Chashme Shahi – Rejuvenating At the Royal Spring

The Mughals were the first to develop summer recluses in India. They were also the first to develop cottages and permanent residences at these recluses. Srinagar and the entire valley region as a matter of fact had been a major summer recluse for several years during the rule of the Great Mughals like Humayun and Akbar.

The Mughals were also incredible designers and architects and developed some of the most beautiful cottages and inns for their recluses. One such marvel is the Chasme Shahi in Srinagar. This beautiful recluse was built under the auspices of Emperor Shah Jahan.

Chasme Shahi in Srinagar

Chasme Shahi in Srinagar | Image Resource : rideurself.com

The Chasme Shahi derives its name from the spring at the centre of the premises. The choice of the location by Ali Mardan Khan who was a governor of the Emperor for Srinagar was primarily because of the existence of this beautiful spring. The Chasme Shahi was built for the eldest son of Shah Jahan Dara and became a priced possession of all later Mughal Emperors. The Chasme Shahi hence gained the fame of being the Royal Spring and hence the name.

Later during the British Rule the Chasme Shahi was renovated and developed into a tourism site for the general public. The Chasme Shahi has over the years had several famous followers including the first prime Minister of the nation Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.

The garden is a typical presentation of the Mughal architecture and is built on the same lines as the Nishat Bagh or the Shalimar Bagh but nonetheless there are many unique characteristics associated to the Chashme Shahi. The Iranian influence is clearly visible and the development of a Persian style central façade is clear variation. It is also a terrace garden and the spring discovered by Rupa Bhawani located centrally is the water source for the gardens. The falling water is flows first through an aqua duct then through a fountain into a waterfall.

Fountain and Garden view at Chashme Shahi Srinagar

Fountain and Garden view at Chashme Shahi Srinagar | Image Resource : jtdytravels.com

The Kashmiri style hut or the cottage at Chasme Shahi is located at the first floor of the terrace garden and hence is at the base of the entire sloping architecture. This natural sloping terrace like structure gives a unique flavor to the Chashme Shahi. The rejuvenating and serene experience at the Royal Springs will remain with me all my life.

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