In a significant development which could boost tourism in Kashmir, Srinagar’s lone Tulip Garden has bagged prestigious World Tulip Award.
Situated on the foothills of Zabarwan mountain, the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden has featured among ‘Top 5 tulip gardens’ to be visited across the globe by the World Tulip Summit Society.
The World Tulip Summit Society (WTSS), a network of tulip lovers (tulipists) from 17 countries, is promoting the tulip as a symbol of world friendship. Each World Tulip Summit is held biannually to celebrate the special history of the tulip and its relationship with mankind over the many centuries.
“In the spirit of highlighting the world’s most dynamic tulip experiences and their contribution to world friendship, WTSS is honored to announce the 2015 recipients of the World Tulip Awards,” WTSS said in a communiqué.
The recipients of the award are Srinagar Tulip Garden, Tonami Tulip Festival, Japan, Tulip Time – Holland, Michigan, United States of America, Canadian Tulip Festival, Ottawa, Canada and Taean Tulip Festival, South Korea
The statement further adds that WTSS decided to launch the first “World Tulip Awards”, to recognize those places which excel in the promotion and celebration of the tulip. “Tourism is the world’s fourth largest industry. Tourism also permits and encourages people to discover other cultures and destinations,” it states.
“Tulips are part of the culture of many countries and tulip attractions, events and festivals are very much part of a destination’s tourism appeal. Visiting tulip destinations provides opportunities to share our cultures and establish friendships”, states Michel Gauthier, Chair of the World Tulip Summit Society.
World Tulip Awards are presented to organizations and individuals who have distinguished themselves in the development and promotion of tulips as part of their destination’s tourism appeal.
The Tulip Garden here has over 100 varieties of tulips in various hues. The garden was developed in 2007. Earlier, the historic Mughal Gardens used to be the first choice for tourists visiting the Valley. From past several years, the Tulip Garden has become main attraction of visitors during the onset of spring.
Formerly known as Siraj Bagh, the Tulip Garden was the brainchild of then Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad. The garden was developed with an objective to provide tourists with an added incentive to visit the Valley.
Tulip cultivation has since been started on a commercial scale. The delicate flowers in different hues and colours are sent to markets across the country including Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi and Hyderabad.
Vice president, Tourist Trade Interest Guild, Bashir Ahmad Karnai said that the recognition by the world recognized forum will help the Kashmir tourism a great deal. “Tulip garden in Srinagar is a best place which can attract tourists from across the globe,” he added.