Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday asked people to visit the Tulip garden located at the foothills of Zabarwan Range in Srinagar and enjoy the warm hospitality of the people of the Union territory.
This is for the first time Modi has himself come forward to promote the Srinagar’s sprawling tulip garden which will open for tourists on Thursday with more than 15 lakh flowers that will be a feast for eyes of the visitors.
Modi posted a couple of pictures of the blooming tulips in the garden near the banks of the Dal Lake and tweeted; “Tomorrow, 25 March is special for Jammu and Kashmir. A majestic tulip garden on the foothgills of Zabarwan Mountains will open for visitors. The Garden will see over 15 lakh flowers of more than 64 varieties in bloom.”
“Whenever you get the opportunity, do visit Jammu and Kashmir and witness the scenic Tulip festival. In addition to the tulips, you will experience the warm hospitality of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” the PM added.
Modi’s tweet drew positive response from a large number of Kashmiri youth and the former chief minister Omar Abdullah retweeted the PM’s tweet.
Covid-19 having played a spoilsport last year for the tourism industry in Kashmir, the Jammu and Kashmir government in a bid to attract tourists had planned a grand opening of the tulip festival in Srinagar. The PM himself coming forward to invite visitors to the tulip garden has come as a major booster.
Hectic preparations are being made for the opening of Asia’s largest tulip garden.
These flowers had last year wilted without any tourist visiting there because of the countrywide lockdown due to coronavirus.
However, this time top officers of the tourism department have visited Gujarat, Bengal and other places to revive the traditional tourism chain with these places. Bollywood has also been roped in to revive Kashmir a destination for movie-makers.
Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha and his principal secretary Nitishwar Kumar are personally keeping tab on the preprations.
Popular local artists as well as those from Bollywood, including leading music maestros, are expected to perform at the festival.
It is worth mentioning that more than 2.50 lakh tourists visited the picturesque tulip garden till beginning of August in 2019 when tourists were abruptly ordered to leave J&K before abrogation of the Article 370 that was followed by a long spell of curfew in Kashmir. The next year proved equally bad for the tourism industry due to the lockdown.