Constructed by Mughal emperor Jehangir for his wife Noor Jahan in 1619 AD, Shalimar Bagh is the largest Mughal garden in the Kashmir Valley. The name 'shalimar' comes from the Sanskrit language and means the abode of love.


Located on the right banks of the Dal Lake, the garden features four terraces, rising one above the other. The beauty of this garden is enhanced by the presence of tall chinar trees on the periphery. Persian lilacs and blossoming cherry trees draw a large number of visitors here.


Around 2nd century, king Pravarsena II of the Vakataka dynasty (79 AD to 139 AD) constructed a cottage, which was surrounded by a park near the Dal Lake and called it Shalimar. He often visited Saint Sukarma Swami at Harwan and after his meeting, Pravarsena II stayed in Shalimar Cottage. The cottage remained in perfect condition till the king came calling on the saint but after that, lack of maintenance ruined it. However, the name remained with the nearby village being called Shalimar. To impress his wife, Noor Jahan, Mughal emperor Jehangir decided to construct a garden in Kashmir and chose Shalimar as the location. In 1619, the old garden was renovated into a royal Mughal garden and named Farah Baksh, meaning the delightful. The king and queen spent summers here and it served as the royal summer residence. Around 10 years later, on the orders of Shah Jahan, the governor of Kashmir, Zafar Khan, extended the garden and called it Faiz Baksh, meaning the bountiful.

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