Jahangir the fourth mughal emperor had a Persian wife Noorjahan it is said Jahangir made the Shalimar gardens to appease Noorjahan. The gardens were completed in 1619 and the emperor exclaimed them to be “farah baksh” meaning one which confers delight. Later Shahjahan the son of Jahangir revamped and extended the gardens and called them Faiz Bakshh meaning “the bountiful”.
The mughal gardens follow the Persian four quartered garden principal but here the garden is on a rectangular plain rather than a square. A broad water channel bisects the garden and there are respective three terraces each terrace has a “Barahdari” and a cascade” Abshar” falling in to the next consecutive terrace. Right across there are gravity fed fountains in the midst of the water channel. These appear similar to those installed at the Taj Mahal in Agra. The tall chinar trees line up the entire gardens. There are large open areas which are lush green and very well kept. There are floral beds with blooming flowers lining up the water channel and the pathways.The Zabarvan Mountains form the background of the Shalimar gardens. The pir panjal range is also very much visible from the gardens.
The first terrace is called Deewan e aam and it was meant to serve the common people. There is an outhouse (barah Dari) on the extreme end of the Deewan e aam the next pavilion is the Deewan e khaas this was to serve the king and his special coterie of ministers again there is a barah dari and you ascend to the Zenana with a marble out house. This exclusively was for the ladies of the mughal zenana, in simple words the wives/ladies of the emperor’s family used this section. The marble barahdari at zenana was used during the Maharaj Ranjit singh rule to entertain the European guests. The water channel leads in to the Dal lake on the north east side of it. Mughals used to enjoy their summers at Kashmir as it was cold and had pleasant weather.
Location of Shalimar Bagh - The Shalimar garden lie north east to the Dal lake around 12-13 kms from the city centre of Srinagar.
Shalimar Bagh Entrances - There is an entrance ticket of 24 INR on adults and 12 INR on children visiting these gardens.