The heroine runs and her flowing dress bounces over beautiful flowers. The camera zooms out behind her, and as the music starts, your eyes are fixed to the screen as the heroine becomes a spot in the breathtaking scenes. You must have wondered where this location could be; commented about high budgets of movies… well, not all of those scenes are shot in foreign countries. The Tulip Garden in Cheshmashahi, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir is Asia’s largest; and a popular location for tourists, photographers, filmmakers, horticulturists, landscape professionals and many more.
Named “Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden” or, “Siraj Bagh”, this beautiful garden was formed in 1969 on the enchanting Zabarwan mountain slopes near famous Mughal Garden Cheshmashahi, over-looking the panorama of Dal Lake, which is a world famous tourist destination in itself. Set up by Department of Horticulture, Srinagar, it is mainly aimed at boosting floriculture and tourism in the Kashmir Valley. Every tourist season has a positive spiralling effect on other allied sectors like handicrafts, hotel industry, transport, photography and the houseboat industry.
Cheshmashahi Garden extends over an area of about 80 hectares and consists of several styles of gardens with unending joy for seekers of solace on informal and undulated landscape. It comprises of four components – Recreational Garden, Botanical Garden, Research Section, and Plant Introduction Centre. A beautiful lake spread over an area of 17 hectares with joy riding boats is also the attraction of the garden. The garden provides a 3.5 Kilometer joyride, a pleasant water garden, inspiring colour feast of spring, fragrance and colour pageantry of roses, riot of colours in summer, changing autumn colours and captivating twitter of water falls. Over 150,000 ornamental plants, representing about 300 plant species have been planted here.
The Tulip Garden, Cheshmashahi is located on the entrance to Srinagar. It has become a major attraction for tourists and the lovers of flora and fauna in early spring to watch hundreds of thousands of tulips in widespread variety and multiple colours in full bloom. This is India’s Holland, a country known for its tulips.
The garden—a dream project of nature loving former chief Minister Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad—is all set to become one of the largest tulip gardens of the world. More than seventy varieties of beautiful and vibrant tulips are grown here over about eight hectares of exclusive stretch. The flowers last for a very short time in Spring— the bloom season is last week of March to third week of April.
The Tulip Festival is held annually in April for 7 days when tulips are in full bloom. The sprawling tulips of varied colours make the garden look like a silken carpet with intricate designs. The scene is captivating with floral charm and is a memorable delight for a visitor. Last year more than 100,000 visitors visited the tulip garden here. The revenue was a whopping Rs 2.99 million in 2010.
Cultural programs, Kashmiri folk songs, sale of local handicrafts, and preparations of traditional Kashmiri cuisine forms an eminent part of the entertainment of visitors during the festival. For more information, contact us.
Cheshmashahi or the Royal Spring, foundation of which was laid by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1632 A.D, is located 9 km away from the city centre. It is famous for a spring of refreshment digestive water, having a natural spring of pure, cool and sparkling clear water. 2 km uphill from Cheshmashahi is situated the Pari Mahal (Palace of fairies), a school of astrology founded by Prince Dara Shikoh, Emperor Shah Jahan’s eldest son who was killed in the war of succession. The Cheshma Shahi – Pari Mahal area has now been developed into a Tourist Village. Aldous Huxley, the famous author, describes Cheshmashahi as “architecturally the most charming of the gardens near Srinagar”.
You can reach Srinagar by its extensive road network that connects Chandigarh, Delhi, Jammu, Leh and many other important towns and cities of India. Also Srinagar has a domestic airport that connects with all metropolitans. Rail connectivity, that defies most hindrances posed by hilly terrain, is also available.