Boasting the sprawling Mughal Garden built by the Mughal Emperor Jahangir’s wife Nur Jahan and a famous ancient spring surrounding the garden, Achabal, a lesser-known destination in Kashmir, is a photographer’s delight. Nestled in the hills in Anantnag district of Valley of Kashmir, it is a small secluded town where you have the chance to immerse yourself in the rich history and stunning scenery.
Situated at an elevation of 1677 meters and adorned with one of the best Mughal gardens in India, the charming town of Achabal in Kashmir Valley is a visual treat. This historical town with structures built in the magnificent and beautiful Mughal Architectural styles is famous for its ancient spring and beautiful Mughal Garden. The exquisitely designed fountains and finely decorated pathways make Achabal Garden a very popular destination for tourists looking to relax and rejuvenate their minds against the backdrop of spectacular vistas.
The Achabal Garden, because of which this place is so popular among tourists, was built by Nur Jahan who was a known ‘Garden Lover’. Emperor Jahangir was so impressed and awestruck by the beauty of this place that he made this place his favorite pleasure retreat spot. The Garden was constructed at the site of a powerful spring which is another major attraction of Achabal. The spring falls down from the topmost terrace of the garden and irrigates the entire garden. This stunning sight mesmerizes travellers and allures them to come back to this gorgeous place time and again.
The Achabal Garden is also known as ‘Sahebabad’, in honor of the Emperor Jahangir. Its design is heavily based on the Persian concept of 'chahar bagh'. Lined with walkways and colorful flowers and set against the backdrop of towering hills, the Achabal Garden also serves as a romantic destination for couples and honeymooners.
The Vivekanand Nagdandi Ram Krishna Ashram, hidden in the dense woods near the Achabal Garden, is another popular sightseeing spot. A scenic one and a half kilometer walk in the forested hills, from the Achabal Garden, takes you to this Ashram. The visit to Achabal is incomplete without buying and trying some local trout fish in the Trout Breeding Farm of J&K Fisheries Department, in the main market chowk of the town.
For those who are interested in Kashmiri heritage, the Martand Sun Temple near Achabal is a very rewarding visit. Nestled against the backdrop of the snow-capped Pir Panjal Mountains, this Sun Temple was built by Lalitaditya Muktapid, the most powerful monarch of the Karkota Dynasty. This temple is considered to be a masterpiece of architecture.
There is a nearby scenic spot of Chattabal located 16 km to the east of Achabal. It is a tiny village adorned with its greenery, blooming orchards, thick forests of pine trees and numerous streams. This is a scenic offbeat spot where the Chattabal River flows through an open valley, while snow-covered peaks loom over the end of the valley. Here you also have the chance talk to the locals and the nomadic Bakarwals and listen to their fascinating stories.
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