Set on the shores of the pristine Dal Lake, the Shalimar Bagh is the largest Mughal Garden in the Kashmir valley and one of the most famous tourist attractions near Srinagar. Covering an area of 31 acres, this exquisite Mughal marvel was built by Emperor Jahangir for his beloved wife Nur Jahan in 1619 A.D. Later, it served as the favourite summer destination of Emperor Jahangir and his court. This beautiful masterpiece also popularly known as the 'house of love' was originally called ‘Farah Baksh’, which literally translates to 'delightful'.
The design of the garden draws inspiration from the Persian ‘Char Bagh’. Divided into three terraces with each serving a unique purpose, the Shalimar Bagh is an architectural marvel. The outer portion of the garden was open to the public and was called ‘Diwan- i-Aam’ while the central portion, called the ‘Diwan-i-Khas’, remained exclusively reserved for the king and his court. Encircled by tall trees of Chinar and many colourful flowers, the Shalimar Bagh presents tourists with a serene environment. It also boasts a beautifully designed canal that runs through the center of the garden, further enhancing its captivating charm. The main attractions of the Shalimar Bagh are the 'Chini Khanas'. A unique feature of the garden, these 'Chini Khanas' were used to be lighted at night with oil lamps which created a dazzling sight.
In present times, however, these 'khanas' are adorned with flower pots which create a spectacular visual delight. Visit this place during the peak season, from May to October and experience an exhilarating light and sound show.