Over 15 lakh (1.5 million) tulips are expected to bloom at the end of this month in Kashmir’s Tulip Garden, one of the largest in Asia, and will mesmerize thousands of tourists and locals.The bloom usually lasts up to a maximum of four weeks but the efforts in making the garden reach this stage is a long, painstaking and cumbersome process involving the blood and sweat of some 120 gardeners, labourers, among other workers.
For a few weeks of visual aesthetics for the visitors in the months of March-April, the gardeners and labourers toil yearlong, braving the vagaries of weather and indulging in constant hard work.“The tulip flowers last for a maximum of one month but the process continues for the whole year and involves a very cumbersome activity. The garden is the result of sweat and blood of our employees and workers,” said Sofi Inam-ur-Rehman, assistant floriculture officer and in-charge of the Tulip Garden.
This year, an additional two lakh bulbs have been added to the 30-hectare terracing garden at Siraj Bagh in Srinagar than last year when the bloom of 13 lakh (1.3 million) tulips had quietly withered away without catching an eye of any visitor due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
The picturesque garden, one of the biggest tulip gardens in Asia and located on the foothills of the Zabarwan range and the banks of majestic Dal Lake, has over 63 varieties of red, yellow, pink, white, purple, blue, yellow and multi-color – early blooming, mid blooming and late blooming – tulip bulbs this year.
“The colours are to cherish. It is an array of hues. Besides the usual ones, we also have crimson and brick red, maroon and apricot colour. The early and late blooming varieties have been added to extend the total blooming period.