It’s time to see tulips by the million



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.

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Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regularly radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world,and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at


  1. Being a big fan of wildflowers, I have about 10 species of wild tulips in the yard (the front yard is a mix of native and alien wild plants…it includes English Bluebells, Fumewort, and others; the back yard all native Midwest vegetation plus a vegetable garden).

    It would be fascinating to see a display of many different species of wild tulips, fritillaria, etc…

    I’m trying to interest the local Park District in adding wild tulips to its more formal plantings:)

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