I REALISED THAT KASHMIR indeed is heaven on earth when I visited the annual Tulip Festival in the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden aka Siraj Bagh in the heart of Srinagar.
It is second only to Holland’s Tulip garden. When Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department invited me to visit Tulip Garden, I accepted the invitation instantly.
As I entered the Siraj Bagh, rows and rows of multi hued Tulips blinded me with their beauty. The majestic Zabarwan range in the background made it all the more dramatic.
The manicured garden, large lake and fountains in the adjacent botanical garden on a lower level made it look like a location from a Yash Chopra movie.
It instantly reminded me of the unforgettable Bollywood song “Dekha ek khwab to ye silsile huye”. Though The Amitabh Bachchan – Rekha ‘s immortal song was shot in the Tulip Gardens of Holland, Srinagar’s Tulip Garden is nothing less in its grandeur. Locations indeed play an important role in movies and songs.
I realised this when I was bombarded with such comments on my social media “This reminds me of the Amitabh Rekha song”. Most of the readers who commented were not even born when the film released and yet the visuals are so vividly etched in their memory.
No wonder, many overseas Tourism Departments are wooing Bollywood to shoot in their country. A song from the upcoming Bollywood film “Hai Tujhe Salaam India” was being shot in the Tulip Garden of Kashmir when I arrived.
The choreographer was directing local Kashmiri girls and boys, dolled up in local dresses. Since the life of delicate tulip flowers is really short, it makes sense to shoot the song sequence while the festival is still on. In 2017, it was open from 1st April to 15th April.
The sprawling Siraj Bagh, set in 30 hectares of fairy land was abuzz with activity during the annual Tulip Festival of Srinagar.
The Department of Horticulture/Floriculture, Government of Jammu and Kashmir had set up attractive stalls under tents. The food stalls sold Kashmiri Wazwan, local cuisine served in tarami platter.
The sprawling Siraj Bagh, set in 30 hectares of fairy land was abuzz with activity during the annual Tulip Festival of Srinagar. The Department of Horticulture/Floriculture, Government of Jammu and Kashmir had set up attractive stalls under tents. The food stalls sold Kashmiri Wazwan, local cuisine served in tarami platter.
FAST FACTS ON TULIP FESTIVAL, SRINAGAR, KASHMIR:
- Tulip festival in Kashmir was inaugurated in 2008.
- The 2017 edition of Tulip Festival in Kashmir displayed more than 48 varieties of Tulip. Lakhs of flowers were neatly arranged in rows making it look like a rainbow on land.
- The tulips come in an amazing variety of colors. Apart from the red, blue, yellow, white and even black, there were some colors I could not even identify.
- The World Summit Tulip Society adjudged the Tulip garden of Srinagar, Kashmir as the second best tulip garden in the world in 2014.
- Tulip festival in Srinagar, Kashmir is organized every year at the onset of spring (Mostly April).
- The Tulip Garden at Srinagar is Asia’s largest Tulip Garden.
- Major Tourist attractions of Srinagar are near the Tulip Garden. Such as Dal Lake, Chashme Shahi, Pari Mahal, Shankaracharya Temple, Nishat Garden, Shalimar Garden
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