Kashmir's Tulip Gardens, A Big Draw For Foreign Tourists11 April 2010
Srinagar: Kashmir's Tulip Garden, where the flowers are in full bloom, has become a major attraction for foreign tourists who are visiting Kashmir Valley this season. The Tulip Garden, considered to be one of Asia's largest, was conceived at the foot of the Zabarwan mountain range, which overlooks the famous Dal Lake in Srinagar. It has been open to the public since March 2008. Since then, thousands of tourists have been visiting Kashmir during March and April to see the tulips. 'I have really been waiting for a very long time to come to Kashmir. It has been very difficult in the past, as you know. So, finally getting a chance to be in India and also to have an opportunity to come to Kashmir, everything had to fit very well and it did,' said Ben Wilkensen, an American tourist. 'We want that more and more tourists should visit Kashmir. A thing which the valley is well known for and we again get the opportunity to play host the them,' said Javaid Ahmad, in-charge of the Tulip Garden. Tourism is the backbone of the Kashmir economy. From the Mughal era, the region has served as a retreat for Indians living in the plains, who seek respite from the summer.