu and Kashmir. The trend of tulip plantations has a direct correlation with tourist visits over the past decade, with each year witnessing a surge in both the number of tulips planted and the number of visitors.

The tulip garden in Srinagar was thrown open to the public, signaling the beginning of yet another season filled with blooming flowers and eager tourists. This year has indicated that within the first five days of its opening, the garden welcomed over 51,000 visitors, highlighting its enduring popularity among travelers.

Sanasar Garden in the Jammu district had approximately 2.5 lakh tulips in full bloom, serving as a major attraction for tourists. Spanning 40 kanals of land nestled amidst the green meadows of Ramban district in the Jammu division, this garden has been heralded as the onset of a new tourist season. The Tulip Garden at Sanasar has recently been made accessible to the public. This year, the garden boasts an array of 25 tulip varieties, with plans underway to establish a rose garden to further enhance its appeal to tourists throughout all seasons.

With marking a remarkable start with an influx of 5,861 tourists within the first 11 days. This surge surpassed expectations, fueled by 415 foreign visitors and 5,112 locals, contrasting sharply with the last year’s count of only 1500 foreign visitor. The total visitor count stood at 105,861, includes both domestic and foreign tourists in the first few days.

The tulip garden has made their entry process very convenient with online ticketing, students benefiting the most from it by getting a 20% discount, encouraging visitors of all types. Despite challenges such as limited accommodations due to prior bookings, Jammu and Kashmir regions remains a sought-after destination.

Officials are optimistic about surpassing last year’s record of 366,000 visitors, as they anticipated more visitors post-Eid. The government promises a seamless and enjoyable experience has garnered praise from visitors, further cementing the garden’s status as a must-visit destination.

The Government sanctioned a project in the year 2023 aiming to develop the largest Tulip Garden in the Jammu division, spanning 40 kanals of land. Concurrently, the Patnitop Development Authority has commenced plans to redevelop the Gold Course at Sanasar to increase golfing activities with various other development endevors to enhance the infrastructure and appeal of this scenic tourist destination.

The UT administration’s “Tourism Mission” initiative are being made to identify and develop 75 new destinations. 75 Sufi/religious sites, 75 cultural and heritage sites, and 75 new tracks. These initiatives are aimed at unlocking new economic opportunities to meet the aspirations of the local populace.

Local authorities look up to the such tourist season with expectations of a surge in visitor footfall as the tulips continue to bloom in all their glory. The beauty of the tulip festival seth against the backdrop of snow-capped mountains and lush greenery is a sight which attracts visitors from all over the world.

Jammu and Kashmir gears up every year to harvest a bounty of tourists, the tulip garden stands as a testament to the region’s natural splendor and timeless allure. With each passing year, it continues to enchant visitors, beckoning them to immerse themselves in the breathtaking beauty of the Kashmir Valley.

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