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Chashme Shahi, Srinagar Overview

Chashme Shahi is one of the three Mughal gardens in Srinagar, located in the Zabarwan range overlooking the Dal Lake. Also known as Chashma i Shahi, it was built 1632 AD by Ali Marda Khan on the orders of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for his eldest son Dara Shikoh.

Translating to the Royal Spring, Chashme Shahi is a terraced garden dotted with walkways, colourful plants and pools of water. Exhibiting exquisite Mughal architecture, the Chashme Shahi garden is influenced by the Persian gardens. It is built around a freshwater spring that was unearthed by Rupa Bhawani, a renowned female Kashmiri saint. The garden was originally named Chashme Sahibi after her (Rupa Bhawani's family name was Sahib).

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Architecture of Chashme Shahi

Housing a Mughal structure with Iranian designs and Persian-based gardens, Chashme Shahi is an elegant amalgam. It is a three-tiered green space built during the 1630s by a governor of the Mughal Emperor, Ali Mardan. The rooftop of Chashme Shahi hosts a two-levelled Kashmiri hut which is said to source the water that flows here.

The design here is such that the waterfall passes through structured layers of ramps. These ramps are parts of defined terraces of the garden; the uppermost, the middle and the lowermost. Each of these layers hosts individual pools and fountains. The entire structure is gripped with stairways to get to every level.

How to Reach Chashme Shahi

Located approximately 12 km from the Srinagar city centre, Chashme Shahi can be easily reached with a half-hour drive. There are Matador and Mazda options to reach the garden. Although overcrowded, this option is cheaper compared to the expensive auto rickshaws here.

Tata Sumos are available too, just at the cost of about INR 20 to INR 50. Most of the times, rickshaws may not be metered, so ensure to keep tabs on the price. Private transport may work out cheaper than public modes here. The radio taxies available here are quite costlier than the usual cab services.

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