As part of its efforts to revive tourism in the Kashmir Valley, the Jammu and Kashmir government will organise a first-of-its-kind 15-day festival next month to showcase Asia’s largest tulip garden. The Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden, overlooking the Dal Lake, has more than 20 lakh tulips of 46 varieties and its opening marks the beginning of tourism season in the Valley.
“The mega tulip festival will be part of Bahaar-e-Kashmir (spring in Kashmir) event to showcase Asia’s largest tulip garden in the summer capital of Srinagar. The festival will start on April 1 and will continue for 15 days,” said Farooq Ahmad Shah, secretary (tourism and floriculture), Government of Jammu and Kashmir.
At the festival site, decorated kiosks and stalls will showcase handicrafts and cuisine of the Valley with traditional, ethnic touch.
“On the sidelines of this mega festival, an ‘Aalmi Mushaira’ event will be held wherein world famous poets will enthral the audience with their latest Urdu compositions. This too would be first-of-its-kind in the Valley,” added Shah.
Formerly known as Siraj Bagh, the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden was opened in 2008 by the then Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.
At a recent conference in Mumbai, Shah informed that the state government’s focus this year is on reviving tourism, which was hit due the recent unrest in the Valley. With fresh focus on Leh, Ladakh and Kargil region, the Jammu and Kashmir government also will be spending `2,400 crore on development of tourism infrastructure in this region in the next four years.
AirAsia, earlier last month, started twice-daily direct flights between Delhi and Srinagar, which is expected to augur well overall tourism in the state. The airline had further indicated plans to connect Srinagar with other destinations in India.