The Mughals came to India in the 15th century, and were fascinated by the country’s culture and heritage; they decided to stay because to them, the place felt like home. The Mughals were quite passionate about buildings. The styles of their architecture are quite fascinating, and every cut and scribble on the walls reflect utmost perfection. One of their intricate styles involves building canals in the middle of a rectangular park that is unmatchable in terms of beauty. Their architectural style finds base from various Islamic and Persian designs and styles. Charbagh is a garden which is interpreted as the four gardens of Paradise, as stated in the Holy Quran. You can easily distinguish a Mughal garden with its excellent characteristics like beautiful pools, ponds and fountains, which gives an exotic essence to these masterpieces.
Here’s a list of some Mughal gardens that are worth considering-
Shalimar Bagh, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
Shalimar Bagh is the biggest Mughal Garden stretching to 12.4 hectares in size and has three terraces. Shalimar in Sanskrit means the ‘abode of love’. Jahangir built this Garden for his beloved wife, Noor Jahan. There’s a black pavilion on the top terrace that has Persian inscriptions on it by the poet Amir Khusrow.
Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi
This masterpiece in Delhi has three sections-Pearl Garden, Butterfly Garden, and the Circular Garden, and all three of them look mesmerising. The Mughal gardens of Jammu & Kashmir and the Garden of Taj Mahal inspired Sir Edwin Lutyens to build this Garden for Lady Harling. This Garden is full of greenery and has some of the rarest flower species in the world.
Taj Mahal Garden, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
The Garden around the Taj Mahal adds a lot to the beauty of the tomb and makes it one of the seven wonders of the world. The 300 m sq. complex uses raised pathways that together divide each of the four-quarter gardens into 16 sunken flower beds. This masterpiece is also famous for its beautiful gardens which were said to be designed by Ali Mardan, who was the architect of the Shalimar gardens in Jammu & Kashmir.
Verinag garden, Anantnag, Jammu and Kashmir
Verinag Garden stretches around an area of 70 km, from Srinagar and has a total area of 5.3 hectares; it has beautifully manicured lawns and big Chinar trees that add more beauty to the Garden. Jahangir, during his time, was mesmerised by a spring. To preserve and elevate the beauty of the place, he made a pool, a pavilion and a garden around it. Later his son, Shah Jahan carried on the expansion of the project.
Humayun’s Tomb, New Delhi
Empress Bega Begum (also known as Haji Begum), Humayun’s first wife and chief consort, initiated the construction of this tomb between 1569-70. It was designed by Mirak Mirza Ghiyas and his son, Sayyid Muhammad, along with the Persian architects who constructed this tomb in memory of Humayun, the 2nd emperor of the Mughal dynasty. Area of Charbagh is spread over 30 acres of land, has a quadrilateral layout, and it exclusive in whole of South Asia.
Yadavindra Gardens, Pinjore, Haryana
Dating back to 17th Century India, Pinjore Gardens is a beautiful Mughal Garden, located in the city of Pinjore, Panchkula District, Haryana. People come to witness the terrace gardens with unmatchable glamour in Pinjore Gardens. In the year 2019, the Garden also served as the venue of the annual Mango Festival during Baisakhi. The beautiful expanse of flora is not all; the Garden also houses a mini zoo, an area dedicated to historic places, a serene Japanese garden, and a gorgeous nursery as well.
Khusro Bagh, Paryagraj, Uttar Pradesh
There are three tombs in Allahabad- Tomb of Khusro, Tomb of Nithar and Tomb of Shah Begum. Each of them has beautiful Islamic inscriptions, cenotaph, gorgeous panels, motifs and beautiful paintings on the roof. And the Garden which surrounds them is no doubt impressive, it’s also full of Mango and Guava trees. But can’t pluck them though!
Nishant Garden, Srinagar, Jammu Kashmir
The name of the Garden itself means Garden of joy and delight. The Nishant Garden is known to be much more delightful than the Shalimar garden. Inside you will find 12 terraces that represent 12 zodiac signs. There’s also a water canal of 4 meters which has Chinar and Cypress trees on both sides, and it’s no doubt the perfect combination of architecture and floral beauty.
Roshanara Garden, New Delhi
Located near Kamla Nagar clock tower in Shakti Nagar, Delhi, it was built by Roshanara Begum herself. In the corner of the Garden, you will find the ruins of her palace and tomb. Apart from the tomb and natural beauty of these gardens, rumours say the place is haunted. There’s a tale of a pair who lived on a Peepal tree and they are the one haunting it. The story is another reason why people get curiously drawn towards the Garden.
Chasme Sahi Garden, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
Ali Mardan Khan constructed this Garden. This Garden has a spring believed to have medicinal properties, because of which people can be spotted filling water into their vessels from the spring. The spring was known to be discovered by Rupa Bhawani. The place is an excellent blend of Mughal Architecture and Persian style.
Verinag, Anantanag, Jammu and Kashmir
Verinag Spring in Anantnag district of Jammu Kashmir is renowned for its spellbinding beauty. Emperor Jahangir built this while the Mughal Garden by the spring was laid down by Shah Jahan. Verinag spring was originally an irregular and shapeless pond, and water, oozing out from different places in it and spread about and formed a little marsh.
If you like revisiting the past by gazing at historical remains, you should consider visiting the places mentioned above. And for people who love beautiful gardens and greenery, I think they have already got the message and planning to book their tickets soon!