Chashma Shahi Garden
The Chashma Shahi (Royal Spring) Garden showcases the serene beauty of Mughal designs. Experience nature at its most ornate as you climb the garden’s terraces, which are interspersed with polished walkways, colorful plants and carved water features.
The garden was built in 1632 by Ali Mardan, a governor of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, as one of three in the Srinagar area. At just over 1.7 acres (0.7 hectares), Chashma Shahi is the smallest of these gardens. However, its attractive features and prime views over Dal Lake make it the most popular.
The garden is split into three terraces, with water flowing from the uppermost level to the lowermost via a series of pools and aqueducts, called chadars. As you explore each terrace, admire photogenic flower displays and symmetrical hedges around the water features.
Enter the Chashma Shahi Garden through the main gate, which opens onto the lowest terrace. Admire a large pool, decorated with five fountains. A commanding burnt orange wall makes an incredible backdrop for a photograph.
Follow the source of the water up a flight of stairs to the middle terrace, which features another pool with a single fountain. Climb a final flight of stairs to the top level, where the garden's waters bubble from a natural spring. These waters are said to be rich in minerals and good for your health.
The spring is surrounded by a red-walled bardari, a traditional Mughal pavilion. Walk around it to appreciate its simple beauty or enjoy the scenery from this elevated point. Photograph sweeping views of Dal Lake and Srinagar surrounded by the arching Zabarwan Mountains.
The Chashma Shahi Garden is located 5 miles (8 kilometers) east of Srinagar, on the way to Harvan. Get there via taxi or prearranged tour bus. Visit in the blooming season of May or June to see the gardens at their most colorful. The gardens are open every day except Friday.
If you enjoy Chashma Shahi, be sure to see the other Mughal Gardens: Shalimar Bagh and Nishat Bagh.