Srinagar, March 25: The beginning of the tourism season in the Kashmir Valley was today marked with the opening of Asia's largest Tulip garden on the banks of the iconic Dal lake. Jammu and Kashmir Tourism minister Tasaduq Mufti and Floriculture minister Javed Mustafa Mir were among the first visitors for this season.
The floriculture department has planted 12.25 lakh Tulip bulbs of 40 varieties and colours in the 10-hectares garden, Mir said, adding that 20 percent bloom was recorded on its opening day.
“Full bloom will be achieved in a few days. I am happy that tourists have started coming here and I expect a bumper tourist season this year,” the floriculture minister said. This year, visitors can access Wi-Fi at no cost among other facilities, Mir said.
"We have added more green spaces inside the garden so that visitors can rest and enjoy the beauty of flowers,” Director at the Floriculture department Mathoora Masoom said.
She said this season, 40,000 Hyacinth bulbs have been planted in a separate terrace and the department has added several new fountains to the garden. “We have added some other species of flowers to the Tulip garden this year. These include Hyacinths, Daffodils, Narcissus and other ornamental plants," Masoom said.
Director, Tourism, Kashmir, Mehmood Shah also expressed hope of a better tourist season this year. “The huge response to the Tulip garden is a good start,” he told PTI. The three-day 64th Convention of the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) would start on March 27 here, Shah said.