At this time of year, one does not think of visiting Kashmir to see a tulip garden—at least I don’t. My pedestrian imaginings dwell more on expected Tulip Centrals like, I dunno, Holland, where our friend Jim/Art of Gardening is cavorting at this very moment.
But for those who like to visit India at this time of year, here’s another reason to go: one of the the largest tulip gardens in Asia (there is another contender in Shanghai) now exists at Srinagar, the summer capital of Kashmir. The site has almost a million tulips, with about 60 varieties represented (yeah, a bit disappointing in terms of cultivars), and covers 50 acres. All the bulbs were brought from Holland, so one can assume these are all the most popular hybrids, as indeed it appears from the images I’ve managed to google. Bollywood producers are already lining up for the chance to use these fields of brilliant color as a backdrop for their films. Officially named the Indira Gandhi Tulip Garden (some controversy over that), the site was inaugurated this year as part of efforts to win tourists back to a beautiful area that has been less popular for the usual sad reasons.
I guess it must be working, as I see a number of YouTube and Flickr documentations of visits to the garden. Of course, the largest tulip display is still at the Keukenhof Gardens in Holland. (Anyone going to see those besides Jim?)
I have always longed to see the spring flowers of India, though these wouldn’t strictly fit into that category. A conservancy devoted to the wild tulips of the Near East would be more interesting, though I doubt such a place exists.