Dekha ek khwab toh yeh silsiley huve
Dur tak nigah mein hai gul khile huve
The moment you hear this song, image of gorgeous Rekha running through the colourful tulips field pops into your mind, doesn’t it? Do you know the location where this song was picturised? It’s the Keukenhof Tulip Gardens in Lisse near Amsterdam, Netherlands. A favoured destination for the Bollywood movie makers, Keukenhof Tulip Gardens are one of the major tourist attractions in Netherlands.
The striking colors of the flowering tulip bulbs are a typical sight in Netherlands during the spring. The bright red, pink and yellow colors are overwhelmingly beautiful and are a must see, or should we say, a must experience! Originally cultivated in the Ottoman Empire (present-day Turkey), tulips were imported into Holland in the sixteenth century. When Carolus Clusius wrote the first major book on tulips in 1592, they became so popular that his garden was raided and bulbs stolen on a regular basis. As the Dutch Golden Age grew, so did this curvaceous and colorful flower. They became popular in paintings and festivals. In the mid-seventeenth century, tulips were so popular that they created the first economic bubble, known as ‘Tulip Mania’ (tulipomania). As people bought up bulbs they became so expensive that they were used as money until the market in them crashed.
Today, Holland is still known for its tulips and other flowers, often being affectionately called the ‘flower shop of the world.’ Tulips are cultivated in great fields of beautiful color, and tulip festivals flourish throughout the country in the spring. The Dutch people took their love of tulips abroad when they settled, and tulips and tulip festivals are now found in New York (originally New Amsterdam) and Holland, Michigan, where the connection to their Dutch roots is very strong.
In Holland, you will find millions of tulips, hyacinths and other flowers, which transform the landscape into a sea of different colours. Each year, the Tulip Festival is organized, where the tulips show off their glorious colours. Held in the middle of the tulip fields, this flower festival runs from late April to early May. Flower markets and gardens abound, Alsmeer, near Amsterdam, houses the world’s biggest flower auction, which is really something to see. To just wander the gardens, be sure to visit Keukenhof, the largest flower garden in the world. It's located just south of Haarlem and you'll probably recognize it (if you’ve ever seen picture of a field of tulips, it’s probably Keukenhof). Keukenhof is an unforgettable experience for people of all ages. The historic park with more than 2700 trees covers an area of thirty-two hectares, full of tulips, hyacinths, daffodils and all the other spring bulbs. The floral displays in the park and the unique flower shows in the various pavilions are a glorious visual feast. Each spring seven million buds break through the rich soil of Keukenhof Gardens and head skyward. Dutch growers produce spectacular displays – colourful carpets of interlaced flowers that dazzle the eyes and infuse the air with sweet scents. The world famous Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse are opened from mid-March until mid-May.
Many special activities are organized during the Tulip Festival. You can enjoy walks, tulip garden shows, mosaic pathways, photography competitions, blossom routes and many more fun activities. The millions of bicycles in Holland are another trademark. Therefore, what better way to enjoy the lovely fragrances, the local culture and being part of this colorful landscape than to cycle through it? While marveling at the unique views, the winding routes through the fields take you from the historic town of Leiden to the beautiful city of Haarlem. A visit to the world-famous Keukenhof will give you plenty opportunities to take that beautiful shot. In short, there is a lot to experience in the coming spring season at the Keukenhof Tulip Festival. You must visit by May if you want to see it.
To quote the famous Hollywood actor Robin Williams - Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’ So are you ready to party in Holland this spring…??
Team Veena world