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Tourism      Lakes and Gardens      Jammu and Kashmir     Srinagar    

Shalimar Bagh

Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir
The most celebrated of the Kashmir Gardens
Best Season
March to August
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The Shalimar Gardens, the most celebrated of the Kashmir Gardens is a Mughal garden located about fifteen kilometers away from the center of Srinagar City. The green-carpeted lawns,amazing variety of flowers, trees, fountains, the view the snowy mountain ranges etc make this garden an ideal spot for picnics and excursions.

It is also known as Shalamar Bagh, Farah Baksh and Faiz Baks. The word 'Shalimar' in Sanskrit means abode of love.

This garden was built by Mughal Emperor Jahangir for his wife Nur Jahan, in 1619 as Farah Baksh (the delightful).

In 1630, under the orders of Shah Jahan (son of Jahangir), the local Kashmiri governor, Zafar Khan, extended the garden and he name it Faiz Baksh (the bountiful). And, over the years, the garden was extended and improved by many rulers and called by different names. Under late Pathan and Sikh governors, Shalimar was treated as a pleasure resort, and during the rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh the marble pavilion was the guest house for European visitors. And electrification of the premises was done during Maharaja Hari Singh’s rule.

Shalimar Garden or Shalimar Bagh, second in size among the Mughal Gardens at Srinagar, is considered to be a master class of Mughal horticulture. The layout of the garden was heavily influenced by the Persian gardens.

Covering an area of approximately 12.4 hectares, the garden is rectangular in shape and measures 587 metres (1,926 ft) length and by 251 meters width. A long canal, fed from Dal Lake just behind the garden, passes through it's center. It can now also be reached from the road that runs around Dal Lake.

This garden is also marked by the presence of terraces that are separated by water channels. Covering a total area of approximately 539 m by 182 m, the water to this garden is supplied from Harwan through a canal which is lined with fountains. The garden is designed in such a manner that the fountains and the trees create the illusion of slowly moving towards the horizon.

The site of Shalimar seems to have been ideally suited to a garden; it contained a natural canal, and a small nearby spring-fed stream was diverted to the garden site to provide continuous running water.

Modifications involved the main channel running through the garden axially from top to the lowest point. This central channel, known as the Shah Nahar, is the main axis of the garden. It runs through three terraces. At each terrace, the canal flows into a larger pool. Within the Shalimar Bagh, each terrace of the garden has its own specialty: a public garden (first terrace), a private garden, also called the Emperor’s Garden (second terrace) and the zenana (harem) garden, on the third terrace.

The first terrace is a public garden ending in the Diwan-e-Aam (public audience hall), where the emperor held his daily court. A black marble throne was installed over the waterfall forms the central feature of the Diwan-e-Aam.

Continuing up along the axial canal to the second terrace, reaches Diwan-i-Khas (the Hall of Private Audience) which was accessible only to the noblemen or guests of the court. Of the Diwan-i Khas, only the stone footing remains. The fountain pool of the Diwan-i Khass supplies the canal as it runs down to the Diwan-e-Aam and in turn, it is supplied by the fountain pool on the third level, the zenana garden.

Moving upward from the second terrace and the Diwan-i Khas, chinar trees flank the axial water channel as it approaches the zenana garden. It encloses two small stone-pavilions. The zenana garden were reserved for the royalty especially meant for the royal ladies. It houses a baradari of black marble called the Black Pavilion with the backdrop of the snowy mountains. The Baradari bears the famous Persian inscription Gar Firdaus roy-e zamin ast, hamin ast-o hamin ast-o hamin ast meaning If there is a paradise on earth, it is this, it is this, it is this - which is by a famous Persian poet - Jami.

There is a light and sound show every evening, during the period of May to October, when tourists flock to the city in large numbers.

Opening Time : All days of the week except Friday 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Entry fee : 10/-