Bagh-e-Bahaar: A flowery ode to Kashmir

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Bagh-e-Bahaar: A flowery ode to Kashmir

“Kiss the winter goodbye with a tulip”

These gaudy, bulbous flowers have captured the romantic imagination of the world from the 10th century CE. Tulips held special importance in the Islamic empires of the world. Sultan Selim II of the Ottoman Empire ordered 300,000 tulip bulbs from Kefe, present day Crimea. Back home in India, Srinagar hosts the largest tulip garden in Asia on the banks of the Dal Lake. Set against the backdrop of the Zabarwan hills and overlooking the Dal Lake, the brightly coloured tulips compose a picture-perfect frame.

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The blooming of the tulip is a harbinger of spring in the mountains as the snow finally releases its frosty grip over the landscape. Every year, Kashmir plays host to the 15-day long tulip festival beginning 01st April. In addition to the floral décor, travellers can expect to find a series of cultural programs that include lip smacking Kashmiri cuisine, exhibition of arts and handicrafts and Kashmiri songs.

The Kashmir Tulip Festival is a one of its kind festival in India. The other tulip festivals include

  • Keukenhof in Lisse the Netherlands (March 20th – May 17th)
  • Tulip Time Festival in Holland, MI USA (May 2nd – May 9th)
  • Skagit Tulip Festival in Mount Vernon, WA USA (April 1st – April 30th)
  • Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa Canada (May 8th –May 18th)
  • Tesselaar Tulip Festival Australia (September 10th – October 6th)

If you find yourself in Kashmir or plan to visit the Valley this month, make it a point to visit the Siraj Bagh in Srinagar. Perhaps you might understand why did Yash Chopra choose this setting for the lilting “Dekha ek khwaab toh yeh silsile hue” from the film Silsila.

Image result for tulip festival kashmir