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Shalimar Gardens, Srinagar
Shalimar Gardens, situated 15 km from Srinagar, is one of the most popular Mughal Gardens at Srinagar. The word Shalimar means 'Abode of Love'. This garden is also known as Shalimar Bagh, Faiz Baksh, Garden of Char Minar, and Farah Baksh. It was built by the Mughal King Jahangir for his wife, Nur Jahan in 1619. The garden was divided into three terraced sections for different purposes. The outer garden was called the Diwan-i-Aam, the middle was known as the Diwan-i-Khas or the Emperor's garden, and the uppermost was reserved for the royal ladies.
The design of the garden is based on the design of the popular Chahar Bagh of Persia. The garden is renowned for its 'chini khanas' or arched niches that are positioned behind the garden waterfalls and were lighted during the night with the oil lamps. This had a magical visual effect on the waterfalls. These niches now hold flower pots that reflect their colours behind the flowing water. The Shalimar Gardens, surrounded by chinar trees, covers an expanse of about 31 acres.