Last week, I decided to act on my readers’ opinions and launch a new campaign – Rediscover India, Incredible India. As part of this, I will choose a theme every month that would talk about the heritage, beauty and rich culture of Incredible India. Each theme will have 4-5 blog posts exploring unique and unknown aspects of that theme.
So are you ready? To explore and rediscover the ruins of Indus Valley Civilisation, the giant mountains of Himalayas & Kanchenjunga, the beaches along the Arabian Sea, the hill stations on the Nilgiris & Western Ghats and the incredible wildlife on Incredible India!
Also read: Incredible India, my 7 year long journey through the country
The first theme is – Affordable places in India that will make you forget International Dream Destinations
In today’s blog, we will talk about the Tulip Gardens of Kashmir that will remind you of the Tulips of Keukenhof, Netherlands.
Tulips of Kashmir
It doesn’t take a fan of flowers or nature to fall in love with the vast expanse of Tulips that bloom in the Tulip Garden of Kashmir every year. In 68 unique varieties, thousands of Tulips welcome you on the bank of Dal lake – forming a landscape that’s one of its own kind in Asia.
Every year, tourists and locals visit the garden in huge numbers between March to April to take time off in this little piece of heaven.
Tulip Festival, Kashmir
Celebrated as an annual affair, Tulip Festival is a spectacular sight. Developed across seven terraces, the garden looks like a sloped ground and thus offers generous and panoramic views to onlookers. Situated at the foothills of Zabarwan range, tourists can enjoy the view of thousands of Tulips in the backdrop of snow-capped mountains, by the side of Dal lake.
When you experience the garden the first time, a set of two eyes feel less to absorb and intake the breathtaking views. At several points in the garden, you would want to take a pause. Not because you are tired but because you would want to sit, relax and enjoy nature’s creations/ wonders in front of you. You would not want to get up from that spot, for hours. But you will stand up and finish the walk inside the garden. Because you would not want to miss any of the Tulips. You would not want to leave any corner unexplored. Several hours later, you will be satisfied only after covering the entire garden – only to realise that you can never be satisfied with one, two, three or hundred visits. May be, you need to come and visit the Tulip garden, every year in this lifetime to satiate your soul.
When you visit Kashmir, you don’t visit a place. You experience a glimpse of heaven – here on Earth. Or may be, Kashmir inspired the idea of heaven. Who knows?
The sounds of gushing water, the tall Pine trees everywhere, the beautiful, soft-spoken locals and the aroma of freshly brewed Kehwa all coalesce together to create a saga that you won’t experience anywhere in the world, except in Kashmir.
If you visit Kashmir, you must experience the Kashmiri cuisine that shares similarities with Persian & Central Asian food – with its heavy reliance on meat dishes, less spices and generous helpings of rice. Rogan Josh, Rista, Kababs, Kormas and Yakhaen are enough to make any non-vegetarian drool. But hey, what about vegetarians?! Well, for vegetarians too, they serve the best Rajmal Chawal, all kinds of breads, and baked goods.
You can take a few days off and visit the local attractions such as Chasme Shahi, Pari Mahal, Nishat Gardens, Dal lake houseboat rides, Mughal Garden, Shalimar Bagh and local markets. Do not forget to buy Kashmiri Mirch, handcrafted Kashmiri embroidery clothes, almonds, walnuts and Kashmiri saffron (also called Zafran).
You can reach Srinagar, Kashmir by air, rail or road. You can either catch a flight to Srinagar, or take a train to Jammu/ Udhampur train stations. From there, you will find taxis that will take you to Srinagar.
Tulip Garden of Kashmir is in some ways more special than those of the Netherlands – simply because of the magnificent views of mountains, lakes, pine trees and valleys.
2 Comments Add yours
Indeed, this is much better with Himalayan Views!
Thank you, Giri. Comments from someone like you who’s so well travelled, mean a lot 🙂