SRINAGAR: The two-day tulip festival concluded with the enthralling cultural and musical performances by popular artists and singers from within and outside Jammu and Kashmir.
The festival which was thrown open by Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha yesterday was organised by the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism department in collaboration with Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation and Department of Floriculture.
The purpose of holding such a beautiful festival was that while tourists were enjoying the beauty of the Tulip Garden, they are also exposed to our traditional culture, music, cuisine and handicrafts at a single venue.
Around 50 volunteers were deployed at the venue for ensuring visitors wore masks, maintained social distance and all COVID19 SOPs are adhered to. The number of invitees to the main venue was also kept limited so that proper social distancing was maintained.
Tourism department, JKTDC, department handicrafts and also the floriculture department besides private enterprises had erected and properly decorated their stalls displaying Kashmir’s unique art and craft, cuisines and other items.
On the occasion, visitors praised the beauty of the tulip garden and appreciated the efforts of the floriculture department in beautifying the garden painstakingly.
Speaking on the occasion Secretary Tourism Sarmad Hafeez said the Tulip Festival is a festival of celebration of spring.
“People are enjoying the beauty of this garden which has been breathtakingly beautified by the department of floriculture,” said Sarmad.
Stating that arrival of spring in itself is a festival to celebrate, the Secretary Tourism said not only tulips but the flowers are in full bloom in the entire Kashmir.
Appealing the travellers to visit Kashmir, the Secretary Tourism said spring is a perfect time for people all the country to come and enjoy the natural beauty here.
He said the Department of Tourism has planned series of festivities and tulip festival was just a beginning for the upcoming seasons to attract tourists to Kashmir.
“Jammu and Kashmir is a place of all seasons and we are planning festivals in every season for the locals and tourist alike. We started with Almond blossom (Badamwari festival) and now Tulip festival and many more events are coming in summer. The tulip festival is an open invitation to all the people from all over the country and from all over the world to celebrate the beauty of Jammu and Kashmir.”
Speaking on the occasion, Director Tourism Dr G N Itoo said the tulip festival is a message to all the people outside Jammu and Kashmir to come and enjoy the beauty of the valley.
He said that the department has started a vigorous campaign for the publicity and promotion of Jammu and Kashmir’s tourism.
“We are trying to showcase culture, cuisine and craft of Kashmir to the people outside Kashmir,” said Dr Itoo.
The notable singers and artists who performed on the occasion include Vibha Saraf, Ustaad Gulzar Ganie, Farooq Ganie, Waheed Jeelani, Yawar Abdal, Mehmeet Syed, Irfan Bilal, Sonali Dogra, Waqar Khan.
On an inaugural day, renowned Bollywood Singer Badshah and Aastha Gill’s live performance enthralled the visiting tourists and attracted huge applause from the audience.
It also included Santoor, Rabab and drum by Umar Majeed, Adnaan, Faisal, Rauf by girls of Yemberzal Group kept the audience glued to the festival.
Most of the songs revolved around Kashmir’s beauty.
Later, Secretary Tourism along with the Director Tourism distributed momentos to the artists and guests.
The tulip garden presents a riot of colours with over 15 lakh fully bloomed flowers of more than 64 varieties planted over 30 hectares in the foothills of Zabarwan.
As many as 32,000 visitors visited the Tulip garden in two day of the Festival.
The festival saw presence of Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar and Baseer Ahmad Khan- Advisors to Lt Governor and Junaid Azim Mattu, Mayor SMC. Member Central Waqf Council & Chairperson, Waqf Development Committee, Union Ministry of Minority Affairs, Dr Darakhshan Andrabi also attended the inaugural event.
Among others present on the occasion were Rohit Kansal Principal Secretary, PDD and Information; Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to Lt Governor; Pandurang K Pole, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir; Vijay Kumar, IGP, Kashmir, Sheikh Fayaz Ahmad, Commissioner/Secretary, Floriculture; Mohammad Aìjaz, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar; Rahul Pandey, Director, Department of Information & PR; Athar Amir Khan, Commissioner SMC;; concerned HoDs; senior officers of Civil and Police Administration, besides travel and hospitality sector members.