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Kashmir aglow with tulips

Srinagar , Fri, 23 Mar 2012 ANI

Srinagar, Mar 23 (ANI): Preparations are in full swing for an annual tulip festival in Jammu and Kashmir, which is set to be a major tourist attraction.

Local authorities have been immersed in the festival organisation in Siraj Bagh (forest), which overlooks the scenic Dal Lake by the foothills of the famous Zabarwan hills.

Labourers have been working around the clock to ensure that the festival starts by the end of the month or early April.

"I believe that this season will turn out to be far better than the last four seasons. People this time will be able to see much nicer flowers than the previous four seasons in the festival, which we are going to open after 10 to15 days to the public," said Muhammad Shafi Beg, the supervisor of the tulip garden.

By April, tulips are usually in full bloom in and around Srinagar, lending an ethereal atmosphere to the Valley, which has been dubbed by many as 'paradise on Earth'.

The tulips, set against the backdrop of the majestic snow-clad Himalayan Mountains, are a major tourist attraction. In most parts of the world, tulips are only found in the plains.

"This tulip garden is very famous in Asia and we are preparing for this festival so that there is a bigger turnout of tourists. Kashmir is known as 'paradise on Earth' and I believe that through this tulip festival we want to promote this image of Kashmir," said Muhammad Younis, a local resident.

Holland is globally renowned for its tulips but over the last few years an increasing number of tourists are visiting Kashmir for its flora.

Kashmir has the Asia's largest tulip garden called Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden, Siraj Bagh Cheshmashahi in Srinagar.

The festival is held annually in the month of April 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 simply captivating with floral charm. It is a visitor's memorable delight. (ANI)

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