The colourful memories

Nothing matches the feeling of visiting the Tulip garden for the very first time
"After seeking entry at the gate, when we stepped into the company of multi-colored tulips from all sides, we simply were awestruck. It was truly so splendid."
"After seeking entry at the gate, when we stepped into the company of multi-colored tulips from all sides, we simply were awestruck. It was truly so splendid."Special arrangement

With the onset of spring in Kashmir, everyone keeps a watchful eye on the opening of the Bagh e Gulala (Tulip Garden), in Srinagar. Tulip Garden is not only one of the largest gardens in Asia but also a home to several flower species other than tulips like daffodils, hyacinths, roses, iris etc. Besides gazing upon this wonder from afar, one feels like the rainbow has descended on earth.

I had only heard about its beauty until 2013, and had seen the fascinating pictures of the tulips either on the newspapers or in the books. As local visitor, my desire to visit this garden was so strong that every year I would yearn to visit this garden.

But then the garden was thrown open and I’d hook with something else thereby diminishing my chances to see the garden year after year. Finally, one day I got a chance to see this lovely landscape of tulips physically.

My first visit to this garden in March, 2013 is a deeply etched personal memory. I was accompanied by a close friend of mine that day. After seeking entry at the gate, when we stepped into the company of multi-colored tulips from all sides, we simply were awestruck. It was truly so spelendid.

The breathtaking scenes inside the garden left us thrilled. In Kashmir, March and April bring lovely showers which add more charm to the scene. It rained that day too, intermittently. The hovering clouds from over the Zabarwan hills not only drenched us but elated us as well in the awesome vicinity of riot of colors.

Sometimes, it rained so hastily that the visitors would run over to protect themselves and then after some moments’ lashing out by the drizzle would come out again the dazzling sun making the whole garden look amazing for the sightseers. The brighter sunshine would not only add more to the beauty of the garden but also rejuvenated the visitors.

No sooner we stepped in the garden than the colorful rows of multi-hued tulips welcomed us. Seeing tourists capturing the bloom with camera, we couldn’t resist the temptation and clicked photographs in the joyful tulip atmosphere to be later cherished as memory.

It is an incredible piece of luck, if the weather remains sunny during the bloom in the garden. Because when it rains, the mood is set off due to muddy ground that discomforts a lot.

Those days, visitors would savor a cup of Kashmir Kahwa (an infusion made with sliced almond and saffron strands) at a kiosk inside the garden soon they were in. The Kahwa was served with Chachvor (Kashmiri bread). The Kahwa served inside the garden would even allure the locals.

I recall, we too had a cup of saffron Kahwa with Chachvor in the company of excited tourists. No doubt, the bloom lasts till mid-April and fascinates people, but then the attraction of the starting days is something different.

This visit, undoubtedly, mesmerised me a lot. Relishing gole-guppay (pani-puri) outside the garden-gate is unforgettable. I really enjoyed much and got an opportunity to strike short conversations with tourists who had come from different parts of the country.

They praised the natural beauty of Kashmir a lot which according to them is ‘the heaven on earth’. I remember, exchanging pleasantries with a Sikh couple from Punjab who had put up at a hotel room in Dalgate, Srinagar ahead of inauguration and were enthusiastically waiting for the garden to be thrown open.

To them, Kashmir is a land of bliss and beauty where one finds great tranquility, joy and feels totally re-born.

Thrown open for the general public every year in the last week of March, this beautiful garden where one experiences great bloom of over more than 64 varieties of tulips is the second famous tulip destination in the world. So, what are you waiting for; do not let the chance go off your hands to visit this garden, this spring season.

Manzoor Akash works as a teacher in the Dept. of School Education, J&K

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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