The Shalimar Gardens, Lahore, Pakistan - April 2008

    Newer Older

    The Shalimar Gardens (Urdu: شالیمار باغ), sometimes written Shalamar Gardens, were built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in Lahore, modern day Pakistan. Construction began in 1641 A.D. (1051 A.H.) and was completed the following year. The project management was carried out under the superintendence of Khalilullah Khan, a noble of Shah Jahan's court, in cooperation with Ali Mardan Khan and Mulla Alaul Maulk Tuni.

    The Shalamar Gardens are laid out in the form of an oblong parallelogram, surrounded by a high brick wall, which is famous for its intricate fretwork. The gardens measure 658 meters north to south and 258 meters east to west. In 1981, Shalimar Gardens was included as a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the Lahore Fort, under the UNESCO Convention concerning the protection of the world's cultural and natural heritage sites in 1972.

    The three level terraces of the Gardens
    The Gardens have been laid out from south to north in three descending terraces, which are elevated by 4-5 metres (13-15 feet) above one another. The three terraces have names in Urdu as follows:

    The upper terrace named Farah Baksh meaning Bestower of Pleasure.
    The middle terrace named Faiz Baksh meaning Bestower of Goodness.
    The lower terrace named Hayat Baksh meaning Bestower of life.

    Shah Nahar : Irrigation of the Gardens
    To irrigate the Gardens, a canal named Shah Nahar meaning Royal canal, later also known as Hansti canal, meaning Laughing canal was brought from Rajpot (present day Madhpur in India), a distance of over 161 kilometers. The canal intersected the Gardens and discharged into a large marble basin in the middle terrace.

    410 fountains
    From this basin, and from the canal, rise 410 fountains, which discharge into wide marble pools. The surrounding area is rendered cooler by the flowing of the fountains, which is a particular relief for visitors during Lahore's blistering summers, with temperature sometimes exceeding 120 degrees fahrenheit. It is a credit to the ingenuity of the Mughal engineers that even today scientists are unable to fathom how the fountains were operated originally. The distribution of the fountains is as follows:

    The upper level terrace has 105 fountains.
    The middle level terrace has 152 fountains.
    The lower level terrace has 153 fountains.
    All combined, the Gardens therefore have 410 fountains.

    Water cascades
    The Gardens have 5 water cascades including the great marble cascade and Sawan Bhadoon.

    The buildings of the Gardens include:

    Sawan Bhadum pavilions
    Naqar Khana and its buildings
    Khwabgah or Sleeping chambers
    Hammam or Royal bath
    The Aiwan or Grand hall
    Aramgah or Resting place
    Khawabgah of Begum Sahib or Dream place of the emperor's wife
    Baradaries or summer pavilions to enjoy the coolness created by the Gardens' fountains
    Diwan-e-Khas-o-Aam or Hall of special & ordinary audience with the emperor
    Two gateways and minarets in the corners of the Gardens

    Some of the varieties of trees that were planted included:

    Almond
    Apple
    Apricot
    Cherry
    Gokcha
    Mango
    Mulberry
    Peach
    Plum
    Poplar
    Quince Seedless
    Sapling of Cypress
    Shrubs
    Sour & sweet oranges

    Numerous other varieties of odoriferous (fragrant) and non odoriferous and fruit giving plants

    The site of the Shalimar Gardens originally belonged to one of the noble Zaildar families in the region, well known as Mian Family Baghbanpura. The family was also given the Royal title of 'Mian' by the Mughal Emperor, for its services to the Empire. Mian Muhammad Yusuf, then the head of the Mian family, donated the site of Ishaq Pura to the Emperor Shah Jahan, after pressure was placed on the family by the royal engineers who wished to build on the site due to its good position and soil. In return, Shah Jahan granted the Mian family governance of the Shalimar Gardens. The Shalimar Gardens remained under the custodianship of this family for more than 350 years.

    In 1962, the Shalimar Gardens were nationalised by General Ayub Khan because leading Mian family members had opposed his imposition of martial law in Pakistan.

    The Mela Chiraghan festival used to take place in the Gardens, until President Ayub Khan ordered against it in 1958.

    The Shalimar Gardens are located near Baghbanpura along the Grand Trunk Road some 5 kilometers northeast of the main Lahore city.

    riyadh88, blacsilk2, emmeffe6, and 34 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    View 20 more comments

    1. serg sonnino 1955 5 months ago | reply

      Your Super shot deserves our Super award!
      Super Photographer
      Show The World Your Art
      Super Photographer Group (Post 1 - Award 5)

    2. Fausto Bufardeci 5 months ago | reply

      Your Super shot deserves our Super award!
      Super Photographer
      Show The World Your Art
      Super Photographer Group (Post 1 - Award 5)

    3. carlo tardani 5 months ago | reply

      Seen and admired in group Show Room
      Post 1, comment 2

    4. FRANCIS DE GUAY (VERY BUSY) 5 months ago | reply

      This Excellent
      art work was seen on
      Art for Everyone !
      Abstract 270
      Thank you for sharing !

    5. Huella4 5 months ago | reply


      ₪ I love your TRAVELOGUE image ₪
      Thanks for sharing with the WORLD!
      Memb Award
      Seen in the ₪ WW TRAVELOGUE ₪
      Add 1/ Award 2 within the first page

    6. ngchongkin 5 months ago | reply

      Congratulations ! Your photo is awarded

      received 5 or more of Silver Award - post here 5+ Silver Awards Thread

    7. Adolfo Nazario 5 months ago | reply


      I love your ZEN`sational
      masterpiece seen in the

      ₪ ZEN`sational World ₪
      Award 2 ~ within page 1

    8. elita53 5 months ago | reply


      ₪ I love your TRAVELOGUE image ₪
      Thanks for sharing with the WORLD!
      Memb Award
      Seen in the ₪ WW TRAVELOGUE ₪
      Add 1/ Award 2 within the first page

    9. darnoki 5 months ago | reply

      This photo has Spirit

      This photo is a Spirit Of Photography
      Spirit Of Photography,Post 1 & Awards 5

    10. FotoOle 5 months ago | reply

      Your Super shot deserves our Super award!
      Super Photographer
      Show The World Your Art
      Super Photographer Group (Post 1 - Award 5)

    11. Fahim Kidwai 5 months ago | reply

      Congratulations ! Your photo is awarded

      received 5 or more of Silver Award - post here 5+ Silver Awards Thread

    12. ≮≯≮≯ BOON ≮≯≮≯ 5 months ago | reply

      What a beautiful this capture !
      You deserve The aquatic world Award :


      ________The aquatic world_______

      ♥ Thanks for the adding ♥ -Post1 Cmt2-

    13. Katalin Réz 5 months ago | reply

      Flickrhugs to you, my friend from Budapest!
      I got and just I wondered with your great capture(december 6).
      I love it.Thank you !
      Szia! Great and happy weekend to you and yours (:!
      In my countrytoday came the Santa Claus, so I am sendig to you a nice Nicolaus flower(((: I got it from my brother (:
      (Szia= in Hungarian BYE or HELLO!)
      Please use comment code, if you like here some photo.Thanks.
      This beautiful photo was seen in:
      ~ Pictures from my friends
      award code by Adriënne, on Flickr
      This is only HUMOUR- Csak egy kis humor (:

    keyboard shortcuts: previous photo next photo L view in light box F favorite < scroll film strip left > scroll film strip right ? show all shortcuts