Are you planning to visit Shalimar Garden during your Srinagar trip? Is it a must visit place or an optional tourist attraction in Srinagar? Don't worry we have got all the answers for you! In case you love gardens, the city gives you a lot of options to choose from namely Nishat Bagh, Chashme Shahi, Tulip Garden, Pari Mahal and the less famous Harwan Garden. As a short answer, you will not regret choosing either of this garden in your itinerary as all of them are special in their own way. Let's dig deep in Shalimar Bagh Srinagar.
To begin with, it is the largest of all the Mughal gardens in Srinagar. While Nishat Bagh gives you a direct view of Dal Lake, Shalimar Garden is famous for its fountains and ponds. If your hotel is in the Shalimar Bagh Srinagar area, then it is best to keep this garden in your itinerary. The street food joints outside the garden are also good if you are visiting around lunch. You should make it a point to stay around 2 or 3 hours in the Shalimar Bagh to capture its beauty. If you are on a quick tour, then even an hour will suffice.
The location of this garden is a bit away from the main route of sightseeing as all of the other gardens of Srinagar are nearby each other. In case, you are planning to cover all sightseeing in Srinagar in one day then you should visit Nishat Bagh instead of Shalimar Bagh. However, if you have split the sightseeing in Srinagar over two days, then it will be nice idea to visit Shalimar Bagh while you are in Srinagar.
The garden can be reached easily through various modes of transportation.
Travelers have always crowned Kashmir for its most beautiful gardens. One such attraction is the Shalimar Bagh located in the capital city of Srinagar. With a love-enriching history and breathtaking architecture, this garden will not fail to appeal to your passionate side. This is a glimpse into its aesthetic beauty and past. It is one of the largest Mughal gardens in Kashmir valley built by Mughal Emperor Jahangir for his wife empress Nur Jahan. The garden is an outstanding paradigm of Mughal Horticulture attracting tourists from all over the country and the world. It is interesting to know that Shalimar Garden also served as the summer residence of the Mughals. This lush green and well-maintained garden attract thousands of tourists. It is designed with terraced lawns, fountain pools and flower beds combined with mighty Chinar trees and pavilions. The serene water canals, vivid flower beds, gushing fountains along with the ancient architecture makes this garden a wonderful place to spend a fine sunny day just relaxing or flipping over the pages of your favorite book. Photography is also encouraged here and it is the perfect spot for photographers to capture the beauty of nature.
It would be interesting to know that this garden has several names with several meanings. 'Shalimar' is a Sanskrit word that translates to ‘Adobe of Love’. This place has an interesting history with so much to tell about its changing names. Going back all the way to the second century, the story of how 'Shalimar Bagh' came to be known as such can be revealed. King Pravarsena II was the founder of the city of Srinagar. He built a cottage near the Dal Lake and named it 'Shalimar'. He used to stay at the Cottage on his visits to Srinagar. After the decline of his empire, the cottage was badly maintained until Mughal Emperors came along. It was built by the Mughal Emperor Jahangir for his wife Nur Jahan in 1619, who named it ‘Farah Baksh’ which means ‘The Delightful’. Later, in 1630, Emperor Shah Jahan extended the garden, renaming it ‘Faiz Baksh’ which translates to ‘The Bountiful’. Since then, several changes have been made to the 'Bagh' and it was even used as a guesthouse for European guests. Presently, Shalimar Bagh is maintained by Jammu and Kashmir Tourist Department.
The design of the Shalimar Bagh is based on popular "Chahar Bagh" of Persia. It covers an area of 31 acres and is linked with Dal Lake through a canal called 'Shalimar'. It follows a typically Mughal style of layout with three terraces comprising water fountains and pools, each meant for a different purpose and audience. The garden was divided into the private and public area. The first terrace or the lowest terrace is the public garden which also has the ‘Diwaan-e-Aam’, the public audience hall. The second terrace has the ‘Diwaan-e-Khas’, which is the hall for the private audience previously used by royal courts, noblemen, and their guests. The Zenana Garden is the third terrace comprising loads of chinar trees and used only by royal courts. The entrance has two small pavilions built in Kashmiri style which was used by security guards. Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan built a black pavilion using black marbles with two small waterfalls and the popular inscription by Amir Khusrau, translating to ‘If there is a heaven, it is here, it is here, it is here’ in Persian.
agar firdaus bar roo-e zameen ast hameen ast-o hameen ast-o hameen astIf there is a heaven, it is here, it is here, it is here
The entire garden has 410 waterfalls in total and its main water source runs from the highest to the lowest terrace. There are also several Chinar trees, especially on the third terrace, as well as Aspen trees. The building in the garden include:
Waterfall at back of Shalimar Bagh, Srinagar
Shalimar Bagh is filled with beautiful terraces and a water canal running straight through it, making everything look absolutely stunning. Apart from the flower beds and serene atmosphere, there are a few things that you must look for when you visit this Garden. One is the Baradari which is a building or pavilion with 12 doors designed to allow free flow of air. The structure has three doorways on every side. It has a beautiful backdrop of mountains with white tops and can be reached further from the black pavilion. The doors used in the Baradari are said to have been taken from a temple that Emperor Shah Jahan demolished. Another attraction is the Chini Khanas, which are arched niches in the Shalimar Bagh. Though these arches may be common in other terrace gardens, they look more appealing here as they add to the aesthetic beauty of the waterfalls. Shalimar Bagh will leave you with so many colorful memories, that you will feel like spending a day here just gifting your eyes and soul with relaxing view and atmosphere. You must take a picture of yourself with a very special 400-year-old 'Chinar' tree.
Shalimar Bagh is backpacker's paradise in Srinagar. If you are a backpacker, you should ditch the expensive 'Dal lake' area, and look for accommodation in the Shalimar Bagh area. You will find accommodation in Shalimar Bagh cheaper and better, as the area is quite clean and green with a backdrop of mountains. There are lots of restaurants as well as street food joints to explore in this area of the city. You should use share Tavera or Sumo, which takes only Rs. 25 per person for a drop off till Dal Gate, Dal Lake, or Nishat Bagh.
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