Nishat Bagh

The Garden of bliss laid down by Asif Khan father of Empress Noorjahan in 1633AD on the bank of Dal Lake with Zabarvan Massif at the back. In Nishat commands magnificent view of the Lake and the Snow capped Pir Panchal Range to the west of the valley.

Originally, this garden had 12 terraces rising higher up the mountain side from the eastern side of the Dal Lake but the lower terrace, which stretched down to the lake, no longer exists now, having been cut off by the modern road. The garden, thus, consists of only nine terraces at present.

The brightest spot in the garden is the second terrace. This, in the words of R.C. Kak, “with its thick groves of Persian lilacs, its high, broad and vertical cascade of sparkling water and its beds of brilliant pansies, is the most fragrant beauty”. R.C. Kak further says that the “twenty-three small niches in the arched recess immediately behind the cascade were originally intended for rows of lamps, whose flickering light, reflected

and multiplied in the transparent sheet of water behind which they lay, must have presented a singularly pleasing spectacle at night”. Mrs. Stuart, in her poetic language, quoted by Dr. Sufi, says : “The stream tears foaming down the carved cascade, fountains play in every tank and water-course, filling the garden with their joyous life and movement”.

There are two main pavilions, one at the lower and the other at the upper end of the garden. In the middle there is a reservoir of about 14 feet square and three feet deep with a few fountains.

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