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Tourists throng Palampur’s Tulip Garden

By, Palampur
Feb 26, 2024 05:02 AM IST

While last year, it welcomed around 70,000 visitors and it is anticipated that this year’s numbers may reach up to one lakh

The Tulip Garden in Palampur, now in its third year, has become a major attraction for tourist from across the country.

According to officials, the number of visitors has surpassed 65,000 so far (HT Photo)

It is Himachal Pradesh’s first Tulip Garden planted by CSIR- Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (IHBT), Palampur. This year, it was thrown open to the public on February 2 and has already experienced a surge in visitors.

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According to officials, the number of visitors has surpassed 65,000 so far. While last year, it welcomed around 70,000 visitors and it is anticipated that this year’s numbers may reach up to one lakh. It will remain open to the public till the first week of March.

Tulips are tuberous cut flowers that have huge international and domestic demand. It ranks third in the world’s top cut flower trade. The garden was inaugurated in February 2022 and drew nearly 40,000 visitors during the first flowering season. This year, six varieties of tulips, purple flag, pink ardour, escape, ile de france, royal virgin, strong gold, have been grown in the garden and the number of bulbs used is 50,000, as compared to 45,000 last year. Last year, bicolour varieties were used but this year, the institute has used only single colour varieties.

The institute first imported the tulip bulbs from Holland in 2018 and started trials for localised production. It has more than 20 varieties of tulips.

The institute initiated experimental tests in the Lahaul valley to explore the commercial cultivation potential of tulips, focusing on flower and bulb production. Initially, farmers associated with different cooperative societies received training and support to undertake tulip cultivation. These farmers have since become involved in tulip farming, aiming for both bulb and flower yields, and are now experiencing positive outcomes.

Bhavya Bhargava, a senior scientist at the institute who is spearheading this project, said that the institute was doing studies on its developmental biology so that the technology can be developed for flower regulation and early flowering.

“Additionally, one industry incubated in the institute for the soil-less cultivation of these highly priced flower crop. Collaborating with fifty farmers in Lahaul, the institute is working on the cultivation of bulbs indigenously. This initiative fosters import substitution and generates employment opportunities,” he said.

He also said that they are doing research on the developmental biology for the forcing of bulbs.

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