Monday, July 09, 2018

Ladhak & Kashmir 2010 - Day 14 - Srinagar - Shalimar Bagh

This, in my eyes, is the most beautiful of all the Mughal gardens in Srinagar. It felt more abundant and unlike Pari Mahal and some other gardens didn’t have stone walls, arches and niches everywhere that gave them a feel of ‘peopled-once-now-abandoned’. it didn’t make you think ‘how glorious it must have been once’. It seemed very much a thing of the present as of the past.

Of course, going in the right season, the flowering season made all the difference. The lawns were full of flowering shrubs huddling together her and there. The rose shrubs were heavy with bunches of roses of all colours. The water fountains were all spurting water. There were huge trees with hanging boughs. There were small and large pavilions. And there was sunshine to make all of it gleam.

The only thing that made you feel sad was this pavilion at the far end. It seemed so Rajput. Not that I know anything about architecture, but it looked hardly Islamic and very Rajput even you discount the historical fact of fusion of architectures. The columns, the arches were the same that you have seen in Hindu temples. The Muslim kings were usurpers after all. I wish the state would muster some courage and get to the bottom of the matter and publish some true history, with the honey and sugar coat removed.

So thinking, we sat on a bench looking at the pavilion and after sometime, started walking towards the exit. This was the last of the gardens we were visiting. The last of our sightseeing in Srinagar and of the 2 week tour in Kashmir and Ladhak. In a little more than 24 hours, this paradigm would be no more ours.