Shalimar Bagh Srinagar- A Piece of Marvel
After exploring the Nishat Bagh, we entered the Shalimar Bagh which wasn’t too far away. It is also located on Dal Lake’s banks and is rated as the biggest Mughal style garden built in the state. The local residents told as that the garden has a number of names like Faiz Baksh, Farah Baksh, Shalamar Bagh or Shalamar Garden. It represents the interest of the Mughals in the field of horticulture and was constructed in 1619 by Jahangir.
Some even believe that the construction of the garden had started around the second century by Pravarsena II who had built Srinagar and ruled over Kashmir for 60 years. And it was Emperor Jahangir who turned the age old garden into its present royal form in 1619. The garden used to be a place of pleasure and recreation for the governors of Kashmir. We also came to know that the garden was so beautiful that it had captured every ruler’s heart who contributed to its extension and development in some way or the other.
We were very impressed by the romantic ambience of the garden which also highlights the meaning of the term Shalimar. The plan of the garden at the entrance showed that it was built in the Persian style and was rectangular in shape with four arms radiating from a certain central point such as a water source. However, many rulers had modified it in order to suit the location and availability of water.
It had a central channel called Shah Nahar, running through 3 terraces and forming the main axis. It is spread over 31 acres of area and is comprised of 3 terraces having chinar tree lined vistas and fountains. On the 1st terrace, we could find a public garden at the end of which there was a public hall equipped with a small marble throne.
The 2nd terrace was comparatively bigger and is made of 2 shallow terraces. On one side we coul see the Diwan-e-Khas while on the other side, there were lines of fountains. Moving on to the third terrace, there was the Zenana Garden whose beauty was further enhanced with the snow clad mountains in the background.