If winter comes, can spring be far behind?
Spring is a happy season. It’s that time of the year when the world sheds its winter coat in favour of a more colourful motley. It is also around this time that the valleys of Kashmir start to look like exquisite bouquets.
And it does not end here! Kashmir’s obsession with spring is a whole different definition of ‘colorful’. Here, spring has an all-pervasive impact and even the various water bodies, lakes and reservoirs come alive. The joy of riding a Shikara and slicing through a carpet of blooming lotuses will make you reconsider ever returning to over-populated and over-polluted cities!
Undeniably a floral paradise, Kashmir is a favored child of spring. To top it all, every year around March or April Kashmir hosts Asia’s largest Tulip Festival.
About Tulip Festival
Held in the foothills of Zabarwan Range, the Srinagar Tulip Festival is an experience you must not miss this 2020. Touted as a one of its kind event in all of India, the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden holds more than 10 lakh tulip bulbs. It is truly a sight to behold!
Held at the onset of spring between the months of March and May every year, the Tulip Festival in Srinagar goes on for about 15 to 30 days.
Srinagar Tulip Garden
More than 70 varieties of tulips bloom here every year. While you may have seen countless pictures on the internet, believe us when we say that nothing prepares you for the magic of actually being there physically.
As you enter the Srinagar Tulip Garden, you may feel slightly disappointed. There will be only a few beds of flowers, all blooming in different stages and welcoming you in a rather deceptive manner. But hold on! As you explore deeper, the vistas change completely.
With the craggy Zabarwan Range in the background, casting a soothing shadow on the multicolor flower beds lying side by side and smiling beautifully at the blue sky, you will leave the garden quite awestruck. It is hard to fathom a sight that beautiful.
The entire garden looks like a royal bouquet or a scene from a fairytale movie. No exaggeration there! The mind-boggling range of colors will simply take away the pain of being around 1000 unruly tourists who have little or no travel etiquette. Absolutely nothing affects the grandness of the tulip garden.
From the pristine white rows, blazing yellows, perfect peaches to delicate pink, we suggest you take your sweet time in admiring each and every shade here and let only the rhythmic snip snip of gardeners’ scissors bother you occasionally.
History of Tulip Garden
Back in the 16th century, when the Mughals ruled, many ‘pleasure spots’ were created by them. These spots were built for the recreation of the rulers. In Kashmir, they built a few such spots which now known as the famous gardens of the city.
Tulip Garden was first opened for tourists by the government of Kashmir in 2007. This beautiful garden is surrounded by The Dal Lake, Nishat Bagh, and Chashma Shahi Garden on the sides.
Today, the garden is spread over 30 acres. There are seven terraces with more than 46 varieties and 15 lakh tulips, new flowers are added each year.
Tulip festival in 2021
In 2021, the Tulip Festival will commence on the 3rd of April and will go on till the end of April. All visitors will be allowed to witness the beautiful gardens from 9 am to 5 pm on all days. Social distancing and other COVID related precautions must be taken by the visitors to ensure a safe journey.
Amsterdam in India
All that we have discussed till now, sounds suspiciously like another very popular tourist city in Europe.
When the gates of India’s first-ever tulip garden were flung open in 2007, tourists and couples thronged to this lovesick paradise to recreate their own “Silsila” moment. If you are a lover of old Bollywood movies, you would have immediately understood that we are referencing the blockbuster hit, featuring Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha in lead roles. A very popular song from this movie, Dekha Ek Khawab, was shot at the tulip garden of Amsterdam.
Yup, that’s the very popular European city we were thinking about moments ago. For a country obsessed with Bollywood, this song was prime fodder and became an anthem for hopeless romantics.
So when India brought Amsterdam to Srinagar, this immediately became the largest attraction. Spread over 12 hectares, the Srinagar Tulip Garden is perfectly lined with rows after rows of tulips in every color you could imagine.
A few points to keep in mind
- The flowers bloom only for about 15 days in a year
- The entry fees to the gardens are Rs. 50 for adults and Rs. 25 for children
- The garden is open from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM every day
- Check Srinagar Tulip Garden Website and Jammu and Kashmir Tourism page for more details so your trip is better planned and you can avoid the risk of disappointing yourself with closed buds.
- Book your Savaari taxi in Srinagar for a comfortable commute.
How to reach Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden
The closest railway station to the tulip garden in Srinagar is Jammu and the closest airport is in Srinagar. You can book a taxi from Jammu to tulip garden or from Srinagar airport to tulip garden to ensure a smooth transfer. The distance between the Srinagar airport and Tulip garden is about 19 km.
Places to visit in Srinagar
Srinagar is the pride of the Kashmir Valley and is known as Heaven on Earth. It is situated along the Jhelum River and has amazing weather all around the year. Once there, most tourists feel like they have stepped into a painting. You will be mesmerized by the views of houseboats lining Dal Lake, shikaras transporting tourists, and some beautiful garden. Here’s a comprehensive guide to travelling around Srinagar and taking home only the best experience.
- Dal Lake – The jewel of Srinagar offering some amazing views
- Mughal Gardens – A combination of Shalimar Gardens, Nishat Bagh, and Chashm-e-Shahi, these gardens are a must-see for all travellers.
- Shikara Ride – Don’t miss the shikara ride across the Dal Lake
- Hazratbal Shrine – This shrine houses an heir of the prophet Muhammad, a relic titled Moi-e-Muqqadas.
- Wular Lake – India’s largest freshwater lake and the best spot for bird watching.
- Baramulla – for its untouched beauty
- Yusmarg – an under-explored hill station in Jammu & Kashmir
Things to do in Srinagar
- Visit the Saffron market – Take the taste of Kashmir back home by buying locally grown saffron from the markets.
- Shikara ride on Dal Lake – Visit the lake during sunset to witness the breathtaking view of the lush green mountains. Shop from the floating markets run by the locals.
- Stay on a houseboat – Book a houseboat on Dal Lake for a night and experience all kinds of luxuries on the water!
- Give your tastebuds a treat – Visit roadside bakeries at Lal Chowk and Dal Gate for tsot (a small round bread with poppy seeds), sheermal, baqerkhani, lavas, and kulcha. You can wash this down with salted tea called sheer or noon chai.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- When can we see Tulips in Kashmir?
The Tulip festival is celebrated in the months of March and May every year.
- How long is the Tulip festival?
The Tulip Festival in Srinagar goes on for about 15 to 30 days.
- What is the entry fee?
The entry fees to the gardens are Rs. 50 for adults and Rs. 25 for children.
- When should one visit to see the tulips in full bloom?
Flowers bloom around 15 days a year. The best time to visit the Tulip Garden would be in the month of April.
- When is the best time to see the tulip fields?
The best time to see tulip fields in Srinagar is in the months of April to May.