Chashmashahi

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India >> Jammu & Kashmir >> Srinagar >> Attractions >> Chashmashahi

Chashmashahi

History

The Chashmashahi or ‘The Royal Spring’ is one of the three Mughal Gardens in Kashmir. Situated a mere 8 kms from Srinagar towards Harvan, the Chasmashahi is the smallest of the three Mughal gardens measuring just 108 metres X 38 metres. It was built by Ali Mardan Khan in 1632 during the reign of Emperor Shah Jahan and is considered to be the most aesthetically designed of all the three Mughal Gardens.

The garden was built around a fresh water spring that flows right through its centre and is the cause of the garden being named so. The garden has three terraces, an aqueduct, waterfalls and fountains. Entering from the street the visitors are greeted by a flight of stairs leading up to a main gate that controls the passage into the garden. The gate leads to the first terrace of the garden which holds a large pool adorned by five fountains receiving water from the second terrace by the means of a chadar (a ramp used to transfer water between terraces). Two flight of stairs take the visitors onto the second terrace where lies another pool with a single fountain. This pool is present in the centre of the water channel carrying water falling to the second terrace from the third through another, but a smaller chadar. Again, two flights of stairs bring the visitors to the third terrace which holds the spring which is surrounded by a two storey bardari or pavilion.

The tastefully designed garden also offers a striking view of the Dal Lake as well as the surrounding mountain ranges. The garden is in vicinity of many other tourist attractions such as the other two Mughal gardens - Shalimar Bagh and Nishat Bagh. Also nearby is Pari Mahal which was used as an observatory for the teaching of astrology and astronomy at that time.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit the Chashmashahi Gardens are the months of May and June. The plants and the trees are at full bloom during these months adding to the beauty of the garden.

Trivia

The water of the spring flowing through the gardens is assumed to have medicinal properties because of the minerals present in water.

It is believed that Mumtaz Mahal was cured of her illness just by drinking the water of the spring. All of the Mughal princesses were fond of the water. They believed that its medicinal nature improved their skin and taking it at regular intervals caused a glow to their visage. A special department was created at that time to take the water from the spring to Agra to be used in the Royal Kitchens.

Timing

The garden is open from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm with the last entry time being 4:30 pm. The garden is closed on Fridays.


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