Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Mughal Gardens – The Crown of Srinagar

Gushing fountains and terraced lawns with the beautiful vista of the stunning Dal Lake, Mughal Gardens are the truly the crown of Srinagar. Traditionally structured in former gardens of Persia, Central Asia and Turkistan

these gardens are among the top places of tourist inters tint he valley along with being a regular picnic spot for the local people. The Mughal emperor built three of the famed gardens namely Cheshmashahi, Nishat and Shalimar garden visualizing the surrounding area of Dal Lake as a paradise.

Nishat Bagh: Popular as the ‘garden of bliss’, Nishat Bagh is placed on the banks of the Dal Lake with the scenic backdrop of the Zabarwan mountains. Designed in 1633 AD by Asaf Khan (brother of Nur Jehan), it is the largest of the gardens with 7 terraces. From the eastern part of the lake these terraces mount radically off the mountain which combines with the flowers beds to create a captivating sight of unforgettable colourful riot in the eye of the visitor. This garden is extended over an area of about 117 acres and consists of 12 terraces lengthwise representing the twelve signs of zodiac. Its greatness lies in its wonderful setting which is festooned with pouring water flow, biology and the view that it provides is totally awesome.

Note: Closed on Fridays. 9:30 am to 5:30 pm

Entry Fee: Rs. 10/adult and Rs. 5/children.

Cheshmashahi: Constructed in 1632 by Ali Mardan Khan on the orders of Emperor Shah Jahan, Cheshmashahi is renowned for the invigorating qualities of the waters of the spring that surfaces from the slopes of the Zabarwan Mountains. It stands out from the rest of the gardens for its slim rills and singular fountain with its pool. The garden is said to be at its best during late afternoons and evenings. Smallest of the gardens with just 3 terraces, it is placed at a altitude above the city which aids a visitor to relish a stupendous view of the vicinity.

Note: Remain open on all days from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm

Entry Fee: Rs. 10/adult and Rs. 5/children

Pari Mahal: Placed at a distance of 5 minute drive from the Cheshmashahi, Pari Mahal is exquisitely constructed by the eldest son of Shah Jahan, Prince Dara Shukoh around 1650. It is laid out in six terraces with a domed ceiling; the terraces can be admitted via the sets of steps on their corners. This garden looks spectacularly stunning in the evening when it is illuminated with a horde of light.

Note: All days open, 9:30 to 5:30 pm

Shalimar Bagh: Decorated with series of flowerbeds and stone pavilions, Shalimar Bagh (Shalimar meaning Hall of Love in Sanskrit) was laid out by Emperor Jahangir for his wife Nur Jehan in 1616. The beauty and the magnum opus of this particular garden stand out as a symbol of love. A garden of isolation and seclusion, shade of line trees and amazing fountains of this garden makes it even more beautiful and striking. It is one of the very few surviving Mughal monument that was architected for happiness and satisfaction.

Note: Open all days except Fridays. April to October (summer) 9:30 am to 5:30 pm and November to March (winter) 10:30 am to 5:30 pm

Entry Fee: Rs. 10/adults and Rs. 5/children

Best time to Visit: May to June is undoubtedly the best season when you can see the colourful flowers of these gardens at full bloom.


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