Tulip Gardens of Kashmir: A Riot of Colours

Tourists throng for timeless tale of beauty


April 12, 2023

/ By / New Delhi

Tulip Gardens of Kashmir: A Riot of Colours

Tulips Gardens has become a major Tourist destination in the valley

Known for its picturesque landscapes and post-card beauty, Jammu & Kashmir has long been one of the most popular destinations for visitors from all over India, and overseas. With the onset of spring, there is another star attraction for tourists, the tulip gardens of Kashmir that bloom in March-April each year, spreading a riot of colours all around.

Rate this post


“The valley has been through a lot lately, these flowers act as a beacon of hope for the future,” says Suhail Bhatt, a freelance journalist who has lived almost all his life near the tulip gardens in Srinagar that opened to visitors recently and will stay open through April.

Spread over an area of 30 hectares, the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden, located on the banks of the iconic Dal Lake in the winter capital of J&K, is one of the largest tulip gardens in Asia. According to the Srinagar district website the garden boasts of more than 1.5 million tulips in various colours like red, yellow, pink, white and purple, making it a visual delight for tourists from across the globe.

The Tulip Garden in Kashmir is open to visitors for only a month from the end of March till the end of April, when the tulips are in full bloom. The best time to visit is early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the light is soft and the colours of the flowers are at their vibrant best.

The history of tulips in Kashmir is fascinating and dates back to the early 17th century. It is believed that the first tulip bulbs were brought to the region by a botanist named Carolus Clusius, who was working in the court of the Dutch Emperor. He gifted the bulbs to a friend who happened to be the Governor of Kashmir at the time, and thus began the journey of tulips in the beautiful valley of Kashmir.

Cultivation of tulips in Kashmir continued during the reign of the Mughals, and the gardens of the royal palaces were filled with these beautiful flowers. Mughal Emperor Jahangir, who was known for his love for gardens and flowers, was mesmerised by the beauty of the tulips and ordered the planting of thousands of bulbs in his gardens. The flower became so popular that it was even mentioned in many of his poems and paintings.

However, with the decline of the Mughal Empire, the tradition of tulip cultivation in Kashmir also began to decline. It was not until the early 20th century that the cultivation of tulips was revived in Kashmir by a British resident, George Watt. He noticed the ideal weather conditions in the region for growing tulips and started experimenting with different varieties of bulbs. With the help of local farmers and gardeners, he established the first modern tulip garden in Srinagar, which is now known as the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden.

Apart from the tulips, the garden also offers a breathtaking view of the Zabarwan mountain range, that overlooks Srinagar and provides the perfect backdrop to the colourful blooms. Tourists can also take a shikara (wooden boat) ride in the nearby Dal Lake and witness the tulips from a unique perspective.

“Over the years the influx of tourists has increased, it is partly because of the advent of social media and Instagram reels culture,” Bhatt tells Media India Group.

But it is not just the tourists who throng the gardens, even residents are drawn to their beauty. “People flock here on all weekends specially, they come here to enjoy good weather and sunlight. I have played here with my friends as a kid, this garden brings back old childhood memories,” Bhatt gleams with nostalgia.

In addition to the tulip garden, Kashmir also has a variety of other gardens like the Shalimar Bagh, Nishat Bagh and Chashme Shahi, which add to the beauty and charm of the valley. The gardens were built by the Mughals in the 16th century and are a testament to the architectural and horticultural skills of the time.

The tulip gardens in Kashmir have become a major attraction for tourists, not just from India, but from all over the world. The garden has also become a symbol of hope and resilience for the people of Kashmir, who have been through a lot of turmoil in recent times. The tulips, with their vibrant colours and delicate beauty, remind us of the inherent beauty of life and the need to cherish it.

“Increase in tourism means good business for the shopkeepers and vendors here. Hopefully things will improve,” says Suhail, with optimism.



    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *