Lahore touched the zenith of its glory during the Mughal rule from 1524 to 1752. The Shalimar Garden are a Mughal garden complex located in Lahore, Pakistan. The gardens date from the period when the Mughal Empire was at its artistic and aesthetic zenith. Shalimar Gardens in Lahore commonly known as Shalimar Bagh draw a large number of domestic and foreign tourists throughout the year.

In 1981 the Shalimar Gardens were inscribe as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As they embody Mughal garden design at the apogee of its development.

Construction and Architechtural work of Shalimar Garden :

Construction of Shalimar Garden began in 1641 during the reign of Emperor Shah Jahan, and construction was complete in 1642. Layering Persian influences over medieval Islamic garden traditions, and bearing witness to the apogee of Mughal artistic expression. Moreover the Mughal garden is characterize by enclosing walls, a rectilinear layout of paths and features, and large expanses of flowing water. The Shalimar Gardens cover 16 hectares, and is arrange in three terraces descending from the south to the north. The regular plan, enclosed by a crenellated wall of red sandstone, disposes square beds on the upper and lower terraces elongated blocks on the narrower, intermediate terrace; within, elegant pavilions balance harmoniously arranged poplar and cypress trees, reflected in the vast basins of water.

Moreover Shalimar Garden has unique architechture, unlike other ordinary gardens. It is all covered with thick walls around.
The architecture of walls is a sight to see due to the intricate work done on them. Tourists from far off places come to visit the walls boundary. It is conceptualized as “Chaar Baagh”. The garden covers approx. 80 acres with 658 meters north to south and 258 meters east to west.

Historical View :

Shah Jahan (the rular of Mughal Dynasty) rewarded them with the ‘Mian’ royal title for its services and contribution to the then Mughal Empire.The site of the historic Shalimar Gardens was the property of Arain Mian Family of Baghbanpura. Mian Muhammad Yusuf surrendered the property of to the Mughal Empire. Royal engineers have interest in that particular location because of its ideal positioning and the quality of the soil. But, Shah Jahan as a return favor granted the Mian family with the governance of Shalimar Gardens. It remained under their governance for nearly 350 years.

Overview :

The Shalimar Garden’s contain the most waterworks of any Mughal Garden.It contains 410 fountains, which discharge into wide marble pool.
Furthermore the enclosure wall of Shalimar Garden is over 457 meters (500 yards) long, and contains 2 gardens, with a narrow rectangular terrace in between them. Each garden is divide by canals and flowerbeds, following the Persian tradition of the charbagh, or fourfold garden. Each of the 3 parts is on a different level, so that the upper parts are concealed from the view of people entering from below. The highest and the most private section, So people think that it was use by the imperial women.

Furthermore the channels of water that weave through the whole garden are fed by canals . Which are designed and administered by a defector from the Persian court, Ali Mardan Khan, or Inayat Khan. He is famous for his architectural and building expertise. The gardens contain white marble buildings in typical Shah Jahani style. They are enclose by a red sandstone wall interrupt by small decorative kiosks.

Buildings :

It also has a range of buildings with stunning architecture which is worth having a look at. The buildings were construct for different purposes that serve the Royal family and the visitors of the time as well. The building structures in the Shalimar Gardens are include :

Aramgah (The Resting Place)
Sawan Bhadun Pavilion
Hammam (The Royal Bath)
Naqar Khana
Baradaries (The summer pavilions for enjoying nearby fountain coolness)
2 Gateways
Begum Sahib Khawabgah (Bedroom of the Emperor’s wife)
Aiwan (The Grand Hall)
Diwan-e-Khas-o-Aam (Hall for the ordinary and special visitors to the Emperor)
Minarets situated at the corners of the garden
The uppermost terrace of the garden is called ‘Farah Bakhs’. The middle and lower most terraces are known as ‘Faiz Bakhs’.
The garden was laid out as a royal recreation place. As well as for providing accommodation whenever the Emperor was on a visit to Lahore. For this purpose a number of pavilions and summer houses were construct in it.

In addition In the upper most terrace, the present main entrance was originally the rest room of Shahjahan.

Timing and Entry fee of Shalimar Garden :

The Shalimar Gardens are located in Pakistan’s historical city Lahore. It is on the Grand Trunk Road. Also a short distance from another architectural triumph: the Shahi Qila (Lahore Fort). Furthermore Shalimar Garden is 12 km away from Lahore mall road. Shalimar is Mughal garden.
Shalimar Gardens always open from 9 am to 6 pm.
The entrance fee for this Mughal-era garden complex is only PKR 20.

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