Mughal gardens are the epitomes of surreal natural beauty and splendid sceneries. Blessed with applaudable imageries and mesmerizing backdrops, these gardens embody the true spirit of Jammu and Kashmir. These gardens have been built with meticulous observation and built in unique patterns. They are the contribution of Mughal rulers who were the connoisseurs of nature and natural landscapes. Their sheer love for nature is clearly depicted in the immeasurable splendor that is clearly visible in these paradises of earth.
Shalimar Garden :
It is one of those Mughal gardens that are known for their elaborate designs. Located near Srinagar, this garden is famous by several other names like Farah Baksh, Shalimar Bagh, and Faiz Baksh. It was built in 1619 by the mighty emperor Jehangir for his beautiful wife, Nur Jahan. Renowned for world-class architecture, this exclusive garden is the prime attraction for both Indian and foreign tourists. This "garden of love" is made up of four terraces and a central canal that runs through it. The Persian influence can be seen all over the garden which is stretched over an area of about 12 hectares. The central canal is known by the name of Shah Nahar. The terraces are adorned with fountains and trees of Chinar.
The first terrace encompasses Diwan-e-Aam and is a public garden. The second terrace houses Diwan-e-Khas. It comprises of royal bathrooms and a platform of fountains. The famous Zenana garden is present on the third terrace. It is known for a black pavilion that is made up of pillars of black marble and has a pool of fountains surrounding it. Another prominent feature of the garden is its arched niches that get lit up at night and give a dreamy appearance to the place. In order to reach here, one can take roads connecting to Srinagar. If coming by trains, Jammu is the nearest railway station.
Nishat Garden :
Located on the banks of Dal Lake, this fascinating garden was built by Asaf Khan, who was the brother of Noor Jehan. Known for its spaciousness and peerless beauty, it is among the largest Mughal gardens. There are, in total, 12 terraces that are the symbols of twelve zodiac signs. Decorated with expanses of flower beds, these terraces form the most beautiful parts of the garden. According to a story, Shah Jehan was so impressed with the surreal beauty of the place that he sent his accolades a number of times to Asaf Khan. The lay out of the garden comprises of an axial stream that goes from top to bottom. There are two sections that were made to cater to public and harem respectively. Like Shalimar garden, there are several stone channels and the topmost terrace catering to Zenana.
A central canal running in the middle of the garden cascades from the topmost terrace. All the terraces are adorned with lovely fountains and offer an enchanting view to the visitors. Out of all; the terraces that form a part of this place, the most splendid is the second terrace that comprises of a multitude of niches. To reach here, one can come through the buses connecting to Srinagar. Alternatively, Badgam Airport is nearest to Nishat garden.
It is yet another beautiful Mughal garden that is bestowed with natural splendor and immense natural beauty. Constructed by Shah Jehan, this garden is among the small Mughal gardens and has three terraces in total. Laden with numerous fountains and a conduit, the place is famous for the freshwater springs. These springs are known to have medicinal properties. Named after a saint, Rupa Bhawani whose common name was Sahibi, Chashmeshahi is among the major gardens of Jammu and Kashmir. The garden is laden with trees of Chinar that impart lush green color to the surroundings. The place is a perfect picnic spot for families. The long strolls are enough to make the visit a delightful experience.
This colossal garden is known for the presence of abundant chinar trees and an enchanting lake that lies within it. A peculiar feature of this garden is the absence of any man-made structures. The unsurpassable beauty of the place is marked with huge lawns that run through it and make the appearance of the place resembling a paradise.
Pari Mahal :
As the name suggests, Pari Mahal is located near Chashmeshahi. Earlier a royal observatory, this garden is exclusively known for a well- planned garden that is present at its entrance. In ancient time, there was a Buddhist monastery which later served as a center of astrology. When the premises are illuminated with lights at night, the entire scene looks dreamy. Built by Dara Sukoh, it is one of the loveliest Mughal gardens that are worth visiting.