20 Mar Shalimar Bagh: The Most Beautiful Public Park on Earth
Shalimar Bagh is a garden that is arguably one of the most beautiful public parks in the world, and undoubtedly one of the oldest and most cherished. Shalimar Bagh dates back to 1619 when it was built by Mughal Emperor Jahangir for his wife Nur Jahan. It is considered the peak of Mughal horticulture, and it covers 12.4 hectares along the shores of Dal Lake in the Kashmir region of India. The park is actually connected to the lake through a channel that carries water through the elaborate landscape.
Throughout its history, Shalimar Bagh has undergone many extensions and taken a number of different names, though Shalimar Bagh remains the most common. During much of the 17th century, much of the garden was only accessible to noblemen and guests of the court.
Islamic garden layout
The garden is designed as an adaptation of an Islamic garden layout called the Persian gardens. The main axis of the rectangular garden is the Shah Nahar, which is a channel that runs through the three terraces of the garden, each serving a distinctive purpose.
There is elaborate detailing in each of the garden’s three terraces, though some of the structures originally on the grounds are now derelict. The first terrace has always served as a public garden featuring a public audience hall with a black marble thrown installed over a waterfall. The second terrace once housed the hall of private audience, which was reserved for European guests and noblemen. In the third terrace, water flows through the Zenana garden with a baradari of black marble at the center, surrounded by a fountain pool. The whole of the gardens are known for arched niches behind garden waterfalls, which feature flower pots that reflect their colors in the water.
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This article is part of our collection of The Most Spectacular Gardens in the World!