The next time sprawling tulip fields catch your imagination in a Bollywood blockbuster don't think of Holland. For, Jammu and Kashmir may soon have Asia's largest tulip garden.
Sirajbagh, a vast expanse of fertile land situated at the foothills of the Zabarwan mountains on the banks of the Dal Lake in the summer capital Srinagar, is these days a riot of colour.
Yellow, white, pink, purple, red, blue and crimson tulips impart a majestic look to the valley's first tulip garden. These beautifully laid tulip fields are a romanticist's dream come true.
The authorities here are upbeat about Kashmir having Asia's largest tulip garden soon because they have managed to grow as many as 50 exotic varieties of tulips imported from Holland.
"We engaged consultants from Holland and have imported 50 exotic varieties to which will be grown here and all of them are blooming these days.
"Finally to be extended to 90 acres, Sirajbagh is soon to be Asia's largest tulip garden," said Farooq Ahmad, the director of the local tourism department.<b1>
The authorities said the tulip garden would be an additional attraction for domestic and foreign tourists who are expected to arrive here in large numbers this year.
"We sowed around 350,000 tulip bulbs in this garden last year. Except for some minor failures, which is normal, most of the bulbs are going to flower this spring," said an official of the gardens and parks department.
In order to make tulip growing a viable industry - these bulbs have a roaring market internationally - the department has decided to distribute tulip bulbs among local growers to encourage private enterprise.
"We are also going to have tulip gardens in the tourist resorts of Gulmarg and Pahalgam to add to the beauty of these destinations," the director of the tourism department said.
Now that the tulips are already here, can Bollywood be far away?
At least three major Bollywood film producers have already sent their requests to the local authorities for shooting in the valley this year.
Kashmir could soon be back on the silver screen to reclaim its lost glory, having lent its scenic beauty to yesteryear super hits like "Junglee", "Kashmir Ki Kali" "Mere Sanam" and "Silsila".