Serene, soothing and captivating
Rishi Vatsyayana, the writer of the erotic treatise, Kamasutra takes up the case of a well-groomed garden and considers it to be a must in the house of a cultured person.
Perhaps the oldest reference to garden in Indian culture dates back to the epic Ramayana. It talks about Ashok Vatika and goes in details describing the trees, fruits, flora and fauna of the place. But it was under the Mughals that gardens in India saw a major efflorescence and they started upon a quest to build them in large numbers.
The Mughals had a great love for natural beauty and sought it enhance through creating gardens in picturesque spots with running water based on the principles of Chahar Bagh or Paradise Garden. Kashmir was especially loved and some of the finest Charbagh water gardens were created here. Shalimar, Nishat, Chashme Shahi, Pari Mahal, Achabal, Verinag together are known as Mughal Gardens.
Purely ornamental and spread over a large tract of land some them such as Shalimar and Nishat Bagh in Kashmir still continue to thrive. One of the most delightful architectural elements at Shalimar Bagh is the meticulously restored papier mache designs on ceilings of one of the buildings. They also used garden as an ornamental feature to landscape the surroundings of their mausoleums. The Taj Mahal in Agra is a prime example of a tomb garden.
Our Garden Tour apart from taking you to historical gardens will also take you to the meticulously crafted tea, coffee, herbal and spice gardens on the Himalayas and down South. With subject experts providing you with excellent narration you will realize that the story of Indian history and culture could be a colourful garden.
Some of exceptional gardens in South India include Lal Bagh (Bangalore), Jasmine market (Mysore) and Botanical Garden (Ooty).