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Dekha ek khwab....

8 mins. read

Published in the Saturday Navbharat Times on 10 February, 2024

"Dekha ek khwab to ye silsile hue, door tak nigah mein hain gul khile hue." As soon as we hear these lines, there is only one image in front of our eyes: rows and rows of colorful tulips swaying and dancing in the breeze. Immediately, we are transported to a wonderful world that is both exciting and uplifting. Early in my career as a tour manager, I remember being super excited on my first trip to Amsterdam, where I had the chance to visit Keukenhof Gardens. I had never seen flowers in so many colors, shapes, and varieties all in one place! It was like a dream come true. I was admiring the romantic atmosphere when a child in our group said the flowers reminded him of a turban! It made me smile at how accurate his description was because it is said that the name “tulip” was indeed derived from a Persian word that means turban, probably to resemble the people who discovered it! Tulips were originally found in a band stretching from Southern Europe to Central Asia, growing wild over much of the east and Central Asia. Tulips had probably been cultivated in Persia from the 10th century. Their popularity soared in Persia, Turkey, and Europe where, during the period known as Tulip mania, they were more valuable than jewels! Tulips were frequently depicted in Dutch Golden Age paintings and have become associated with the Netherlands, the major producer for world markets, ever since.

I always feel that there is something about flowers that enhances our mood. Flowers automatically make anyone feel better, perhaps why they're the best gift, no matter the occasion! The spring season, often hailed as a season of rejuvenation and renewal, is closely associated with the blossoming of flowers, marking the end of winter's dormancy. The sight of blossoming flowers signifies the awakening of life and symbolizes hope, optimism, and also evokes feelings of happiness and awe.

Two destinations that epitomize the beauty of spring flowers are Amsterdam and Japan. One of the world’s most spectacular flower gardens is Keukenhof Gardens in Amsterdam. Open only during the spring season, typically from March to May, Keukenhof is a celebration of the vibrant colors and fragrances of blooming flowers, particularly tulips. Spread across 32 hectares, the garden showcases millions of tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and other bulbous flowers in meticulously designed landscapes. Visitors are treated to a visual feast as they wander through themed gardens, charming water features, and avenues lined with an astonishing array of floral varieties. I remember when we were at the garden; we just couldn't stop taking photos. And this was an age when people also carried film cameras and complained about not having sufficient film to capture the beauty of the gardens! The shops at Keukenhof even sold camera film along with flowers and bulbs! Thanks to technology, it is not a problem anymore, and on your next visit to Keukenhof, you can definitely strike various poses to your heart's content as you capture your happy memories here! Just remember to ensure your phone or camera's battery is charged properly!

Closer to home, Srinagar is another excellent place to enjoy the Kashmiri gardens Shalimar Bagh, Nishat Bagh, and, if you travel in the spring season, you can visit our very own tulip garden in Srinagar too! Spring season is already a romantic season and preferred by honeymoon couples for their special tours, and the blossoming flowers make it even more romantic. The romantic symbolism of tulips, particularly representing a perfect and undying love, has deep historical roots originating from an ancient Persian tale. The story of Farhad and Shirin, who loved each other immensely, is linked to the origin of the tulip flower! Facing societal challenges that kept them apart, the lovers chose a tragic fate rather than separation. Upon Farhad's false belief in Shirin's death, he took his own life, prompting Shirin to follow suit. Legend has it that a red tulip sprouted from Farhad's blood, symbolizing their perfect and undying love. This poignant narrative has influenced the symbolism of tulips, especially in Persian and Middle Eastern cultures, where the flower represents an eternal bond between lovers. The talks may be a product of imaginative thinking, but it is needless to say that a visit to the gardens among blossoming tulips humming romantic songs is one of the most romantic ways to spend time with your loved one!

And what better place for a honeymoon than Kashmir! Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, boasts breathtaking landscapes and vibrant cultural heritage. The Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden, Asia's largest, is a major tourist attraction, offering a vivid display of tulips from late March to early April. Nestled at the foothills of the Zabarwan Range, the garden spans 30 hectares, creating a picturesque panorama. Beyond the tulip garden, Srinagar enchants with experiences like Shikara rides on Dal Lake and visits to Mughal Gardens such as Shalimar Bagh. The city, with its Himalayan backdrop and vibrant tulip blossoms, provides a captivating blend of natural beauty and cultural richness, making it an enchanting destination for all.

On the other side of the globe, Japan unfolds its own enchanting spectacle during spring. At Veena World, we believe in celebrating life wherever we are and offer different tours to travel and explore the beautiful destinations around the world. A holiday in Japan is an immersive and enriching experience, offering a perfect blend of traditional charm and modern innovation. From the bustling metropolis of Tokyo with its futuristic skyscrapers and vibrant street life to the serene temples of Kyoto, Japan provides a diverse range of attractions. I have been fortunate to experience the fall colors and winter in Japan but have missed out on the famous cherry blossom festival. It is definitely top on my travel bucket list! On my next trip, I want to experience the tradition of hanami that involves people gathering in parks to appreciate the transient beauty of cherry blossoms or sakura flowers. Hanami, with deep cultural roots dating back centuries, has become a cherished seasonal event, marking the arrival of spring and symbolizing the transient nature of life. While in Japan, take time to discover the ancient rituals of tea ceremonies, explore historic castles, experience the hospitality of the locals, and enjoy the local food. Whether you're exploring the tranquil landscapes of Hakone, experiencing the electric energy of Osaka, or visiting the iconic Mount Fuji, a holiday in Japan promises a harmonious blend of tradition and modernity, creating lasting memories for every traveler.

Soon winter will subside, and Spring season will take over with its pleasant weather and crisp fresh air scented with the seasonal blossoms. This spring season, whether you find yourself amid the vibrant tulip fields of Keukenhof Gardens in Amsterdam or surrounded by the delicate cherry blossoms of Japan during Hanami, the experience is nothing short of magical. At Veena World, thousands of our tourists will experience this magic. With over 12 tour options to visit the Keukenhof gardens, 5 different tours to Srinagar, and 4 tour options for cherry blossoms, you are spoilt for choice, and there's sure to be a tour to suit your needs. Come, experience the beauty of flowers, in all its transitory glory, a powerful reminder of nature's cyclical rebirth and the timeless joy it brings to those who witness it."

February 09, 2024


Sunila Patil
Sunila Patil

Sunila Patil, the founder and Chief Product Officer at Veena World, holds a master's degree in physiotherapy. She proudly served as India's first and only Aussie Specialist Ambassador, bringing her extensive expertise to the realm of travel. With a remarkable journey, she has explored all seven continents, including Antarctica, spanning over 80 countries. Here's sharing the best moments from her extensive travels. Through her insightful writing, she gives readers a fascinating look into her experiences.

More Blogs by Sunila Patil

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