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GARDENS OF THE GREAT MUGHALS 



AGENTS 

AMERICA . . THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 

64 & 66 FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK 

AUSTRALASIA THE OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS 

205 FMNDERS LANE, MELBOURNE 

CANADA . . THE MACMILLAN COMPANY OF CANADA, LTD. 

ST. MARTIN'S HOUSE, 70 BOND STKEET, TORONTO 

INDIA . . . MACMILLAN & COMPANY, LTD. 

MACMILLAN BUILDING, BOMBAY 
309 Bow BAZAAR STREET, CALCUTTA 



PLATE I. 




THE QUEEN'S PAVILION (SHALIMAR BAGH). 



GARDENS 

OF THE GREAT 

MUGHALS 



BY 



C. M. VILLIERS STUART 




ADAM AND CHARLES BLACK 
SOHO SQUARE LONDON-1913 



66 



TO 

MY MOTHER 

AND TO ALL 

EAST AND WEST 

WHO LOVE THEIR OWN GARDENS 



PKEFACE 

THIS first sketch of the Mughal "Paradise 
Garden " will, I fear, make but a limited appeal 
to English readers, as a recollection of one of my 
earliest Indian experiences vividly but vainly 
reminds me : On a long railway journey north- 
ward, the tedium of which had been pleasantly 
beguiled by a fellow-passenger's wide knowledge 
of the history of the country through which we 
were passing, the train, after thundering over a 
broad sandy river-bed, rushed past some buildings 
buried in a wood ; leaving a blurred, but entran- 
cing vision of red enclosing walls, high tiled gate- 
ways, and slender marble minarets, rising through 
the densely clustering palms and forest trees of 
a great garden. "What is that?" I exclaimed 
with delight, pressing my face to the darkened 
sun-proof window-pane. But here my kindly 
informant altogether failed me. " I really don't 



viii GARDENS OF THE GREAT MUGHALS 

know," he said ; " nothing much, just one of 
those old Mughal baghs." 

Among the many books dealing with various 
branches of Indian Art, it is remarkable that 
none have so far been devoted to the subject of 
Indian gardening ; although, in its traditional, 
artistic, and symbolic aspects, the Mughal 
Paradise Garden supplied the leading motive 
in Mughal decorative art, and still underlies the 
whole artistic world of the Indian craftsman 
and builder. 

This attempt to break fresh ground, this 
venture into the hitherto unexplored field of the 
Indian Garden, naturally presents great difficul- 
ties ; not the least being the short time allowed 
me for the preparation of this volume, owing to 
my desire to illustrate the bearing of Indian 
garden-craft on the pressing problem of New 
Delhi, as well as on the larger subject of the 
Indian handicrafts. I hope, therefore, that alike 
my Indian and my English readers 'will be as 
lenient with me as they can. 

Eastern gardens and their buildings are so 
closely and significantly interwoven, that the 
subject of architecture generally, and incidently 
that of New Delhi, cannot be avoided. Here 



PREFACE ix 

in place of any words of my own, I trust I 
may be forgiven for repeating two well-known 
quotations the first from Fergusson's Intro- 
duction to his book, Indian Architecture : 
" Architecture in India is still a living art, 
practised on the principles which caused its 
wonderful development in Europe in the twelfth 
and thirteenth centuries ; and there, conse- 
quently, and there alone, the student of architec- 
ture has a chance of seeing the real principle of 
the art in action." And the shrewd Bernier's 
delightful dictum : " The citadel contains the 
Seraglio and other royal edifices ; but you are 
not to imagine that they are such buildings as 
the Louvre or the Escurial. The edifices in the 
Fort have nothing European in their structure ; 
nor ought they, as I have already observed, to 
resemble the architecture of France or Spain. 
It is sufficient if they have that magnificence which 
is suited to the climate." 

Surely no " magnificence " could be more 
charmingly " suited to the climate " than that of 
an Indian garden-palace. Those who, while sym- 
pathetically inclined towards Indian art and its 
aims, have yet confined themselves to the beaten 
track in India, and would seem, therefore, to doubt 



x GARDENS OF THE GREAT MUGHALS 

the existence and genius of the Indian master- 
builder, will be interested in the Government 
Report on Modern Indian Architecture published 
last April. Apart from the conclusions drawn 
by Mr. Gordon Saunderson and Mr. J. Begg, 
F.R.I.B.A., Consulting Architect to the Public 
Works Department of the Government of India, 
and their recommendation of the direct employ- 
ment of Indian master-builders on the score of 
cheapness, the photographs of the Mosque, 
with its purdah galleries, now under construction 
for Her Highness the Begam of Bhopal, and the 
modern merchants' houses at Bikanir and else- 
where, show that there is life and power in the 
native craftsmanship of India to meet and profit 
by any new demands we may desire to make upon 
it. Direct, generous, and discriminating patron- 
age is the chief need of modern Indian art. 

For the " plentiful lack " of flowers in my 
sketches of the old baghs, Indian garden-craft 
must not be held responsible. The absence 
of colour is mainly due to the influence of our 
English landscape gardeners, and their fixed 
belief in the universal virtue of mown grass. 
Happily in some Indian gardens there are still 
the sparkling fountains. 



PREFACE xi 

In the transliteration of Oriental names and 
words, I have, as far as possible, followed the 
system now in use in India. It will be familiar 
to English readers from Murray's Hand-book, 
India, Burmah, and Ceylon. 

My grateful acknowledgments are due to Her 
Highness the Maji Sahiba of Bharatpur for her 
help in the matter of Hindu garden symbolism, 
and for the photographs of her Palace of Deeg ; 
also to Her Highness Princess Bamba Duleep 
Singh for many details of Mughal and Sikh 
garden ritual and customs. I am greatly in- 
debted to Sir George Birdwood, K.C.I.E., for 
his invaluable advice, and to his well-known 
article on The Christmas Tree ; and to Mr. E. B. 
Havell for the kind loan of three articles of his 
on Indian gardening which appeared in The House 
and Garden Magazine. 

To Mr. J. H. Marshall, C.I.E., Director- 
General of Archaeology in India ; Mr. Gordon 
Sanderson, Superintendent of Mohammedan and 
British Monuments, Northern Circle ; Professor 
F. W. Thomas, Ph.D., Librarian of the India 
Office ; Mr. A. G. Ellis, Assistant Librarian ; and 
Colonel T. H. Hendley, C.I.E., I am indebted 
for their ready help in my search for references ; 



xii GARDENS OF THE GREAT MUGHALS 

and to Dr. A. K. Coomaraswamy for his kind 
assistance in obtaining photographs of Mughal 
miniatures. 

My thanks are also due to the Durbars of 
Kashmir and Patiala, and to Nihal Singh, Sirdar 
of Pin j or. 

BEACHAMWELL HALL, NORFOLK, 
September 1913. 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER I 

PAGE 

ON SOME EARLY GARDEN HISTORY ... 1 

CHAPTER II 

GARDENS OF THE PLAINS AGRA . . .34 

CHAPTER III 

THE GARDENS OF THE TAJ . . . .58 

CHAPTER IV 

THE AGRA GRAPE GARDEN .... 82 

CHAPTER V 

GARDENS OF THE PLAINS DELHI . . .91 

CHAPTER VI 

GARDENS OF THE PLAINS LAHORE . . .125 

xiii 



xiv GARDENS OF THE GREAT MUGHALS 
CHAPTER VII 

PAGE 

GARDENS OF THE DAL LAKE . . . .153 

CHAPTER VIII 

SUMMER GARDENS OF KASHMIR . . .180 

CHAPTER IX 

PINJOR AN INDIAN COUNTRY-HOUSE AND ITS GARDEN 199 

CHAPTER X 

HOW THE LOTUS OF THE GOOD LAW WENT A-VOYAGING 229 

CHAPTER XI 

MOONLIGHT GARDENS, AND THE PALACE OF DEEG . 241 

CHAPTER XII 

SOME GARDEN CONTRASTS AND A DREAM . . 267 

CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF THE FIRST SIX 
MUGHAL EMPERORS AND OF THE PRINCIPAL 
GARDENS BUILT DURING THEIR REIGNS . 283 

GLOSSARY . . . . 285 

INDEX . 287 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



PLATE 



I. The Queen's Pavilion (Shalimar Bagh)* Frontispiece 

TT ^ BETWEEN PAGES 

' Y Bagh-i-Vafa (The Garden of Fidelity) . 16 &17 

FACING PAGE 

IV. " The Garden was in all its Glory " (Babar) 33 

V. Evening in the Gardens of the Taj * . 36 
VI. " One of the chief defects of Hindustan is 
the want of artificial water -courses " 

(Babar) ..... 40 
VII. Sikandrah . . . .49 

VIII. An Offering to Naga * ... 52 

IX. Floral Detail from the Taj Dado . . 56 

X. " The Gates were as of Pearl " * . . 60 
XI. The Sultana's Fountain Bath (Jasmine 

Tower) . . . . .81 

XII. The River Terrace of the Taj* . . 84 

XIII. The Anguri Bagh .... 88 

XIV. A Rajputana Garden .... 91 
XV. The Feast of the Birth of Humayun . 94 

XVI. A Roof Garden . . . .121 

XVII. The Diwan-i-Khas, Delhi * . . .124 

XVIII. Portrait Miniature of Nur-Jahan Begam . 128 

XIX. Shah-Dara* ...... 130 

xv 



xvi GARDENS OF THE GREAT MUGHALS 

PLATE FACING PAGE 

XX. A Princess at her Garden Gate . .137 

XXI. The Paradise Carpet . . .144 

XXII. The Old Entrance (Shalimar Bagh, Lahore)* 146 

XXIII. The Diwan-i-'Am (Shalimar Bagh) * . 162 

XXIV. The Nishat Bagh . . . .169 
XXV. The Lower Pavilion (Nishat Bagh) * . 172 

XXVI. A Riverside Garden . . .176 

XXVII. The Octagonal Tank (Verinag Bagh) * . 186 

XXVIII. The Great Waterfall (Achibal Bagh) * . 190 

XXIX. Autumn at Achibal * . . .196 

XXX. Flowers and Butterflies . . .209 

XXXI. An Eighteenth Century Garden . . 216 

XXXII. Pinjor* 220 

XXXIII. A Zenana Garden . . . .225 

XXXIV. Bharatpur Palace Garden . . .232 
XXXV. The Lilac Terrace (Nishat Bagh) * . 236 

XXXVI. The Garden-Palace of Deeg . . 241 

XXXVII. The Marble Swing (Deeg) . . .248 

XXXVIII. On the Way to the Shalimar* . . 252 

XXXIX. The Pillar of Vishnu (Fatehpur Sikri) . 273 

XL. The Chenar Tree Throne . . .280 

* These Plates in colour are from water-colour drawings 
by the Author. 



GARDEN PLANS 

PRINTED IN THE TEXT 

PAGE 

Taj Garden (Colonel Hodgson's Plan) ... 63 
Delhi Palace before 1857 . . . . .118 

Plan of the Shalimar Bagh (Lahore) . . . 137 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS xvii 

PAGE 

Stone Parterre (Taj) . . . . .139 

Brick Parterre (Lahore) . . . . 1 39 

Plan of a Garden in one of the Island Palaces at Udaipur 141 
Plan of a Courtyard in the Maharaja's Palace at Udaipur 141 
Shalimar Bagh (Kashmir) . . . . .165 

Achibal Bagh (Plan of the two remaining Terraces) . 193 
Plan of the Garden- Palace of Deeg . ... . 259 



I saw some handfuls of the rose in bloom, 

With bands of grass, suspended from a dome. 

I said, " What means this worthless grass that it 

Should in the rose's fairy circle sit ? " 

Then wept the grass and said, " Be still ! and know 

The kind their old associates ne'er forgo. 

Mine is no beauty here or fragrance true, 

But in the garden of the Lord I grew." 

SADI. 



THE GARDENS OF THE 
GREAT MUGHALS 

CHAPTER I 

ON SOME EARLY GARDEN HISTORY 

A garden enclosed a garden of living waters, 
And flowing streams from Lebanon : 
Awake, O North Wind ; and come thou South, 
Blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may 
fl ow out. Song of Songs. 

A GARDEN enclosed a garden of living waters, 
a garden of sweet perfumes " that the spices 
thereof may flow out " here from the Song of 
Songs are the three first motives of Indian 
garden-craft. First, there is the charm of con- 
trast, that magic contrast so vivid in the East, 
the meeting of " the desert and the sown " at 
the garden's boundary walls ; next, the need of 
running water, without which no plants or 
flowers could survive the fierce sunshine ; and 

last, the motive for the moonlit garden, to 
i i 



2 ON SOME EARLY GARDEN HISTORY 

Indians the most beautiful of all, the garden of 
sweet perfumes and soft lights. 

Indian gardening, like every other Indian art, 
is closely interwoven with the history of the 
country, and the artistic traditions and religious 
ideals of its designers played a far larger part 
in the ordering and planting of the gardens than 
is usual in European pleasure-grounds. Many 
of us have seen and admired the great terraces, 
canals, and tanks of the ruined Mughal gardens 
of Upper India and Kashmir, beautiful even in 
their present uncared-for state, their vast plan 
and solid building surviving in defiant grandeur 
past neglect and devastation. But few English 
people seem to be aware how close was the 
relation of these Eastern gardens, where not only 
the general design but each flower and tree had 
originally its symbolic meaning and method of 
arrangement, to the life and traditions of their 
builders. 

To understand and appreciate any phase of 
Eastern art, its underlying symbolism must 
always be kept in view. The Mughals and 
Hindus, like other Eastern nations, were interested 
in art and enjoyed beauty, not for its own sake 
but for the religious and other traditional ideas 



THE SPIRITUALITY OF EASTERN ART 3 

which it represented. This essentially religious 
outlook is so far removed from the self-conscious 
art of present-day Europe, which sets so much 
store on the individuality of the artist, that it is 
not surprising to find many English people to 
whom Eastern insight, as expressed in Indian art, 
is quite unintelligible and consequently un- 
interesting ; and this misunderstanding has been 
one of the chief factors in the neglect and decay 
of Indian national crafts. The phrase " art 
for art's sake " would be quite incomprehensible 
and meaningless to an Eastern craftsman 
" art for art's sake," a catchword which curiously 
enough was often used, not so long ago, in 
connection with the then newly studied arts of 
China and Japan, showing how at first only the 
decorative value of these works appealed to 
Western people ; the mere beauty or strangeness 
of the surface hiding their inner meaning, so that 
the motives which inspired their creation passed 
unnoticed. 

From very early times flowers and plants 
have been admired and cultivated in India. 
There are many references to gardens in the old 
Buddhist literature and the Sanskrit plays. The 
sacred groves round the Buddhist shrines were 



4 ON SOME EARLY GARDEN HISTORY 

no doubt among the earliest forms of gardening, 
which in later times and in moister climates 
developed into the well-known charming land- 
scape styles of China and Japan. 

But it was from the North, from Central Asia 
and Persia, that the splendid garden traditions 
were introduced into India, taking root there 
under the various Mohammedan conquerors and 
developing into a native style which culminated 
in the beautiful Kashmir Gardens built by the 
Mughal Emperor Jahangir and his Persian wife, 
the Empress Nur-Jahan. 

The Afghans and Pathans showed themselves 
magnificent builders, as their massive forts and 
mosques attest. Some of the grandest and most 
beautiful buildings in India belong to this period, 
but their surrounding gardens have nearly all 
disappeared. Those were troublous times ; kings 
rose and fell with astonishing rapidity, dynasties 
were no sooner founded than they became 
extinct, and internecine wars and quarrels left 
little of the peace and leisure garden -craft 
demands. Still the comparatively long reign 
of Feroz Shah from 1351 to 1388 proved more 
peaceful than those of his predecessors, and a 
tradition survives of the hundred gardens that he 



FEROZ SHAH'S GARDENS 5 

built round Delhi or rather round Ferozabad, 
as the Delhi of his day was named. Of all the 
hundred gardens, to-day ! not one is left. All 
their fountains, tanks, and terraces are gone, 
merged into the sandy plains that sweep up 
to the ruined walls of the city the gardens 
once surrounded ; but throughout Northern 
India there remain many old canals dating from 
the time of Feroz Tughluk. Nearly two centuries 
later, in the year 1526, Mahomet Babar made 
his final conquest of Northern India, and fixing 
on Agra as his capital, commenced among other 
buildings the construction of the Ram Bagh on/ 
the banks of the Jumna, the earliest Mughal* 
garden, as far as I know, still existing in India. 

In Persia and Turkestan the art of building 
irrigated gardens was at that time very fully 
developed, and had behind it an ancient history 
and long unbroken traditions. 

The writings of the early Persian poets, so 
full of evident delight in the flowers and gardens 
of their day, are well known in Europe : the 
Gulistans rose gardens of Sadi bloomed long 
ago almost two hundred years before Chaucer's 
" sweitie roses rede " scented the summer air. 
" The Rose Garden " is the actual title of the 



6 ON SOME EARLY GARDEN HISTORY 

poet Sadi's most famous work, and in his preface 
he writes : 

" Mature consideration as to the arrangements 
of the book made me deem it expedient that this 
delicate garden, and this densely wooded groye 
should, like Paradise, be divided into eight parts 
in order that it may become the less likely to 
fatigue." 

These eight parts or terraces, being taken 
from the Paradise-garden of the Koran, were 
always the ideal for the perfect garden. " God 
Almighty first planted a garden," and the early 
followers of the Prophet, stern materialists as 
they were, in spite of their poets, took their ideas 
of Paradise very literally from the gardens 
around them. 

Hafiz is another sweet singer through whose 
songs the beauteous gardens of Shiraz are well 
known; and that great poet of East Persia, 
Omar Khayyam of Korassan, is more popular 
now, after the lapse of nearly eight centuries, 
than he was in his own time and country. 

One of his pupils, Khwajah Nizami of Samar- 
cand, relates how he often used to hold conversa- 
tions with his teacher in a garden ; and one day 
the master said to him, " My tomb shall be in a 



GARDENS OF THE PERSIAN POETS 7 

spot where the north wind may scatter the roses 

over it " ; and adds Khwajah Nizami, "I wondered 
at the words he spoke, but I knew that his were 
no idle words. Years after, when I chanced to 
visit Naishapur, I went to his final resting-place, 
and lo ! it was just outside a garden, and trees 
laden with fruit stretched their boughs over the 
garden wall, and dropped their flowers upon 
his tomb, so that the stone was hidden under 

them." *U<* 9 Jk. 

These fragrant Gardens of the Bulbul and 
the Rose, and all the poetic imagery they inspired, 
are well known to us, but the passionate national 
love of flowers, of which these writings were the 
outcome, is not so widely understood. Japan is 
now always thought of as the country where 
flowers and gardens play the largest part in the 
national life and art, while the parallel case of 
Persia is almost forgotten. This is not surprising 
when one reflects that in Japan garden-culture 
flourishes as a living art whose results are apparent 
to every traveller, while in Persia years of war- 
fare and misgovernment have left the old gardens 
neglected and almost inaccessible. 

Intense appreciation of flowers seems to have 
been very general all over Central Asia, and may 



8 ON SOME EARLY GARDEN HISTORY 

be traced to the two great influences which 
underlie all national arts climate and religion. 

Nowhere in the world, perhaps, is spring 
more wonderful than in the high tableland of 
Persia and the mountainous countries lying east 
and west of it. Nowhere, certainly, are there 
such contrasts of climate : summer's heat and 
winter's cold alternately strip the country bare 
of colour, but spring pays for all : a brief spring, 
only a few weeks, into which is crowded all 
the flowering season of the year with a wealth 
of bloom hardly to be realised in more equable 
climates such as England and Japan, where the 
gardens flower on gaily for many months in 
succession. 

In Persia as the snows melt, their whiteness 
is rivalled by the delicate sprays of early fruit 
blossoms as seen across the dark background of 
the cypress trees ; while the pink mist of almond 
and apricot flowers shows in little patches of 
colour against the bare hillsides. Soon the 
ground under the trees is carpeted with bulbs, 
scillas, tulips, crown-imperials, narcissus, hyacinth, 
fritillaries, and iris. Take up a box of old 
Kashmiri lacquer-work and see how the flowers 
and colours crowd together. Lilac, jasmine, 






THE INFLUENCE OF CLIMATE 9 

and carnations follow ; then, last and best of 
all, come the roses, giant bushes covered with 
huge, pink, fragrant flowers, such masses as are 
seen in Europe only in the pictures of some 
fairy tale. White roses too, and red and 
yellow; but the pink roses were always the 
artist's favourites. For a few weeks longer 
the gardens and hillsides are at their brightest ; 
then the petals fall, as summer comes and 
burns the land into one unending dusty 
monotone. 

Summer flowers ! There are no such things 
outside the carefully tended gardens. 

This concentration of growth and beauty into 
a brief period deeply affected the imagination 
of the people, and all their arts reflect the national 
love of flowers. No wonder, then, that all the 
Persian poets join with old Omar in his lament, 
" Alas, that Spring should vanish with the 
rose ! " 

The other great influence, that of religion, 
is explained by the restrictions of the Koran, 
which forbade the delineation of human beings 
or animals, so that the artists of the faithful were 
confined to floral or geometrical designs. The 
Shiah sect of Aryan Persia never held very closely 



2 



10 ON SOME EARLY GARDEN HISTORY 

to this restriction, and painted men and animals 
freely ; but flowers, fruit, and foliage remained 
the chief motives on the tiles and carpets for 
which they are so famous, lending to their work 
a greater beauty and interest than appears in 
that of their stricter Sunni brethren of Bagdad, 
Cairo, and Damascus, with whom geometrical 
designs were most in favour. 

Old as these first Mohammedan gardens were, 
Zoroastrian skill in garden-craft takes the story 
back still further. To this day the gardens of 
the Parsees in India and the Gabres in Persia 
are notable for their wealth of flowers and the 
skill with which the plants are grown and may 
we not trace in thought these gardens back 
through the great platforms and terraces of Per- 
sepolis, to the hanging gardens of Babylon itself ? 
In the East ideas and forms change slowly when 
they change at all. This much is certain, that 
in all this country of Central Asia the first 
condition must always have been the life-giving 
water. 

The spirit of the garden-paradises of Europe 
hides in the flowers, the grass, the trees, but the 
soul of an Eastern garden lies in none of these : 
it is centred in the running water which alone 



IRRIGATED GARDENS 11 

makes its other beauties possible. Solomon's 
" garden of running water " is still an actual 
reality. Thus the need of irrigation dictated 
the whole plan and arrangement' of these Eastern 
enclosures, and herein they differ from the 
great Italian gardens, with which, at first sight, 
they seem to have so much in common. This 
resemblance is most striking where a hilly situa- 
tion has been made use of, as in the Nishat Bagh, 
which rises in grand imposing terraces from the 
shores of the Dal Lake in Kashmir ; but while 
in the villa gardens of Italy the beautiful foun- 
tains and waterfalls are only one of the principal 
adornments, in these Eastern baghs the water 
is the very life and soul, the raison d'etre, of the 
garden itself. 

A very good account of one of these Persian 
gardens is given in a book edited by Major P. M. 
Sykes, and called The Glory of the Shia World, 
in which the arrival of a Vakil -ul-Mulk and his 
entertainment at Mahun are thus described : 
" However, thanks be to Allah, the garden 
at Mahun was fitted to receive even such a 
distinguished guest as the Vakil -ul-Mulk ; 
and, since it is one of the famous gardens of 
Persia, itself a land of most famous gardens, 



12 ON SOME EARLY GARDEN HISTORY 

it is right that I should describe its beauties 
to you. 

" We Persians, whenever possible, build our 
gardens on a gentle slope ; and the garden I am 
describing was so constructed that two streams 
of crystal -like water met in the front of the 
building and formed an immense lake, on the 
surface of which numerous swans, geese, and 
ducks disported themselves. 

" Below this lake there were seven waterfalls, 
just as there are seven planets ; and below these 
again there was a second lake of smaller dimen- 
sions, and a superb gateway decorated with 
blue tiles. 

44 Perhaps the reader may think that this was 
all ; but no, not only in the lakes, but also 
between the waterfalls, jets of water spouted up 
into the air so high that the falling spray re- 
sembled masses of diamonds. And often, when 
reclining in the beautiful tiled room, the plash 
of the jets of water and the murmur of the 
stream hurrying down the terraced garden be- 
tween rose bushes, backed by weeping willows, 
planes, acacias, cypresses, and every other 
description of tree, have moved me strangely ; 
and I have wept from pure joy, and then have 



GARDEN OF MAHUN 13 

been lulled to sleep by the overpowering sense 
of beauty and the murmur of the running water. 
" By Allah ! I think, indeed, that this garden 
is not surpassed in beauty by even that famous 
garden mentioned in the Koran : 

' The Garden of Iram, adorned with lofty pillars, 
The like of which hath not been created in the World.' " 

Two other traits peculiar to these old Persian 
gardens may be remarked : the one of so 
constructing the canals and tanks as to keep 
the water brimming to the level of the paths on 
either hand ; the other, a charming custom of 
paving the shallow watercourses with brilliant 
blue tiles, the clear rivulets running in and out 
between the gloom of the old cypress avenues 
reflecting even a deeper blue than the cloudless 
sky above them. 

The Mughal gardens, copied from the earlier 
gardens of Turkestan and Persia, are invariably 
square or rectangular in shape, their area being 
divided into a series of smaller square parterres. 
A high wall, adorned with serrated battlements 
and pierced by a lofty entrance gateway, encircles 
the garden. These imposing entrances are a 
great feature of the Mughal style, and in the larger 
gardens there are always four main gateways, 



14 ON SOME EARLY GARDEN HISTORY 

one in the centre of each wall, while the angles 
of the outer walls are marked by small octagonal 
buildings. 

The water runs in a trim stone- or brick-edged 
canal down the whole length of the enclosure, 
falling from level to level in smooth cascades, 
or rushing in a tumult of white foam over carved 
water-chutes (chaddars). Below many of these 
waterfalls the canal flows into a larger or smaller 
tank, called a hauz, usually studded with numer- 
ous small fountains. The principal pavilion was 
often placed in the centre of the largest of these 
sheets of water, forming a cool, airy retreat 
from the rays of the midday sun, where the 
inmates of the garden might be lulled to sleep 
by the roar of the cascades, while the misty 
spray of the fountains, drifting in through the 
arches of the building, tempered the heat 
of a burning noontide : water pavilions, such 
as the exquisite black marble baradari in the 
harem garden of the Kashmir Shalimar, or 
the octagonal building which once adorned the 
great tank of the ruined garden at Bijbehara. 
In nearly all the larger gardens side-canals were 
added, leading out from the principal tanks 
and terminating in architectural features such 



MUGHAL GARDEN BUILDING 15 

as baradaris built into the wall, raised platforms, 
or gateways. From these stone-bordered canals 
and tanks the water required for irrigating the 
soil is conducted by pipes concealed beneath 
the ground to points where it is needed. 

The trees were planted to carry out and 
emphasise the general lines of the garden very 
much as is described in the garden of Mahun, 
where the planes and cypress trees formed the 
background to the rose bushes and flowers 
bordering the stream. Round the outer walls 
also avenues of trees were planted, while the 
square plots intersected by the watercourses 
were filled with fruit trees and elaborate parterres 
of flowers. There were shady walks, pergolas 
of vines and flowers ; here and there were open 
squares of turf shaded by large trees planted 
at the corners, or having one central chenar 
or mango tree surrounded by a raised platform 
of masonry or grass, which formed a free space 
for feasts and gatherings such as the Mughals 
loved. Here they could recline at ease on the 
soft turf, or, seated on brilliant carpets, enjoy 
the charm of conversation and the hookah, 
and indulge in musical parties, or while away the 
cool evenings with recitations from the favourite 



16 ON SOME EARLY GARDEN HISTORY 

Persian and Turki poets, or by chanting rhymes 
of their own devising, such as Babar's first 
ghazel (ode), which, he tells us, he composed 
under the chenars of the garden of Burak : 

" I have found no faithful friend in the world but my soul, 
Except my own heart I have no trusty confidant." 

The Emperor Babar laid out and improved 
many of the gardens round Kabul, some of which 
he describes at length in his Memoirs the Bagh-i- 
Vafa (the Garden of Fidelity) being mentioned by 
him more than once. " Opposite to the fort of 
Adinahpur, to the south, on rising ground, I formed 
a char-bagh in the year 1508. It is called Bagh-i- 
Vafa. It overlooks the river, which flows between 
the fort and the palace. In the year in which 
I defeated Behar Khan and conquered Lahore 
and Dibalpur, I brought plantains and planted 
them here. They grew and thrived. The year 
before I had also planted sugar-cane in it, which 
throve remarkably well. I sent some of them 
to Badakhshan and Bokhara. It is on an 
elevated site, and enjoys running water, and the 
climate in the winter season is temperate. In 
the garden there is a small hillock, from which 
a stream of water, sufficient to drive a mill, 
incessantly flows into the garden below. The 



PLATE II. 




BAGH-I-VAFA. (THE GARDEN OF FIDELITY.) 
(By kind permission of Messrs. Luzac.) 



PLATE III. 




TUZUK-I-BABARI 17 

four-fold field-plot of the garden is situated on 
this eminence. On the south-west part of this 
garden is a reservoir of water twenty feet square, 
which is wholly planted round with orange 
trees ; there are likewise pomegranates. All 
around the piece of water the ground is quite 
covered with clover. This spot is the very eye 
of the beauty of the garden. At the time 
the orange becomes yellow, the prospect is 
delightful. Indeed the garden is charmingly 
laid out. To the south of this garden lies the 
Koh-i-Sefid (the White Mountain of Nangenhar), 
which separates Bangash from Nangenhar. There 
is no road by which one can pass it on horse-back." 

These Memoirs were written by Babar in his 
terse native Turki ; it is interesting to find his 
grandson, the great Akbar, requesting the 
scholar Mirza Abdal-Rahun to translate them 
into Persian while the Court was on a progress 
to Kashmir and Kabul, the latter country the 
scene of so many of the adventures and fair 
gardens described in the Tuzuk of Babar. 

All the best caligraphists and artists, whom 
the catholic taste of the art-loving Akbar had 
drawn around him, were employed to illuminate 
copies of this work. The double illustration, 

3 



18 ON SOME EARLY GARDEN HISTORY 

Plates II. and III., portrays two of these pages, on 
which the first visit of the Emperor Babar to the 
Bagh-i-Vafa is described. The painting is signed 
Bishandas, the Persian form of Vishandas, show- 
ing the artist to have been Hindu. In this 
miniature Babar is seen to be personally directing 
the laying-out of "the four-fold field-plot." 
Two gardeners hold the measuring line, the 
architect with his plan stands in attendance, 
while the tank, somewhat reduced in size, is 
fitted into the bottom corner of the picture. 
Pomegranates and orange trees border the square 
plot, and above the walls tower the snowy 
heights of the White Mountain, on which, to 
show its altitude, the artist introduces an ibex, 
with chikor (mountain partridge) on the lower 
slopes. An embassy of the Begs knocks at the 
garden gate, hastening, no doubt, with news of 
some fresh revolt or trouble in the camp : but 
the Emperor, completely absorbed in his favourite 
pastime, is not to be diverted from his new 
garden schemes. 

Fifteen years afterwards Babar mentions 
another visit to this favourite spot : three days' 
rest snatched from the midst of his endless 
campaigns against the turbulent Afghans. The 



THE BAGH-I-VAFA 19 

garden had matured, and his naive delight in the 
beauty and success of his schemes and plantations 
is very charming. " Next morning I reached 
the Bagh-i-Vafa ; it was the season when the 
garden was in all its glory. Its grass-plots were 
all covered with clover ; its pomegranate trees 
were entirely of a beautiful yellow colour. It 
was then the pomegranate season and the pome- 
granates were hanging red on the trees. The 
orange trees were green and cheerful, loaded 
with innumerable oranges ; but the best oranges 
were not yet ripe. Its pomegranates were ex- 
cellent, though not equal to the fine ones of our 
country. I was never so much pleased with 
the Garden of Fidelity as on this occasion." A 
little further on the Emperor adds : " As I 
had an intention of travelling through the 
Lemghan in the winter, I desired them to save 
about twenty orange trees around the piece of 
water for my use." 

The second illustration given of this garden 
is taken from another copy of the Memoirs, now 
in the British Museum, and shows the sugar-cane 
and plantains which had been brought from 
Lahore with such care ; gardeners busily digging 
and sowing seeds in the little plots of ground 



20 ON SOME EARLY GARDEN HISTORY 

between the water channels, and a small copper 
fountain of a primitive type is playing in the 
centre of the tank. 

Apart from the main system of irrigation, it 
is curious to notice from these old accounts 
and miniatures how in many ways the Mughal 
gardens of the sixteenth century resembled those 
of Tudor England. These English gardens, 
alas ! have nearly all vanished, their last vestiges 
swept away by the sham romanticism of the 
eighteenth century and the zeal of those who 
followed the traditions of the once-lauded land- 
scape gardener, " Capability " Brown. One by 
one the magnificent old gardens of the great 
houses were destroyed, but a glance at nearly 
any of the plans shown in Kip's drawings of 
famous English halls and castles, published in 
1707, will prove how much the old English and 
Indian gardens had in common. Two centuries 
earlier a still closer affinity can be seen in the 
garden backgrounds of the illuminations in a 
Flemish manuscript of the Roman de la Rose. 
In both styles the garden was confined by high 
boundary walls, and in both the whole scheme of 
house and garden, buildings and planting, were 
treated throughout in definite relation to each 



TUDOR GARDENS AND MUGHAL BAGHS 21 

other. Towers in the east, and garden houses 
in the west were an invariable feature marking 
the corners of the walls. The cistern fountains 
in the European illuminations might have played 
in the Garden of Fidelity ; the " pleached allies " 
and " proper knots " of English gardens were 
the vine pergolas and geometrical parterres of 
the Mughals ; while their central baradaris or 
raised chabutras (platforms) answered the same 
purpose as the banqueting hall on the " mound," 
without which at one time no English noble's 
garden was complete. 

The question of the park was different. The 
old English engravings usually depict walled 
gardens surrounded by a large, and more or less 
wild, deer-park, through which ran avenues 
extending the main lines of the garden. The 
Mughals, on the other hand, had no need of outer 
enclosures for preserving game while the primeval 
forests and jungles still clothed the hillsides, 
so that their great chenar and mango avenues 
were generally placed within the garden walls. 
The space which these walls enclosed was a 
large one, 600 yards by 400 yards being a very * 
usual size, while many of the Mughal baghs 
were on a much bigger scale than this. In these 



22 ON SOME EARLY GARDEN HISTORY 

large baghs the actual flower garden may be said 
to be confined to the lines of the principal canals 
and the squares which bordered on them, the 
sides of the garden being treated more like a 
park and planted with large avenues of trees 
under which tents could be pitched. 

Many of the royal gardens owed their origin 
to the fact that they were specially designed to 
accommodate the Court on the constant royal 
progresses entailed by the vast size of the Empire. 
Where there was no garden kept in readiness 
against the coming of the Emperor even the 
temporary camp was carefully pitched with that 
regard for form, combined with a beautiful site, 
of which the Mughals were so mindful. Bernier, 
the French physician, travelling in the train of 
the Emperor Aurungzeb to Kashmir, mentions 
how " one of the Peeche-Kanes has no sooner 
reached the place intended for the new en- 
campment than the grand Quartermaster selects 
some fine situation for the King's tents, paying, 
however, as much attention as possible to the 
exact symmetry of the whole camp. He then 
marks out a square, each side of which measures 
more than three hundred ordinary paces. A 
hundred pioneers presently clear and level this 



ORIENTAL TOWN PLANNING 23 

space, raising square platforms of earth on which 
they pitch the tents. The whole of this extensive 
square is then encompassed with kanates or 
screens. The kanates are made of strong cloth 
lined with printed Indian calico, representing 
large vases of flowers." 

There are many who seem to think that this 
love of form and beauty, so ingrained in the 
Mughal character, found its only outlet and was 
alone displayed in the royal gardens, forts, and 
palaces. This was hardly the case in India 
any more than it has been in Europe, though in 
every clime art flourishes most vigorously when 
to the inspirations of race and religion a personal 
stimulus is added. In Mughal times it was a 
pious act to plant avenues of trees to shade the 
wayfarers on the great high-roads. Gardens, 
and orchards too, were founded by private 
persons for the public benefit, very much after 
the manner of our old English foundations and 
almshouses. Town planning, about which there 
has been so much talk in England of recent years, 
was an art carried out on a grand scale by the 
great Emperors of India and Persia ; and I 
doubt if New Delhi, even when finished, will 
contain anything so fine as the Chenar Bagh, 



24 ON SOME EARLY GARDEN HISTORY 

1350 yards long, " down the centre of which 
ran a channel of water falling in terraces and 
collecting here and there in large shallow basins 
wherein fountains played ; where on either side 
the channel was an avenue of trees and a paved 
footway for pedestrians, and beyond this again 
ran another avenue and a raised causeway, for 
horses and vehicles, against the flanking walls." 
Such was the approach which Shah Abbas, the 
equally magnificent and art-loving contemporary 
of Shah Jahan, created for his beloved Persian 
capital, Ispahan. 

The grand old terrace gardens of India and 
Kashmir lie for the most part forlorn and 
neglected, or so changed that nearly all their 
charm and character are lost. This is strange 
when these large water-gardens have so much 
in common with their European contemporaries, 
the Italian gardens of the sixteenth and seven- 
teenth centuries the vast pleasure-grounds in the 
building of which the Cardinals and Princes of 
the Renaissance vied with each other, piling up 
those wondrous terraces overlooking the blue roll- 
ing waves of the Roman Campagna, or crowning 
the heights of Fiesole above the quiet beauty 
of the Arno valley, where the brown towers and 



GARDEN-DESIGN 25 

dark cypress spires rise through the silver mist 
of olive trees. When these Italian gardens are 
so much admired, photographed, and visited, 
why are the Mughal baghs of the Indian foot-hills 
and the great gardens of the Dal Lake forgotten, 
and Indian garden-craft as a whole ignored ? 

I am speaking now of garden-design, gardening 
in its artistic sense, for gardening in a horti- 
cultural sense still flourishes in India. It is 
best to be quite clear about these two aspects of 
garden-craft. One may be regarded as the 
building of the house, the other as the furnishing. 
One is the art of building and planning for all 
time and for all generations ; the other the art 
wherewith each generation in its turn replants 
according to its pleasure. Speaking strictly, 
horticulture is not an art at all, but only the 
science of improving form and flavour, scent and 
colour, and is quite apart from the garden- 
craft which afterwards can in combination and 
arrangement make use of such knowledge with 
artistic skill. 

Naturally in a scientific age, the scientific 
side of gardening makes the first appeal ; but 
both aspects are equally important, and it is 
the common confusion of these two quite separate 



26 ON SOME EARLY GARDEN HISTORY 

ideas which has gone far to destroy European 
garden-design. 

An old Indian garden-palace built for the hot 
weather offers a perfect illustration of harmony 
of house and garden. For a time I stayed in 
just such a place, situated far away in the country 
of the Himalayan foot-hills ; a huge walled 
enclosure, partly fortified. First came the great 
high gateway which formed the double purpose 
of entrance hall and quarters for the guard ; 
beyond extended a large flower garden laid out 
in parterres beside the stream, at the end of 
which was the men's dining-room. On its other 
side this building opened on to the rose garden, 
on the far side of which towered the high palace 
of the women's quarters, with its delightful roof 
bedrooms. Here, built into the side walls, a 
kitchen pavilion on the one hand balanced rooms 
for guests on the other ; while forty feet below 
lay the large fruit garden, the " bostand," with 
the summer drawing-room delightfully placed in 
the centre of the largest fountain tank. 

Though the beauty of design and the charm of 
garden symbolism have been lost sight of in India, 
botanical gardens and horticultural colleges are 
always improving well-known shrubs and flowers 



HORTICULTURE AND DESIGN 27 

and acclimatizing new ones, and their actual 
cultivation appeals keenly to nearly every one, and 
especially to Anglo-Indians. Indeed, I should say 
that the average Englishman in India takes a far 
more practical interest in his garden there than 
he would do at home in England. The rapid 
growth and beauty of the strange new flowers 
and trees attract him ; while life is spent so much 
out of doors, that the garden plays a larger part 
and the house a much smaller one than they do 
with us in colder countries. 

What cause, then, in latter-day India has led 
to this divorce of horticulture and design ? 
Why is " the art, so well understood by the 
Mughals, of planning and planting gardens in 
direct harmonious relation to the house, palace, 
or mausoleum to which they belong, now rarely 
if ever practised ? " 

There are two main causes which have con- 
tributed to the neglect of Indian garden-craft. 
The first is the obvious change of habits and 
manners. The railway train brings the cool 
hill station within comparatively easy reach. 
There is no need now for the long journeys of 
the Court to Kashmir, such journeys as the 
Emperor Jahangir and his consort, the famous 



28 ON SOME EARLY GARDEN HISTORY 

Nur-Jahan Begam (better known as Nur-Mahal), 
undertook no less than thirteen times, crossing 
the snowy passes of the Pir Panjal on elephants 
a strange and dangerous undertaking. These 
adventures, however, were for the Court 
alone ; for most people a garden close to the 
city walls took the place of hill stations and 
summer resorts. Every omrah (noble) and rich 
man made one or more of these gardens, with 
running water, fountains, and cool, airy pavilions 
in which to take refuge from the stifling summer 
heat of the great white city palaces. Running 
water was the essential feature of these gardens. 
Even the city palace had its fountain and inner 
court planted with shrubs and flowers for the 
special use of the ladies of the zenana. Bernier, 
writing from the Court of Aurungzeb at Delhi, 
mentions that the garden-houses of the omrahs, 
" though mostly situated on the banks of the 
river and in the suburbs, are yet scattered in 
every direction. In these hot countries a house 
is considered beautiful if it be capacious, and 
if the situation be airy and exposed on all sides 
to the wind, especially the northern breezes. A 
good house has its courtyards, gardens, trees, 
basins of water, small jets d'eau in the hall or at 



BERNIER AT DELHI 29 

the entrance, and handsome subterraneous apart- 
ments which are furnished with large fans, and 
on account of their coolness are fit places for 
repose from noon until four or five o'clock, when 
the air becomes suffocatingly warm. Instead 
of these cellars many persons prefer kas-kanays, 
that is, small and neat houses made of straw or 
odoriferous roots, placed commonly in the middle 
of a parterre so near to a reservoir of water that 
the servants may easily moisten the outside by 
means of water brought in skins. They consider 
that a house to be greatly admired ought to be 
situated in the middle of a large flower garden, 
and should have four divan-apartments raised 
the height of a man from the ground, and exposed 
to the four winds, so that the coolness may be 
felt from any quarter. Indeed, no handsome 
dwelling is ever seen without terraces on which 
the family may sleep during the night. They 
always open into a large chamber into which 
the bedstead is easily moved in case of rain, 
when thick clouds of dust arise, when the cold 
air is felt at break of day, or when it is found 
necessary to guard against those light but pene- 
trating dews which frequently cause a numbness 
in the limbs and induce a species of paralysis." 



30 ON SOME EARLY GARDEN HISTORY 

Nothing could be more charming or more suited 
to the climate than these country houses round 
Delhi as seen by Bernier in 1660, and the ill- 
adapted, modern Anglo-Indian bungalows, with 
their sloping roofs, haphazard-shaped compounds, 
and dusty gardens open to the public gaze, can- 
not be said to be a great advance in appro- 
priateness or taste. 

The second cause which led to the decline of 
Indian gardening was less obvious but more 
destructive. It was the introduction of the 
English landscape garden, le Jardin Anglais., of the 
eighteenth century, "the mock wild garden" 
which surrounded the English classic houses of that 
period. This change was a revolt of the garden 
alone against some of the final absurdities of the 
Dutch designs and a lifeless formalism which 
had become dreary, a change which may be 
partly traced to the East, for it was to some 
extent inspired by travellers' tales of the land- 
scape gardens of China and Japan. 

All styles have their weak points, which in 
the end bring about their decadence and make 
for change. In Europe, Gothic architecture, 
degenerating in France to a riot of flamboyant 
curves, made the renaissance of the severer 



LE JARDIN ANGLAIS 31 

classical lines a welcome relief. The classical 
formality, at first so charming in its restrained 
yet decorative outlines of house and garden, in 
its turn sank to decadence after the period of 
Versailles, where, to quote from Sir George 
Sitwell's most valuable book, On the Making 
of Gardens, a book with no direct reference 
to the East, yet so full of suggestion and ima- 
ginative sympathy with beauty in every form 
that one wishes it might be the text-book of 
every garden -maker, whether in England or 
in India " The long drawn-out monotony of 
the new style, which took no account of the 
genius of the place, but sought everywhere to 
overwhelm nature, was bound to provoke a 
reaction. As under Louis XIV. the garden 
had encroached upon the park so now the park 
swept back over the garden, bringing the one 
unending sweep of the bare English lawn up to 
the very windows of the house. . . . The garden 
was deprived first of its boundaries and then of 
its flowers, sham rivers, dead trees, and broken 
bridges were planted in appropriate positions, 
while over the country-side in the neighbourhood 
of the great houses there broke out a dreadful 
eruption of Gothic temples and Anglo-Saxon 



32 ON SOME EARLY GARDEN HISTORY 

keeps, Corinthian arches and Druid amphi- 
theatres, of classic urns, Chinese pagodas and 
Egyptian pyramids, all with inscriptions in Greek 
or black-letter appealing to the eye of taste 
and the tear of sensibility." 

We may, however, place to the credit of the 
English landscape style the broad treatment of 
parks, the skilful management of large sheets of 
water, and the effective grouping of trees ; but 
these were more than counterbalanced by the 
destruction of the garden near the house, till 
all that was ultimately left of the once charming 
walled pleasance had shrunk into an ugly kitchen 
garden, unconnected with the house, hiding its 
necessarily " formal " walls in a neighbouring 
wood, where hideous greenhouses and untidy, odd 
potting sheds replaced the stately orangery and 
the corner garden towers of former days. Such 
was the garden-craft we brought to India when 
the fine old Anglo-Indian houses of Madras and 
Calcutta were in process of building ! 

For whatever we may think of their gardens, 
the eighteenth - century classical buildings in 
India were good of their kind and adapted to the 
climate. But as the English houses grew more 
formal and severely classical, the gardens, as if 



PLATE IV. 




British Muse* 
'THE GARDEN WAS IN ALL ITS GLORY." (BABAR.) 



LOSS OF HARMONY 33 

in protest, lost all form, and the fundamental 
principle of the relation between house and 
garden was completely lost sight of the principle 
till then so strictly adhered to throughout all 
the periods of English art. Such was the havoc 
which this fashion wrought that even to-day in 
England we have not altogether recovered in our 
gardens this lost sense of harmony. 



CHAPTER II 

GARDENS OF THE PLAINS AGRA 

Each Morn a thousand Roses brings, you say ; 
Yes, but where leaves the Rose of Yesterday ? 

And this first Summer month that brings the Rose 
Shall take Yamshy"d and Kaikobad away. 

OMAR KHAYYAM. 

FAR away to the northward of the sunbaked 
plains of Agra, beyond the great snow barrier 
of the Himalayas, lies the small kingdom of 
Ferghana " on the borders of the habitable 
world," as Babar, Prince of Gardeners, shortly 
describes his native valleys on the opening page 
of his inimitable Memoirs. 

With the advent of the Emperor Zehireddin 
Mohammed, called Babar (the Tiger), the history 
of garden-design in India may be said to begin ; 
and throughout his Memoirs, the record of 
thirty-five years spent in almost incessant war- 
fare, there are repeated references to flowers 
and gardens. 

34 



TULIPS 35 

In the midst of long accounts of wars and 
skirmishes we find the Emperor hurrying back 
to Kabul to see how his Garden of Felicity had 
prospered. Wherever he went, he paused to note 
the flowers, birds, and animals that were new to 
him. Marching through the mountains of Ghur- 
bend in Afghanistan Babar observes that : " The 
ground is richly diversified by various kinds of 
tulips. I once directed them to be counted, and 
they brought in thirty-two or thirty-three different 
sorts of tulips. There is one species which has 
a scent in some degree like a rose, and which 
I termed laleh-gul-bui, (the rose-scented tulip). 
This species is found only in the Sheikh's Plain, 
in a small spot of ground, and nowhere else. In 
the skirts of the same hills, below Perwan, is 
produced the Hundred - leaved tulip, which is 
likewise found only in one narrow spot of ground, 
as we emerge from the straits of Ghurbend." 
This last flower, which Babar mistook for a tulip, 
is really the double red poppy. 

The Emperor gives a long list of many beautiful 
gardens surrounding Samarkand at the time of 
his first visit to that city. The Perfect Garden, 
the Heart - delighting, and the Garden of the 
Plain are among those he mentions as adorned 



36 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS AGRA 

with elaborate garden-houses and pillared halls. 
These were royal gardens, but " in the time of 
Sultan Ahmed Mirza," Babar's uncle, " many of 
the greater and lesser Begs formed gardens, 
some large, others small. Among these, the 
Chehar Bagh of Dervish Muhamed Terkhan, in 
respect of climate, situation, and beauty, is 
equalled by few. It is situated lower down 
than the Garden of the Plain, on a small eminence 
that rises above the valley of Kulbeh, and 
commands a view of the whole vale, which 
stretches out below. In this Chehar Bagh there 
is a variety of different plots laid out one above 
another, all on a regular plan, and elms, cypresses, 
and white poplars planted in the different com- 
partments. It is a very perfect place. Its 
chief defect is that it has no great stream of 
running water." 

Babar's love of flowers and gardens would seem 
to have been as much a national as a personal 
characteristic. To this day the far-off towns 
of Eastern Turkestan are celebrated for their 
orchards. Sir Aurel Stein, in his account of 
his adventurous journey to the sand -buried 
cities of Khotan, constantly mentions the gardens 
w,hich formed such pleasant camping-grounds 



SAND-BURIED GARDENS 37 

all along his route from Kashmir to his head- 
quarters at Khotan. At Yarkand, the garden 
reserved for him, the Chini Bagh, " proved quite 
a summer palace within a large walled-in garden." 
And again, " When alone in my temporary man- 
sion, I felt the reality of the charms which such 
an abode offers even more than I had in the old 
Mughal and Sikh garden-residences, once my 
favourite haunts in the campagna of Lahore." 

Tanks filled with the sacred lotus flowers 
figured largely in many of the fresco paintings 
uncovered among the ruined cities north of 
Khotan, and adjoining one of the buried houses 
the outlines of an ancient garden were distinctly 
traceable. House and garden had lain buried 
under the drifting sand for nearly 1600 years 
when Sir Aurel Stein first discovered them. 
" The trunks of the poplars, which still rise 
eight to ten feet from the original surface, and 
are thus clearly visible above the sand-drift, 
are grouped in the same little squares, and 
enclosing rectangular avenues which can be 
seen in every well-kept Bostan (orchard) from 
Kashgar to Keriya." 

Babar, after his final conquest of Northern 
India in the year 1526, fixed on his new capital 



38 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS AGRA 

at Agra, where one of his first concerns was 
the carrying out of the old Turki traditions in 
the building of an Imperial char-bagh (garden- 
palace, literally " four gardens "). At Agra, how- 
ever, the flat character of the country afforded 
little scope for planning a fine garden, such as 
the great terraced enclosures of Samarkand or 
the Kabul Hills. 

The Hindus themselves, at that time, appear 
to have lost much of their earlier taste for garden- 
ing and the skill which characterised the Indian 
Buddhist monks, and to have done little more 
than plant groves of trees round the tanks con- 
structed to catch the summer rains, making no 
effort to irrigate such gardens as existed. This 
lack of irrigation struck the new Emperor of 
India very forcibly, accustomed as he was to 
the elaborate care and skill with which the fields 
and gardens were watered in Persia and his own 
country of Ferghana. " It always appears to 
me," he writes, " that one of the chief defects 
of Hindustan is the want of artificial water- 
courses. I had intended, wherever I might 
fix my residence, to construct water-wheels, to 
produce an artificial stream, and to lay out an 
elegant and regularly planned pleasure-ground. 



THE BUILDING OF A CHAR-BAGH 39 

"Shortly after coming to Agra, I passed the 
Jumna with this object in view, and examined 
the country, to pitch upon a fit spot for a garden. 
The whole was so ugly and detestable, that I 
repassed the river quite repulsed and disgusted. 
In consequence of the want of beauty and the 
disagreeable aspect of the country, I gave up my 
intention of making a char-bagh ; but as no 
better situation presented itself near Agra, I 
was finally compelled to make the best of this 
same spot. First of all I began to sink the large 
well which supplies the baths with water ; I 
next fell to work on the piece of ground on which 
are the ambli (Indian tamarind trees), and the 
octagonal tank ; I then proceeded to form the 
large tank and its enclosure ; and afterwards 
the tank and talar, or grand hall of audience, 
that are in front of the stone palace. I next 
finished the garden of the private apartments, 
and the apartments themselves, after which I 
completed the baths. In this way, going on, 
without neatness and without order, in the 
Hindu fashion, I, however, produced edifices 
and gardens which possessed considerable regu- 
larity. In every corner I planted suitable 
gardens ; in every garden I sowed roses and 



40 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS AGRA 

narcissus regularly, and in beds corresponding 
to each other. We were annoyed with three 
things in Hindustan : one was its heat, another 
its strong winds, the third its dust. Baths were 
the means of removing all three inconveniences. 
In the bath we could not be affected by the 
winds. During the hot winds, the cold can 
there be rendered so intense, that a person often 
feels as if quite powerless from it. The room of 
the bath, in which is the tub or cistern, is finished 
wholly of stone. The water-run is of white stone : 
all the rest of it, its floor and roof, is of a red stone, 
which is the stone of Biana. Khalifeh, Sheikh 
Zin, Yunis Ali, and several others, who procured 
situations on the banks of the river, made regular 
and elegant gardens and tanks, and constructed 
wheels after the fashion of Lahore and Debalpur, 
by means of which they procured a supply of 
water. The men of Hind, who had never before 
seen places formed on such a plan, or laid out with 
so much elegance, gave the name of Kabul to 
the side of the Jumna on which these palaces 
were built." 

This long account of the building of the 
garden-palace at Agra gives a good illustration 
of the style of garden-design which the Emperor 



PLATE VI. 




British Museum. 

'ONE OF THE CHIEF DEFECTS OF HINDUSTAN IS THE 
WANT OF ARTIFICIAL WATER-COURSES." (BABAR.) 



CHOICE OF SITE 41 

Babar introduced into India. The Mughals, 
with their fine traditions, laid most stress on 
the choice of site. Babar was evidently too wise 
to suppose, as many modern garden planners 
suppose, that he could build a great garden 
without a great idea or a great opportunity ; 
and to his disgust, the dull monotony of the 
plains of Agra offered neither. Water, too, was 
a vital necessity to cool the dwelling rooms, 
supply the baths, and irrigate these immense 
terraced enclosures. All the finest Mughal 
gardens or their ruins are found in beautiful 
situations, centring round a hillside spring, like 
the gardens of Achibal, Verinag, Wah, and 
Pinjor ; or else built across a narrow ravine or 
valley through which a constant stream of water 
flows, such as the Kashmir Shalimar Bagh, the 
Gardens of the Ghat near Jeypore, and older 
still, the ill-famed Persian gardens of the Castle 
of Alamut, the Paradise of the Assassins, of 
which Ser Marco Polo left such a quaint descrip- 
tion, and the crusaders brought home strange 
tales. 

No spring or rivulet being available in the 
vicinity of Agra, Babar perforce had to start the 
work by digging wells ; next, he proceeded with 



42 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS AGRA 

the tamarind tree enclosure and its octagonal tank, 
and then the great hall of audience. In Persia and 
India a house or palace is always understood to 
be included under the name of garden, and the 
whole composition was closely and beautifully 
interwoven. How much the finest Mughal build- 
ings lose by the destruction or alteration of their 
gardens can be easily seen in the great palace- 
forts at Agra, Delhi, and Lahore, and the many 
desolate enclosures, all that are now left of the 
once " Paradise -like orchards " of the Moslem 
garden-tombs. 

The Ram Bagh, on the left bank of the Jumna, 
may possibly be the garden -palace of Babar's 
description. It was a royal garden in the time 
of his great-grandson Jahangir ; one of the 
numerous palaces of the Empress Xur-Jahan. It 
is astonishing to find how many of the famous 
Mughal gardens throughout Northern India and 
Kashmir owe their inception to, or were directly 
inspired by, the taste and the love of natural 
scenery and flowers of this royal lady, who 
shared with Babar the joyous art-loving tradi- 
tions inherited from Turki and Persian ancestors. 
In the Ram Bagh the great Emperor was laid 
in his last sleep, before his remains were removed 



THE RAM BAGH 43 

to their final resting-place, his favourite Garden 
of the New Year, near Kabul. All succeeding 
rulers have kept up this garden of his at Agra, 
and it is said to have obtained its name of Ram 
Bagh from the Mahrattas in the eighteenth 
century. 

Unfortunately, the original character of these 
gardens is almost lost ; the raids and wars of old 
times, and the mistaken zeal for English land- 
scape-gardening have swept away the avenues 
of alternating cypress trees and fruit trees. 
Gone are the glowing parterres, carpets of colour 
" the roses and narcissus planted regularly 
in beds corresponding to one another " such as 
were spread to delight the eyes of Babar or 
Nur -Mahal. Winding drives and meaningless 
paths now replace the charming old formality, 
while the baradaris on the riverside terrace are 
disfigured and modernised. There remain only 
the terraces, fountains, and narrow watercourses, 
with their tiny, carved water-chutes, and the old 
well from which the garden was supplied with 
water from the Jumna. 

Between the Ram Bagh and the Chini-ka- 
Rauza, the latter a ruined tomb, once entirely 
covered with an exquisite mosaic of tile work, 



44 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS AGRA 

lies the Zuhara Bagh, another large walled 
enclosure. This formerly contained the largest 
garden-palace at Agra, and belonged to Zuhara, 
one of Babar's daughters. A great well outside 
the enclosure, some 220 feet in circumference, 
has recently been filled up ; and altogether the 
garden is said to have possessed no less than 
sixty wells. 

Five and a half miles from Agra, down the 
great north road of Babar's planning, lies Sikan- 
drah, the tomb of his grandson Akbar. The 
building stands in the midst of a vast level 
garden, a char-bagh of the plains. The gardens 
mentioned so far, those of Babar's descriptions 
and the garden of Mahun, were all constructed 
in a series of terraces on sloping ground on the 
usual Turki and Persian plan. The ideal pleas- 
ance, according to those traditions, was itself a 
symbol of life, death, and eternity, and should 
be divided into eight terraces, following the eight 
divisions of the Paradise of the Koran mentioned 
in the previous chapter. In other cases seven 
was the number chosen, to symbolise the seven 
planets, and the ground plan of every garden was 
designed in accordance with some symbolic or 
mystic idea. No wonder, then, that Babar was 



SIKANDRAH 45 

disgusted by the surroundings of his new Indian 
capital the far-reaching plains and the lack of 
natural beauty which prevented the realisation 
of the great char-bagh of his dreams, the Imperial 
garden-palace, which, with its terraces and foun- 
tains, should rival and outshine all those on 
the hillsides of Kabul and Samarkand. 

In these terrace pleasure-grounds the main 
pavilion, the climax of the garden, is in nearly 
every case placed either on the topmost terrace, 
from which wide views were visible, or else on the 
lowest embankment to enjoy the long vista up 
the line of dancing, sparkling waterfalls and 
fountains. 

At Sikandrah a different scheme is followed, 
which may be taken as a type of the Mughal 
gardens of the plains. The plan is of extreme 
simplicity the fourfold field-plot of Babar, and 
also the Hindu mythologised geography of the 
world. This was a Holy Land, with Mount Meru 
in its midst, from which the waters of a secret 
spring flow north, south, east, and west in four 
great fertilising streams. On the central mount 
grows the sacred tree, the Tree of Knowledge of 
Good and Evil, with Naga, the holy water-snake, 
the embodiment of the spring, coiled about its 



46 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS AGRA 

roots. These same ideas of the sacred mountain 
and the holy tree with its secret spring and 
guardian snake are connected with all early 
conceptions of a Paradise, and in every language 
the very word Paradise, or garden, means " en- 
closed." Such was the Eridu of the Assyrians ; 
the Eden of the Jews ; Mount Olympus, the 
Greek Garden of the Gods ; the Vara or Pairi- 
daesa of Ancient Persia, where " on the white 
Homa tree sits the Saena bird and shakes down 
from it the seeds of life, which, as they fall, are 
at once seen by the bird Kamros as it watches 
for them from the top of the heavenly mountain 
Hara-Berezaiti, and are carried by it, and scat- 
tered far and wide over the world." The Para- 
dise of the Hindus was Ida-varsha, the garden of 
Ida, mother of mankind; there on the sacred slopes 
of Mount Meru grew the " Tree of Ages " and the 
fragrant "Tree of Every Perfect Gift." Back 
and ever backward through the ages this Paradise 
idea extends until it is lost in the beginning of 
all human things, the worship of the first wonders 
and necessities of life, the sky and the mountains, 
the water and the fruit-bearing trees. And still 
a flicker from the old tradition lingers on and 
lights our children's Holy Tree at Christmastide. 



THE TREE OF AGES 47 

In early ages the tree on the mount was replaced 
by a temple ; in Buddhist times the stone chhat- 
travali or umbrellas, the symbols of the sacred 
tree and its branches, crowned the building ; the 
idea was carried on by the Hindu temples, and 
with the coming of the Mohammedans the temple 
on the mount is replaced by the tomb or baradari 
on a central platform from which the four water- 
ways still flow. 

Back to such simple pieties we are led by the 
Hindu custom prescribing the laying out of a 
garden, "the purest of human pleasures," as a 
religious function, of which the distinctive rite is 
the formal marriage of the fruit trees with the 
garden well, two of the finest young trees being 
planted beside the conduit head. After which the 
dakshina (right-hand-going) is performed, the 
garden being perambulated by its planters. This 
marriage of the fruit trees is a favourite motive 
with Hindu craftsmen, and the well-known per- 
forated stone windows in the mosque of Sidi 
Sayyid at Ahmedabad are among the most 
exquisite examples of its use. 

Sikandrah is laid out on this plan of the 
cosmic cross, in a huge square enclosure with 
high battlemented walls. In the midst, raised 



48 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS AGRA 

on a wide platform, stands the mausoleum, on 
each side of which are tanks with central 
fountains supplying the water for the narrow 
canals which once ran down the centre of the 
raised stone pathways. The mausoleum was 
commenced by Akbar himself. Mr. Havell, in 
his book on Agra, draws attention to the fact 
that " It is different in plan from any other 
Mughal monument, and, contrary to the usual 
Mohammedans' custom, the head of the tomb of 
Akbar is turned towards the rising sun, and not 
towards Mecca. The whole structure gives the 
impression of a noble but incompleted idea ; 
both in its greatness and in its incompleteness, 
it is typical of Akbar and his work." The tomb 
of India's greatest Emperor fitly combines both 
Hindu and Moslem traditions. Even the present 
park of grass and scattered trees, crossed by the 
raised stone walks, preserves in bare outline 
something of the garden's ancient symbolism. 

Numerous fine mausoleums, or their ruins, 
lie scattered round the three great Mughal 
capitals, Agra, Delhi, and Lahore, some of which 
still retain their enclosing garden walls. These 
garden-tombs were a great feature of Moslem 
art. It was customary for the Mughal princes 



PLATE VII. 




BAGH-I-KILAN 49 

and omrahs to keep up various pleasure-grounds 
outside the cities, one of which was always chosen 
as the owner's last resting-place. The central 
baradari which had been used as the summer 
palace during the owner's lifetime formed the 
mausoleum at his death, when the garden was 
made over to religious purposes and its fruit 
usually distributed among the fakirs who tended 
the tomb and the many beggars and wayfarers 
who passed by its gates. A garden of this 
description must have been acquired by purchase 
or fair means, else its possession would entail 
misfortune Babar alludes to this idea when he 
mentions that he paid the full price of the Bagh- 
i-Kilan and received a grant of it from its pro- 
prietor. This was the beautiful garden in the 
district of Istalif, in which he was finally buried. 
" Istalif," he says, " is a district full of gardens, 
green, gay, and beautiful," in which was a 
garden " called Bagh-i-Kilan, or the Great 
Garden, which Mugh Beg Mirza seized upon. I 
paid the price of the garden to the proprietors, 
and received from them a grant of it. A peren- 
nial stream, large enough to turn a mill, runs 
through the garden ; and on its banks are 
planted planes and other trees. Formerly this 

7 



50 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS AGRA 

stream flowed in a winding and crooked course, 
but I ordered its course to be altered according 
to a regular plan, which added greatly to the 
beauty of the place. Lower down than these 
villages, and about a kos or a kos and a half 
above the level plain, on the lower skirts of the 
hills, is a fountain, named Khwajeh-seh-yaran 
(Khwajeh-three-friends), around which there are 
three species of trees ; above the fountain are 
many beautiful plane trees, which yield a pleasant 
shade. On the two sides of the fountain, on 
small eminences at the bottom of the hills, there 
are a number of oak trees ; except on these two 
spots, where there are groves of oak, there is 
not an oak to be met with on the hills west of 
Kabul. In front of this fountain, towards the 
plain, there are many spots covered with the 
flowery arghwan tree, and besides these arghwan 
plots there are none else in the whole country. 
It is said that these three kinds of trees were 
bestowed on it by the power of three holy men, 
beloved of God ; and that this is the origin of the 
name Seyaran. I directed this fountain " (i.e. 
spring) "to be built round with stone, and 
formed a cistern of lime and mortar twenty feet 
square. On the four sides of this fountain, a 



BABAR AT ATTOCK 51 

fine level platform for resting was constructed 
on a very neat plan. At the time when the 
arghwan flowers begin to blow, I do not know 
that any place in the world is to be compared 
to it. The yellow arghwan is here very abun- 
dant, and the yellow arghwan's blossom mingles 
with the red." 

The blossoming arghwan trees (Bauhinia 
variegata) whose mingled reds and yellows so 
delighted Babar, were flowering shrubs ; and must 
not be confused with the arghwan (anemone) 
parterres with which he was so struck in the 
beautiful gardens he visited on his march past 
Attock : "In different beds, the ground was 
covered with purple and yellow arghwan flowers. 
On the one hand were beds of yellow flowers, in 
bloom ; on the other hand, red flowers were in 
blossom. In many places they sprang up in the 
same bed, mingled together as if they had been 
flung and scattered abroad. I took my seat on a 
rising ground near the camp, to enjoy the view of 
all the flower-plots. On the six sides of this emin- 
ence they were formed as into regular beds. On 
one side were yellow flowers ; on the other purple, 
laid out in triangular beds. On two other sides 
there were fewer flowers ; but, as far as the eye 



52 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS AGRA 

could reach, there were flower gardens of a similar 
kind. In the neighbourhood of Peshawar, during 
the spring, the flower-plots are exquisitely beauti- 
ful." A judgment which still holds good, as those 
must agree, who, like Babar, have passed through 
Northern India in spring-time : the brief northern 
spring, when even the exposed, dusty bungalow- 
gardens are lit up by the wonder of the rose 
bushes, ending as the first blast of the burning 
summer winds blows out the roses' fairy lamps of 
red, pink, white, and yellow. 

Across the river Jumna, and on the same side 
as the Ram Bagh, is the tomb of I'timad-ud- 
Daulah (the Lord High Treasurer), one of the 
most beautiful of all the Mughal garden-tombs. 
This exquisite mausoleum, the first example of 
inlaid marble work in a style directly evolved 
from the Persian tile-mosaics, was raised by the 
Empress Nur-Jahan to the memory of her 
father, Mirza Ghiyas Beg. Her remarkable 
Persian or, according to another account, Turki 
family, had such an influence on Mughal art 
during its most brilliant period that their relation- 
ships are worth remembering. Ghiyas Beg, who 
became the Lord High Treasurer of Jahangir 
and afterwards Wazir or Prime Minister, had 



A FAMOUS FAMILY 53 

left his home to seek his fortune at the Court of 
Akbar, where there were already relatives of 
his ; and with him came his wife, his son, and an 
infant daughter born on the journey to Lahore. 
A clever man and genial scholar, he quickly rose 
to power, and his little daughter, who seems to 
have inherited much of his ability, as well as 
his love for art, became in after years the famous 
Empress Nur-Jahan. She and her brother Asaf 
Khan, who, in his turn, became Wazir, com- 
pletely ruled the empire in the closing days of 
Jahangir ; while Asaf Khan's daughter (Nur- 
Jahan's niece and daughter-in-law) was the 
Mumtaz Mahal, the Crown of the Palace, 
whose death inspired the building of the Taj. 
This tomb of the founder of the family shows 
plainly their influence on the art of their day, 
the inlaid work with its designs of vases, 
fruits, drinking-cups, and cypress trees repeating 
in marble all the familiar motives of Persian 
tile-mosaic. 

The whole enclosure and the mausoleum seem 
small after the huge pile set in the vast ruined 
garden at Sikandrah. But though this old 
pleasure-ground by the riverside is carefully 
maintained, its empty water channels, bare mown 



54 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS AGRA 

grass-plots, and scattered trees show that the 
garden has quite lost its original character. 
The four great tanks on the central platform 
are dry and empty, no glittering fountain spray 
breaks the darkness of the doorways, nor over- 
flows in ripples down the tiny carved water- 
chutes ; and the empty, narrow watercourses, 
once blue ribbons of the sky laid on the rosy 
mauve of the broad flagged pathways, now look 
meaningless and forlorn. The majority of the 
Mughal gardens are on such a huge scale that 
it seems, at first sight, almost vain to hope for 
their complete restoration. But the tomb of 
I'timad-ud-Daulah and its enclosure are com- 
paratively small, and it is easy to realise how 
much this exquisite mausoleum would gain in 
beauty and interest if its old setting were revived. 
The delicious flash and sparkle of the water 
running through its narrow channels would give 
life and character to the broad stone-ways and 
platforms ; the deep gloom of the cypress 
avenues, a welcome relief and perspective, chang- 
ing the glare of sunshine on white inlaid marble 
to a soft iridescent bloom. Rose-bushes should 
border the raised walks, bending over to break 
the hard edges of the stone-work, and drop their 



TOMB OF ITIMAD-UD-DAULAH 55 

petals in tribute at the tomb of this Persian 
scholar and rose-lover. On the grass plots by 
the river brilliant parterres might be spread, 
with fruit trees planted formally, for without 
their changing beauties of fruit and blossom no 
Moslem or Hindu garden is complete. 

This is a tempting subject on which to enlarge, 
for apart from the symbolic appropriateness, the 
mere artistic gain would be great if this garden 
by the riverside at Agra could be replanted with 
the same care, skill, and knowledge with which 
its buildings have been restored. 

The small scale of this garden shows the old 
symbolism of the plan very clearly. The central 
building on its platform, the four springs, in 
this case four tanks on each side of the platform 
itself, each containing a single fountain, and the 
four watercourses, " the Rivers of Life," which 
they supply. 

The first time I saw this simple and oldest of 
all garden-plans, I was vividly reminded of our 
own early struggles to lay out a garden in the 
Central Province station whither my husband's 
military work had temporarily transplanted us. 
New to India, I had only seen the English villa 
gardens of Bombay, green certainly, but feature- 



56 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS AGRA 

less, uninteresting, and quite unlike the Indian 
gardens of my dreams. With us, fortunately, 
water was plentiful, so our first idea was to 
build as large a fountain as might be, and a 
central tank from which to irrigate the garden. 
The space was small, but gradually the natural 
plan unfolded itself, the long flower-bordered 
walks leading from the central tank ; though I 
remember how I argued at great length against 
the mali's (gardener) insistance that the walks 
should be raised above the garden level, un- 
consciously clinging, in my own mind, to the 
opposite English plan of the flat paths with their 
raised herbaceous borders. The mali won the 
day, though I was slow, I confess, to see the 
obvious fact that the walks, in an irrigated 
garden, must be necessarily raised for the water 
to pass under them. It was astonishing how 
quickly and willingly the work was done ; quite 
large cypress trees were planted, and the whole 
garden, previously a burnt-up field, soon took 
shape. When it was planted I was quite unaware 
of its propitious symbolism, how even the " good " 
snake was not wanting, a cobra which lived curled 
up in the roots of the old mango tree at the end of 
one of the four walks. How horrified I should have 



PLATE IX. 



' ' 
' \ V 



, 






A BUNGALOW GARDEN 57 

been had I known that at the time. But a year 
later when I discovered the fact, it seemed only 
fitting ; and Naga, the friendly deity, was left un- 
disturbed in the enjoyment of his daily offering 
of milk, wherefore our garden prospered, and, in 
evil times, our compound proved free from 
plague ! 



CHAPTER III 

THE GARDENS OF THE TAJ 

I sometimes think that never blows so red 
The Rose as where some buried Caesar bled ; 

That every Hyacinth the Garden wears, 
Dropt in her Lap from some once lovely Head. 

OMAB KHAYYAM. 

THE "Paradise-like Orchard" of the Lady 
Arjumand Banu, Begam, is more familiar to 
us as the garden-tomb of Mumtaz Mahal the 
Crown of the Palace and Lady of the Taj. 

So much has been written in praise of this 
famous building, and photographs and pictures 
have made it so familiar, that it might seem 
needless to add any impressions of my own, 
were it not that most writers are too enchanted 
with the beauty of the actual tomb to realise 
the close connection of the whole group of 
buildings, and that the garden as originally 
planned formed an integral part of one great 
design. 



DAWN AT THE TAJ 59 

An early visit to the Taj stands out vividly 
in my mind : the bitter cold of the drive in the 
half-light of an Indian November morning ; a 
stray jackal flitting across the wide road, like 
the embodiment of some "devil-spirit" escaping 
before the grey disillusioning dawn; the chill 
of the rising mists mingling with the acrid smoke 
of the little fires of twigs and fallen leaves 
over which the road sweepers crouched. The 
shops in the alcoves beside the great doorway 
of the caravansarai were securely boarded up ; 
no shrill voices greeted me in noisy rivalry, 
demanding attention to the charms of picture 
post-cards or their owners' wasted skill in carv- 
ing toy marble tombs. The great square within 
at this early hour lay peaceful and empty. 
Presently at the entrance to the gardens ap- 
peared the aged door-keeper, unmistakably 
cross at being roused at such an hour. All 
day long the restless white-faced tourists came ; 
on moonlight nights the gardens were often 
full of sightseers ; but a man must have his 
rest, and it was clear he did not hold with 
foolish folk who might wish to see the gardens 
at sunrise. 

The light increased rapidly as I hurried up 



60 THE GARDENS OF THE TAJ 

the flights of steps and under the splendid arch, 
over which, inlaid in black marble, the flowing 
Arabic letters invite the pure of heart to enter 
the Gardens of Paradise. Seen from within the 
entrance portal, rising above the mists which 
wrapped the cypress trees and blurred the 
reflections in the wide canal, the Taj itself loomed 
white and ghostly cheerless against a pale grey 
sky. Then, as I reached the water's edge, with 
a flash the topmost golden iris of the spire took 
the sun. Softly and rapidly the rosy light stole 
round the exquisite curve of the dome, flushing 
the smooth, pearly surface of the marble, till, 
striking the sides of the building, the sunshine 
at length reached the great white platform, 
lighting up each arched recess in a marvel of 
mauve shade and amber reflection ; a fairy 
beauty, a spirit building, " whose gates were as 
of pearl," hovering for a moment over earth. 
With the warmth of the sunrise the garden 
mists rose high, drifting away in turquoise 
wreaths between the deep green of the guardian 
cypress trees ; whose slender shapes and curving 
topmost crests were now clearly mirrored in the 
still water, while between their dark reflections 
shone the Taj, a miracle revealed. 



"THE VENUS DE MILO OF THE EAST" 61 

The magic lasted but a moment, but in that 
moment I had seen the vision as its builders 
saw and planned it long ago the vision which 
Mr. Havell with so much insight describes when 
he says : " Those critics who have objected to 
the effeminacy of the architecture unconsciously 
pay the highest tribute to the genius of the 
builders. The Taj was meant to be feminine. 
The whole conception, and every line and detail 
of it express the intention of the designers. It 
is Mumtaz Mahal herself, radiant in her youthful 
beauty, who still lingers on the banks of the 
shining Jumna, at early morn, in the glowing 
midday sun, or in the silver moonlight. Or 
rather, we should say, it conveys a more abstract 
thought ; it is India's noble tribute to the grace 
of Indian womanhood the Venus de Milo of 
the East." 

As the sunlight flooded the gardens, the 
avenue of cypresses stood out sharply, their 
shadows barring the long walks. But the dark 
masses of the mango trees behind looked confused 
and heavy, blocking the full view of the magnifi- 
cent platform with the white marble mausoleum 
and its attendant mosques. The noise of a flock 
of chattering, shrieking parrots rose behind me 



62 THE GARDENS OF THE TAJ 

as the garden coolies, and the sweepers with their 
brooms, and the bhistis with their water mussicks 
all clattered noisily through the echoing entrance 
portal ; and in a somewhat dilatory fashion, with 
much talk and shouting, the day's work of the 
garden began. 

The Taj is the one triumph of Indian art in 
which Moslem and Hindu, official Anglo-Indian 
and passing English tourist all join to reverence 
and admire. And in the full prosaic daylight, 
when the white dome stands up in dazzling 
sharpness against the deep blue of the sky, 
nothing is more striking, in a land of great ruins 
and tawdry modern buildings, than its absolute 
bloom of perfection. 

The earliest existing plan of the gardens is 
that made in 1828 by Colonel Hodgson, Surveyor- 
General in India, from which it will be seen that 
beautifully kept as they are at present, the 
grounds have been considerably Europeanised, 
and cannot now be said to represent the original 
intention of their makers. For one thing, the 
heavy mass of trees quite obscures the view of 
the composition as a whole. The plan is 
simple : the fourfold field - plot of Babar, the 
plan of Arama, the ancient Hindu fourfold 



THE FOURFOLD FIELD-PLOT 



63 



Paradise of restfulness. In one particular only 
does the plan of the Taj differ from those of all 




TAJ GARDEN. 
(Colonel Hodgson's Plan.) 



other famous Mughal tombs. A beautiful raised 
fountain-tank of white marble occupies the centre 



64 THE GARDENS OF THE TAJ 

of the fourfold plot, replacing the almost in- 
variable central mausoleum ; and the actual 
tomb of the Lady Arjumand Banu stands 
on the great platform at the end of the gardens, 
overlooking the shining reaches of the river 
Jumna. 

What inspired Shah Jahan to change the 
traditional order of the design ? Was it the 
natural beauty of the site on the river cliff ? 
Did he build this tribute to his adored wife there, 
because from his balconies in the palace fort he 
could watch the sunrise and the sunset flush its 
marble into rosy life ? Maybe some Hindu 
influence, inherited from his Rajput mother un- 
consciously, led him to raise the tomb on the 
banks of the Jumna, placing the tank for the 
lotus lilies of the Lord Vishnu in the centre of 
the garden ; or perhaps it is a proof of the story 
which maintains that the Taj as we know it is 
but half of the plan, and that the great Emperor 
meant to complete his masterpiece with another 
tomb for himself across the river, joining Taj 
to Taj by a bridge of black marble Holy Jumna 
itself the centre of the scheme. 

Bernier gives an account of the gardens as 
he saw them in about 1660. Looking over the 



BERNIER ON THE ART OF THE INDIES 65 

grounds from the high platform of the mausoleum, 
he says : " To the left and right of that dome 
on the lower surface you observe several garden 
walks covered with trees and many parterres of 
flowers. . . . Between the end of the principal 
walk and this dome is an open and pretty large 
space, which I call a water parterre, because the 
stones on which you walk, cut and figured in 
various forms, represent the borders of box in 
our parterres." Here it would seem that Bernier 
is describing the great platform of the Taj itself. 
Although he is, as a rule, singularly clear and 
accurate in his observations and statements, in 
his account of his visit to " the Paradise of the 
Indies " (Kashmir) with the Emperor Aurungzeb 
he speaks of sailing up the whole length of the 
Shalimar Bagh, but as this garden is on three 
distinct levels, it is a little difficult to understand 
how he accomplished the feat. Be that as it 
may, in spite of his natural preference for all 
things French, this genial old Parisian cannot 
restrain his admiration for the Mughal buildings, 
even though he finds " the columns, the archi- 
traves and cornices are, indeed, not formed 
according to the proportion of the five orders 
of architecture so strictly observed in French 



66 THE GARDENS OF THE TAJ 

edifices." When, as in 1660, a splendid living 
art flourished in Europe, that of India was not 
despised. And I cannot leave Bernier at the Taj 
without quoting the following delightful extract : 
" The last time I visited Tage Mehale's mausoleum 
I was in company of a French merchant, who, as 
well as myself, thought that this extraordinary 
fabric could not be sufficiently admired. I did 
not venture to express my opinion, fearing that 
my taste might have become corrupted by my 
long residence in the Indies ; and as my com- 
panion was come recently from France, it was 
quite a relief to my mind to hear him say that 
he had seen nothing in Europe so bold and 
majestic." 

The various gay parterres mentioned by 
Bernier have all been swept away, excepting 
only the stone-bordered, star-shaped beds along 
the canals, which are now laid out in grass. 
The cypress avenues have been replanted, but 
one looks round the garden in vain for that 
favourite motive which so many forms of Moslem 
art borrowed from garden-craft, the symbolic 
mixed avenues of cypress and flowering tree. 
Palms have recently been planted round the 
central raised tank and its fountain parterre. 



JAHANGIR'S MEMOIRS 67 

At present they look heavy and stumpy, but in 
the future, when they tower with their graceful 
heads above the cypress trees, they will mark the 
centre of the gardens, without obstructing the 
view of the monument ; their slender stems 
repeating the idea of the graceful detached 
minarets at the four corners of the Taj platform. 
And in this famous Indian garden these four 
areca-nut palms opposite the four corners of the 
tank would combine this artistic purpose with 
the old Hindu symbolism of the marriage of the 
fruit trees one of which was usually a palm 
by the well. 

Jahangir, in his Memoirs, mentions an avenue 
of areca-nut palms in one of Babar's gardens 
at Agra which had grown ninety feet high. 
The gardens of Akbar's tomb at Sikandrah 
were planted with cypress, wild-pine, plane, and 
supari (areca-nut palm). Another garden made 
by Jahangir's directions at Sehrind he describes 
thus : "On entering the garden I found myself 
immediately in a covered avenue (pergola), 
planted on each side with scarlet roses, and 
beyond them arose groves of cypress, fir, plane, 
and evergreens variously disposed. . . . Passing 
through these we entered what was in reality 



68 THE GARDENS OF THE TAJ 

the garden, which now exhibited a variegated 
parterre ornamented with flowers of the utmost 
brilliancy of colours and of the choicest kinds." 

Akbar (1556-1605) was keenly interested in 
horticulture, though garden building and design 
do not seem to have had for him the attraction 
they had for his grandfather Babar or his 
son Jahangir. The Ain-i-Akbari gives in detail 
the principal plants and flowers of the time. 
" His Majesty looks upon plants as one of the 
greatest gifts of the Creator, and pays much 
attention to them. The horticulturists of Iran 
and Turan have, therefore, settled here, and the 
cultivation of the trees is in a flourishing state." 

In Babar's garden at Agra, named by him 
the " Flower Scatterer," thousands of pine-apples 
were produced yearly. One wonders if the 
red-flowered oleanders flourished there, " the 
particularly fine red kanirs " which Babar found 
in a garden at Gwalior and transplanted with 
such care to his new gardens at Agra. 

In speaking of gardens Jahangir refers to 
those of the nobles of his Court, remains of which 
can still be seen on the bank of the Jumna at 
Agra. He stayed, he tells us, in the Dil Amiz 
Garden at Lahore. He specially remarks on the 



SOME FAMOUS KABUL GARDENS 69 

gardens of Kabul ; the City Adorning Garden, 
with a stream eight feet wide running down its 
centre, which he and his courtiers tried to jump 
but failed. He says on this day he walked 
round seven of the famous gardens of Kabul, 
and adds, " I do not think I ever walked so far 
before. 

" First of all I walked round the City Adorn- 
ing, then the Moonlight Garden, then the garden 
that Bika Begam, grandmother of my father, 
had made, then passed through the Middle 
Garden, then a garden that Maryam-makani, 
my own grandmother, had prepared, then the 
Surat-khana garden, which has a large chenar 
tree, the like of which there is not in the other 
gardens of Kabul. Then having seen the Char- 
Bagh, which is the largest of the City gardens, 
I returned to my own abode. There were 
abundance of cherries on the trees, each of which 
looked as it were a round ruby hanging like 
globes on the branches. The Shahr-ara Bagh 
was made by Shahr-Banu Begam, daughter of 
Mirza Abu Said, who was own aunt to the late 
king Babar. From time to time it has been 
added to, and there is not a garden like it for 
sweetness in Kabul. It has all sorts of fruits 



70 THE GARDENS OF THE TAJ 

and grapes and its softness is such that to put 
one's sandalled feet on it would be far from 
propriety or good manners. In the neighbour- 
hood of this garden an excellent plot of land 
came to view which I ordered to be bought from 
the owners. I ordered a stream that flows 
from the Guzargah to be diverted into the middle 
of the ground so that a garden might be made 
such that in beauty and sweetness there should 
not be in the inhabited world another like it. 
I gave it the name of ' World Adorning.' Whilst 
I was at Kabul I had several entertainments in 
the City Adorning Garden, sometimes with my 
intimates and courtiers, sometimes with the 
ladies of the harem." 

On his visits to various towns the Emperor 
Jahangir speaks of having planned and built 
several other gardens. He saw one garden with 
one hundred mango trees and a huge banyan in 
it which especially called for remark. On another 
occasion he had a " nice feast " in the Nagina 
Bagh, " where a pergola of grapes had ripened." 
At Ahmedabad he went to a little garden " which 
had exceedingly good figs," and while there he 
visited the Fath Bagh (Garden of Victory) and 
contemplated the red roses. " The plot," he 



PARTERRES AND FRUIT TREES 71 

said, " had bloomed well, it was pleasant to see 
so many there owing to their scarcity in India." 
" The anemone bed, too, was not bad, and the 
figs had ripened." In yet another garden at 
Ahmedabad he particularises " orange, lemon, 
peach, pomegranate, and apple trees, and among 
flowering shrubs every kind of rose." 

Flowering shrubs and some roses still adorn 
the Taj gardens ; but where are the fruit trees ? 
The orange, pomegranate, and lemon ? Groves 
of these should certainly be again planted here, 
for quite apart from their great decorative value, 
they formed a special feature of the original 
design and pious intentions of the founder of this 
Paradise Orchard. Undoubtedly the different 
squares of the garden were largely planted with 
fruit trees, while, to relieve the monotony, the 
corners marked A B C D on the plan were most 
probably treated as parterres. 

For a month, every sunrise and sunset found 
me in these gardens ; and among all the sunny 
days one grey day stands out alone. 

It had been raining, a sudden sharp burst of 
the early winter rains. The water stood in great 
pools along the worn stone pathways, extending 
the reflections of the wide canal and brimming 



72 THE GARDENS OF THE TAJ 

over the edges of the fountain parterre round the 
central tank. A soft grey bloom of raindrops 
veiled the grass and clung to the tapering 
cypress spires, while beyond them, against a 
background of purple cloud, the Taj, more 
exquisite than ever, seemed sharply carved in 
mellow ivory ; smooth, solid ivory of every tone 
from palest cream to a soft, deep ochre, where 
the rain had stained the marble. A long -for- 
gotten first sight of Pisa in winter flashed back on 
my mind as I gazed entranced at this strange 
new Taj, with its quiet harmonies of grey-green, 
and cream, and purple. 

Up on the high platform of the mausoleum, 
the moisture glistened on the waving black and 
white lines of the inlaid pavement, whose sym- 
bolic ripples carry out an old Indian tradition, 
so that the Taj, like many an ancient Hindu 
shrine, stands in the centre of a tank. Here, on 
most days, the glare of sunshine radiating up 
from this dazzling pavement is quite blinding, 
and all but obscures the lovely details of the 
dado round the building ; but in the more 
subdued light the inlaid borders and delicate 
carving of the floral panels showed clearly. 
This dado is one of the most charming examples 



THE FLOWERS OF THE TAJ 73 

of Mughal decorative work, and like the parterres 
which it naively represents for the design is 
taken directly from the oblong flower-beds, such 
as were seen beside the canals of every palace 
garden it only reveals its full delicacy of form 
and colour on a dull day. How delicious they 
are, these formal flower-beds, with their blue- 
bells, daffodils, tulips, crown -imperials, lilies, 
and irises, which stand up swaying on their slender 
stems by the black and white marble ripples, 
forming a fairy circle round the tomb. Spring 
flowers all of them, for the Rose of Persia and 
the Lotus of the Good Law hold a truce, and 
are missing from this gathering of the flowers. 
Maybe the famous Kashmir gardens of the 
Empress Nur Jahan were the artist's inspiration 
here. In the record, which is still preserved, of 
the craftsmen employed on the Taj, the name 
appears of one Ram Lai Kashmiri, proving that 
at least one Kashmir artist was employed by 
Shah Jahan. 

Great was my delight, some months after this 
rainy day at Agra, to forget the fatigue of the 
long three days' drive up the Jhelum ravine, as 
I found one by one the spring flowers of the Taj. 

First came the tulips, high up on the slopes of 

10 



74 THE GARDENS OF THE TAJ 

the Murree Hills, growing in little patches where 
the sun could reach them through the fir trees, 
dainty little cream-coloured flowers, with pointed 
petals streaked on the outer sides with carmine. 
Lower, the hillsides were bare as yet, but down 
in the ravine by the river the lilies were coming 
out, in form like our Madonna lilies, but smaller, 
pink in colour, with long reed-like leaves, growing 
in tufts in crevices of the limestone cliffs, tan- 
talisingly out of reach. Then as the rocks receded 
and the valley grew more wooded, splendid 
crown -imperials shot up through the mossy 
carpet strewn with the brown of last year's 
leaves, magnificent great red bells, which glowed 
between the bare mauve twigs and russet buds 
of the undergrowth. Each flower as we passed 
it I thought the loveliest of all, but the craftsman 
who crowned the crescent of the Taj with an iris 
knew best, for the memory of the other lilies 
fades before the blue Kashmir iris as we saw it 
when at last the valley opened out : blue lakes 
and pools of iris, between a golden land of mustard 
fields and reefs of bright green grass, stretching 
away into the gloomy deep-blue distance of the 
lower mountain chains, above which towered the 
cloud- wreathed summits of the snowy Pir Panjal. 



THREE MUGHAL MASTERPIECES 75 

Most of these blossoms reappear inlaid on 
the actual tombs of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah 
Jahan, and they decorate the famous screen which 
surrounds the graves. This screen, the flower 
dado, and the Sultana's bath in the Jasmine 
Tower of the fort, exhibit to perfection that 
marvellous decorative feeling which seems inborn 
in Oriental craftsmen. Each is a masterpiece 
in its combination of inlaid jewelled colour and 
delicate marble carving. It is impossible to 
decide which is the most faultless : the screen, 
seen in the dim light under the dome, with its 
lattice-work of lilies and its upper rail, whereon 
a row of marble vases blooming with never- 
fading flowers stand round the shrine ; the marble 
flower-beds without ; or the fountain-bath of the 
Jasmine Tower. Where the four shallow curves 
of the fountain basin are carved with the flow 
of the water, the vivid red and green of the 
inlaid flowers and leaves shine through the ripples 
like the pebbles of the wet sea -beach, and 
the white marble lily-buds seem to float away, 
dragged down by the swirl of the stream. 

To realise even faintly Shah Jahan's dream, 
it is necessary to go over to the other side of the 
Jumna. A crazy ferry-boat plies between the 



76 THE GARDENS OF THE TAJ 

sand-banks, winding slowly in and out with the 
current, carrying from time to time little groups 
of country people across the stream. Few other 
craft are seen on the river. But day by day, as I 
made up my mind to attempt the expedition and 
looked over the low parapet of the Taj platform 
for the ferry-boat, it always seemed hopelessly 
stranded on some far-off bank. At last, one 
afternoon, just as the boatman was leisurely 
pushing off, I caught it, and, much to the astonish- 
ment of the other passengers, demanded to be 
taken across. The boat was a wretched old 
affair, leaking everywhere, and the three dry 
planks on which we all crouched seemed little 
protection between us and an ominous dark 
snout and trailing oily streak, that showed 
where the ever hungry Mugger of the ford 
haunted these waters. On the far side a red 
sandstone tower and long ruined wall marked 
the site of what once had been a garden perhaps 
originally one of the regular and elegant gardens 
built by Yunis Ali or some other faithful 
friend of Babar, those cheery friends of his 
Memoirs, lightly sketched with such seemingly 
artless skill. Hassein Beg, the good-humoured 
man, " of plain simple manners," who " excelled 



ACROSS THE JUMNA 77 

in singing at drinking parties." Kamber AH 
Mughal, who could not stand prosperity, but 
" after he had gained a certain elevation he 
became negligent and perverse. He talked a 
good deal and very idly ; indeed, there can be 
no doubt that a great talker must often talk 
foolishly. He was a man of narrow capacity 
and muddy brain." 

Of uncertain date, this building by the banks 
of the Jumna had long since fallen into decay. 
Thorn bushes stopped my passage along the wall 
which had once been the rampart of the now 
vanished garden; and the level cultivated land 
stretched away to the horizon, broken only 
where the clumps of trees marked the villages. 
Looking back, the sight of the great pile of 
buildings on the far side of the river was worth all 
the trouble of crossing it. For the first time I had 
a full view of the whole group, and realised the 
great scale on which it had been conceived ; the 
vast walls and platforms rising sheer above the 
water, the two great rose-red mosques, the corner 
towers, with their elaborate arcades, and, raised 
on the central platform high above all, the pale 
lilac minarets, walls, and dome of the Taj worked 
in shadow, and outlined with the gold thread 



78 THE GARDENS OF THE TAJ 

of the western sun, while below, reflected in the 
slow -flowing tranquil Jumna, shone another 
Taj the second Taj of Shah Jahan's unrealised 
ideal. 

Coming in under the deep shadow of the high 
river walls, their bold panels, filled with vases of 
flowers cut in the hard red sandstone, surprise 
one with ever fresh delight, so striking is the 
wonderful finish yet perfect subordination of all 
parts to the whole design, even each battlement 
of the garden wall has its star of white marble 
inlay, and walking back up the broad landing- 
ghat paved with brick-work in various patterns, 
one sees the Taj as no doubt Bernier and Taver- 
nier first saw it when they sailed down stream, 
leaving the Court of Aurungzeb in the fort to visit 
this famous tomb. 

As one stands on the river terrace at evening, 
Babar's disgust with the country round Agra 
hardly seems justified. But then what Babar 
looked for was a hillside spring around which he 
could construct a great terraced garden like those 
of Samarkand, and such as he built himself at 
Kabul ; and, at first, in his search for a good site 
he evidently overlooked the advantages offered 
by the width and steep bank of the Jumna, a 



GARDEN PLANNING 79 

river so different from the rushing torrents of his 
own northern mountains. 

Choice of site, and the genius of the place, are 
the first considerations of a garden-maker every- 
where. Nowhere are they more essential than 
in the case of an Indian garden, where the success 
of the great enclosure depends largely on the lie 
of the land enabling the builder to substitute a 
terrace and retaining wall for one of the four high 
encircling ramparts. This change of plan gives 
to the garden that double charm of complete 
seclusion and a wide prospect over the world 
without the walls. 

A steep mountain-side offers one fine oppor- 
tunity, the bank of a broad river another. 

The Nishat Bagh in Kashmir and the Taj 
gardens at Agra are each perfect of their kind : 
one a stately terraced hillside garden, the other 
a gracious riverside garden of the plains. 

From the high embankment of the Taj, where 
on either hand octagonal towers jut out conspicu- 
ously over the stream, the view of the river is 
very fine. Octagonal buildings, called chattris or 
baradaris, mark the angles of the walls in all 
old Indian gardens. Delightful little summer- 
houses they are, in which to sit and revel in the 



80 THE GARDENS OF THE TAJ 

distant view ; and in the contrast of the burnt- 
up arid land outside the garden's boundary 
with the misty fountains, glistening leaves, and 
vivid colours of the fruit and flowers within. 
Along the banks of the Jumna many of these 
old towers still mark the sites of ruined gardens. 
The octagonal baradaris of the Taj are large 
and elaborate buildings rising up in five stories 
from the water's edge. Towards sunset, looking 
back on Agra city and fort, one of these towers is 
silhouetted against the sky, all its white marble 
details lost in the warm dusk of the sandstone, 
forming a dark foreground to the distant view ; 
the bold turn of the river where the palms of 
a long deserted garden lean over the silver-grey 
sand-banks, in and out of which, sweeping in 
great curves, the river finds its way and swings 
across to where it flows under the old fortress 
walls. The towers, and high white buildings of 
the city, lie almost lost beneath the gathering 
films of mist and smoke, save for one slender 
spire, which tells of wise, tolerant days when the 
great Akbar granted leave and land for every 
teacher, and India all but turned to meet the 
Christian claim. Nearer, the fort stands up, a 
dark mass of solid masonry, against which the 



PLATE XI. 







THE RIVER TERRACE 81 

Jasmine Tower glimmers faintly, showing the 
arches through which Shah Jahan last saw the 
vision of his love ; and crowning the citadel, 
floating like bubbles hi the evening ah*, shine 
the three pearly domes of the royal mosque. 



11 



CHAPTER IV 

THE AGRA GRAPE GARDEN 

But still a Ruby kindles in the Vine, 
And many a Garden by the Water blows. 

OMAR KHAYYAM. 

THE royal palace within the fort at Agra, like 
every other Indian house or palace, once con- 
tained several open squares laid out in gardens. 
" All these palaces (Delhi, Agra, Lahore) are full 
of gardens with running water, which flows in 
channels into reservoirs of stone, jasper, and 
marble. In all the rooms and halls of these 
palaces there are ordinarily fountains or reservoirs 
of the same stone and of proportionate size. 
In the gardens of these palaces there are always 
flowers according to the season. There are no 
large fruit trees of any sort, in order not to hinder 
the delight of an open view. In these palaces 
are seats and private rooms, some of which are 
in the midst of running water. In the water 

82 



TWO PALACE GARDENS 83 

are many fish for delight." This description of 
Niccolao Manucci's, in his Storia do Mogor, gives a 
vivid impression of what the Machchi Bhawan (the 
Fish Square) and the Anguri Bagh, two of the 
principal squares in the palace at Agra, looked 
like before their spoliation. Now, alas! what 
between the Jats of Bharatpur, who carried off 
the marble fountains and tanks to the palace of 
Suraj Mai at Deeg, and Lord William Bentinck, 
who sold what was left of the mosaic and marble 
fret-work, there is nothing left in the garden of 
the sacred fish from which to realise its former 
magnificence. 

The Anguri Bagh has fared better. This 
garden lies in front of the Khas Mahal and is 
enclosed on three sides by arcades. It was the 
principal square of the zenana apartments, and 
is a typical specimen of an old Mughal garden, 
laid out in geometrical stone-edged parterres, 
with four terraced walks radiating from a central 
chabutra, with a raised fountain tank. A stone 
trellis formerly enclosed the flower-beds, and is 
thought by some to have supported vines, but the 
name of Anguri Bagh (Grape Garden) was more 
probably derived from the vine pattern decoration 
in precious stones which Shah Jahan constructed 



84 THE AGRA GRAPE GARDEN 

at enormous cost in the corner near the Jasmine 
Tower. 

Through all the troublous times, in which the 
fort has been besieged, taken and retaken, looted 
by the Jats, turned into a barracks by the English, 
this zenana quarter of the palace seems to have 
been more or less respected ; and an indefinable 
charm still pervades these buildings and lingers 
in the cool green shadows of their arches. Viewed 
from the open garden square, these palace rooms 
form a wonderful group ; all are still perfect, 
save only for an ugly modern marble rail which 
catches the eye, disfiguring and stunting the 
proportions of the upper story of the Jasmine 
Tower. 

Among the many improvements that were 
made by Lord Curzon in the fort was the clear- 
ance of the wire -netting fern houses and be- 
draggled shrubs which at one time disfigured 
the Anguri Bagh. 

Wherever one wanders throughout India, the 
name of Lord Curzon rises up in connection 
with some fine work of restoration a sort of 
beneficent djinn, whose good deeds lose nothing 
in the telling. Everywhere from guardians of 
the ancient gates the same tale meets the ear : 



ARCHAEOLOGY AND ART 85 

" In the days of Curzon Lat-Sahib it was done " ; 
" Behold, Huzoor, the Great Lat-Sahib com- 
manded, and it rose again from the ground " ; 
and Indians and Englishmen alike owe him a 
great debt of gratitude for his timely rescue of 
many magnificent old Indian buildings and works 
of art. It is little short of marvellous, even for the 
East, to find how one man has inspired and ac- 
complished so much good work in so short a time. 
It is not to be wondered at that his work stopped 
short at archaeology; and that though the 
Mughal gardens were cleared of much accumu- 
lated overgrowth and rubbish, there has been so 
far no serious attempt to revive the old garden- 
craft in its artistic and symbolic aspects. 

The whole effect of the palace square at Agra 
suffers sadly from the loss of its flowers and 
fountain jets; as can be realised on comparing 
the two illustrations, one of the beautiful but 
empty Anguri Bagh, all its straight lines left 
exposed in hard monotony, and the illustration 
taken from an old Indian painting of an evening 
scene in a Rajputana garden. The latter shows 
a typically planted palace square. The four 
dark cypress spires planted at angles of the 
paths round the little central pavilion, delight- 



86 THE AGRA GRAPE GARDEN 

fully repeat the lines of the four slender pillars, 
the feathery heads of the palms tower high 
above the outer walls, the walks are bordered 
by sweet-scented tuberoses and hollyhocks 
planted alternately, and in front, close to the 
little fountain, a bed of poppies makes a solid 
mass of colour, softening the harsh edge of the 
white marble platform with their frail, trans- 
parent flowers. 

From old Indian miniature paintings such as 
this, some idea can be gathered of the planting 
of these Paradise gardens, whose beauty formed 
the chief symbolic and artistic inspiration of 
Mughal decorative art. 

This idea of Paradise underlay the whole 
artistic world of the Mughal craftsman, builder, 
and artist. It included the angels, and houris, 
the gentle beasts, and bright birds, and glitter- 
ing fishes whose home it was, and who all 
lived together there in perfect harmony; 
for although the stricter conventions of some 
Moslem sects might forbid their representation, 
no idea of an Indian Paradise garden is complete 
without their presence, as well as the more 
familiar forms of trees, and fruits, and flowers, and 
running waters. Whatever building or smaller 



THE LEADING MOTIVE OF MUGHAL ART 87 

work of art we turn to, the same garden motives 
reappear : in the beautiful inlaid flower-bed 
dados of the Private Hall of Audience beyond 
the Anguri Bagh, in the similar dado round the 
Taj, in the well-known rose-water vessels and 
flower- vases, the fruit-plates and wine -cups of 
the old Persian and Indian tiles, they are equally 
to be found. Bouquets of flowers cover the 
fine gold -embroidered muslins ; flower -borders 
edge the soft Kashmir shawls, and twine lightly 
in and out of the pages of much-prized Nasta'liq 
writing. The miniature portraits of Emperors, 
and their nobles, often show a garden back- 
ground ; and in nearly every case the figure holds 
in one hand a sweet-scented garden flower, 
some rose or narcissus painted with precise, 
delicious skill. The waving pattern of the water 
is seen on every hand ; pavements and platforms 
are inlaid to represent the garden tanks ; the 
same motive echoes the charm of the waterfalls 
on embroidered rugs and hangings. The best 
known and most beautiful theme of all, the 
entwined cypress and fruit tree, which appears 
and reappears on carpets, in tiles, embroideries, 
and paintings, was taken directly from the garden 
avenues, where cypress and fruit trees planted 



88 THE AGRA GRAPE GARDEN 

alternately were the favourite symbols of life, 
death, and eternity ; the solemn background of 
the deep-toned cypress, emblem of death and 
eternity, contrasted with the waving, delicate 
sprays of rosy almond tree or silvery flowering 
plum, emblems of life and hope. 

The designs of the old Firdus (Paradise) 
carpets were, as their name implies, directly 
taken from some such garden parterre as those 
which still exist in outline in the Anguri Bagh; 
where each of the four squares which make up 
the whole design has its separate border and 
central plot, once, like the carpets, full of brightly- 
coloured flowers woven into a close geometrical 
pattern. The Mughal parterres must not be 
confused with the English " carpet bedding " 
of mid- Victorian days tiny coloured leaves and 
flowers worked into a tedious pattern along some 
border or bank but were boldly massed flowers 
of varying heights and beautifully chosen colours, 
like the lily beds of the Taj dados, the red rose 
garden of Jahangir's Memoirs, the narcissus, 
anemone, and tulip plots that so delighted 
Babar. The surrounding border was treated 
differently in oblong beds of alternate colour- 
ing, or else with single flowers like the groups 



PLATE XIII. 




A REAL RESTORATION 89 

of hollyhock and tuberoses. The customary 
mixed avenues of trees were only for larger 
gardens, but in palace squares, like that of Anguri 
Bagh, a cypress tree planted in the border nearly 
always marked the angles of the design, while 
the centre of each plot was sometimes occupied 
by a fruit tree or a palm. 

The replanting of the Anguri Bagh might 
prove difficult chiefly on account of the need for 
providing an adequate water-supply so high up 
in the fort. But would it not be worth doing 
if it helped to revive the dying art of Indian 
gardening ? Are the wonderful surroundings of 
this square, so full of beauty and historic interest, 
not worth completing by the restoration of the 
garden ? As a living example of Mughal art at 
its best, it would mean more, educationally and 
artistically, than all the priceless Mughal treasures 
locked away, isolated, in many fine but lifeless 
museums. What would the present archaeolo- 
gists and artists of France and Italy not give to 
have this perfect setting of the Anguri Bagh 
for their labours ? Now, when so much is done 
to revive old conditions, when the columns of 
the Roman forum and the ruins of Pompeiian 

villas are restored so carefully and artistically, 

12 



90 THE AGRA GRAPE GARDEN 

that even the shrubs and trees that grew beside 
them in past times have been replanted, as in 
the garden of the Vestal Virgins, or the Villa of 
the Vettii. 

The Anguri Bagh in the Agra fort is the 
one garden in the three great Mughal palaces 
left complete with its old stone and marble 
details; and yet there it lies, bare and empty, 
with only grass between its masonry, like some 
great, elaborate, jewelled design rifled of its 
coloured gems, turning its gaping empty setting 
to the sun. 



PLATE XIV. 




A RAJPUTANA GARDEN. 



Calcutta School oj Art. 



CHAPTER V 

GARDENS OF THE PLAINS DELHI 

If there is a Paradise on Earth, it is Here, it is Here. 

SADI. 

Not only the Nightingale in the Rose-bushes sings his hymn 

of praise, 

But every Thorn is itself a voice of adoration to the Deity. 

SADI. 

A STRANGE fascination, the very spirit of the 
age-long capital of India, hovers over the wide, 
rolling campagna, the sandy fields and thorny 
scrub, the gaunt brown domes of ruined tombs, 
the half-submerged mosques, forts, and palaces, 
which lie between the Jumna river-bed and the 
red sunbaked rocks of the famous Ridge which 
runs from Ajmeer northward until it dies away 
beyond the plains of Delhi. 

No other capital can boast of so long con- 
tinued a history beginning with King Yudisthara, 
the central hero of the Mahabharata, whose city, 
now known as Purana Kila (the Old Fort), 

91 



92 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS DELHI 

marks the south-western angle of the capital of 
the English- Aryan King-Emperor of India. 

Six Delhis lie between Purana Kila and the 
Ridge; six capitals of Empires each famous in 
its day ; but the plain has conquered all save 
one: the vast, relentless, sandy plain, broken 
only where the Kutb Tower of Victory soars 
up against the sky, the grim dark walls 
of Tughlakabad rise deserted but defiant, or 
the fairy gates of Indraspat catch the sunset 
light on the site of Yudisthara's legendary 
citadel. 

Shah Jahanabad, modern Delhi as we call it, 
still stands, and a wonderful city it is. A palace, 
fort, and city built at one time, by one man, and 
that man an Emperor, an artist, and the greatest 
builder of his day. Fergusson, in his Indian 
Architecture, says that the whole conception 
of the palace-fort, with its entrance built to look 
straight down the Chandi Chauk (the Moonlight 
Market), with its trees and long canal full of 
running water, forms the finest approach to " the 
most magnificent palace in the East perhaps in 
the world." Near the fort, too, stands the grand 
Jama Masjid, the cathedral mosque of India, yet 
with all these magnificent buildings the strangest 



HUMAYUN'S TOMB 93 

thing about this wonderful city is the fact that 
it cannot long claim our sole interest : the plains 
triumph even here, for Shah Jahanabad is only 
one of many Delhis. 

The garden - tomb of Humayun, the first 
Mughal Emperor buried in India, lies south of 
Shah Jahanabad on the plains near the river, 
between the Emperor's own fort of Purana Kila 
and the older Delhi of Tughlak Shah. Babar 
was buried in his favourite Garden of the New 
Year near Kabul, but his son and successor 
Humayun, whom he died to save, rests outside 
the capital of the New Mughal Empire. 

The story of Babar's death is told by the his- 
torian Adul-Fazl, Akbar's confidant and greatest 
friend. Humayun, Babar's only son by his wife 
Mahum, of whom he was so fond, had been away 
from Agra and was brought back dying of fever. 
Nothing apparently could be done, and the 
doctors, powerless, gave up all hope. The mercy 
of God alone could save him now, they declared. 
Some supreme sacrifice might avail. 

The Emperor, to whom this was suggested, 
caught eagerly at the hope. He would sacrifice 
his own life. In vain the Koh-i-nor was sug- 
gested instead the great diamond given up at 



94 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS DELHI 

the taking of Gwalior from the Rajputs. But 
that splendid offering to God was rejected. 
Babar would have none of it : " The dearest 
thing I have is my life, and that is the dearest 
thing on earth to my son." Persisting in his 
resolution, he walked, according to the solemn 
sacrificial usage, three times round his son's bed, 
praying earnestly. Suddenly he was heard to 
exclaim : "I have borne it away ! I have borne 
it away ! " From this moment, Mussulman 
historians assert, Humayun began to recover, 
while Babar slowly sank : his health impaired 
with his forty-eight years of strenuous activities 
and ceaseless hardships, and now fatally 
undermined by anxiety and nervous prostra- 
tion. So passed away the Emperor Babar, on 
the 26th of December 1530, after thirty -six 
years of kingship. 

Pilgrims still visit his grave at Kabul, the 
grave of the first of the great Mughals. Well they 
may, for there lies the most romantic, gallant, 
genial Prince of Oriental history. " Heaven is 
the eternal abode of the Emperor Babar," they 
wrote on his tomb ; but his epitaph can best 
be written in his own words those in which 
he describes his father in his Memoirs : " His 



PLATE XV. 




THE FEAST OF THE BIRTH OF HUMAYUX. 



HUMAYUN'S TOMB 95 

generosity was large, and so was his whole soul, 
yet brave withal and manly." 

Few of us can follow the pilgrims to the 
Garden of the New Year, but most of us in India 
visit Agra. Every Englishman who does so 
should lay a tribute at Sikandrah on the grave 
of the great Peacemaker and Statesman, Akbar, 
who had the gift which wins all hearts, and 
should not forget to scatter there a few sweet- 
scented flowers in memory of Babar, from whom 
his grandson inherited that precious talisman. 

Humayun's actual reign was short and troubled, 
but he must be remembered here for three things : 
he was the father of the great Akbar the baby 
son born to him and his sixteen-year old bride in 
their flight across the Sind Desert ; his capital 
during the few years of his reign in India was 
the Purana Kila, the most beautiful fort of the 
many ruined Delhis ; and the tomb, raised to his 
memory by his childless first wife, was the first 
great architectural monument of the Mughals, 
the plan of which was adopted eighty years 
after for the Taj. 

The mausoleum is about four miles to the 
south of modern Delhi ; the road to it branching 
off from the main highway runs past the fine 



96 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS DELHI 

tomb of Isa Khan, and round the corner of an 
old garden wall with picturesque, brightly-tiled 
baradaris. The great dome of Humayun's 
tomb is the most conspicuous building in all the 
plains around Delhi ; but the garden, a square of 
thirteen acres, in the midst of which the mauso- 
leum stands, looks bare and disappointing. Its 
interest, however, lies in the fact that it is the 
earliest Mughal garden in India which still 
preserves intact its original plan. The Ram 
Bagh, at Agra, is of course earlier, but there the 
design is quite obscured by modern roads and 
plantations. At Humayun's garden -tomb, on 
the other hand, the stone channels and fountain 
basins have lately been carefully restored ; though 
unhappily the garden seems to have been swept 
bare of its characteristic fruit trees and shade. 

The site chosen for this Mughal garden of the 
plains is practically level, and like the Taj the 
garden ends in a terrace on the old river-bank. 
The invariable watercourse, with raised paths on 
either hand, leads up from the gateway to the 
mausoleum, but the water channel is very narrow, 
being hardly two feet across. Instead of the 
usual simple plan the four long waterways 
the garden is made up of a labyrinth of little 



A SPLENDID FEAST 97 

channels. These form an inner and an outer 
square enclosing the high platform of the tomb, 
ornamented, wherever the paths cross each other, 
with a small tank, sometimes on the same level, 
sometimes sunk in the centre of a raised chabutra. 
The numerous little tanks are outwardly square, 
with a lower inside ledge of stone, modifying them 
into oval, octagonal, or round water basins, 
the whole effect being reminiscent of the shal- 
low fountains and narrow watercourses of the 
earliest gardens in Kashmir. The illustration, 
Plate XV. from the copy of Babar's Memoirs, 
gives a picture of the feast of the birth of 
Humayun, which takes place in just such a 
garden. 

After his son's birth, Babar, who was at Kabul 
at the time, and had newly styled himself Badshah 
(Emperor), went, as was customary on such occa- 
sions, to the Char Bagh outside the city for four or 
five days to celebrate the festival of Humayun's 
nativity. " Those who were Begs, and those 
who were not," he writes, " great and small, 
brought their offerings. Bags of silver money 
were heaped up. I never before saw so much 
white money in one place. It was a very splendid 
feast." 

13 



98 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS DELHI 

It is spring-time in the garden, the month of 
March, when all the flowers in their first freshness 
are coming up through the soft green turf by the 
waterside. The Emperor sits on a raised, carpet- 
covered chabutra, under a big chenar tree, where 
his presents are being spread out for his inspection : 
bags of the good " white money " ; and those 
charming dalis of fruit and flowers arranged in 
bowls, or tastefully laid out on large brass trays, 
such as still grace all festival occasions in India. 
Across the narrow watercourse musicians play, 
a Kashmiri dancer swings her castanets, while 
beside her a sword juggler is busily engaged in 
going through his performance. 

The whole setting is very like the garden we 
are considering. The Indian artist painting 
this picture in Akbar's reign may have actually 
chosen some spot in Humayun's garden at Delhi 
for his illustration. In any case, the tomb of the 
former Emperor would most probably be familiar 
to him ; and the narrow watercourses, and little 
square tank with its inner circle, are similar to 
those still existing in the garden ; where, in fact, 
one misses only the flowers, and fruit blossoms, 
and the pleasant gurgling splash of the small 
copper fountains. 



WATER-CHUTES 99 

Humayun's garden, apparently level, in reality 
slopes to the south, where the slight difference in 
the ground has been cunningly made use of to 
introduce tiny carved chutes down which the 
water ripples. At one or two places in the side 
walls there are longer water-chutes, where the 
water, which has been lifted up from great wells 
outside, rushes foaming down the carved stones 
into the garden. These marble or stone chutes 
were carved in various patterns, cut ingeniously 
at an angle so that the water running over 
them was thrown up and broken into ripples 
and splashes. Shell and wave designs were the 
favourites, and their name was as prettily 
fashioned as their carving they were called 
chadars, meaning white " shawls " of water. 
These water -chutes are a very characteristic 
feature of the Mughal gardens, and were used 
with much effect where the ground allowed of 
the garden being laid out in a series of high 
terraces. But in small gardens, or in the 
plains, even the slightest slope was made use 
of; only a foot or two of difference sufficed to 
create one of these charming little waterfalls, 
whose inspiration was directly drawn from 
memories of the dancing spray and white foam 



100 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS DELHI 

of mountain rivulets in the builder's northern 
home. 

A small pavilion stands on the terrace at the 
far side of the garden overlooking the plains and 
the river, which formerly ran much nearer to the 
walls. On the garden side it overlooks two large 
sunk plots, doubtless once laid out in parterres 
resembling those in the Anguri Bagh, so that 
on looking back, the mausoleum was seen across 
a blaze of flowers interspersed with cypress trees. 

This enclosure, with its square plots and 
innumerable narrow watercourses, shows very 
clearly how all the details of the Mughal garden 
were evolved from the simple necessity of irriga- 
tion. In India the Hindus relied chiefly on their 
big rivers and the water collected in tanks during 
the heavy summer rainfall, but in Persia and 
Turkestan there are few rivers, so that numbers 
of artificial channels were made for irrigation 
and for the supply of water to the towns and 
villages. At first these Persian and Turki 
gardens, laid out after the old fourfold plan, 
were subdivided into numerous plots by the 
little water - runnels. In the richer gardens 
these tiny channels were edged with cut stone 
and further elaborated by the addition of small 



WATERCOURSES 101 

tanks and fountains. In Babar's time the outline 
of the garden had not gone much beyond this. 

But the Turkestan Mughals were an intensely 
practical as well as an artistic people as, indeed, 
all historical nations are who have evolved sound 
traditions for their guidance, and still retain the 
capacity for adapting them afresh to the ever 
changing conditions of time and place. India 
is a hot country, unbearably so in summer, as 
Babar's disheartened followers found when they 
tried to force him to return to Kabul only four 
days after the capture of Agra. But the Emperor 
was not to be deterred ; and in their new gardens 
by the Jumna the Mughals in time learned to 
adapt themselves to their altered surroundings. 
For one thing, they needed more water ; water to 
cool the burning wind, big tanks to swim in as 
well as long sheets of water to charm the eye 
with their lovely tranquil reflections. Thus we 
find the watercourses reduced in number and 
gradually widening, so much so that one can 
nearly always tell the approximate date of an 
Indian garden by the width of its principal 
watercourse. By the end of Akbar's reign they 
had grown in width until the main watercourse 
of the Shalimar Bagh, built by Jahangir in 



102 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS DELHI 

Kashmir, was twenty feet wide and more. Later 
fountains were introduced into the canals as well 
as into the reservoirs, and the canals themselves 
became so wide that elaborate stepping-stones 
across them formed part of the design. 

Between Humayun's tomb and the Ridge 
another great dome stands out conspicuously. 
This is the tomb of Safdar Jang, Nawab Wazir 
of Oudh. He died in 1754. The mausoleum is 
therefore just two hundred years later than that 
of Humayun, and almost contemporary with 
the beautiful Palace of Deeg. Safdar Jang's 
garden still keeps the ancient form : the central 
tomb, the four watercourses, and the four 
buildings to which they lead ; one of which 
is, as usual, a fine entrance gateway ; the others 
in this case are pavilions, and living rooms built 
into the walls. The octagonal corner towers are 
still to be seen ; and the garden was once full of 
fruit trees; but the water-ways have changed. 
Instead of the small fountain basins, the great 
tanks, and the raised walks of brick or stone with 
the canal running down between them, the paths 
are now on the general level of the garden, while 
the canal itself has become four oblong tanks, 
one on each side of the mausoleum. These are 



TOMB GARDENS 103 

raised above the paths and still further edged 
with a stone border about a foot high, so that 
almost half of the charm of its reflection is 
lost. The style, however, is still pleasing, and 
is well suited to the climate ; but, on the other 
hand, it has become rather a cold, dull formality, 
different from the variety and adaptability of 
the earlier designs. 

The few Mughal baghs which survive in 
British India are invariably those built, or 
chosen, as the last resting-place of some prince 
or noble ; respect for a tomb seems to have been 
the only protection for its garden. Lacking this 
safeguard, gardens like the once glorious Shalimar 
Bagh at Delhi are now completely ruined. 

This last famous royal pleasance mentioned 
by many old travellers, but hardly even known 
to the present inhabitants of the city was built 
in imitation of the Kashmir royal gardens and 
the Shalimar Bagh at Lahore, by one of Shah 
Jahan's wives, A'azzu-n-Nissa, known as Bibi 
Akbarabadi, after whom the place was named 
Azzabad. A contemporary historian, Muham- 
mad Salih, gives the following account of the 
gardens in the Shah - Jahan - Nama : " This 
favourite bagh with its lofty buildings was made 



104 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS DELHI 

square three hundred by three hundred yards. 
The ground of its two upper terraces which is 
nearly nine feet above the level of the lower 
terrace has pleasant buildings. In the true 
centre of each terrace which is three hundred 
yards long, a canal, twenty feet broad, flows. 
The water of this canal runs in and round each 
building in the breadth of five and a half feet 
more or less in some places according to its 
dimensions, and falls in reservoirs in the shape of a 
cascade. The large tanks, rows of pearl-shower- 
ing fountains, and domed buildings are similar 
to those in both the large gardens of Lahore 
and Kashmir ; except a reservoir, in the second 
terrace twenty yards long and about eighteen 
broad with marvellously adorned halls on its 
four sides and pavilions on its two sides, similar 
to the tank of Machchi Bhawan ; and except 
another octagonal reservoir, with a diameter of 
thirty-five yards and each of its sides fifteen 
yards with twenty-one fountains an exact imita- 
tion of the spring of Shahabad (Verinag), the 
water of which flowing through the third terrace, 
discharges into a tank two hundred and forty- 
five yards long and one hundred and sixty yards 
broad constructed outside the garden. In short, 



THE DELHI SHALIMAR BAGH 105 

it was finished in the course of four years, at a 
cost of two lakhs of rupees." 

From which somewhat confused account it 
appears that Akbarabadi Bibi must have meant 
her gardens to be very resplendent; combining 
all the various architectural beauties of the 
Kashmir gardens of which she, or her master- 
builder, had seen or heard ; for the Machchi 
Bhawan, though perhaps it was built in imitation 
of the Fish Square in the fort at Agra, suggests, 
from its description, that the writer was referring 
to the garden now in ruins at Bawan spring 
in Kashmir; especially as the octagonal tank 
which still surrounds the holy spring at Verinag 
is mentioned just afterwards as having been the 
model for another reservoir in the Delhi Shalimar. 

It was in these gardens that Aurungzeb was 
hurriedly crowned after he had deposed his 
father Shah Jahan, the formal coronation taking 
place later in the Delhi fort. The Shalimar 
gardens are about six miles north of the city 
along the Grand Trunk Road. Bernier mentions 
that the first halt was made there when, in 
December 1664, Aurungzeb undertook a long and 
cumbrous journey, with all his Court about him, 
to Lahore and Kashmir. It was eighteen months 

14 



106 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS DELHI 

before they were back at Delhi a dangerous ex- 
periment with the once popular Shah Jahan alive 
and a prisoner at Agra. The journey was made 
at the instance of the King's ambitious sister 
Roshanara Begam, who had been long anxious 
to appear, in her turn, amid the pomp of a mag- 
nificent army, as her sister Begam Sahiba had 
done during the reign of Shah Jahan, and also, no 
doubt, to see the snow mountains and the famous 
Kashmir gardens about which there must have 
been so many tales told in the seraglios of Delhi 
and Agra ever since the Empress Nur-Mahal 
set the fashion by undertaking this arduous 
journey almost every spring. 

The Shalimar gardens are mentioned by 
Lieutenant Franklin, who saw them in 1793, in 
the reign of Shah Alam. The grounds, he says, 
were laid out with admirable taste : " but a 
great part of the most costly and valuable 
materials have been carried away." He also 
notes " the finest chanam (white plaster made of 
crushed marble) and the beautiful paintings 
of flowers of various patterns " on the walls of 
the harem quarters. After 1803 the gardens 
were for a time used by the British Resident as 
a summer retreat. But, unfortunately, this did 



THE DELHI SHALIMAR BAGH 107 

not prevent their further deterioration. Bishop 
Heber, who was at Delhi in the winter of 1825, 
remarks : " The Shalimar gardens, extolled in 
Lalla Rookh, are completely gone to decay." 
The good bishop seems to have forgotten for the 
moment that the Shalimar of Moore's Lalla 
Rookh was the original Shalimar garden, not its 
copy at Delhi. 

The garden, being a royal one, was confis- 
cated and sold after the revolt of 1857. It 
consists at present of four parts, two of which 
still have the appearance of a garden ; the others 
have been given over for cultivation. The de- 
pressions of the three principal tanks mentioned 
by Muhammad Salih and the long water-channel 
connecting them can still be traced. They lie 
outside a fine mango grove which shades the 
highest pool, a picturesque tank overgrown with 
lotus ; and a half -ruined baradari, called the 
Shish Mahal, stands at the south-west corner of 
the garden. 

We can follow the decline and ruin of what 
once was one of the finest ornaments of the 
capital of Hindustan. " It will hardly take a 
century more " as Dr. Vogel remarks at the 
close of his report written in 1904 " and the 



108 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS DELHI 

little that still remains of the Shalimar Bagh of 
Delhi will have disappeared without leaving a 
trace." 

One quaint survival of the days of the older 
Badshahi (Empire) still lingers by the Grand 
Trunk Road between the Shalimar and the city 
the Mulbarak Bagh. This garden is the property 
of an Oudh Nawab, who recalled the fact that 
one of the Mughal Emperors gave it to his family 
on condition of supplying the Court with dalis of 
vegetables, fruit, and flowers. He cannot now 
fulfil the terms of his tenure ; but lately he has 
allowed the enclosure to be partly used as a 
botanical garden and nursery for young plants 
in connection with the building of New Delhi. 
The Oudh nobles are always said to represent 
the best side of feudalism, and certainly there is 
something charming about this graceful action, 
in its suggestion of the duty of a tenant-in-chief 
towards his absent King-Emperor. 

Nearer the city, to the west of Sabzi Mandi, 
the suburb of the Vegetable Market, are Ros- 
hanara Begam's gardens. This Princess ruled 
the Court under Aurungzeb, very much as her 
sister Jahanara had done in the last days of Shah 
Jahan's reign. They were both children of the 



JAHANARA BEGAM 109 

celebrated Mumtaz Mahal ; and, like her, famous 
for beauty and piety ; but being royal princesses, 
they were not allowed to marry, no man being 
considered worthy of the hand of a daughter 
of the Great Mughal ; or rather, as Bernier 
observes, the limitation grew out of the fear 
"that the husband might hereby be rendered 
powerful and induced perhaps to aspire to the 
crown." There were always enough aspirants 
and to spare when a Mughal Emperor died. In 
spite of this restriction, each of these ladies, in 
her turn, had unbounded influence, both inside 
the harem and throughout the Empire. Like 
their mother, and like their great ancestress, 
Nur-Jahan Begam, they were magnificent patron- 
esses of art and letters. Jahanara's simple tomb, 
at the shrine of her favourite Saint Nizam-ud-din 
Aulia, on the other side of Delhi, shows to the 
full the taste and artistic feeling so manifest in 
all the descendants of the Persian scholar, Ghiyas 
Beg. The exquisite white marble grave is open 
to the sky ; by her special request, grass alone is 
grown in a hollow on the top of the monument, 
and where in other royal tombs the white marble 
gleams with garlands of inlaid gems, the " Humble 
Grave " of the Lady Jahanara Begam shows, as 



110 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS DELHI 

its only ornament, a lily carved of precious jade, 
green as the waving grass. 

Roshanara, the other sister, lies buried in her 
own garden-house, an elaborate white pavilion 
with creeper-clad walls, standing on a low wide 
platform in the centre of the upper terrace in 
the gardens still called by her name. A raised 
canal, something after the style of the broad 
watercourses at Safdar Jang's mausoleum, but 
bordered by beds of flowers and still ornamented 
with a row of little fountains, leads from this 
building to the entrance gate. 

It must have been a gay sight when the 
Begam Roshanara's elephant procession arrived 
from Delhi fort : the huge animals, with their 
gold-embroidered coverings, their solemn, ponder- 
ous tread, their jangling silver bells, conveying the 
"goddesses" of the Imperial harem enshrined 
from the vulgar gaze; and then the Princess 
herself escaping from the noise and stifling heat 
of the royal palace came in her splendid rose- 
curtained litter, swung between two smaller 
elephants, to while away a few hours in her cool, 
flower-scented, fountain-sprinkled gardens. 

To follow in her train to-day, one must leave 
the dusty highway of the suburbs, with its swarm- 



THE ROSHANARA GARDENS 111 

ing crowds and perpetual clanging of tram bells, 
and toil down several narrow, evil-smelling streets, 
until at the end of one of them the old garden 
entrance blocks the way. 

The prospect through the dark, tiled archway 
is charming ; on either side large shady trees 
shut in and concentrate the eye on the distant 
view of the white pavilion, with its walls and 
pillars half concealed in wreaths and festoons 
of glowing purple bougainvillaea. Every detail 
is reflected clearly in the placid dark-green water 
of the long canal ; where the rose-bushes, lean- 
ing over, soften the edges of its raised stone 
border with their new-grown, red-brown shoots 
and graceful flower-decked sprays. But once 
inside the gateway the whole effect is spoilt by 
the modern carriage drives and the loss of three 
of the four canals. Green depressions mark the 
course of two of them, while a third is lost in a 
maze of ugly shapeless flower-beds and gravel- 
paths. The trellis walks and old symbolic avenues 
are gone though one neglected path is still shaded 
by a broken pergola of vines. On two sides the 
garden walls are broken down ; the terraced walk 
beside the water can hardly be distinguished ; and 
the great tank beyond has lost its three pavilions, 



112 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS DELHI 

and almost lost its form. Everywhere winding 
roads driven through the old garden have cut 
up and completely spoilt the beauty of the original 
design. Even the approach has been altered 
to a carriage drive, through a low insignificant 
gate, set in a corner of the grounds ; and the fine 
old entrance with its lovely tiles is hardly ever 
seen. 

The gardens were obviously " improved " 
when, many years ago, they became Government 
or city property improved after the then pre- 
vailing English landscape fashion. Putting the 
whole question of design or want of it aside 
for the moment, as well as that of climate, this 
style of gardening, good as it was sometimes for 
large parks and sheets of water, breaks down at 
the garden, even when it is a public one. All 
good garden-designers, whether English, Italian, 
Indian, or Japanese, have recognised one simple 
truth to enjoy a garden one must walk. This 
was a fact the European landscape gardeners 
never seemed to grasp. The broad masses of a 
large English park, the stretches of autumn 
woodland, the banks of gay flowering shrubs, 
the cowslip meadows, the soft mist of bluebells 
under the trees, give pleasure even in a rapid 



WATER MAGIC 113 

passing glance as we drive or ride or motor 
by. But who would wish to motor through a 
garden ? 

A garden is for leisurely delights, delicate 
scents, delightful harmonies of colour, open spaces 
for games, and maybe clear reservoirs to swim in ; 
but in India, where the chosen and recurrent 
theme of every art is the beauty of contempla- 
tion, the garden should indeed above all be a 
place of cool restfulness, a real Arama, for tired 
eyes and minds. It is the new roads more than 
anything else which have ruined gardens like 
the old pleasance of the Princess Roshanara, 
or the Queen's Gardens in Delhi City; the 
winding drives which give a sense of restlessness 
and exposure, as they cut up the garden with their 
broad bare gravel sweeps, and make the flower 
borders, however large, look mean and unrelated 
to each other. The beautiful canals of Indian 
gardens, on the other hand the cosmic cross 
on which the old designs are based have just 
the opposite effect. The long lines of the great 
water-ways and paths, hedged in by trees, produce 
a wonderful sense of stately dignity and peace, 
while the tranquil breadth of water repeats the 
flowers, trees, and buildings with a double magic 

15 



114 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS DELHI 

charm, till the whole garden seems full of that 
mysterious beauty, that comes of the sense of 
calm continuance, " That one day should be like 
another, one life the echo of another life," which 
is the result of quietude, part of that rhythm 
of harmonious change through birth to death 
and death to birth again, that special Eastern 
consciousness of universal life. 

One more old garden outside Delhi a garden, 
even in its ruins, full of romantic charm 
shows by its skilful choice of site, its plan 
so closely in harmony with the genius of the 
place, that Babar's great secret of success 
in garden -craft had not been forgotten when 
Talkatora Bagh was built. It lies on the lower 
slopes of the Ridge to the south of modern Delhi. 
Its walls and corner towers and three big gate- 
ways give it from outside an air of being still 
under cultivation, but within, it is only just 
possible to discover, through the scrub and thorn 
bushes that overrun the whole enclosure, 
the low terraces into which the garden was 
divided. The cosmic cross of the watercourses 
can be faintly traced with the ruins of a large 
baradari standing in the centre. The hummum 
(baths) are built after the usual fashion, into 



AN EXCEPTIONAL SITE 115 

one of the side walls, and directly opposite these 
buildings a large tank once occupied the middle 
of the terrace square. So far, apart from its 
division into shallow terraces, it is just the usual 
Indian garden of the plains, delightful, appropri- 
ate, but much resembling many others. Then, 
through the trees at the far end of the garden, 
is perceived one of those elements of surprise 
and contrast which lend so magical a charm to 
these formal Mughal baghs. The upper garden 
wall is replaced by a long masonry terrace 
twenty or more feet above the lower enclosure. 
Immediately beneath the wall runs a wide walk, 
which is slightly raised above the general level, 
and ends on either hand in great ramps of 
paved brick-work leading up to the topmost 
terrace. This proves to be a platform about 
forty feet wide with octagonal towers at each end, 
and in the centre the remains of several buildings 
and living rooms ; the whole terrace forming a 
roof-garden, like some elaborate zenana quarters 
in a great city palace, including pavilions to 
sleep in, flower-beds, and fountains. 

The illustration, Plate XVI., taken from a 
Rajputana palace built in the Mughal style, shows 
an evening scene, with musicians performing on 



116 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS DELHI 

a roof-garden, where the little fountain plays 
amid the small square flower-beds. 

The pictured garden is shut in by dark trees, 
their leaves patterned against the moonlit sky; 
but the ladies' terrace at Talkatora has the 
stirring freedom of a vast outlook all the plains 
of Delhi melting away into the blue haze of a 
far-off mountain range. Pale against the horizon 
shine the domes, minarets, and fortress towers 
of Shah Jahanabad ; nearer, the graceful tomb 
of Safdar Jang is plainly seen, and beyond 
towards the river stands Humayun's massive 
dome. Then, turning to the hills behind, at the 
very foot of the great embankment, lay the 
blue jewel of a little hillside tarn, its ripples 
lapping the stones of the old terrace wall, and 
surrounded on all other sides by the red parched 
rocks. 

The old pleasure-ground lies desolate enough 
now, only the shrill cry of the peacock startles 
one under the trees and an occasional covey oj: 
partridges whirring past from among the rocks 
outside. The little lake from which the garden 
takes its name has been drained, and in its 
place a vivid green patch of cultivation shows up 
against the stony, barren hillside. The wells, 



SHAH JAHAN'S PALACE 117 

with their water-towers standing outside the gates, 
and the narrow channels in the top of the old 
garden walls, show how the water force for the 
fountains was lifted up and carried along the 
ramparts. Possibly there was also a great water- 
fall from the upper terrace a rush of white foam 
filling the long canal ; but the thorn-bushes grow 
so thickly there that the original plan is rather 
lost. However, the garden has never been altered, 
and as it stands to-day even its bare outline 
speaks to those who care to listen of the very 
real sense of beauty and the force of imagination 
that once went to the making of this garden on 
the Ridge. 

The palace in the Delhi fortress has perhaps 
suffered more at our hands than that of Agra. 
On the other hand, what remains has recently 
been very carefully restored, and the ruined walls 
replaced, wherever possible, by borders of shrubs 
and flowers, skilfully planted to suggest the 
original outlines of courts and gardens; and 
though the palace is not so picturesquely situated 
as that of Agra, Delhi is particularly interesting 
owing to its having been built by Shah Jahan on 
one uniform plan. 

Outside the west walls of the fortress, adjoin- 



118 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS DELHI 

ing the moat, was formerly a large square, with 



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P5 

la 



fl I \ tfr 



lapQiaaff] 

3Qfagi 



gardens on either side running down to the 
water. The entrance to the more private apart- 



THE LIFE-GIVING GARDEN 119 

ments is through the great court of the Diwan-i- 
'Am (Public Hall of Audience), behind which 
were originally several small garden courts, in 
front of various buildings. Bernier saw these 
zenana quarters during the King's absence from 
Delhi, and says that " nearly every chamber has 
its reservoir of running water at the door ; on 
every side are gardens, delightful alleys, shady 
retreats, streams, fountains, grottoes, deep ex- 
cavations that afford shelter from the sun by 
day, lofty divans and terraces, on which to sleep 
coolly at night. Within the walls of this en- 
chanting place, in fine, no oppressive or incon- 
venient heat is felt." 

Within the palace walls there were also two 
larger gardens, called respectively the Life-giving 
Garden, and the Mahtab Bagh or Moon Garden. 
Looking at an old plan of the place, before its 
partial destruction in 1857, showing the positions 
and names of these two gardens, one cannot 
but be struck afresh with the practical and ima- 
ginative beauty of Indian garden-craft. These 
gardens formed two separate enclosures treated 
hi one design : the first was a square of about 
five hundred feet, the second garden-court was 
the same length and about three hundred and 



120 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS DELHI 

fifty feet across. The larger of the two was laid 
out more particularly as a water garden. The 
centre was occupied by a big bathing tank with 
a baradari surrounded by fountains in its midst. 
Four canals radiated from this reservoir, two of 
them being filled at their far ends by streams 
running in through two charming little marble 
water pavilions. These buildings still exist, and 
were called the Bhadon and the Sawan, from the 
fact that their sheets of water falling over recesses 
for lights suggested the showers and lightning 
of the rainy season. Along the terrace walk on 
the ramparts ran a water parterre with a fountain 
in each of its little beds ; this finished on the north 
side in another larger building called the Shah 
Burj. Here there is a lovely fountain basin 
and a deeply-carved white marble water-chute. 

One must have passed a long hot summer in 
the Indian plains to realise the full delight 
of this well- named garden the joy of the life- 
giving dewy mornings, of the vivid transparency 
of the fresh opening flowers, and of the swim in 
the fountain-sprinkled pool ; or the vast relief of 
the one cool hour before the daylight dies, when 
the grey haze steals over the fields below the 
river terrace, where the fountains play and the 



PLATE XVI. 




A ROOF GARDEN. 



THE IMPERIAL DURBAR 121 

creamy marble glows suffused with magic life. 
This was the Daylight Garden; while beyond, 
seen through its central gateway, lay the Moon- 
light Court dark trees, and a white night 
garden full of perfumes. 

The Mahtab Bagh has vanished ; only half the 
Hyat Bakhsh Bagh remains. Looking across 
the garden from the river terrace a range of 
hideous barracks forms the background, towering 
over the exquisite little Bhadon and Sawan 
pavilions, and barrack buildings cover the Moon- 
light Court. The whole effect of the reception 
held here during the Imperial Durbar festivities 
was spoilt till the kindly dusk shut out the iron 
railings and the ugly red and yellow walls. Then 
as the fire-fly lamps lit up the trees and the lights 
of the two pavilions gleamed under the falling 
spray, the old palace garden seemed once more a 
fitting place for an Indian king to greet his 
people. 

In other parts of the fort the garden courts 
have, unfortunately, lost all their original char- 
acter ; and the fruit trees, parterres, and cypresses 
have been replaced everywhere by turf and gravel 
paths. Still, the first view of the Diwan-i-Khas 
(Private Hall of Audience) seen across the vivid 

16 



122 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS DELHI 

green is very beautiful ; wonderfully so, as I 
saw it that December afternoon when on the 
platform, at one side, the King-Emperor and 
Queen-Empress sat in open Durbar in their 
mediaeval robes, the great jewels of their crowns 
flashing in the sunshine, surrounded by their 
charming Court of princely Indian children ; the 
whole brilliant group seen against the evening 
sky, and the apricot and amber of the gilded 
marble walls, where Shah Jahan wrote in Sadi's 
flowing Persian : "If there is a Paradise on 
Earth, it is Here." 

This fairy palace of white marble, set on the 
river edge of the dark red sandstone fortress 
walls, was the most magnificent of all Shah 
Jahan's great architectural works. The Shalimar 
Gardens outside Lahore were another of his 
vast undertakings. But the real spirit of the 
splendour -loving Emperor seems to linger in 
an older, smaller building. It haunts Nur-Mahal's 
little Jasmine Tower at Agra, whence he looked 
his last on his uncompleted vision of the Taj. 

The early Mughal Emperors were great 
builders, and nearly all the royal gardens, whose 
massive embankments and solid walls remain, 
were built in the period between Babar's conquest 



THE SIX GREAT MUGHALS 123 

of India and the death of his sixth direct descend- 
ant, Aurungzeb, in 1707. 

What a marvellous line of Emperors these 
Mughals were, six of the greatest directly 
descended sovereigns in the history of the 
world. Two, at least, were men of genius of 
the very first rank. Babar, soldier and artist, 
conqueror of Afghanistan and India, Prince of 
autobiographers and gardeners, and his grandson 
Akbar, dreamer and statesman, are the noblest 
and most fascinating characters in all Eastern 
history. For the rest of them, Humayun cer- 
tainly lost ground, but he passed on the kingdom 
to his son, the great Akbar. Jahangir, Akbar's 
son, a weak man, the great Emperor's greatest 
disappointment, still lives in his country's song 
and legend in the strength of his romantic life-long 
love for Nur-Mahal, his Queen. Shah Jahan, a 
great administrator, ranks high, as must any king 
who inspires and builds a nation's masterpiece, 
and no less for that even greater scheme, the 
dream of the second Taj, whose realisation 
fate and the Emperor's bigot son frustrated. 
Aurungzeb was a genius of a narrower order, 
the Louis XI. of India ; but in spite of his 
fanaticism he extended the Empire and held it 



124 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS DELHI 

together for fifty years, by skill and will-power 
combined with unscrupulous cunning. Then as 
his iron nerve and hand relaxed in death the 
great Empire of the Mughals crumbled and fell, 
and with its downfall passed the greatest of the 
arts and crafts it fostered. 

Babar, Humayun, Akbar, Jahangir, Shah 
Jahan, Aurungzeb, six famous names ! But who 
has heard of the nine Emperors who followed ? 
On the last alone, Bahadur Shah, in the flare 
of the great rebellion the light is cast, a poor 
old man of eighty surrounded by his mimic Court, 
his Empire bounded by the rose-red walls of this 
palace-fortress of Delhi. 



CHAPTER VI 

GARDENS OF THE PLAINS LAHORE 

Sweet is this Garden, through envy of it the Tulip is spotted, 
The Rose of the Sun and the Moon form its beautiful lamps. 

Mughal Garden Motto. 

LAHORE, the northern city, seems above all 
others the special capital of the Emperor Jahangir 
and his Queen, Nur-Jahan, the Light of the 
World, who at one time ruled the so-called 
World- Conquer or, and through him the entire 
Empire of the Mughals. 

Her name was even joined with his on the 
Imperial coinage, and the inscription declared 
that gold had acquired a new value since " Nur- 
Jahan " appeared on it. But Jahangir can 
easily be forgiven for this abrupt departure from 
Oriental precedent for the coin marked the 
triumph of a life-long love. 

Their story has been often told. To this day 
Indian women delight to tell it, lamenting the 

125 



126 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS LAHORE 

unkind fate which kept the lovers apart nearly 
half their lives. One would hesitate to repeat 
it, but that no account of Indian gardens or 
garden - craft would be complete without some 
further mention of the Empress who shares with 
Babar the credit of having designed and inspired 
so many lovely Mughal pleasure-grounds. 

It was at Akbar's City of Victory, during one 
of those fe'tes a Paradise Bazaar when the 
strict Court relaxed its regulations, that the 
young Prince Selim, as he was then called, first 
saw the daughter of his father's Persian minister. 
He was quite a boy, playing with some favourite 
pigeons, when he came across the little Mihr-an- 
Nissa (Queen of Women), sitting forlorn on the 
edge of a garden fountain, deserted doubtless 
in the excitement of the mock fair where all 
the prettiest of the nobles' wives and daughters 
were acting as traders, bargaining with the 
Emperor and the Begams in the most approved 
bazaar style. Azizam Bibi, the little girl's mother, 
one may be sure was chief among them all, 
selling for its weight in gold the attar of rose 
which she is said to have invented. 

So the children were forgotten. And the boy, 
growing tired of his pigeons, gave them to the 



THE LADY OF THE DOVES 127 

little girl to hold while he ran away after some 
fresh distraction. Returning presently he found 
one of the pigeons gone, and angrily enquired 
how had it escaped ? " Like this," said the child, 
throwing the other pigeon up into the air with 
a scornful turn of her graceful, bangle-ladened 
little arms. This was a fine way to defy the 
spoilt Heir of India ; and Selim was furious. But 
he very quickly changed his mind, for a playmate 
of such grace and spirit was not one to be lost 
sight of. Then as the old song tells, " Love 
flitted from the listless hand of Fate," and it was 
not long before Prince Selim was imploring his 
father to let him have the rebellious little maiden 
as his wife. 

Mihr-an-Nissa, however, was already promised 
by her own father to a young soldier nobleman, 
and Akbar would not force any man to break his 
word. In vain the Prince stormed and sulked ; 
the future Nur-Jahan, even then showing signs 
of the beauty and intelligence for which she was 
afterwards so famous, was packed off without 
more delay with her soldier-bridegroom to an 
estate in Bengal given to them by the Emperor. 

It seems that this youthful fancy of Jahangir's 
was a real case of love at first sight; and fond 



128 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS LAHORE 

as he undoubtedly was of his father, he never 
forgave him for thus thwarting his boyish wish. 
Long after, when he came to the throne, one 
of his first actions was an attempt to recover 
the Lady of the Doves. But her husband, Sher 
Aikan, was an honest gentleman, not to be bribed 
by any Emperor. So a quarrel was forced on 
him, he was treacherously murdered, and his wife 
carried off to the Court. Here Jahangir was 
baulked again, defeated by just that very quality 
which appealed so irresistibly to his weak, self- 
indulgent nature. He had killed her husband 
and Nur-Jahan would have none of him. Not 
the least curious part of the story is the fact that 
Jahangir, who must have really loved her, after 
trying to soothe and win her by all means in his 
power, finally accepted the situation ; and Nur- 
Jahan, supporting herself by her artistic skill in 
painting and embroidery, remained at Court in 
attendance on Jahangir 's Rajput mother. 

Then after six long years she relented, perhaps 
moved with pity for the man who had lost all 
control over himself, and was fast losing his 
Empire as well. Who shall say ? Few women 
could resist a constancy like his. Nur-Jahan 
was thirty-seven when at last she consented to 



PLATE XVIII. 




PORTRAIT MINIATURE OF NUR-JAHAN BEGAM. 
(By kind permission of the Fine Arts Society, Ltd.] 



THE IMPERIAL PALACE LAHORE 129 

re-marry, after which, for more than twenty 
years, she virtually ruled India. 

Loving beautiful scenery, flowers, and gardens 
as Nur-Jahan did, under her sway the Valley 
of Kashmir " the Terrestrial Paradise of the 
Indies "-became nearly every year the summer 
quarters of the Court. The journey over the 
Himalayas was long and difficult, occupying so 
much time each spring and autumn that Delhi 
was practically deserted, and during part of 
Jahangir's reign the capital was transferred to 
Lahore, the city in the Indian plains lying 
nearest to the mountain barrier. 

The royal palace in the citadel, like those of 
the other Mughal capitals, was built in a series 
of garden courts along the ramparts overlooking 
the river. In the square in front of the Shish 
Mahal, on one side of which stands the lovely 
little Nau Lakha pavilion, there are the remains 
of a very elaborate fountain, and several old 
fountain-tanks and chabutras are still to be 
found in the various other courts. At present 
the palace is partly used as a barracks ; some of 
the buildings have been restored, but, like the 
royal palace of Agra, it sadly lacks its fountains 
and its flowers. 

17 



130 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS LAHORE 

Nur-Jahan's Garden of Delight, now called 
Shah-Dara, lies across the Ravi, five miles north 
of Lahore. The road from the city runs past 
the fort and Aurungzeb's huge Badshahi Masjid 
(Imperial Mosque) the only great mosque in 
India with a garden courtyard, and on through a 
dense cool woodland, out to where the picturesque 
bridge of boats spans the wide sandy bed of the 
river. On the far side scattered plantations and 
groups of wild palms mark the sites of many 
ruined pleasure-grounds between the water and 
the high walls of the old royal garden. It was 
here in the Dilkusha Bagh that Jahangir was 
buried, in spite of his dying request to be taken 
back to Verinag, the favourite Kashmir spring 
where he and Nur-Jahan had spent so many 
happy summers. 

The gardens are entered, like those of the 
Taj, through a serai courtyard. This in itself 
is a very fine building, a great square with high 
gateways and a series of arched alcoves opening 
on to a wide terrace running all round the walls. 
These recesses formed convenient quarters for 
the guards and numerous servants when the 
Court paid a passing visit to the gardens ; and at 
other times afforded a halting-place for wayfarers 



THE SHAH-DARA BAGH 131 

and pilgrims from the north arriving after the 
city gates across the river had been closed. 

The tomb itself stands in the centre of the 
second enclosure. Its model was that of I'timad- 
ud-Daulah at Agra, but it is on an immense 
scale, and the dome was either never completed, 
or else has been since destroyed. The garden is a 
very large one, in plan much resembling that of 
Sikandarah. A series of raised fountain-tanks 
form eight large chabutras encircling the mauso- 
leum. The canals, though still narrow, are 
wider than the tiny threads of water set in the 
broad masonry paths at Sikandarah, or those of 
Humayun's tomb, and are bordered by long 
parterres lately replanted with cypress trees and 
flowers. 

On fete days, when the fountains are playing, 
the view through the great doorway of the serai 
a building fifty feet high is very fine, and will 
be still further enhanced when the cypress trees 
have grown taller. Climbing plants are well 
established, and wreath the walls and alcoves 
with graceful garlands ; but the garden itself and 
the fine court of the serai have the usual bare 
look, and the avenues that bordered the wide 
paths and the groves of trees on the grass plots 



132 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS LAHORE 

which once shaded the road-weary pilgrims have 
gone. 

Bold repetition and breadth of treatment lend, 
as we have seen, a wonderful fascination, a grand, 
serene, and peaceful dignity to Indian garden- 
craft. But these vast gardens of the plains when 
bereft, as so many of them are, of their flowers, 
trees, and water, the edges of their raised stone 
walks and platforms left sharp and hard casting 
long unbroken shadows in the blazing sunshine 
easily degenerate into a tiresome, soulless for- 
mality, a tedious reiteration of bare lines. The 
very lines which, as Ruskin points out, when 
partly clothed, by their contrast form the best 
foil to the grace of natural curves in plant and 
foliage and heighten the enjoyment of the wild 
luxuriant vegetation the rapid growth which 
shoots up after the first summer rains, the dancing 
sway of flowering twigs and the coloured foam of 
the creepers as they fall in cascades down the 
trees. 

That monotony was the special danger of the 
Mughal as of other classic styles, was clearly 
recognised by its designers, and in great char- 
baghs literally, four gardens like Shah-Dara 
the four main divisions of the grounds were 



THE GULABI BAGH 133 

usually laid out in different ways. Among other 
forgotten charms of Indian garden - craft is 
the custom of consecrating separate squares, or 
even whole gardens, to the worship of some 
special flower. Such were the Lala-zar (Tulip- 
fields), which made such a regal blaze of colour 
round Samarkand in spring; Babar's Violet 
Garden, near Cabul; or the Gulabi Bagh (Rose 
Garden) at Lahore, with the motto heading this 
chapter on its entrance gate. Poor Rose Garden, 
its beds and pergolas, its very walls are gone; 
only its high, tiled gateway stands, reminding all 
who pass of the loveliness which once caused 
the Tulip Garden's jealousy. 

Seen from the raised chabutras, these broad 
colour masses backed by the dark trees would 
be particularly effective. Poppies, lilies, and 
anemones were other flowers that were frequently 
planted in plots, and among smaller flowers, like 
the violets, were the red cyclamen, which still 
hang their dainty little heads in a row, portrayed 
in coloured marbles round Jahangir's tomb. 

The Mughals with their Tartar traditions were 
great tomb -builders as well as gardeners. To 
explore the evidences of their zeal in this 
respect around Lahore is an enthralling occupa- 



134 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS LAHORE 

tion chiefly on account of the different specimens 
one comes upon of Nakkashi work, that is, of the 
inlaid tiles so largely used in their decoration. 

The whole land may be deep in dust, its details 
lost in the all -pre vailing biscuit- coloured Punjab 
background. There comes a shower of rain, and 
unnoticed domes and ruined gateways gleam 
again with the marvellous hues of their few 
remaining tiles ; a touch of sharp, vivid green 
among brown sunbaked bricks ; the purple 
glaze of a little dome shaded by feathery, dust- 
grey tamarind trees ; some lilies on a lemon 
ground, seen in the cool shadow of a vaulted 
portal ; or the turquoise of a gay garden arch. 
The mosque of Wazir Khan, the finest example 
of Nakkashi work at Lahore, remains complete : 
an enchanting building, among whose flower- 
decked tiles the warning motto runs, " Remove 
thy heart from the gardens of the world and 
know that here is the true abode of peace." 

Zebanissa Begam, Aurungzeb's daughter, a 
poetess and artist, was not behind the other 
royal ladies of her family in her garden building, 
as the Chau-Burji (Four Towers) proves. It is 
only a gateway covered all over with turquoise, 
amber, and azure tiles. Only three of its four 



NUR-JAHAN'S TOMB 135 

tall minarets are left. Fields stretch behind it, 
a dusty high-road runs in front, but still one 
wonders how even a Princess could give away a 
garden which had such a gafe. But the Begam 
did so, for she bestowed it on one of her friends 
and planned a second garden for herself at Nawan 
Kot, not far away. Here she was buried, and, 
artist to the last, by her special orders the 
minarets of her mausoleum were built and carved 
to represent four slender marble palms. 

Leaving Lahore for the north, the train, 
crossing the Ravi, rushes by a brown dismantled 
building standing in the bare open fields close 
by the line. There lies Nur-Jahan Begam, the 
greatest garden lover of them all. One would 
rather think of her as resting by some Kashmir 
spring, planning out fresh rose terraces and tulip 
fields, or alighting at some garden gateway in the 
plains, like the lady in the Mughal miniature 
illustrated here. This may indeed be a painting 
of her, for Nur-Jahan was noted among other 
things for her horsemanship and long black hair. 
The turban, too, is arranged in a way similar to 
that shown in one of her few authentic portraits. 
The jewels, about which we may be sure she was 
particular probably the only detail the artist 



136 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS LAHORE 

was allowed to see are identical in both pictures . 
So perhaps it is the Empress herself whom the 
two attendants welcome with the tiny bunch of 
sweet-scented flowers. Which of all her gardens 
was it, one wonders, through whose half-opened 
gate we catch a glimpse of the dainty white- 
starred flowering tree ? 

Shah Jahan, Jahangir's son and successor, 
built the Shalimar gardens at Lahore on the 
model of his father's Kashmir garden. They 
were commenced in 1634 by his architect, 'Ali 
Mardan Khan. The making of one of these 
huge water -gardens in the plains, with their tanks 
and, literally, hundreds of fountains, was no easy 
matter ; but 'Ali Mardan Khan was also celebrated 
as an engineer he is said to have been the 
greatest executive officer who ever served a 
Mughal Prince. It was he who constructed the 
canal which supplied Shah Jahan's Delhi, so that 
each house could have its fountains and its tanks ; 
the same canal somewhat remodelled is in use 
to this day. Among other posts he held was the 
governorship of Kashmir ; he is credited with 
having first introduced the chenar (Oriental 
Plane tree) into that country. While there he 
would naturally become familiar with the royal 



PLATE XX. 




British Museum. 



A PRINCESS AT HER GARDEN GATE. 



THE LAHORE SHALIMAR 



137 




PLAN OF THE SHAUMAR BAGH (LAHOBE). 



18 



138 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS LAHORE 

garden on the Dal Lake, the first Shalimar Bagh 
built under Nur-Jahan's direction. 

The Lahore garden, which is divided into three 
terraces, is five hundred and twenty yards in length 
and two hundred and thirty yards in breadth. 
Formerly, there were outer gardens extending 
much beyond these measurements. But as it 
stands to-day the garden plan may be said to 
consist of two char-baghs joined together by a 
narrower terrace, the whole centre of which is 
occupied by an immense raised tank. There are 
pavilions on three sides, and in the centre is a 
small chabutra reached by two stone causeways. 
The scale of the tank is so large that it admits of 
double paths and a flower parterre running all 
round the water. 

The design of this parterre is given on the 
opposite page. The pattern is based on a 
succession of octagons and resembles the star 
parterres of the Taj gardens. In both cases the 
design was formerly filled in with flowers and 
the oblong beds were also planted with two 
small trees, such as an orange and a lemon 
tree, with a cypress tree in each smaller bed. 
This was the usual order, which was sometimes 
reversed by planting the cypresses in pairs 



MUGHAL PARTERRES 139 

between an orange tree or white-flowered banhina 







STONE PARTERRE (TAJ)-- 



BRICK PARTERRE (LAHORE)*^ 



(mountain ebony). In Kashmir and Turkestan, 



140 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS LAHORE 

a plum or apple tree replaced the orange trees 
and banhina. 

The two other parterres illustrated here are 
taken from Mughal gardens at Udaipur. The 
Emperor Jahangir as a young man, before he came 
to the throne, constructed several gardens there. 
The first design, though probably not of his time, 
is in the same style which he introduced into 
Rajputana. The flower-beds are worked out in 
bricks like those at Lahore but are covered with 
a fine polished plaster, and the design shows 
at a glance the origin of the Persian floral 
carpet patterns. The lake water flows into the 
spaces forming the ground of the design. There 
are platforms on which to sit and enjoy the 
colours of the living carpet, and in the centre is a 
small marble pavilion for musicians. A marble 
platform with beds for trees surrounds the 
garden, and the pavilions on each of its four sides 
look out over the lake. 

The courtyard parterre is a typical specimen 
of a small zenana garden. Geometric flower-beds 
panelled by slabs of marble surround the central 
tank. A perforated marble rail encloses the 
flower-plots, and four cypresses mark the outer 
corners. 



PARTERRES AT UDAIPUR 141 




PLAN OF A GARDEN IN ONE OF THE ISLAND PALACES AT UDAIPUR. 



?* 
ii 



ill 




II 




Marble slab pierced 



PLAN OF A COURTYARD IN THE MAHARAJA'S PALACE AT UDAIPUR. 



142 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS LAHORE 

In Mughal garden - designs the fact of the 
irrigation was never lost sight of, for it governs 
every detail in the garden. The paths are 
always raised, and the flower-beds sunk, even 
when they are continuous parterres let into the 
paths themselves. The garden squares are gener- 
ally two or three feet lower still, and their flower- 
beds were planted in a correspondingly bolder 
way, with rose bushes, fruit trees, and tall-growing 
flowers and herbs. The large fountain basins and 
tanks were designed in the same fashion, their 
corners and sides being ornamented with scrolls 
of sculptured stone or marble. Broadly speaking, 
a Mughal garden is always a sunk garden, no 
matter how high or how numerous its terraces 
may be. 

The canals in the upper and lower terrace of 
the Lahore Shalimar Bagh are wide, about 
twenty feet across, and they each have their line 
of little fountains. There are broad pathways on 
either hand paved with narrow bricks arranged 
in herring-bone and various other patterns. In 
the Punjab, where the land is formed from 
the silt of the five great river-beds, stone is 
not easily procurable, so brick-work and tiles are 
largely used to replace the stone and marble of 



WATER PAVILIONS 143 

Delhi and Agra. These brick walks are a great 
feature at the Lahore Shalimar, and are particu- 
larly interesting as so many other Mughal gardens 
have lost all trace of the stones which paved their 
paths and causeways. 

The pavilions overlooking the water are in- 
ferior modern restorations, in brick and plaster; 
the Sikhs in the eighteenth century having 
despoiled the gardens of most of the splendid 
marble and agate work to ornament the Ram 
Bagh at Amritsar. One water pavilion alone, 
called, like those in the Delhi fort, Sawan Bhadon, 
gives some idea of 'Ali Mardan Khan's original 
work. Through this pavilion the water of the 
large tank empties itself, filling the canals of the 
lower garden. Moorcroft, who visited Lahore in 
1820, gives the following description of this 
baradari : " There are some open apartments of 
white marble of one story on a level with the 
basin, which present in front a square marble 
chamber, with recesses on its sides for lamps, 
before which water may be made to fall in sheets 
from a ledge surrounding the room at the top 
whilst streams of water spout up through holes 
in the floor." 

At Alwar, in an old garden pavilion belonging 



144 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS LAHORE 

to the Maharaja, a similar device exists for 
cooling the rooms a row of small jets is placed 
under the cornice outside the pavilion, so that 
the whole building can be veiled in a fine spray 
of water. 

A large baradari stands on the wall of the 
upper terrace of the Shalimar above the reservoir. 
The water passing through the building races 
down a carved marble slope. At the foot of 
this slope, standing out over the water, is a 
beautifully carved white marble chabutra or 
throne. These seats over the water, from their 
commanding position and coolness, were always 
the place of honour the Emperor's thrones in the 
gardens. The early examples in Kashmir consist 
simply of one large plain slab of black marble or 
other stone, and serve as a bridge across the 
stream as well as a seat. Later, as the canals 
grew wider, these stones were replaced by small 
thrones, their legs and little rails elaborately 
carved, approached by stepping-stones or narrow 
causeways. The little throne at Lahore has 
somehow escaped the general destruction. The 
low side -rails like most Mughal barriers, just 
the height on which one can comfortably lean 
one's elbow when sitting on the ground are 



PLATE XXI. 



M mm n 




THE PARADISE CARPET. 
(Said to have been made for Shah Abbas. ) 
By kind permission of Messrs. Vincent Robinson & Co. Ltd., Lona 



INDIAN FOUNTAINS 145 

pierced and carved in a beautiful floral design. 
Shah Jahan no doubt sat here in state to see 
the fountains in his new garden play : there 
are a hundred and forty-four in the great tank 
alone. Between the throne and the cascade 
there is still one original white marble fountain 
left a lily bud in shape, delicately carved. 

In Europe, when speaking of fountains, the 
actual sculpture and stone-work are, as a rule, 
intended and understood, whereas in India 
the term implies the water -jet itself; although 
this was often a mere jet and not, as with us in 
colder countries, a great volume of water gushing 
from sculptured vases, leaping in some chosen 
place high up into the air for the pure joy of its 
decorative effect, or pouring from moss-grown 
shells emptied by water nymphs into pools where 
tritons blow their horns. In an Indian garden 
there -is water everywhere, hundreds of little 
pearl-showering fountain jets cooling the burning 
air, their only stone-work copied from the lotus 
lily buds as they rise above the stream. All the 
older fountains in the large tanks and canals are 
variations of this theme. The form of the fully- 
opened flower seems to have suggested the shape 
and carving of the small tanks and chabutra 

19 



146 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS LAHORE 

fountains which were differently treated, the 
water rising from within large shallow basins set 
below the level of the surrounding masonry. 

On the east wall of the Shalimar Bagh, facing 
the central tank, are the royal bathrooms, and 
the four, canals of the upper terrace each lead 
to a large pavilion; so that the gardens were 
fully equipped for a royal residence whenever the 
Emperor chose to visit Lahore. Within compara- 
tively recent times the Sikh ruler Sher Singh held 
his Court in, the largest of these buildings. His 
audience room can still be seen. It opens into 
a small garden square outside the main walls. 

The most noticeable features on the lowest 
terrace are the two gateways decorated with fine 
enamelled tiles. The one in the west wall opens 
directly on to the old road from the fort, and 
was originally the principal entrance, for, like 
nearly all the Mughal baghs, the Shalimar was 
approached from the lowest terrace, and the 
topmost level, cut off by a high retaining wall 
with towers at the corners, was reserved for the 
private use of the zenana ladies. 

This was a custom which added greatly to 
the charm of these terraced water gardens, for 
while the full effect of the white splashing cas- 



THE PLANTING OF A MUGHAL GARDEN 147 

cades, rising one above the other, was seen on 
entering the enclosure, the various terraces were 
only discovered as it were one by one as each 
level was successively reached. The present ap- 
proach, which leads directly through the rooms 
of the Sultana's pavilion on the upper terrace, 
certainly detracts from the general effect and 
character of the gardens. 

To-day the whole enclosure may be described 
as one large mango grove; and it is difficult 
to say how much of the original Mughal design 
is left. The Badshah-Namah, a history of the 
Emperors compiled during Shah Jahan's reign, 
mentions these gardens. The upper terrace is 
described as a continuous flower-bed with plane 
trees and aspens planted at regular intervals at 
the sides. Under each tree a platform or grass 
chabutra was built where the Emperor and the 
ladies of his zenana could recline at ease. An 
account is given of Shah Jahan himself planting 
an aspen between two plane trees on the banks 
of the Shah Nahr or principal canal. 

The description of the Shalimar given in the 
Badshah-Namah is long but not very lucid. A 
better idea of the planting of this and similar 
gardens can, I think, be gathered from a con- 



148 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS LAHORE 

temporary work of art, a most remarkable garden 
carpet which has come to light within recent 
years. From the workmanship and colouring it 
is judged to be an Armenian production of the 
first half of the seventeenth century. The 
Paradise garden of its design suggests that in all 
probability it was made in the first instance for 
the Sefari Palace at Ispahan built by Shah Abbas, 
Shah Jahan's Persian rival. 

The design is of extreme antiquity. Chosroes I., 
the Sassanian King of Persia (A.D. 531-579), 
had a famous carpet called " Chosroes' Spring," 
i.e. garden, which was employed to decorate a 
hall or, more likely, on account of its great size, 
an open platform, for the carpet is said to have 
been four hundred and fifty feet long by ninety 
feet wide. The Arabs conquered Ctesiphon in the 
year 637. Nothing astonished them more, so their 
chroniclers relate, than this wonderful carpet. 
The plan was that of a royal pleasure-ground, or 
Paradise, representing beds of spring flowers. 
There was a broad flower-bed border all around. 
The ground was worked in gold thread, the 
leaves and flowers in silk, and crystals and 
precious stones were employed to represent the 
fruit and the water. 



A PARADISE CARPET 149 

The design of this marvellous carpet, devised 
as far back as the times of the Assyrian Kingdom, 
prevailed down to the days of Shah Abbas and 
Shah Jahan. Since then these royal " Firdus " 
carpets have nearly all disappeared ; only five are 
now known to exist, and of these only the one 
illustrated is in any sense perfect. But the Shali- 
mar Bagh at Lahore remains a concrete example 
of the Paradise garden from which their design 
was drawn. 

Shah Abbas's carpet is an oblong, thirty- one 
feet by twelve feet three inches. The characteristic 
canals, the special feature of the type, are unequal 
in length, but their form is only a modification 
of the older cosmic cross. The central pavilion 
is very small, little more than a chabutra 
or fountain basin set in the middle of a large 
tank. Four birds swim on the pond, a curious 
mixture of swan and royal peacock; and the 
water is represented as of a deeper blue than 
that of the canals, suggesting a greater depth; 
or else that the reservoir was paved after the 
Persian fashion with bright blue tiles. The design 
is further subdivided by narrow watercourses 
and octagonal pavilions, four on each side, 
representing the eight pearl pavilions of the 



150 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS LAHORE 

Moslem Paradise. Looking at the plan of the 
Shalimar Bagh, its close resemblance to that of 
the carpet will be easily seen. In the real garden 
the terraces with cross canals are square, but the 
whole design forms an oblong and in each case 
the central ornament is a tank. Green depres- 
sions mark the smaller canals, and eight grass 
chabutras, four on the upper terrace and four 
on the lowest level, take the place of the eight 
pearl pavilions. 

This old royal carpet illustrates more clearly 
than anything I have seen the customary method 
of planting when these gardens were first laid out. 
It shows the old symbolic avenues of cypress and 
flowering fruit trees which same idea was carried 
out in Pliny's Tuscan gardens by his avenues of 
clipped box obelisks and apple trees planted 
alternately with their mystic birds beak to 
beak in the old traditional fashion, and the 
tulip border beneath close to the stream. Four 
large chenar trees are planted at the angles of 
the pavilions, forming an outer avenue on each 
side of the main canal, and trees fill the squares 
at the corners of the central tank. Flower-beds 
border the smaller watercourses and the inter- 
vening squares between the trees are filled with 



THE ZENANA TERRACE 151 

parterres. So without much difficulty we can 
imagine for ourselves what Shah Jahan's great 
pleasance may have looked like before it was 
despoiled. 

The Shalimar has suffered like all its fellows. 
These large enclosures have been so often the 
camping - ground of marauding armies, while 
subsequent neglect and change of taste have 
frequently swept away the few remaining char- 
acteristics within their walls. But in spite of 
evil times and changes something of the old 
enchantment lingers round the great pool set 
in the mango grove, the one open square of light 
in all this dim green garden at Lahore. 

Shut in on three sides by a dense woodland, 
against which the small white pavilions stand 
out in sharp relief, the fourth side bounded by 
the walls of the upper terrace, the large tank lies 
deserted, tranquil in the quiet evening air ; rich, 
peaceful harmonies of pale green water reflecting 
deep green trees, rose-red walls, and the darker 
rose of amaranth in the parterres. In the shadows 
of the old zenana terrace, the once clear rippling 
water-ways are muddy now and choked with 
plants. The hundred little fountains play fit- 
fully : a faint grey spray scarcely seen against 



152 GARDENS OF THE PLAINS LAHORE 

the background of the dark glistening mango 
leaves. But as the sun sinks, and the afterglow 
steals through the close -set tree trunks, and 
streams down the opening of the west canal, 
where the dark battlements lose their shape, 
blurred against the roseate, dust -laden rays, a 
brief dream of former splendours gilds the 
platforms and the pathways, the water and the 
wood. And melancholy, ghost-haunted as it is, 
still one leaves it with regret this old garden- 
palace full of echoes. 



CHAPTER VII 

GARDENS OF THE DAL LAKE 

I went down into the Garden of Nuts 
To see the green plants of the Valley, 
To see whether the Vine budded 
And the Pomegranates were in flower. 

Song of Songs. 

KASHMIR, the state which outweighed the whole 
Indian Empire in the estimation of the Emperor 
Jahangir, must have been particularly dear to the 
Mughals ; reminding them as it did of their cool 
northern home - country. The whole country, 
however, is not very large, consisting of one main 
valley ninety miles long by twenty-five miles 
broad, completely encircled by high mountains, 
and when the Mughal Emperors visited it, 
the difficulties of transport and of securing 
provisions, as well as the actual dangers of the 
road over the mountain passes, made it neces- 
sary to restrict the number of the Court as 
far as possible. Only nobles of the first rank 

163 20 



154 GARDENS OF THE DAL LAKE 

were permitted to accompany the Emperor and 
Empress. What intrigues and heart-burnings 
there must have been over the question of 
privilege, since courtiers not in favour were 
condemned to stop short at the foot of the great 
mountains in the suffocating heat of the Bember 
ravine ! The summer Bernier visited Kashmir, 
Fadai Khan, Grandmaster of the Artillery, 
Aurungzeb's trusted foster-brother, was left in 
charge, stationed as a guard below the pass, 
" until the great heat be over when the King 
will return." 

There are three old routes into the country : 
by Bember and the Pir Panjal ; the Jumna 
route by Verinag ; and a much longer journey 
from the north-west through the valleys of the 
Kishenganga and Jhelum. This last seems to 
have been the natural outlet from Kashmir and 
the most frequented route in early times. At 
Hasan Abul, where the road leaves the plains, 
the Mughal Garden of Wah Bagh can still be 
seen. It was built here on account of the springs 
and used as an Imperial camping-ground. 

Hasan Abul, like Bawan, Achebal, Verinag, 
and Pinjor, is one of those naturally beautiful 
spots which each religion in turn claims as a 



WAH BAGH 155 

holy place. Legends of Buddhist, Brahmin, 
Mohammedan, and Sikh gather round the numer- 
ous springs that gush out of the ground at the 
north-west foot of the precipitous hill of Baba 
Wali. 

The Chinese Buddhist pilgrim, Hwen Thsang, 
journeyed from Taxila to visit the spring ; where 
he mentions the tank, fringed with lotus flowers 
of different colours, built by the Serpent King, 
Elapatra one of those vague shadowy Naga 
kings whose splendours haunt all Indian history, 
and whose legendary doings reappear with a 
strange persistence in old Indian gardens. 

The place is said to owe its present name to 
Akbar, who was so struck with its beauty, that 
it drew from him the exclamation of Wah Bagh ! 
(Oh, what a garden !) and Wah Bagh it is to 
this day. But it was Akbar's son Jahangir who 
actually built the garden-palace. 

Moorcroft, who visited Wah nearly ninety 
years ago, describes it at some length : " The 
garden covers a space about a quarter of a mile 
in length, and half that in breadth, enclosed by 
walls partly in ruins. The gateways and turrets 
that were constructed along the boundary-wall 
are also mostly in a ruinous condition. The 



156 GARDENS OF THE DAL LAKE 

eastern extremity is occupied by two large stone- 
walled tanks ; the western by parterres, and they 
are divided by a building which served as a 
pleasure-house to the Emperor and his household. 
It was too small for a residence, consisting of a 
body and two wings, the former containing three 
long rooms, and the latter divided into small 
chambers. The interior of the whole is stuccoed, 
and in the smaller apartments the walls are 
decorated with flowers, foliage, vases and in- 
scriptions, in which, notwithstanding the neglected 
state of the building and its antiquity, the lines 
of the stuccoed work are as fresh as if they 
had but just been completed, indicating a very 
superior quality in the stucco of the East over 
the West. The chambers in the southern front 
of the western wing, and others continued 
beyond it, constitute a suite of baths, including 
cold, hot, and medicated baths, and apartments 
for servants, for dressing, and reposing, heating- 
rooms and reservoirs : the floors of the whole 
have been paved with a yellow breccia, and each 
chamber is surmounted by a low dome with a 
central sky-light. The water, which was supplied 
from the reservoirs first noticed, is clear and in 
great abundance. It comes from several copious 



LALLA ROOKH'S GARDEN 157 

springs, at the base of some limestone hills in 
the neighbourhood and, after feeding the tanks 
and canals of the garden, runs off with the 
Dhamrai river that skirts the plain on the north 
and east." The present owner takes a great 
interest in this old Imperial pleasure-ground, 
and has recently built up the ruined walls and 
done much to restore the gardens. 

Entering the Kashmir valley through the 
ravine of Baramulla, the rest of the journey to 
the capital at Srinagar was undertaken by water. 
Crossing the stormy Wular Lake, the largest 
lake in India, Sumbal on the Jhelum River 
proved a favourite halting - place. At a short 
distance below the village a canal leads off to 
the little Manasbal Lake. The road to Gilgit 
runs along its western shore, and round the 
steep north-eastern banks are remains of various 
Mughal gardens. The largest of these, the 
Darogha Bagh, the royal palace built for the 
Empress Nur-Jahan, now fancifully called Lalla 
Rookh's Garden, juts out into the lake with its 
burden of terraced walls and slender poplar trees, 
like some great high-decked galleon floating on 
the calm clear water. 

The banks of the Manasbal are deserted now, 



158 GARDENS OF THE DAL LAKE 

the gardens are in ruins. Only a few sportsmen, 
or hardy tourists, venture their boats up the 
narrow canal, and anchor in the shadow of 
the old chenars. Fashion sets away elsewhere, 
toward the English hill stations, with their small 
log huts perched high up on the mountain sides. 
But the Mughals, with their love of scenery 
and genius for garden - building, rarely chose a 
better site than the shores of this loveliest and 
loneliest of all the Kashmir lakes. 

Akbar was the first Emperor to enter Kashmir. 
He built the fort at Srinagar called Hari Pabat 
(the Green Hill), and planned a large garden not 
far away on the shores of the Dal, that beautiful 
lake which lies between the city and the mountain 
amphitheatre to the north of Srinagar. The 
Nisim Bagh, Akbar's garden, stands in a fine 
open position well raised above the lake; and 
takes its name from the cool breezes that blow 
all day long under its trees. The walls, canals, 
and fountains have disappeared ; and the avenues 
of magnificent chenars with which it is closely 
planted must have been added long after the 
garden was laid out, if 'Ali Mardan Khan 
was the first to introduce these trees into the 
country. Fully grown they resemble heavy- 



CHENAR TREES 159 

foliaged sycamores with serrated leaves and 
smooth, silvery boles and branches. They were, 
and are, greatly prized for their size and beauty, 
and more especially for their dense shade. Apart 
from the garden avenues, chenars are often to 
be seen in the villages and by the sides of the 
old caravan roads. They are usually planted at 
the four points of a square so as to shade a plot 
of ground all day long, and thus formed a series 
of halting-places between one camp and the next. 
In Kashmir they still remain royal trees ; they are 
Government property, not to be cut down with- 
out a special permit from the Maharaja. Green 
turf covers the ruined masonry terraces of the 
Nisim Bagh, which rise grandly from the water ; 
but the trees are in their prime, and the view 
from under their boughs across the blue expanse 
of the lake, crowned by the snow -streaked 
Mahadev, remains as enchanting as when Akbar 
chose this site for the first Mughal garden in 
Kashmir. 

Between the Nisim and the Fort there is a 
smaller lake, at the far end of which are the 
remains of a picturesque garden called the 
Nageen Bagh. What is left shows another lake- 
side garden, smaller, but in character much like 



160 GARDENS OF THE DAL LAKE 

that of Lalla Rookh on the Manasbal. It is 
built on a narrow point of land, its terraces 
rising on three sides out of the water which forms 
large canals on either hand. A pavilion shaded 
by great chenars stands close down by the edge 
of the lake. 

All round the sides of the Dal Lake there are 
broken walls and terraces, the remains of early 
Mughal gardens. Hazrat Bal, the village close 
to the Nisim Bagh, stands on the site of one 
of these. The large mosque, where the hair of 
the Prophet is preserved, and specially venerated 
once a year at a great mela, is built round the 
principal garden-house. The narrow stone water- 
course runs beneath it, and through the village 
square, in the midst of which a beautifully carved 
stone chabutra figures conspicuously and still 
forms a convenient praying platform. The old 
entrance can be seen in the long line of stone 
steps leading down to the water, but the most 
interesting feature at Hazrat Bal is the carved 
stone fountains. 

In the early northern gardens, before the canals 
were enlarged sufficiently to admit of the line of 
fountain jets which afterwards became such a 
characteristic, these shallow fountain basins were 



CHABUTRA FOUNTAINS 161 

used as much in the open garden as they were 
in rooms or verandahs. Sometimes they were 
introduced in the centre of a raised stone 
chabutra ; or placed at intervals along the 
narrow watercourses like those at Hazrat Bal, 
the finest of which we found hidden away 
under the wooden platform of the mosque. This 
was almost lost, buried under the mud and refuse, 
when, thanks to the exertions of some village 
boys urged on by two white-bearded elders, we 
unearthed this really fine example of the stone- 
mason's art. It is a large oval basin cut in 
eight deep flutes radiating from the centre ; each 
division having a fish or wild duck carved in relief, 
represented as about to swim away over the edge 
of the fountain. A crane or stork is carved at 
each end where the basin is cut away to meet 
the swirl of the water as it rushed in and out 
from the narrow canal. The second fountain is 
similar, but smaller. 

Charming as they are from a purely decorative 
point of view, these fountains are more notice- 
able on account of the birds and living creatures 
used in their ornamentation. This points to their 
early origin, when under the wise, art-loving 

Akbar the old Hindu temple carvers and crafts- 

21 



162 GARDENS OF THE DAL LAKE 

men were encouraged to work again in stone for 
their new Moslem masters : and even these two 
forgotten carvings show that wonderful Indian 
sense of rhythm which still remains a living 
national trait. 

The famous Shalimar Bagh lies at the far end 
of the Dal Lake. According to a legend, Pravar- 
sena II., the founder of the city of Srinagar, 
who reigned in Kashmir from A.D. 79 to 139, 
had built a villa on the edge of the lake, at its 
north-eastern corner, calling it Shalimar, which 
in Sanskrit is said to mean " The Abode or Hall 
of Love." The king often visited a saint, named 
Sukarma Swami, living near Harwan, and rested 
in this villa on his way. In course of time the 
royal garden vanished, but the village that had 
sprung up in its neighbourhood was called 
Shalimar after it. The Emperor Jahangir laid 
out a garden on this same old site in the year 
1619. 

A canal, about a mile in length and twelve 
yards broad, runs through the marshy swamps, 
the willow groves, and the rice-fields that fringe 
the lower end of the lake, connecting the garden 
with the deep open water. On each side there are 
broad green paths overshadowed by large chenars ; 



THE SHALIMAR BAGH 163 

and at the entrance to the canal blocks of 
masonry indicate the site of an old gateway. 
There are fragments also of the stone embank- 
ment which formerly lined the watercourse. 

The Shalimar was a royal garden, and as it 
is fortunately kept up by His Highness the 
Maharaja of Kashmir, it still shows the charming 
old plan of a Mughal Imperial summer residence. 
The present enclosure is five hundred and ninety 
yards long by about two hundred and sixty- 
seven yards broad, divided, as was usual in royal 
pleasure-grounds, into three separate parts : the 
outer garden, the central or Emperor's garden, 
and last and most beautiful of the three, the 
garden for the special use of the Empress and her 
ladies. 

The outer or public garden, starting with the 
grand canal leading from the lake, terminates at 
the first large pavilion, the Diwan-i-'Am. The 
small black marble throne still stands over the 
waterfall in the centre of the canal which flows 
through the building into the tank below. From 
time to time this garden was thrown open to 
the people so that they might see the Emperor 
enthroned in his Hall of Public Audience. 

The second garden is slightly broader, con- 



164 GARDENS OF THE DAL LAKE 

sisting of two shallow terraces with the Diwan-i- 
Khas (the Hall of Private Audience) in the 
centre. The buildings have been destroyed, but 
their carved stone bases are left, as well as a fine 
platform surrounded by fountains. On the north- 
west boundary of this enclosure are the royal 
bathrooms. 

At the next wall, the little guard-rooms that 
flank the entrance to the ladies' garden have been 
rebuilt in Kashmir style on older stone bases. 
Here the whole effect culminates with the beauti- 
ful black marble pavilion built by Shah Jahan, 
which still stands in the midst of its fountain 
spray ; the green glitter of the water shining in 
the smooth, polished marble, the deep rich tone 
of which is repeated in the old cypress trees. 
Round this baradari the whole colour and per- 
fume of the garden is concentrated, with the 
snows of Mahadev for a background. How well 
the Mughals understood the principle that the 
garden, like every other work of art, should have 
a climax. 

This unique pavilion is surrounded on every 
side by a series of cascades, and at night when 
the lamps are lighted in the little arched recesses 
behind the shining waterfalls, it is even more 



A ROYAL GARDEN PALACE 165 




SHALJMAB BAGH (KASHMIR). 



166 GARDENS OF THE DAL LAKE 

fairy-like than by day. Bernier, in his account 
of the Shalimar, notes with astonishment four 
wonderful doors in this baradari. They were 
composed of large stones supported by pillars, 
taken from some of the " Idol temples " de- 
molished by Shah Jahan. He also mentions 
several circular basins or reservoirs, " out of 
which arise other fountains formed into a variety 
of shapes and figures." 

When Bernier visited Kashmir the gardens 
were laid out in regular trellised walks and 
generally surrounded by the large-leafed aspen, 
planted at intervals of two feet. In Vigne's 
time the Bagh-i-Dilawar Khan, where the Euro- 
pean visitors were lodged, was still planted in 
the usual Eastern manner, with trellis -work 
shading the walks along the walls, " on which 
were produced the finest grapes in the city." 

Pergolas were in all probability one of the 
oldest forms of garden decoration. A drawing 
of an ancient Egyptian pleasure-ground shows 
a large pergola surrounded by tanks in the centre 
of a square enclosure. The trellis -work takes 
the form of a temple with numerous columns. 
In the Roshanara Gardens at Delhi a broken 
pergola of square stone pillars still exists, and 



PERGOLAS 167 

a more modern attempt has been made to build 
one outside the walls at Pinjor. 

These cool shady alleys have, under European 
influence, entirely disappeared from the Kashmir 
gardens ; though here and there round the 
outer walls some of the old vines are left, coiled 
on the ground like huge brown water-snakes, or 
climbing the fast growing young poplars. But 
their restoration would be a simple matter. 
The pergolas with their brick and plaster pillars 
are a charming characteristic well worth reviving. 
It should be always remembered, however, to 
make them bold enough : high and wide with beds 
for spring bulbs on each side between the pillars 
spring bulbs, such as Babar's favourite tulip 
and narcissus, to flower gaily before the leaves 
of rose and vine completely shade the walks. 

A subtle air of leisure and repose, a romantic 
indefinable spell, pervades the royal Shalimar : 
this leafy garden of dim vistas, shallow terraces, 
smooth sheets of falling water, and wide canals, 
with calm reflections broken only by the stepping- 
stones across the stream. 

A complete contrast is offered by the Nishat, 
the equally beautiful garden on the Dal Lake 
built by Asaf Khan, Nur-Mahal's brother. 



168 GARDENS OF THE DAL LAKE 

The Nishat Bagh, true to its name, is the 
gayest of all Mughal gardens. Its twelve ter- 
races, one for each sign of the zodiac, rise drama- 
tically higher and higher up the mountain side 
from the eastern shore of the lake. The stream 
tears foaming down the carved cascades, foun- 
tains play in every tank and watercourse, filling 
the garden with their joyous life and movement. 
The flower-beds on these sunny terraces blaze 
with colour roses, lilies, geraniums, asters, 
gorgeous tall-growing zinnias, and feathery cosmos, 
pink and white. Beautiful at all times, when 
autumn lights up the poplars in clear gold 
and the big chenars burn red against the dark 
blue rocky background, there are few more 
brilliant, more breathlessly entrancing sights 
than this first view of Asaf Khan's Garden of 
Gladness. 

When Shah Jahan was in Kashmir in 1633, 
he visited this garden. Its high terraces, and 
wonderful views of lake and mountain, so delighted 
him that he at once decided that the Nishat 
Bagh was altogether too splendid a garden for 
a subject, even though that subject might happen 
to be his own prime-minister and father-in-law. 
He told Asaf Khan on three occasions how much 



PLATE XXIV. 




THE NISHAT BAGH. 



" A GARDEN OF HERBS " 169 

he admired his pleasure-ground, expecting that 
it would be immediately offered for the royal 
acceptance. But if Shah Jahan coveted his 
neighbour's vineyard, the Wazir was no less 
stiff-necked than Naboth ; he could not bring 
himself to surrender his cherished pleasance to 
be " a garden of herbs " for his royal master, 
and he remained silent. Then as now the same 
stream supplied both the Royal Garden and the 
Nishat Bagh, which lies on the mountain side 
between the Shalimar and the city of Srinagar. 
So Shah Jahan in his anger ordered the water- 
supply to be cut off from the Nishat Bagh and 
was avenged, for the garden he envied was shorn 
of all its beauty. 

Nothing is more desolate than one of these 
great enclosures when their stone -lined tanks 
and water channels are dry and empty. Asaf 
Khan, who was staying in his summer palace at 
the time, could do nothing, and all his household 
knew of his grief and bitter disappointment. 
One day, lost in a melancholy reverie, he at last 
fell fast asleep in the shade by the empty water- 
course. At length a noise aroused him ; rubbing 
his eyes he could hardly believe what he saw, for 
the fountains were all playing merrily once more 



170 GARDENS OF THE DAL LAKE 

and the long carved water-chutes were white with 
foam. A faithful servant, risking his life, had 
defied the Emperor's orders, and removed the 
obstruction from the stream. Asaf Khan re- 
buked him for his zeal and hastily had the stream 
closed again. But the news reached the Emperor 
in his gardens at Shalimar; whereupon he sent 
for the terrified servant, and, much to the surprise 
of the Court, instead of punishing him, bestowed 
a robe of honour upon him to mark his admiration 
for this act of devoted service ; at the same time 
granting a sanad which gave the right to his 
master to draw water for the garden from the 
Shalimar stream. 

The old approach was by water, and the 
Nishat Bagh, like other Kashmir gardens, loses 
greatly by the intrusion of the modern road, 
which cuts off the lake-side terrace from all the 
others. The enclosure is now five hundred and 
ninety-five yards long and three hundred and 
sixty wide. Being a private garden, and not a 
royal pleasure-ground, there are only two large 
divisions : the main garden built in a series of 
terraces each slightly higher than the other; 
and the upper zenana terrace, where the wall 
is eighteen feet high, and runs across the full 



THE MALI AND HIS " GUMALIS " 171 

width of the garden. The water-chute run- 
ning down from the second story of the small 
pavilion on the ladies' terrace is constructed of 
paved brick arranged in the usual wave patterns, 
and there are traces of a similar brick pavement 
on each side of the canal, which at the Nishat 
is thirteen feet wide and eight inches deep. 
Each end of the high retaining wall is flanked by 
octagonal towers, with inner stairways leading to 
the upper garden. 

The number of stone and marble thrones is 
a special feature of the Nishat Bagh. There is 
one placed across the head of almost every 
waterfall. The gardens have recently been partly 
restored, and an attempt has been made to 
replace the vases which once adorned the plat- 
forms and terrace walls of all these Mughal 
baghs. Those already made for the Nishat are 
decorative and add something of the old char- 
acter, but they are too small for the scale of the 
gardens. The Indian mali is often laughed at 
for his devotion to his " gumalis " and tubs, 
though they are very practical in the plains, 
where the white ants are likely to devour every- 
thing growing in the ground, for his crazy 
patchwork bedding, and his rows of untidy 



172 GARDENS OF THE DAL LAKE 

little pots. It is the small scale and multiplicity 
of these gumalis, and flower-beds, which prevents 
us seeing that they are only the degenerate forms 
of two well-known Mughal motives geometrical 
floral designs and plants in vases. Beautiful 
carved stone and moulded earthenware garden- 
vases might yet be made by Indian masons and 
potters if they were given scope and time. Filled 
with flowers, their effect on the great masonry 
platforms would be wonderfully fine. After all, 
the mali has a sound tradition in his favour. 

The Nishat, like other gardens of its size, was 
originally planted with avenues of cypress and 
fruit trees. On two of the terraces green depres- 
sions mark the sites of former parterres. The 
garden will be even more lovely when these old 
details are taken into account ; when roses are 
once more trained down the sides of the walls, 
and soften the edges of the steps by the water, 
repeating the motive of the cascades they enclose. 
Taking a hint from the early Mughal minia- 
tures, where the garden is " flower -scattered " 
like some picture by Sandro Botticelli or from 
the alpine meadows on the crags, which rise 
4000 feet above the Nishat Bagh, let us 
scatter spring flowers under the fruit trees. 



SPRING FLOWERS 173 

White iris still light up distant corners of the 
garden with their frail beauty. But purple 
and mauve iris should be massed near the lilac 
bushes ; narcissus and daffodils planted under 
apple and quince trees; and the soft turf 
under the snowy pear and plum trees should 
blaze again with crown-imperials and the scarlet 
Kashmir tulips. The Mughal flowers were 
spring flowers ; but roses, carnations, jasmine, 
hollyhocks, delphiniums, peonies, and pinks 
brought in summer. 

The baradari on the third terrace of the 
Nishat Bagh is a two-storied Kashmir structure 
standing on the stone foundations of an earlier 
building. The lower floor is fifty-nine feet long 
and forty-eight feet wide, enclosed on two sides 
by wooden - latticed windows. In the middle 
there is a reservoir about fourteen feet square 
and three feet deep, with five fountains, the one 
in the centre being the only old stone fountain 
left in the garden. On a summer day there 
are few more attractive rooms than the fountain 
hall of this Kashmir garden house. The gay 
colours of the carved woodwork shine through 
the spray in delightful contrast to the dull green 
running water. Through a latticed arch a 



174 GARDENS OF THE DAL LAKE 

glimpse is caught of the brilliant garden terraces 
and their waterfalls flashing white against the 
mountain side. Looking out over the lake 
which glitters below in the sunshine, the views 
of the valley are bounded by faint snow-capped 
peaks, the far country of the Pir Panjal. Climb- 
ing roses twine about the painted wooden 
pillars, and nod their creamy flowers through 
the openings of the lattice. All the long 
afternoon a little breeze ruffles the surface of 
the lake and blows in the scent of the flowers, 
mingling it with the drifting fountain spray ; 
for the terrace below the pavilion is planted after 
the old custom with a thicket of Persian lilac. 

There are three flower festivals still observed 
every year in Kashmir, and the first of these is 
the lilac viewing. The lake-side by the gardens 
is crowded with boats when the long trusses of 
feathery mauve flowers are fully out. All day the 
people stream up the steps into the garden ; and, 
sitting in rows on the terrace wall above, drink in 
with delight the sweet colour and scent of these 
favourite flowers. Nearly all the older gardens 
show the remains of lilac thickets ; they were 
closely planted in squares divided by narrow paths 
through which to walk and enjoy their perfume. 



FLOWER FESTIVALS 175 

The narcissus fields and tulip fields vanished 
next follows the festival of the roses. The 
Shalimar Bagh is most frequented on this 
occasion. Crowds come from the city, bringing 
their women-folk, their babies, and their birds. 
Gay family parties gather on the grass chabutras, 
listening to the plash of the water and the sweet 
little piping of the birds, or smoking their hookahs 
and talking endlessly in the shade. Beautiful 
groups they make : the women with their rose 
and orange robes and graceful long white veils, 
and the enchanting Kashmir babies, their fair 
faces, dark eyes, and curls peeping out from 
under little bright green caps, from which their 
large round tinsel earrings dangle. One can 
hardly tell whether the babies or the flowers they 
are brought to look at are the prettier. Pink 
roses grow beside the water, red flowers fill the 
parterre which with its paved stone walks sur- 
rounds the zenana baradari. .But the loveliest 
roses in the garden are the Marechal Niels, which 
climb the grey-green walls of the Hall of Public 
Audience and hang their soft yellow globes head 
downward in clusters from the carved cedar 
cornice. 

It is pleasant to find what a pride and 



176 GARDENS OF THE DAL LAKE 

delight both Indians and Kashmiris take in the 
old Imperial gardens. Only the Europeanised 
Indians have lost touch with these simple 
pleasures : young Rajas, " doing " Kashmir or 
the gardens at Lahore, accompanied by some 
bored English tutor, and followed by a noisy 
horde of retainers, walk hurriedly up one side of 
the stream and down the other ; but even they 
sometimes cast wistful glances back at the 
flowers and the fountains, ere they whirl off again 
in their motor cars. Bustling sightseers, however, 
are a rare occurrence here, and the famous baghs 
are always full of real garden lovers. All great 
festivals and holidays are celebrated, if possible, 
in a garden. Students bring their books, and 
work under the trees. A day in one of these 
great walled gardens is an event which appeals 
as much to purdah ladies as to the very poorest 
class. The great Emperors who planned them 
and lived in them Babar, Akbar, Jahangir and 
his Nur-Jahan are far more vivid personalities 
in India than Elizabeth or the Stuart sovereigns 
are in England. And every Indian speaks with 
a lingering regret of the days of the older Bad- 
shahi, " when the gardens were in their splendid 
prime." 



PLATE XXVI. 




A RIVERSIDE GARDEN". 



KASHMIR LOTUS FIELDS 177 

Lotus time comes in July, when the great 
flowers and leaves rise on their slender stalks 
three or four feet from the surface of the lake. 
They may be taken as the Hindu sacred flower, 
much as the rose is the first flower in the eyes of 
the secular Moslem poets ; and all the world goes 
out to gaze on the bright pink lotus blooms. To 
see these flowers in perfection one must start at 
dawn, before the sun has climbed the mountain 
crags, and row out towards the Nishat Bagh, 
where the lake-side gardens are lost in dim blue 
shadows and the surface of the water is pearly 
grey and mauve. Then forcing the light shikara 
through the sweeping freshness of the large 
leaves until the boat is almost lost among them, 
wait till the sun wakes the lotus buds of Brahma. 
As their rose-dyed petal tips disclose the golden 
heart you will know why AUM, MANI PADME 
HUM (" Hail, Lord Creator ! the Jewel is in 
the Lotus ") is the oldest and most sacred prayer 
in India. 

High up in a hollow of the mountains which 
overlook the lotus fields of the Dal Lake is the 
Chasma Shahi, the little Garden of the Royal 
Spring. Very few of these smaller pleasure- 
grounds have survived, but the Chasma Shahi 



178 GARDENS OF THE DAL LAKE 

Bagh shows that a Mughal garden need not 
necessarily be large to prove attractive. 

The enclosure, small as it is, has all the charm 
and shows the same Mughal feeling for sensation, 
as its great rivals round the lake. The copious 
spring round which it is built bubbles up in a 
large stone vase in the hall of the upper pavilion. 
The garden in front of this building is an oblong 
of about an acre divided into two terraces. A 
stone chabutra with a shallow carved fountain 
basin, something after the fashion of those at 
Hazrat Bal, is the feature of the upper terrace. 
A tiny carved water -chute brings the narrow 
canal rippling down three feet to the second 
terrace, in the centre of which is a tank with a 
single fountain jet ; the water running on through 
another pavilion at the end of the garden. These 
buildings are characteristic Afghan structures 
on older stone foundations. Walking through 
the hall to the arched openings overlooking the 
Dal, where the wall is bounded by a black marble 
rail, a relic of Mughal times, the lower garden 
comes as a complete surprise. The narrow 
water -chute slopes sharply down eighteen or 
more feet to a second enclosure, about half the 
size of the upper garden. In the centre is 



THE CHASMA SHAHI BAGH 179 

a reservoir with five fountain jets. Round its 
edges are the outlines of a continuous flower 
parterre, and the sides of the garden are still 
filled with lilac and fruit trees. 

There is a famous old garden saying which 
may be translated : 

Morning in the Shadow of the Nishat Bagh, Evening in the 

Breezes of the Nisim, 
Shalimar and its Tulip Fields, these are the Places of 

Pleasure in Kashmir and none else. 

But I would add the little Chasma Shahi, with 
its spring, and its marvellous view, seen across 
the fragrant foreground of the lilac thicket. 



CHAPTER VIII 

SUMMER GARDENS OF KASHMIR 

But see ! The rising moon of Heav'n again 

Looks for us, Sweetheart, through the quivering plane ; 

How oft, hereafter, rising will she look 
Among those leaves for one of us in vain. 

OMAR KHAYYAM. 

LEAVING Srinagar by the Jammu route, the old 
way was by boat up stream to Islamabad. A 
whole series of ruined gardens lies scattered 
throughout its length. In most cases they mark 
the site of royal camping - grounds, built for 
the convenience of the Court on the journey to 
and from the plains ; while other gardens, like 
the ruins at Bawan, which lie off the direct 
route, were centred round a holy spring. 

The garden, the remains of which now form 
the favourite camping -ground of Bijbehara, at 
the bottom of the Lidar valley, is by far the 
most remarkable of the riverside ruins. The 
plan, more resembling that of a garden in the 

180 



THE BIJBEHARA GARDEN 181 

plains than any I have seen in Kashmir, can still 
be clearly made out by the glorious chenar 
avenues. The trees form the usual cross on a 
very extended scale, radiating from what was 
once a large tank surrounded by wide par- 
terres, with a pavilion set in the midst of the 
water. The eastern canal supplied the garden 
with a force of water drawn from the Lidar 
River, and the avenues to the north and east 
disclose vistas of the snow mountains which 
shut in this end of the Kashmir valley. The 
walls are broken down, but remains of octagonal 
towers mark their corners. There is the usual 
hummum, now in ruins, and the south avenue 
terminates in a tank and brick pavilion. Below 
this building is a long river terrace a feature 
repeated on the opposite side of the Jhelum, 
once crossed by a stone bridge ; and the origin- 
ality of the whole plan lies in its carrying out 
Shah Jahan's idea of a double garden, one on 
each side of a river. 

This was formerly known as Dara Shukoh's 
garden, but is now called the Wazir Bagh. The 
banks are steep, and the Bijbehara reach of the 
river is a beautiful one. The high balconied 
houses of the little town, and the massive forms 



182 SUMMER GARDENS OF KASHMIR 

of the chenars overhanging the stream, stand out 
grandly against the piled -up mountain back- 
ground ; and once, when the stone-edged terraces 
stepped delicately down on either hand, and the 
water from the canals fell clear over the carved 
cascades to join the swift broad Jhelum, Dara's 
garden must have had as fine a setting as any 
of those built by his father Shah Jahan. 

Dara Shukoh, it will be remembered, was 
the eldest of four brothers, and the one who 
inherited his father's artistic, splendour-loving 
temperament ; but unfortunately for himself 
and India, he failed in the more important 
quality of administrative ability. Dara, generous 
but conceited, proud of his intellectual gifts, and 
intolerant of advice or contradiction, fell an easy 
prey to the wiles of his brother Aurungzeb. In 
1659 he was finally captured and beheaded ; and 
the large mosque at Lahore was built with the 
funds derived from his confiscated estates. 

At the age of twenty he had been married 
to his cousin, the Princess Nadira, to whom he 
remained devotedly attached, and to whom he 
gave the album of Mughal miniatures which still 
goes by his name, and forms one of the chief 
treasures of the India Office library. His taste 



DARA SHUKOH'S ALBUM 183 

can be seen in this collection of illuminations 
with their rhythmic line, and perfection of 
balanced colour harmonies ; the portraits of 
the Emperors, the decorative paintings of the 
favourite Mughal flowers, and pages of dreamy 
Persian poetry, each surrounded by floral borders 
as beautifully chosen as the pictures and poems 
they enclose. Much Jhelum water has flowed 
under the old wooden bridge at Bijbehara, with the 
mulberry trees and elms sprouting from its piers, 
since Dara first built his terraced garden there on 
both sides of the stream. It is a far cry from his 
once magnificent palace at Lahore to the dark, 
sober-coloured surroundings, the solemn hush, 
and the busy scratch of pens in the great official 
London library ; but the cousins seem wonder- 
fully near, they live again as one reads the simple 
preface : " This Album was presented to his 
Dearest and Nearest Friend, the Lady Nadira, 
Begam, by Prince Mahomed Dara Shukoh, son 
of the Emperor Shah Jahan 1641." 

Islamabad, the second town in Kashmir, 
stands a few miles higher up the Jhelum from 
Bijbehara, just where the river narrows. It is 
the starting-point for the Verinag-Jummu route. 
At the foot of the hill, overlooking the town, there 



184 SUMMER GARDENS OF KASHMIR 

are numerous springs, and consequently remains 
of Mughal gardens. But only some Kashmiri 
pavilions, and the stone tanks which swarm with 
sacred carp are left. 

The direct road from Islamabad to Verinag 
Bagh, Nur-Jahan's favourite Kashmir garden, 
runs for nineteen miles across the rivers and the 
rice-fields and a very bad road it is. For the 
traffic of the country goes down the new Jhelum 
valley road by Baramulla and Domel, up over 
the Murree hill, and out to join the railway at 
Rawal Pindi. Now, if a river washes away a 
bridge or two between Islamabad and Verinag, no 
one hurries to replace it ; and the old road is 
left to the pilgrims from the plains or to stray 
travellers, such as the little company who gathered 
in the gardens at the northern foot of the Banihal 
Pass to spend, after the old fashion, the last hot 
weeks of June by the ice-cold holy spring. 

The previous autumn I had tried to reach the 
gardens and failed ; but on my second visit to 
Kashmir the journey was accomplished, and I 
and some friends arrived there at last. 

Camped under the chenars of the ruined 
garden, where the pine forest runs down a steep 
limestone spur to the tank in which the spring 



VERINAG BAGH 185 

rises, it is easy to understand the romantic 
charm of Verinag (the secret spring, the supposed 
source of the Jhelum, " the snake recoiled," as 
the literal translation runs) and the spell which 
held Jahangir and Nur-Mahal in their palace by 
the bright blue-green pool, where the largest of 
the sacred carp bore the Queen's inscriptions on 
gold rings placed through their gills. On the 
cold mountain pass above, Jahangir died ; leaving 
a last request that he might be brought back 
and buried by the spring. But as we have 
seen, his wishes were set aside; the courtiers 
no doubt were frightened by the approach of 
winter, and the danger of the passes being closed ; 
and the Court continued their journey south- 
wards, carrying the dead Emperor down to 
Lahore. 

The octagonal tank built round the spring is 
designed to form the centre of the palace build- 
ings. No omrah's house at Delhi was complete 
without its fountain court, and the same idea 
is carried out on the grandest scale for the 
Emperor's palace at Verinag. Round the reser- 
voir there are twenty-four arched recesses still 
roofed over, some containing small stairways 
'which led to the rooms above; and the few 

24 



186 SUMMER GARDENS OF KASHMIR 

carved stones of the cornice that are left show how 
fine the building must have been. The current 
rushes out through the large arched crypt on 
the north side, flowing under the chief fagade of 
the house. The stream, flashing through the 
gloom, lights up the dark arches with a flickering 
green magic like a mermaid's cave, beyond which 
lies the serene upper world of the sunlit water- 
court. 

The palace is built on a succession of small 
arches extending across the width of the first 
terrace. Only the lower story is left, the rest 
of the building having been destroyed by a fire 
a few years ago. A road and an ugly rubble wall 
shut out the terrace and turfed wooden bridges 
across the canals, and spoil the whole effect, 
which must have been most impressive when the 
palace walls formed the southern garden boundary, 
backed by the dark pines on the cliff behind the 
spring. The main canal is about twelve feet 
wide, and is crossed by a second watercourse 
running immediately under the building. The 
garden has been a large one, although it is some- 
what difficult to make out the whole plan. At 
present the first terrace is alone enclosed, but a 
broken water-chute leads to a lower level, and 



VERINAG BAGH 187 

a big hummum with stone -edged platforms 
and other buildings can be traced on the east 
side. 

For those who feel the charm of solitude in 
a beautiful setting, Verinag Bagh is still an en- 
chanting place to pass the early summer days. 
So at least we found it ; reading, writing, and 
painting under the fruit trees, or ensconced in 
latticed summer-houses built across the stream, 
where straggling Persian rose-bushes scented the 
garden with their soft pink blooms. Early every 
morning the Brahmins in charge of the spring 
came to gather the flowers to decorate their 
shrine. Later in the day, a school of small boys 
were usually busy at work in the shade of a large 
chenar, or were drawn up in line for a diving 
lesson, learning to swim with merry splashings 
in the clear, fast-flowing stream. 

At noon even the shady garden grows too 
hot ; and then the alcoves round the tank prove 
a welcome refuge, the icy water making the tem- 
perature of the surrounding court some degrees 
cooler than elsewhere. From the curiously vivid 
green depths of the tank an emerald flash lights 
up a polished black marble slab let into the walls, 
revealing Jahangir's inscription : " The King 



188 SUMMER GARDENS OF KASHMIR 

raised this building to the skies : the angel Gabriel 
suggested its date 1609." The mason's tablet 
on the west side, erected seven years later, on 
the completion of the work, runs : " God be 
praised ! What a canal and what a waterfall ! 
Constructed by Haider, by order of the King 
of the World, the Paramount Lord of his Age, 
this canal is a type of the canal in the Paradise, 
this waterfall is the glory of Kashmir." Brave 
words these, but no doubts troubled Haider a 
master-builder sure of his patron and his own 
skill. A Hindu shrine is set up in one of the 
arches where the marigolds and rosebuds wreath 
the drab plaster walls. Pink indigo bushes and 
lilac wild -flowers flourish on the earthen roofs, 
and grow between the grey cornice stones; 
behind which the giant poplars whisper rest- 
lessly in the lightest breeze ; while over the close, 
delicate, northern harmonies the pine woods 
brood sombre and remote. Then with a sudden 
burst of sound and colour, a band of newly- 
arrived pilgrims flock in to make their puja at 
the shrine. The sacred fish are fed, roses are 
flung into the reservoir, the pradakshina is per- 
formed. Three times round the tank they go 
in their saffron, mauve, and marigold robes, and 



THE AMARNATH PILGRIMS 189 

the water glitters bright with all the brilliance of 
the hot southern plains. 

Two days the summer pilgrims rest at Verinag, 
below the mountain pass. Then they toil on 
to Achibal, over the stony Sandrin river-bed, and 
up the rugged hill behind Shahabad, which is 
covered in the early summer with creamy peonies 
and the lovely Kashmir rose; the wild rose 
resembling masses of bright pink gorse so close 
the flowers, so prickly their stems. The temple 
of Martand, on the plateau above Islamabad, 
is the third place of pilgrimage ; the splendid 
ruin through whose colonnade the ninety miles 
of valley can be seen. To the north, at the 
foot of the Martand plateau, is Bawan ; and far 
up, near the glaciers at the head of the Lidar 
River, lies Amarnath Cave, with its frozen spring 
representing Siva the Preserver. This is the 
goal of the pilgrimage, the whole object of all 
these weary months of marching. Here the 
poorer pilgrims turn homewards; and they are 
nearly all poor, these travellers by the old 
Jummu way. So they rarely journey farther 
down the main Kashmir valley, or see Srinagar, 
with its water-streets, its curiously carved shops 
and houses, its Imperial lake-side gardens, and 



190 SUMMER GARDENS OF KASHMIR 

its new well -laid roads. The same remark 
applies to quite another class of pilgrim, who, 
entering the valley at the opposite end, race up 
to Gulmarg ; and all that many of these pilgrims 
see of Kashmir is the forest, the faint glistening 
mountains of the Indus, and the smooth, green 
bowl-shaped meadow at their feet, where round 
and round the links they go, pursuing the British 
god of games. 

Bernier went to Achibal along the pilgrims' 
way. " Returning from Send-bray (Bawan) I 
turned a little from the high road for the sake of 
visiting Achiavel (Achibal), formerly a country 
house of the Kings of Kashemire and now of the 
Great Mogol. What principally constitutes the 
beauty of this place is a fountain, whose waters 
disperse themselves into a hundred canals round 
the house, which is by no means unseemly, and 
throughout the gardens. The spring gushes out 
of the earth with violence, as if it issued from 
the bottom of some well, and the water is so 
abundant that it ought rather to be called a 
river than a fountain. It is excellent water, 
and as cold as ice. The garden is very handsome, 
laid out in regular walks, and full of fruit trees 
apple, pear, plum, apricot, and cherry. Jets 



AN IDEAL SITE 191 

d'eau in various forms and fish ponds are in 
great number, and there is a lofty cascade which 
in its fall takes the form and colour of a large 
sheet, thirty or forty paces in length, producing 
the finest effect imaginable ; especially at night, 
when innumerable lamps, fixed in parts of the 
wall adapted for that purpose, are lighted under 
this sheet of water." 

As in the case of nearly all these Kashmir 
gardens, the lowest terrace is destroyed by the 
highway, and Achibal Bagh is much smaller than 
it was in Mughal days. But nothing can spoil 
the natural loveliness of this river, gushing out 
of the honeycombed limestone cliff, just at the 
point where the mountains intrude farthest on 
the plains. It is an ideal site. If I were asked 
where the most perfect modern garden on a 
medium scale could be devised, I should answer 
without hesitation, Achibal. Nowhere else have 
I seen such possibilities for the combined 
appeal of a stately stone - bordered pleasance 
between ordered avenues of full-grown trees, 
and a natural rock and woodland upper garden 
with haunting, far-reaching views, where the white 
wild roses foam over the firs and the boulders, 
rivalling the " sheet of water " Bernier praised. 



192 SUMMER GARDENS OF KASHMIR 

The garden, which had fallen into decay, was 
re-enclosed on a smaller scale by Gulab Singh, 
the grandfather of the present Maharaja of 
Kashmir. Opening out of the south wall there 
is a large harem building, with a Mughal hummum 
and a swimming tank for the ladies in the centre 
of the square. 

The actual pavilion through which the 
spring bursts out is broken down, and all that 
remains is an arched recess, a ruined portal 
set against the side of the cliff. One would 
give much to see in what manner the great rush 
of water was first confined and utilised. On 
either side of the reservoir into which it falls is 
a stone-edged chabutra shaded by big chenars. 
There are several Kashmiri pavilions built on 
the Mughal stone foundations ; delightful little 
structures with their cream plaster walls and rich 
brown cedar woodwork, their airy latticed win- 
dows and their carved flower-bell corbels. They 
are neither as elaborate nor so fine as the older 
work of the same class scattered up and down 
the country; but they are beautiful and useful 
none the less, and represent a national living art, 
which the builders of the Srinagar villas and the 
pine huts of Gulmarg might with advantage 



ACHIBAL BAGH 



193 



make more use of than they do. In many out- 
of-the-way villages the old tradition lives, and the 




j :" i: 

ACHIBAL BAGH (plan of the two remaining terraces). 

head man's new house springs up adorned with 
rough but tasteful plaster-work and the cunning 

25 



194 SUMMER GARDENS OF KASHMIR 

carving of an older day. One reads therefore, with 
something more than astonishment, the Report 
written only five years ago, which, in its archaeo- 
logical zeal for Mughal work, recommended that 
the Kashmiri pavilions should be pulled down 
to the level of the underlying stone, not on 
account of their ugliness or want of utility, but 
merely because they were not Mughal ! Surely 
this is a short-sighted and unhistorical view. 
The antiquarian spirit in India is a pious one; 
but without a sense of proportion, a study of 
the life of the people, and aesthetic enthusiasms, 
it will have no force or driving power. Mean- 
while the clever carvers of Srinagar spend their 
time on hideous, over - elaborated travesties of 
European furniture, tortured tea-tables, and un- 
comfortable chairs, not that they have forgotten 
the larger and bolder work so suited to their 
style, with its balconies and the flower -bell 
ends, but for the simple reason that nobody 
nowadays wants such things. The Delhi Durbar 
showed what Kashmir workmen well inspired 
could do. The gateway of their Maharaja's 
camp was perhaps not very happy a stone 
temple design carried out in wood but the high 
pierced and carved railing on either side of it 



GARDEN PAVILIONS 195 

was one of the most beautiful and satisfactory 
examples of modern Indian craftsmanship. 

An Indian garden where each baradari in its 
turn is as purposeful as it is decorative, should 
not only be looked at, but should be lived in 
to realise its charms. At Achibal the summer- 
house set in the tank just beneath the waterfall 
is planned for the noontide rest, lulled by the 
sound of the cascade, cooled by the driving 
spray. As the shadows lengthen, carpets are 
spread on the chabutras under the huge chenars, 
and towards sunset the upper pavilions near the 
spring are used. Seen from the forest walks above 
the light on the submerged rice-fields turns the 
valley into a golden sea, on whose southern shores 
rise the peaks of the Pir Panjal, like giant 
castles, with the long, monsoon cloud pennants 
streaming from their towers. At night, from 
the gallery of the large pavilion the garden shows 
a vague, mysterious form ; marked out by the 
shapes of the dark chenars, the grey glimmer 
where the cascade foams, and the reflections of 
the stars in the pools. 

Old histories and stories haunt the garden : 
of Jahangir and his Nur-Mahal, and Majnum and 
Laila claim this Paradise again he in his hopeful 



196 SUMMER GARDENS OF KASHMIR 

cypress shape, she on her rose-bush mound. 
For Moslem garden-craft, like Mughal painting, 
is full of symbolism, and rich with all the sensuous 
charm and dreaminess of the old Persian tales ; 
and the story of Laila and Majnum, the faithful 
lovers who only saw each other twice on earth, 
is most frequently memorialised in the garden. 
Two low-growing fruit trees, such as a lemon 
and citron, or a lemon and orange tree, planted 
in the midst of a parterre of flowers, are the 
lovers happy in Paradise ; the same idea is 
also illustrated by two cypresses, or the so- 
called male and female date palms, which are 
generally planted in pairs. The design of the 
double flower-beds in which the two symbolic 
trees were planted can be seen in the brick 
parterre at Lahore and in those of the Taj. 
Majnum's sad, earthly symbol is the weeping- 
willow (baide majnum), whose Laila, the water 
lily, grows just beyond his reach. Two cypress 
trees are frequently grown as their emblems, 
and the prettiest and quaintest emblem of all 
is Laila on her camel litter, a rose-bush on a 
little mound. Dark purple violets mean the 
gloss and perfume of her blue-black hair, saman 
(jasmine, which also means a foaming stream) 



MOSLEM GARDEN SYMBOLISM 197 

is Laila's round white throat, " cypress-slender " 
is her waist, tulips and roses are her lips and 
cheeks, and the fringed, starred narcissus her 
eyes. There are other garden legends more 
difficult to discover, and traditional ways of 
memorialising well-known verses by the planting 
and arrangement of the trees. But the old craft 
is dying for want of encouragement, and we must 
be quick if we would secure its secrets. 

Green, white, and brown are June colours 
at Achibal, for the garden itself has few flowers, 
though some of the old orchard trees have been 
spared ; and in autumn the quince trees weave 
a spell of their own when the gnarled boughs 
droop over the water with their burden of pale 
yellow balls. To plant fruit trees close up to 
the edges of the reservoirs was a favourite 
custom. And a very pretty one it was. Nothing 
was more tiresome in the English garden of the 
last century than the sham gentility which spoke 
of " ornamental trees " as if they must be 
necessarily useless ones, and banished the apple, 
plum, and pear trees to the distant kitchen garden 
regions. Well, that is past now, and thanks 
chiefly to Japan, the orchard is again in favour. 
But we might have been reminded of its beauties 



198 SUMMER GARDENS OF KASHMIR 

long ere this, for every Indian garden was once 
full of fruit trees ; Moslem and Hindu artists 
never tire of their symbolic contrast with the 
cypress ; and Babar noted long ago : " One 
apple tree had been in excellent bearing. On 
some branches five or six scattered leaves still 
remained, and exhibited a beauty which the 
painter, with all his skill, might attempt in vain 
to portray." 



CHAPTER IX 

PINJOR AN INDIAN COUNTRY-HOUSE 
AND ITS GARDEN 

Alas that Spring should vanish with the Rose ! 

That Youth's sweet-scented Manuscript should close ! 

The Nightingale that in the bushes sang, 
Ah, whence, and whither flown again, who knows ! 

OMAR KHAYYAM. 

THE Mughal gardens of the plains are sad for 
want of flowers ; the terraced gardens of the 
Dal have lost in part their original character ; 
the gardens of the Kashmir springs are but 
shadows of their former loveliness : but Pinjor, 
the great garden made by Fadai Khan at the 
holy spring of Panchpura, still serves its purpose 
practically unchanged since Fadai first built 
this Indian country-house and its garden. 

As at other famous springs, each religion in 
its turn has left its mark at Pinjor. There are 
many fragments of ancient Sanskrit inscriptions 
there, and Abu Rehan mentions its existence in 

199 



200 PINJOR 

1030. The old name, Panchpura the town of 
the five is locally believed to be derived from 
the Pandavas, the five brothers, heroes of the 
Mahabharata. The legend says that these 
wooded hills formed the background to the 
closing scene of the great epic drama, and this 
Eastern Iliad rings with a strange new reality 
retold in this corner of the Himalayan foot-hills, 
where time has little meaning and the charm of 
leisure still survives the contact with the restless 
West. Here in the old Mughal palace of Pin j or, 
perched high above the splashing waterfalls, the 
sound of some far-off train alone brings back the 
passing of the centuries. 

The Mahabharata tells the famous story of 
the contest between the sons of Dhritarashtra 
and of his brother Pandu for the right to rule 
over the northern part of India. The cousins 
had quarrelled, and a game of dice was to bind 
the losers to relinquish their share of the kingdom. 
The Pandavas, sons of Pandu, lost. It had been 
agreed, though, that if the losers passed twelve 
years in the forests, and another so disguised as 
to escape detection, they should then be free to 
come back and claim half the kingdom as their 
share. The Pandavas kept their promise ; but 



THE PANDA VAS 201 

when their banishment was over, the Kauravas, 
their wicked cousins, would not keep their word. 
A heroic war ensued. The fight raged fiercely 
up and down over the plains of Panipat, the 
battle-ground of India even in this mythic 
period. The five Pandava brothers won, beating 
the hundred sons of Dhritarashtra, and all the 
country from Pinjor to Delhi became part of 
their newly-recovered kingdom. 

It takes eighteen books to tell the epic of the 
Pandavas, so numerous are the interwoven tales. 
But where the brothers hid for the twelve years 
before their final victory is not revealed. Local 
tradition, however, fills in these intervening 
years, and tells how the five brothers first found 
the spring, and took refuge there during their 
banishment. Then after victory, and many 
years of empire, they renounced their worldly 
conquests, and undertook a pilgrimage to the 
sacred Himalayas. When passing through their 
ancient haunts at Pinjor, four of the brothers, 
worn out by wars and journey ings, settled there. 
Only the eldest brother, Yudisthara, travelled 
on towards the snows of holy Himalaya and 
Mount Meru. He won his way through at last, 
but scornfully refused to enter a Paradise from 



202 PINJOR 

which his faithful dog, who had followed him, 
was barred. 

A gap of many years lies between this mythical 
history and a time so recent as the seventeenth 
century, when the great Mughal gardens were 
built at Pin j or. Their builder, the celebrated 
Fadai Khan, under whose direction the Imperial 
Mosque at Lahore was also constructed, was, it 
will be remembered, the foster-brother of the 
Emperor Aurungzeb, one of the few omrahs of 
the Mughal Court whom the crafty Emperor 
really favoured. He made Fadai the governor 
of this district, then as now noted for its forests 
full of game. Here the new governor evidently 
grasped the possibilities of the Pinjor spring, and, 
with the artistic instinct of his age, planned a 
great terraced garden, so situated as to embrace 
wide views over the lower woodlands to the plains 
beyond ; a garden through which the spring might 
flow with the never-ending music of its water- 
falls and fountains. Only the scorching summer 
of the dusty, burning plains can teach the joy 
and full possibilities of water. To Indians of 
every creed water is an almost sacred thing, and 
all springs are holy. Here in the Khan's own 
province of Pinjor was water; not the muddy 



THE DISCOMFITURE OF FADAI KHAN 203 

yellow of the great Punjab rivers, nor the still 
green slime of the city tanks, but clear bubbling 
springs, together with sloping ground, a moderate 
climate, and every opportunity for a great garden. 
It is easy to imagine Fadai Khan's delight, and 
the haste with which he started planning his 
new country palace. But the neighbouring hill 
Rajas watched the work with dismay, for they 
dreaded the coming of the Mughal Court; and 
feared still more to lose the use of the precious 
water which irrigated the surrounding country. 

A quaint story still survives, how, when at 
length the work was finished, and Fadai came 
in state to spend his first summer there, his 
enjoyment of the garden and its beauties was 
short-lived; for the Rajas quickly frightened 
him away. In the districts round Pinjor, and 
in fact all along the foot of the Himalayas, 
occasional cases of goitre are to be seen ; so 
from far and wide these poor people were collected 
by the wily Brahmins, and produced as the 
ordinary inhabitants of the place. The gardeners 
all suffered from goitre ; every coolie had this 
dreadful complaint ; even the countrywomen 
carrying up the big flat baskets of fruits and 
flowers to the zenana terraces were equally dis- 



204 PINJOR 

figured. The ladies of the harem naturally were 
horrified ; it was bad enough to be brought 
into these wild outlandish jungles, without this 
new and added terror. For the poor coolie 
women, well instructed beforehand, had told 
how the air and water of Pinjor caused this 
disease, which no one who lived there long ever 
escaped. A panic reigned in the zenana ; its 
inmates implored to be removed at once from 
such a danger ; and finally, Fadai Khan had to 
give way, and take his ladies to some other 
place less threatening to their beauty. Had it 
been the terrible Emperor himself instead of his 
foster-brother, the cunning Rajas would have 
met their match. But Fadai Khan, thoroughly 
deceived, rarely came back to visit his lovely 
gardens, and the Rajas and their fields were 
left in peace for a time. 

With the eighteenth century, and the breaking 
up of the Mughal Empire, the Gurkas rose to 
power, and " came upon the hill people," as it 
was graphically described to me. Much more 
tiresome neighbours these, even than the Mughal 
omrahs, with their raids and plunderings over all 
the country round. No tricks would stop these 
hardy little men from taking what they wanted ; 



ON THE ROAD TO THE HILLS 205 

and this time the Rajas of the district turned to 
the growing British Government for protection. 
But the hill Rajas, being poor, had only forest- 
land to offer in exchange for the necessary guns 
and soldiers; while the English were then too 
fully occupied with troubles of their own to wish 
for more territory, or to look with favour on the 
undertaking of fresh responsibilities. At length, 
in 1769, after a desperate siege, the Sikhs of 
Patiala drove the Gurkas away, and at the final 
settlement Pinjor fell to their share. At the 
present time the little town, the great fortified 
garden, and the forests for many miles up into 
the hills, remain an outlying portion of Patiala 
State. 

Fadai Khan's garden lies close to the main 
road leading from Umballa up to Simla; the 
long straight road, slowly rising from the plains, 
here turning sharply round the upper garden- wall. 
So once again, before the days of railways, 
Pinjor gardens were a gay place. Successive 
Viceroys made a point of resting there to enjoy 
the cool shade and running water, as they passed 
on their leisurely progress to their summer in 
the hills. But once more the times change, and 
with the change the train now rushes through 



206 PINJOR 

to Kalka. Every one hurries on to his journey's 
end up in the mountains, and few know of the 
charming old garden they are passing, hidden 
in its dark mango groves, only a few miles away. 
Pin j or, to others the place of the " five 
brothers," will always mean to me the Garden 
of Butterflies, as I saw it first in the closing days 
of a brilliant Indian October. Clouds of butter- 
flies there were, hovering over the wild tangle of 
zinnias and marigolds, rising round the passer- 
by with a soft bewildering flutter, and filling 
all the sombre lower garden with their flecks of 
golden light ; for most of them were golden 
brown like their favourite flowers, the marigolds. 
There were large brown butterflies with black 
veins, and golden brown ones with spotted 
markings ; big black swallow-tails, with a sulphur 
band across their lower wings ; and gay white 
butterflies streaked with black, and painted on 
their outer side with bars of red and yellow. One 
was a curious, soft dull brown, like some huge 
daylight moth which had been tempted out 
from under the deep shade of the mango trees 
to join its bright companions in the sunshine. 
Many tiny creatures fluttered by too restlessly 
to show their real colours ; but the prettiest 



OLD SHRINES AT PINJOR 207 

of all were the large pale blue butterflies, their 
wings veined with a delicate tracery of black. 

Driving down the road from Kalka to the 
gardens, the highway runs through Pinjor 
village, where mounds and the ruins of many 
buildings prove that the place must once have been 
much larger. Many ancient tanks, with their 
steps worn by a thousand years of pilgrimage, 
are built round the springs that rise here in 
such numbers. One of these sacred bathing- 
places has been roofed in, and the remaining 
pillars and great stone lintels recall the seventh- 
century temples of Kashmir. Various old temples, 
much defaced and modernised, are still to be 
seen ; also a newer Sikh shrine and a Moham- 
medan mosque. In this Brahmin village the 
last appears a sad, deserted-looking building, 
with its high blank wall facing towards Mecca, 
on which can yet be traced a graceful floral 
painting of more prosperous days. It is some- 
what surprising to find on the opposite side 
of the road a large masonry tank, adorned 
with many ornamental fountains, in the Mughal 
garden style, clearly, like the mosque, a relic of 
the older Badshahi. Who knows who built it ? 
Perhaps Fadai Khan, while he was making his 



208 PINJOR 

new garden palace, in a fruitless effort to please 
his disagreeable neighbours. 

A hundred yards below the village the road to 
the gardens turns off over a little bridge. It 
must be confessed that the approach is tame 
and disappointing compared with that of the 
great Kashmir gardens or the royal gardens of 
the plains. Outside the walls, an open space 
with a round grass plot and some meaningless 
small flower-beds spoils the effect an unhappy 
reminder of the usual Anglo-Indian garden with 
its drive and " gravel sweep," so beloved of 
landscape-gardening days. My heart sank as I 
drove through it, and I prepared myself for dis- 
appointment at Pinjor. But the huge wall with 
its fine arched gateway was reassuring, and 
masses of purple bougainvillaea fell in brilliant 
festoons of welcome over the glittering white- 
washed surface of the entrance buildings. 

Through the main gateway the path leads 
on to a square stone platform, raised five steps 
above the garden and ornamented on three 
sides with seats built into the low brick and 
plaster wall. Here two fine old mango trees 
with spreading gnarled arms cast a dense shade 
even in the hot morning sunshine; and at the 



PLATE XXX. 








* 





. 



FLOWERS AND BUTTERFLIES. 
(From Dara Shukoh's Album in the India Office Library.} 



A FOUNTAIN VASE 209 

level of the platform broad walks lead off, left 
and right, under the high castellated walls to 
the corner towers. Below stretches the first 
terrace of the upper garden ; for at Pinjor the 
usual Mughal plan is reversed, and the principal 
entrance faces down instead of up the main 
canal. 

Beneath the seat on the platform, which juts 
out slightly above the stream, the spring rises 
through a great stone vase, over the edges of 
which the water pours in a smooth, glistening 
circle, and runs merrily away to fill the long 
canal with dancing ripples ; and on this terrace 
no other fountains break the surface of the 
stream. How much these old gardens could 
tell us, did we but choose to pause and listen, 
of the true love of beauty which inspired their 
makers. 

Seen from the shady seat under the mango 
trees, the spring becomes a magic water mirror, 
within whose dark green depths the whole 
history of the garden passes : Fadai Khan and 
his frightened ladies ; the cunning Rajputs 
of the hills who drove him out ; Gurka raiders 
rushing in in search of plunder, to find only 
an empty palace and deserted garden ; fierce 

27 



210 PINJOR 

Sikh warriors, their long hair twisted under 
gorgeous turbans, crowding round their Maharaja 
on his first inspection of his new possessions 
there ; then English faces, white and tired, but 
brightening with delight at the garden's brilliant 
beauty. The water pictures grow fainter, their 
colours become blurred ; but few strangers pass, 
and they only stragglers from the convoys march- 
ing down from the hills ; native servants carrying 
big bundles, still, like all the poorer Indians, 
with a lingering interest in the beauty of old 
times. They stand on the little platform 
fascinated by the mystery of the spring. Long 
green wreaths shine in the depths of the water, 
coiling like seaweeds round and round. Suddenly, 
the water rising in a swirl, one darker coil flashes 
over the edge of the fountain and is gone. What 
was it ? A tangle of dark green weeds floating 
up ? The Indians would smile at such Sahib- 
log's ignorance, for have they not seen for 
themselves ? It is Naga, the Elder of ALL, the 
Snake of the Ancient Kings, come back to claim 
the half-deserted garden as his own. 

The spell breaks, however, as, at the garden's 
entrance, a hideous little lamp-post catches the 
eye ; and the graceful old baradari built across 



THE FIRST TERRACE 211 

the stream, with its curved roof and small side 
domes, is seen to be disfigured by an ugly verandah 
of corrugated iron. 

Only a few big cypresses remain of the original 
avenues that led up to the garden-house. But 
close by the water, roses, jasmine, and palms 
still flourish, framing with their bright colours 
and green luxuriance, deepened in their soft 
reflections, a typical and charming picture. 

Behind the cypress trees, stone edgings show 
where long parterres of flowers once made a 
blaze of colour, while large chabutras shaded by 
mango trees form the centre of the design on 
each side. 

Flanking the white baradari, fragments of 
a wall remain, through which doors open on to 
the second terrace. This was the purdah garden 
for the ladies, and must have been shut out by 
high walls from the more public garden of the 
main entrance; where once for a short time 
Fadai Khan held his Court, and all the local 
business of the district was transacted. This 
second terrace is a hundred yards wide, and 
of the same length as the upper one, about 
one hundred and sixty yards. The water 
running beneath the white pavilion falls over a 



212 PINJOR 

projecting ledge, below which the wall is decor- 
ated with many rows of small carved alcoves, 
used for lights. 

At dusk on fete days these old Indian gardens 
have an added charm and fascination. Here, 
when the little earthen lamps are lit, they twinkle 
through the shining falls of water like green 
glow-worms ; while the rosy warmth of lights 
within the white pavilion gives the illusion of 
some huge transparent shell, poised above the 
waterfall, its curving back showing dimly against 
the twilight sky and the darker blue of the 
mountains beyond. 

Decorative lighting is a minor art that still 
lingers in India. At the last Imperial Durbar 
at Delhi one of the most pleasing features from 
an artistic point of view was the really fine use 
made of electricity for illuminations on a large 
scale. This was particularly noticeable in the 
Indian camps, some, belonging to the greater 
princes, glowing each night with fairy-like 
festoons, beautiful in colour and design ; for 
once, a Western innovation well applied, helping 
to carry out a scheme of Eastern art. Beauty 
on this scale requires, of course, great wealth ; 
but the little lamps might still be lighted under 



ANGLO-INDIAN LANDSCAPE GARDENING 213 

the waterfalls ; and many other forms of Indian 
garden-craft revived in the country of their 
origin, where now they pass almost unnoticed. 

The purdah garden at Pinjor and the terrace 
above it both illustrate the present indifference 
to the art of garden-design in India, and its de- 
cadence. For here, as I was informed, a " trained 
gardener " from Saharanpur College had been 
in charge for a time the maker, I promptly 
guessed, of the approach outside. Inside, his 
handiwork was plainly to be seen. There were 
winding paths ; the usual unmeaning little flower- 
beds dotted about ; the same attempt at mown 
grass everywhere, instead of having a little 
laid down quite formally, and keeping that little 
perfect, like some square of precious emerald 
green carpet, such as the " grass plots all covered 
with clover " in which the Emperor Babar took 
so great a delight. There was even a tumble- 
down greenhouse that had been built over one 
of the old chabutras. Happily the gardener had 
departed some time ago, and the grass and trees 
were rapidly returning to their former wild 
luxuriance. 

A very just remark was made to me by an 
Indian gentleman discussing this matter : " You 



214 PINJOR 

English can grow plants and flowers to perfection, 
and many that we never knew to exist before. 
But why can't you design a garden to grow them 
in ? Look at the gardens our kings and princes 
made before you came." 

It was true enough of modern India, but I 
could not let the remark pass altogether un- 
challenged. So I replied that, at Hampton 
Court, the King-Emperor himself possessed at 
least one fine example ; and that many other 
lovely gardens were scattered up and down 
our land. But the attempt was useless I 
could see he disbelieved me ; for had he not 
been a great traveller ? Never had he seen 
in all India such a thing as a well-designed 
English garden, beautiful though their flowers 
might be, and so to his mind such a thing simply 
could not exist ; which settled the matter to his 
satisfaction, if not to mine. 

We were standing while we talked under the 
great wide archways of the palace bounding 
the harem garden on its western side for 
Pinjor was a country-house as well as a garden, 
and needed more accommodation than that 
afforded by the slighter baradaris in gardens 
near a city, to which the family or Court might 



A GARDEN BURJ 215 

go to celebrate some special festival, or to spend 
two or three days of relaxation. Being far away 
from forts and walled cities, the garden had to 
be built for defence as well as for pleasure, and 
the defences of this garden are on a very consider- 
able scale. An outer enclosure commanding 
the high-road was dismantled in 1793, but the 
two upper gardens are still surrounded on three 
sides by great walls, loopholed and crenellated, 
with bastions at intervals, and having octagonal 
towers at the corners, while on the fourth side 
there is a retaining wall with a sheer drop of 
thirty or forty feet to the terrace below. 

Early one morning, climbing up through 
what, on the garden side, appeared to be only an 
ornamental summer-house, I found that the 
stairway led out on the top of a strong octagonal 
burj. This tower on its southern side faced the 
long road to Umballa, commanding the direct 
route up from the plains. The masonry at its 
foot sloped sharply down into a moat, at the far 
side of which the road, abruptly turning, dis- 
appeared behind trees. The blue foot-hills 
quivered in the rapidly increasing morning heat. 
Far off, from somewhere down in the ravine, 
through which the road at length found its way 



216 PINJOR 

to the level plains, came the murmur of the river 
rolling over its stony bed. Presently a tramping 
sound, with the rattle of jingling harness, came 
from the road behind me, and a brisk Cockney 
voice sang out, " Come on, Nur-i-Din, can't you ; 
you chalao (hurry up) with the maachees there ! " 

Round the corner a little company of soldiers 
swung into view, coming from the direction of 
the village. Shuffling after them along the 
dusty road came an old native, his turban flying 
distractedly in the morning breeze, holding out 
as he ran the coveted box of matches purchased 
from the little bazaar through which they had 
just marched. 

The impatient speaker, filling his pipe, sat on 
the back of a cart piled high with luggage ; other 
Tommies walked along in twos and threes, 
whistling gay little snatches of song, their round, 
good-natured faces sunburnt and cheerful. The 
cool morning air and wild country round them 
raised their spirits ; but what probably pleased 
them more was the fact that they were returning 
to their station in the plains, to their own big 
barracks, to their football and their hockey. 
Even the gaiety of band nights in the local 
gardens was not to be despised after a long wet 



PLATE XXXI. 




Lahore Muse 
AN EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY GARDEN. 



PASSERS-BY 217 

summer in the hills, where maybe they had been 
quartered in dripping tents, at some lonely 
station, with little level space for games. It 
was a quaint surprise to see suddenly below me 
all those English faces, when for days I had 
been out of sight or reach of any European. 

I think it was the big white bulldog that 
first noticed me. There he sat in the cart, care- 
fully balancing himself on the top of a huge pile 
of miscellaneous objects, giving an air of immense 
dignity and importance to the whole procession. 
He was a nice dog, but his one pink eye and 
short disdainful nose were turned on me at once 
with evident disapproval. " What was I doing 
there ? " he seemed to say. " Not at all the 
sort of place to find a white muslin frock and 
gay parasol. What could my occupation be ? " 
Had he known, I fear it would hardly have 
improved matters. Being military, he would 
naturally look on art with suspicion : art such 
a queer thing to interest any one ; and who 
could wish to stay and paint in an old Mughal 
bagh ? If it were sport, now, that kept me 
there, he would have understood of course ; or 
an interest in natural history would have been 
easily understandable, for the study of the 



218 PINJOR 

Chua was his own great delight chiefly on 
account of Chua's foolish habit of running 
round the rooms at night, squeaking with terror 
because (the stupid little mouse) he never had 
the courage to escape across the open floor. As 
it was, the nice white bulldog passed on dis- 
approving. 

A little farther down the road one of the 
soldiers caught sight of me, and calling the 
attention of his comrades, they halted, blank 
surprise overspreading their cheery faces, 
astonished at the sudden vision of a country- 
woman of their own perched up in the corner 
tower of an old Indian fortified garden, away 
here in the jungle. But the cart rattled on, and 
seeming reassured that I was in no need of 
immediate rescue, they hurried after it. Every 
now and then, as they vanished into tiny specks 
down the long white road, one or the other would 
turn round, looking to see if the sunshade had 
disappeared. Clearly they were puzzled. 

The sun grew hotter, making me realise that 
here even in October a morning in the garden 
must necessarily be short. Reluctantly, I turned 
to leave my burj with its lovely views and 
started down the narrow stairway. Where the 



THE RANG MAHAL 219 

steps turned in the darkness of the building, my 
attention was attracted by a cupboard door, 
curiously carved. As I touched it the hinge 
gave way, and the little door, falling back, 
revealed three old kettledrums. Above them in 
a tiny niche stood a blackened earthenware 
lamp and fresh offerings of flowers, marigolds and 
the bright purple of bougainvillaea petals. What 
were they doing here, and who had placed them 
in this apparently deserted spot ? Had they 
been offered to some presiding deity of the 
garden, or to the war drums relics of a splendid 
past ? Or was it only the ancient Nag-worship, 
the Water-snake of the Spring, defying all the 
centuries ? Like the soldiers, I too went away 
puzzled. 

When Fadai Khan built his towering Rang 
Mahal (the Painted Palace) he must at least, 
so one would judge from its size, have meant to 
spend some time there, possibly all the summer 
months. This building is the largest in the 
garden, and is beautifully placed on the wall 
dividing the upper garden, with its two enclosures, 
from the larger garden below. 

Like most Indian palaces, the actual closed-in 
space is small, for the wide, terraced roof-top 



220 PINJOR 

was always rightly held to be the best room of 
the house. Below, there is a great open hall, 
under which runs the main stream, so that the 
floor space is not divided, as it is in many earlier 
garden houses. Large rooms close in the hall at 
each end, and on either side a narrow stair winds 
upwards to the roof terrace and the ladies' 
quarters. Here, on arriving, I found that rooms 
had been prepared for me. It was an enchanting 
place. Small wonder that Indian ladies feel 
little wish to wander in the outer world when 
from their purdah windows they have views like 
these. The rooms I used opened directly on 
to the platform of the main roof, the smallest of 
them, to my joy, still retaining the original 
decoration. In the lower apartments, time and 
a growing want of taste had quite destroyed all 
trace of the painting from which the palace 
takes its name. But this charming little room 
had escaped. The walls were white, plastered 
with the old highly-polished chanam ; and the 
delicate designs, half painted and half moulded, 
brought back to mind the marble inlaid work 
of Agra and Delhi. The Kashmir lacquer of 
the ceiling shone fresh as ever in spite of the 
three centuries that had passed since Fadai 



AN INDIAN WEDDING 221 

Khan's ladies fled in terror from their newly built 
palace. The little room was perfect; even the 
old doors were there, the woodwork painted with 
bouquets of flowers in vases always a favourite 
Mughal design against a dull green background. 
The soft west wind blew through the many 
windows all day long, and being nearly a hundred 
feet above the great lower garden, these rooms 
were free from mosquitoes and the deadly malaria 
which their bite so often brings. 

Far below, all the garden seemed asleep in 
the warm noonday haze. On a square of carpet, 
carefully spread in the shade beside the water, 
sat the head gardener and some friends. An 
important person at all times, just now, on 
his return from the wedding of the Maharaja's 
last new wife, he was very much to be cultivated. 
There had been great doings at the capital of 
the State marriage processions that took hours 
to pass through the narrow crowded streets, and 
much feeding of the poor. All night long the 
tom-toms had throbbed in a rising wave of sound, 
broken only by the roar of cannon and the up- 
rushing hiss and splutter of fireworks. Weeks 
of festivities sustained the excitement in that 
curious riot of noise and colour, that fantastic 



222 PINJOR 

pandemonium of real artistic beauty and quaintest 
tawdriness, that form the traditional wedding 
splendours dear to Indian hearts. But even this 
engrossing subject must have palled at last, and 
the listeners dozed over the gardener's best silver 
hookah which stood in their midst. 

There was hardly a coolie to be seen in the 
little plots of ground fringed round by the smooth, 
gently- waving banana leaves, where the zemindars 
work so busily every morning and evening. 
The birds were all asleep, or else the roar of the 
waterfalls drowned their various calls. Only 
the butterflies and fountains seemed alive, 
dancing points of gold and silver. 

The sun was still high, but the deep shadows 
of the mango trees looked cool and mysterious, 
tempting further exploration. Half-way below 
the main pavilion a masonry platform projected 
into the garden, in the centre of which was a 
large bathing-tank. The water running under 
the hall above fell to the level of the tank, and 
thence flowed away down a carved stone slope. 

From the terrace of the main pavilion the 
steps led down through the thickness of the 
fortified wall till they came out on the level of 
the bathing -tank, and continued in a second 



GARDEN STAIRWAYS 223 

flight protected by a low rail of plastered brick- 
work. Here, for the first time in a Mughal 
garden, I was vaguely reminded of the vast 
stairways of Italian garden architecture those 
superb flights of steps and balustrades that lend 
so much character and beauty to the gardens 
made by the Cardinals and Princes of the seven- 
teenth century. Pinjor, too the last, so far 
as I know, of the great Mughal gardens was 
built in this same century. Perhaps even here 
the coming European influence was faintly felt ; 
or it may have been only an accidental treatment, 
caused by the site and natural drop in the 
ground. 

It is remarkable that so little ornamental use 
is made of steps in Indian gardens in general. 
The Mughal garden stairways are nearly all 
re-entrant and wind up through the thickness 
of the terrace walls a wise plan obviously for 
hot countries ; but even in the open the steps are 
steep and clumsy, their only ornament being the 
favourite leaf pattern cut on the upper edge of 
each rise, and in more modern work even this 
decoration is absent. 

The lower garden was large, about two 
hundred and eighty yards wide by three hundred 



224 PINJOR 

and fifty yards in length, and built on the usual 
plan with two great gateways in the side walls 
and one at the far end. The latter was smaller, 
and intended more to complete the design than 
for any use it served. 

On the second terrace in the middle of the 
garden was a large tank in which was built a 
little water palace with a causeway leading up 
to it from the south bank, the building set 
slightly to one side of the centre, to leave an 
uninterrupted view down the main canal from 
the upper garden. Round the water pavilion 
fountains played, and on each side a water- 
course, now dry and filled with a tangled growth 
of cypress trees and roses, showed where in former 
days canals had led up to the gateways on either 
side. 

The garden lay wild and neglected. Tall 
grasses waved down the long side-walks, all but 
hiding the raised chabutras at the crossing of 
the ways. Thickets of fruit trees filled the 
squares, large-leaved plantations overshadowed 
the walks, while here and there a stray rose-bush 
or cypress tree was to be seen. Alas ! the old 
cypress avenues had gone. Still, there was no 
trace here of the gardener from Saharanpur and 



PLATE XXXIII. 




A ZENANA GARDEN. 
(In the Collection of H.H. the Gaekwar of Baroda.) 



A GULISTAN 225 

all his works. Luckily, he seemed to have 
confined his attentions to the upper garden 
terraces, and the open patch outside the entrance 
gates. Perhaps the great size of the lower 
garden had discouraged him, and so saved the 
old-fashioned fruit trees and flowers. For by 
the borders of the long canal, here, at last, was a 
real Indian garden. Here were the roses and 
pearl-flowered jasmine, with zinnias and mari- 
golds, scattered among them, leaning over the 
water's edge to kiss their own reflections. Tall 
palms were planted at intervals, their leaves 
nearly meeting across the stream, where the 
slender fountains shot up through them, falling 
back in diamond spray. In the borders the 
green spears of the narcissus just showed above 
the ground the sweet-scented flowers which 
Babar loved and planted in his new gardens at 
Agra, together with roses " regularly and in beds 
corresponding to each other." His orange trees, 
too, of the Garden of Fidelity, with which he 
was so pleased, here they were and citron trees, 
their boughs bending with their load of pale yellow 
fruit. Below each waterfall day-lilies grew, their 
green leaves trailing in the little ripples. A soft 
mist of blue ageratum lay in wreaths under the 

29 



226 PINJOR 

fruit trees, and on the lowest terrace the largeres- 
troamia bushes had been a blaze of colour in the 
rains. Here it was self -revealed the garden of 
the poets, of Sadi, Hafiz and old Omar. Through 
an enchanted door I had stepped right into the 
background of some old Mughal miniature. Even 
the peacocks and birds of its illuminated border 
called to me from the trees. 

All sorts of friendly wild creatures filled the 
garden. Squirrels played among the fallen 
leaves. Once, when I had been very still, 
absorbed in my painting, a little troop of soft- 
furred monkeys gathered round. There they 
sat, like puzzled children, gazing solemnly with 
their bright inquisitive eyes. Suddenly, the 
shadow of a huge vulture slowly sailing by to 
his nest among the old mango trees frightened 
them. Off fled the monkeys, swinging lightly 
from branch to branch, only stopping to look 
down on me from safe high-up boughs. A flock 
of parrots, shrieking shrilly to each other, flew 
past making a vivid emerald streak on the 
evening sky. 

Twilight draws in quickly under the trees. 
The harsh call of the wild peacocks sounded 
startling and ominous. Despite its enchantment, 



FROM A ROOF PAVILION 227 

death lurks in the garden for those who linger 
after sundown, when Naga, the hooded cobra, 
is abroad, and the air is vibrant with the hum of 
the mosquitoes. Unconsciously I hurried away, 
coming out on a level of the upper terrace with 
quite a feeling of relief to find the setting sun 
still glittering on the topmost palace domes. 

High up on the tower of the Rang Mahal, 
crowned by the white and gold pavilion, the views 
were wonderful. On the east the Himalayas 
seemed to rise sheer up over the battlements of 
the old garden walls ; and a thunderstorm rolling 
away in the higher mountains formed a lurid 
purple background against which the nearer 
hills showed sharp and clear, the white buildings 
of Kasauli turning to rose in the evening light. 
Down beneath me, the large garden lay spread 
out like a map, where the numberless irrigation 
channels shone through the gathering dusk of 
the trees, and the long canal with its cascades 
and fountains threw back the lemon colour of 
the light above. Round the horizon to the west, 
the circle of low hills rose dark against the sky- 
line, while to southward through the opening of 
the valley the far line of the plains made a distant 
sea. Gradually, over the lemon of the sky, a 



228 



PINJOR 



pink veil seemed to rise. The plains turned from 
rose to grey, a soft blue grey, rising slowly over 
the rosy light, and deepening into the dark purple 
of the sky overhead. Lights at once appeared, 
marking the villages on the hills behind the 
gardens, and higher shone the brighter lights of 
the small hill station. Far off a faint trail of red 
smoke showed where a train was rushing down 
to the cities in the plains. The stars came out. 
Lamps moved among the trees of the upper 
garden, all the world was hurrying homewards, 
and the quick magic of another Indian sunset 
was gone. 



CHAPTER X 

HOW THE LOTUS OF THE GOOD LAW 
WENT A-VOYAGING 

A Prince without Justice is a River without Water 
Or a Lake in the Rains without Lotus flowers. 

HINDU SAYING. 

ONE period of Indian garden building may be 
said to close with Fadai Khan's gardens at Pinjor. 
But the spacious formal garden, " the greatest 
contribution of the Mughals to Indian art," as 
Mr. Ha veil justly remarks in his recent book on 
Indian Architecture, outlived the fall of the 
Mughal Empire, and started on a new lease of 
life in the Hindu gardens of Rajputana and 
Central India. To understand the later develop- 
ment of the style there, it is necessary first to 
look back far beyond the times of the early 
Mohammedan conquests. 

" Theories which bring into connexion with 
each other modes of thought and feeling, periods 



230 THE LOTUS OF THE GOOD LAW 

of taste, forms of art and poetry, which the 
narrowness of men's minds constantly tends to 
oppose to each other, have a great stimulus for 
the intellect, and are almost always worth under- 
standing." It would be difficult to find a better 
expression and a sounder reason for the study of 
any branch of Indian art than that contained in 
these vital words of Walter Pater. How much of 
truth and value their application holds in the 
case of the gardens, a glance at the various in- 
fluences which acted and reacted on each other 
there will show. Two connecting links are 
plainly visible : the Indian Buddhist origin of 
the distinctive Chinese and Japanese gardens, 
and the Hindu influence on the Indian Moslem 
pleasure-grounds. 

Babar, as we have seen, was the first to intro- 
duce the Central Asian irrigated garden into 
India. But although the comparatively late 
date of 1526 marks that epoch in Indian art 
and garden history, the early Buddhist source 
of the Turki love of flowers and garden design 
has been most curiously brought to light by the 
discoveries of Sir Aurel Stein. 

Gardening demands, perhaps more than any 
other art, peace and leisure, tranquillity and 



THE FLOWER OF THE TRINITY 231 

patience, and in every age and country the 
pioneers and early masters of the craft have 
been religious teachers and monks. The Hindus 
and Buddhists, with their wide sympathies and 
their simple, joyous love of nature, made much 
use of flowers in their religious ritual. Their 
monks and missioners travelled far and wide, 
and with them the Lotus of the Good Law went 
voyaging into many lands. What the mihrab, 
Allah as a spirit, invisible, intangible, is to the 
Mohammedans, the Cross of Redemption to the 
Christians, the Lotus is to the Buddhist and 
Hindu. A lotus floating on the cosmic waters 
is the symbol of the creation of the world. 
Three species of the flower grow in India : the 
Nymphcea Lotus, the white Lotus of ancient 
Egypt ; the Nymphcea caerulea, the blue species ; 
and the Nelumbium speciosum, the rose-coloured 
or sacred Lotus of India, which, Professor Joret 
believes, only entered Egypt in the times of the 
Ptolemies. Each colour is sacred to one aspect 
of the Trinity : the rose-petaled lotus that of 
the Dal Lake is the flower of sunrise, Brahma's 
prayer ; the blue flower is sacred to Vishnu, 
upholder of the blue noontide universe ; the 
white lotus of evening is the flower of death and 



232 THE LOTUS OF THE GOOD LAW 

resurrection, the emblem of Siva, the Destroyer 
and Preserver. On a Lotus the Good Law 
floated to Java, and its flowering can be seen to 
this day at Borobudur. It was carried south 
to Cambodia, and Angkor Vat is still the largest 
temple in the world. Northwards and eastwards 
the Sacred Lotus journeyed, and the wind and 
the covering sand followed in its wake ; so that 
the road was well-nigh forgotten when Sir Aurel 
Stein found the frescoes of Vishnu's dark blue 
flowers, and the little garden buried in the waste. 
Farther and farther the flower travelled till China 
and Japan owned its sway, and India, the home 
of the lotus, the land of Buddha and of Rama, 
is still the Holy Land of all the Further East. 

The Indian flora, so unlike that of Central 
Asia, together with the difference of climate, 
gave a very distinctive character to the Hindu 
and Buddhist garden. Strange as it may seem, 
there are few wild flowers found growing in the 
Indian plains ; for there, even in winter, the 
fierce sun burns into the soil. But the flower 
patches of the northern hills and meadows are 
replaced by deep-rooted blossoming trees, and 
these make up to some extent for the absence 
of the smaller herbaceous plants. Their leafless 



PLATE XXXIV. 




ORCHIDS 233 

boughs and bare twigs burst into gorgeous 
flowering in the hot Indian spring, till the jungle 
glows like English beech and elm woods on a 
clear autumn day. Then in the plains there 
is the second flowering, the season of the rains, 
when the rank green growth chokes all but the 
tall grasses and ferns, and the lotus flowers with 
their lovely curving leaves completely hide the 
surface of the ponds. Creepers flourish in the 
damp dripping forests, where the gnarled twisted 
limbs of the old mangoes are fringed with sweet 
scented orchid sprays, as if swarms of little mauve 
and yellow butterflies were fluttering down to 
settle in the shadows of the trees. But the 
orchids of the Himalayan forests and Nilghiri hills, 
in spite of their strange beauty of form and 
colour, failed to win a place in the Indian garden. 
Even that wonderful lily, the Gloriosa superba, 
seems to have passed unnoticed, and the rose, 
although a wild flower in the north-western 
mountains, did not find its way into Hindu 
parterres until after the Mohammedan conquest. 
Amaranth and the tulsi, " Holy Basil," are 
practically the only herbaceous flowers mentioned 
in the old Indian stories and plays. 

The Hindu Arama was then a cool woodland 



234 THE LOTUS OF THE GOOD LAW 

place, full of thick foliaged trees and shrubs gay 
with brilliant, perfumed flowers. The shady 
alleys were kept cleared and swept. Evergreens 
were clipped and trained to form aromatic 
scented bowers over platforms paved with fine 
mosaic. Creepers wreathed the white garden- 
houses, whose inner walls were covered with 
frescoes. The heroines of old did not disdain to 
plant and water their favourite trees with their 
own hands. Indeed it was held that the asoka 
sorrow allaying tree, whose splendid orange- 
red flowers are sacred to the Lord Siva, never 
flowered to perfection unless its roots had first 
been pressed by the foot of a beautiful young 
girl. This ceremony, a charming allegory of 
spring, is a frequent motive with the poets and 
temple carvers. These woodland gardens were 
full of lotus ponds, but as far as I know there is 
no mention of the old symbolic four-went water- 
ways, although the references to fountains would 
suggest that the water must have been running. 
But the artificial " Pleasure Hill," as it was called, 
placed in the centre of the ground, definitely 
connects the Hindu garden, like that of Central 
Asia, with the ancient symbolism of the Holy 
Mount, the Tree, and the Snake. 



THE GARDENS OF KANDAVAPRASTHA 235 

Almost everything Indian may be traced back 
to the Mahabharata or Ramayana if not further 
still and both these great epics show the national 
Hindu feeling of close harmony with nature and 
love for all created things. There are constant 
references in these poems to flowers and gardens, 
and a garden or forest grove forms the back- 
ground in nearly every scene. As a rule these 
landscape pictures are somewhat vague and 
shadowy, but a description in the Mahabharata, 
translated by Professor Joret in his book, Les 
Plantes dans Vantiquite et au moyen age, of the 
pleasure-grounds surrounding Kandavaprastha, 
the capital of the Panda vas, is more definite. 
The gardens were " ornamented in all seasons 
with flowers and fruits." Among the various 
trees and plants mentioned are the mango, asoka, 
champaka, nag-champa, sal tree, palmyra tree, 
skrew pine, bignonia, coral tree, and oleander. 
All kinds of birds frequented the gardens, which 
" re-echoed to the cry of the peacock and the 
song of the kokila " Indian cuckoo. " The 
walls of the pavilions shone like mirrors. There 
were numerous arbours covered by creepers, 
charming artificial hillocks, lakes filled to the 
brim with clear water, fish ponds carpeted with 



236 THE LOTUS OF THE GOOD LAW 

lotus and water lilies, and ponds, covered by 
delicate aquatic plants, on which swam red geese, 
ducks, and swans." 

The early Indian gardens were evolved very 
much on the lines that the climate and flowers 
of the plains would lead us to expect. Apart 
from the Pleasure Hill, their outstanding features 
were the flowering trees, the creepers, and the 
aquatic plants ; the mango, asoka, and champaka 
groves, the bignonia, jasmine, and convolvulus 
bowers, and the lotus and water lilies floating on 
the ponds. Along the foot of the Himalayas, in 
Bengal, Burmah, Cambodia, and Java, gardens 
such as these flourished until, as we have seen, 
the coming of the Mughals changed the aspect 
of the Indian gardens. Once introduced, the 
new fashion took firm hold, for the Central Asian 
water-garden based on the system of irrigation 
was one specially suited to the arid plains of 
Upper India and the dry red rocks of the Raj- 
putana hills. 

The Indian Buddhist garden, forgotten in the 
land of its origin, still survives further East, 
although so transformed and tinged by the genius 
of another climate and another people, that the 
garden history of the plum and cherry tree, the 



THE BUDDHIST GARDEN IN JAPAN 237 

wisteria and morning glory, the lotus and Japanese 
iris, is often misunderstood and overlooked. 
For all that, the Japanese garden, the most 
intimate and charming expression of Japanese 
nationality, came like so many of their arts from 
India through China and Korea. And from the 
early temple gardens made by the Buddhist 
monks and pilgrims, the whole beautiful and 
elaborate system of Japanese garden craft has 
gradually been built up. 

The Indian Lotus-bearers reached China both 
through Turkestan and by the southern route 
through Burmah and Cambodia, and " Coal 
Hill," near the Tatar city in Peking, is a relic of 
the Pleasure Hill idea. The style is supposed 
to have been introduced into Japan in the sixth 
century by one Yohan Koan Han, who con- 
structed great mounds, some of them a hundred 
feet high or more, and brought water in conduits 
to form lakes and ponds. These hills and 
rockeries were planted after the Indian fashion 
with flowering trees and shrubs. True, before 
this date the Japanese had a garden style called 
" Imperial Hall," from a famous royal garden, 
a quadrangle enclosed on three sides by palace 
buildings, but not much is known of the details 



238 THE LOTUS OF THE GOOD LAW 

of the style except that there was an irregular 
lake with an island and a little bridge connecting 
it with the shore. But the Plum and Orange 
tree right and left of the entrance to the palace 
are strangely reminiscent of the ancient Hindu 
marriage of the fruit trees by the garden well. 
The flowers show still more strangely the per- 
sistence of the old ideas, for in a land of wonderful 
wild flowers half the gardens in Japan are green 
gardens, and, except for the blossoming trees and 
shrubs, the lotus in the pond, the iris fringing its 
margin, and the wisteria on the trellis overhead, 
all the garden flowers are in pots. The old 
traditional flowers seem the only ones to take 
root in the garden soil. Peonies, lilies, asters, 
and other more recently introduced flowers are 
all planted in pots. Even the national chrysan- 
themum, whose curving petals represent the 
wheel of the Buddhist Law and the rays of the 
rising sun, is not grown in the ground, but is 
invariably set out in blue and white or pale green 
flower pots. 

It is still more interesting to trace the influence 
of climate on Buddhist garden building, how it 
expanded in the moist atmosphere of Japan 
where the rainfall is twice as heavy as it is even 



BALANCE AND UNITY 239 

in our own rainy islands ; and where the frequent 
danger of earthquakes and the consequent use 
of wooden buildings must not be lost sight of. 

The Japanese landscape garden suffers with 
us to some extent from its name, for unlike the 
English landscape style, which had only a mis- 
taken romanticism behind it, garden craft in 
Japan is as exquisitely balanced and restrained 
in its harmony of house and garden as is the most 
formal old English pleasance or stately Mughal 
bagh. Throughout every Japanese garden, from 
the largest to the smallest, the scale of the whole 
design is strictly maintained, so that the house, 
the garden gates, the enclosing railings, even 
the stone lanterns, all combine to enhance and 
emphasise its general character. So strong is 
the national feeling for beauty in its real sense 
of balance and unity, that the most valuable 
garden ornament may be worthless in the eyes 
of the owner of a simple garden. 

Far as the Lotus travelled in Asia, its journeys 
were not completed there, for within recent years 
its spirit entered English gardens with the advent 
of the Japanese iris. Fresh points of view and a 
change of technique give an impetus to every 
art ; details may with advantage be transplanted 



240 THE LOTUS OF THE GOOD LAW 

and transformed ; but regardless of climate, 
to try and transplant bodily a whole national 
style, whether it be from Japan to England, or 
from England back to India, is an obvious 
mistake. Yet so-called Japanese gardens are 
planted in England without the spirit of their 
Buddhist symbolism, or the need of their wooden 
earthquake-proof houses ; open mid -Victorian 
parks and gardens are planned in India without 
the possibilities of the flowers in the long grass 
and the fine green English turf ; when all the 
time, climate and nationality are the very pith 
and soul of garden craft, just as character is the 
core of individual personal charm. 



PLATE XXXVI. 




CHAPTER XI 

MOONLIGHT GARDENS, AND THE PALACE 
OF DEEG 

Sois content des fleurs, des fruits, mme des feuilles, 
Si dans ton jardin & toi tu les cueilles. 

EDMOND ROSTAND. 

THE Indian Buddhists were great gardeners, and 
evidence of their skill may yet be seen in places 
like the " Lanoli Grove " beyond Khandalla on 
the railway line between Bombay and Poona, 
which is full of rare trees and flowering shrubs 
found nowhere else in Western India. The spot 
was at one time a Buddhist shrine, and the foreign 
trees are without doubt survivals of an ancient 
temple enclosure or grove. Sir George Birdwood 
tells me of another such place at Chembur on 
the island of Trombay opposite Salsette, where he 
found near some ruins, said to be of a Buddhist 
site, a solitary white pangri tree (Erythrina 
indica) from which he took many cuttings, dis- 

241 31 



242 MOONLIGHT GARDENS 

tributing them among friends in different parts 
of India. 

Of all Hindu sects the Jains are the nearest to 
the Buddhists of ancient India in their keen 
sense of the universal indwelling soul of things ; 
and the Jains and Vaeshnavas, more than other 
Hindus, set store by their gardens. Nearly all 
the bankers and rich merchants of Western India 
belong to one or the other of these divisions of 
Hinduism. It cannot be said that they are now 
strict in laying out their actual gardens in accord- 
ance with their paradisiacal ideal of them, and 
so long as their garden is a paradise to their soul 
and their spiritual eye, they are not so particular 
as were the Mughals about its being truly " four 
square." 

In the same way, when the Hindu princes and 
wealthy merchants build their great mansions 
and palaces with their numerous arched openings, 
they delight to call them " the chaurasi," a name 
derived from the number eighty-four, a multiple 
of twelve (the number of the signs of the 
zodiac) by seven (the number of the planets) ; 
but the particular palace may have only fifty or 
sixty openings in reality. This number, eighty- 
four, is a most sacred one with Hindus and 



AUSPICIOUS PLANTINGS 243 

Buddhists alike, so much so that, to quote Sir 
George Bird wood again : " If a man live to 
eighty-four he is by that fact alone constituted 
a saint, however big a blackguard he may have 
been or still prefer to be." 

According to an old Indian treatise on garden- 
ing, five trees should be first planted, as they 
are luck bringing phalsa (Grewia asiatica), bhila 
or marking -nut tree, punag (Rottlera tinctoria), 
sirisha (Mimosa Sirissa), and nim (Melia Azardir- 
achta) ; after this, plantations of any kind can 
be made. The auspicious sides for planting are : 
on the east the bur (Ficus indica) and karanda 
(Carissa Carandas) ; on the south gular (Ficus 
glomerata) and bambu ; on the west amalaka 
(Emblica offlcinalis) and bila (Aegle Marmelos); 
on the north pakar (Ficus infectoria), bhor 
(Zizyphus Jujuba), and kaitha (Feronica Ele- 
phantum). The bur tree should not be planted 
at the gate of the house or in such a place that 
the shadow of it may fall on the building. All 
large trees are inauspicious within the house, i.e. 
in the central courtyard, particularly those of a 
thorny nature a sensible rule, as is that which 
prescribes the cool north side of the mansion as 
the most propitious on which to lay out the 



244 MOONLIGHT GARDENS 

garden. If the " nim-tree " one of the " lucky " 
trees above mentioned " be planted around the 
garden, other trees will be greatly benefited by its 
influential air," so says the Hindu author, and 
no doubt he is perfectly right. These graceful 
nim-trees, with their leaves so like a mountain- 
ash, and their bunches of green berries, are 
among the most decorative as well as the most 
useful trees. In fact the nim may be called the 
eucalyptus of India, from all the uses to which 
it is put. Not only does their " influential air " 
benefit the garden, not only do their branches 
placed in large vases decorate so prettily Anglo- 
Indian drawing-rooms, but their dried leaves 
strewn under bungalow rugs and carpets keep off 
the dreaded white ants, and laid like lavender 
among clothes and along bookshelves they 
frighten away the rapacious, all-devouring cock- 
roaches. Among Indians its medicinal uses are 
endless, and in illness boughs are hung over the 
door, very much as we in England might hang up 
a sheet steeped in a disinfectant. 

The question of the garden soil was carefully 
considered. It was placed under three heads : 
ground situated at a distance from water termed 
" jangala," that close to water called " anupa," 



" THE FOUR CAUSES " 245 

and ground lying between the other two styled 
" samana." These three soils were subdivided 
into six different colours black, almond-colour, 
wheat-colour, red, white, and yellow : the black 
being sweet in taste, the almond-colour sour, the 
wheat-colour saline, the red pungent, the white 
bitter, and the yellow astringent. It would take 
too long to quote all the different trees and plants 
considered suitable to each soil. But the old 
writer closes with a remark, the truth of which 
all good gardeners who have had to struggle with 
bad soils will appreciate : "If any lasting and 
productive tree be found on a different soil from 
that to which it is adapted, such casual growth 
is accounted for from the four causes, namely, 
that underneath the tree there might be a hidden 
treasure, or the tomb of a sage, or that the ruler 
of the country is fortunate and auspicious, or 
by the unwearied exertions and good conduct of 
the planter." 

Babar, in his Memoirs, gives a long list of 
Indian fruit trees commencing with the mango, 
of which he says with his usual observation : 
" Such mangoes as are good, are excellent. Many 
are eaten, but few are good of their kind." The 
plantain he considers of the next importance, 



246 MOONLIGHT GARDENS 

adding : "Its tree is not very tall, and indeed 
is not entitled to the appellation of tree ; it is 
something between a tree and a vegetable." 
His list of the flowers new to him in India is 
short : jasun (Antiaris toxicaria), asoka tree, 
kanir (oleander), keuri (Pandanus odoratissimus), 
and last, " the w r hite jasmine which they call 
chambeli. It is larger than our jasmine and its 
perfume is stronger." 

The new Mughal style of gardening developed 
quickly on being transplanted to India. It began 
to take on fresh features even in the few years 
of Babar's reign in the country. The water, as 
we have seen, became more and more the central 
motive, and many new flowering shrubs, fruits, 
and vegetables were introduced. But when 
Babar's grandson, the Emperor Akbar, set a 
precedent by his marriage with a Rajputni, 
Mariam uz Zamani, Princess of Jaipur, Hindu in- 
fluence at Court increased rapidly. At Fatehpur 
Sikri the Rajput Queen's Golden House and its 
little garden can still be seen. This Princess was 
the mother of the Emperor Jahangir, whose first 
wife was also a Rajput Princess, so that Shah 
Jahan, the great builder, was by descent more 
Rajput than Moslem. 



TEMPLE GARDENS 247 

Although the Central Asian garden had many 
symbolic and traditional characteristics, and was 
so closely interwoven with Mughal architecture, 
the bostand (orchard) was the only practical 
necessity to a Mohammedan, and the gulistand 
(flower garden) may be looked on more in the 
light of a charming luxury, gracing with its 
pretty poetic fancies the stern material Moslem 
point of view, like the rose sprays waving over 
the sharp stone edges of the raised garden paths. 
With Hindus, on the other hand, a flower garden 
is essential, as flowering shrubs and trees are the 
first requirement in the proper performance of 
daily worship. Every temple and private house 
has its garden, for flowers and leaves are con- 
sidered worthless as offerings unless they are 
picked in the giver's own domain. No wild or 
jungle flowers may be used. Manucci was much 
struck by the old temple gardens, and says in his 
Storia do Mogor : "At every temple of their 
idols (called pagodas) there is usually an annexed 
flower-garden, just as in our parish churches in 
Europe, without comparing the two, there are 
graveyards. This garden is not less worthy of 
veneration and respect by these peoples, for 
every day the officiating priests told off for the 



248 MOONLIGHT GARDENS 

purpose gather there the flowers with which they 
adorn some idols and embellish others. Such 
gardens are to them what some cemetery is to 
us where the bodies of saints lie, from which 
flows some miraculous liquid capable of curing 
maladies that cannot be benefited by ordinary 
and natural remedies, or let us say like some 
culturable land bequeathed and vowed to any 
one of our churches so that the corn produced 
may be applied for the use of holy men." 

Among Hindus the customs with regard to 
flowers and trees are very beautiful. With them 
there is no echo of the long quarrel between man 
and nature, which lingers in Christian and Moslem 
minds as a legacy from dark mediaeval times ; 
and Hindus have felt for centuries past things 
whose existence we, in the West, are only on the 
verge of realising. India, however, is no excep- 
tion to the rule that it is women who preserve 
intact the old religious observances ; there, as 
elsewhere, it is they who keep old memories 
fragrant so the Indian garden is above all the 
purdah woman's province. The day begins with 
the housewife's reverence, the pradakshina about 
the sacred tulsi bush, which is generally planted in 
an altar built for the purpose in the centre of the 



PLATE XXXVII. 




THE MARBLE SWING (DEEG). 



SACRED TREES 249 

house fore-court. Passing through a Brahmin 
village in Central India, one is often reminded of 
some clear-cut, classic bas-relief, by the glimpses 
caught through open doorways of spotless white- 
washed courtyards with their tulsi altars gar- 
landed with flowers, where the women, so stately 
in their floating veils, go about their work. 

In every Indian garden it is necessary to have 
three kinds of trees mango, jaman, and amalaka 
the leaves of which are used in worship, and for 
decorations at weddings, and on the occasion 
of a birth. Among the flowers the lotus comes 
first, but every flowering tree is sacred in India. 
The splendid red blossoms which come out in 
February and March, covering the gaunt boughs 
of the silk cotton tree (Bombax malabaricum), are 
sacred to Siva. The dhak tree (Butea frondosa), 
the Flame of the Forest, which burns so brightly 
all through the same wedding months, is one of 
Buddha's flowers. The mountain ebony (Ban- 
hinia purpurea) is one of the most beautiful 
of the flowering trees, with its large delicate 
mauve blossoms whose perfume recalls the heavy 
softness of gloxinias. The white variety is sacred 
to the goddess of Good Fortune and Beauty, 
the Lady Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu, who 

32 



250 MOONLIGHT GARDENS 

himself has many flowers sacred to him beside 
his blue lotus. The chambeli (jasmine) is sacred 
to him, and also to Kama Deva, the Indian Cupid. 
But the champaka, the " pagoda tree " of the 
old Anglo-Indian phrase " to shake the pagoda 
tree," is more especially Kama Deva's flower. 
It is essentially the tree of Cambodia, the place 
name Cambodia being in Sanskrit Champak. 
Jahangir puts it first on his list of Indian flowers, 
saying : " It is a flower of exceedingly sweet 
fragrance ; it has the shape of a saffron-flower, 
but is yellow inclining to white. The tree is very 
symmetrical and large, full of branches and 
leaves, and is shady. When in flower one tree 
will perfume the garden." Earrings and neck- 
laces are made from its sweet thick -petalled 
buds, and very bewitching the Hindu ladies look 
when they wear Kama's flowers. Recently the 
fashion has crept into palace zenanas of wearing 
pearl and diamond jewelry every evening. But 
formerly the ladies wore such ornaments only for 
special festivities, and decked themselves at other 
times with a sweet-scented flower -jewelry of 
chambeli and champaka buds. Almost every 
Anglo-Indian garden can show some of these 
quick -growing trees, with their curious india- 



THE PAGODA TREE 251 

rubber like stalks, glossy pointed leaves, and 
tufts of creamy flowers. Frangipanni, one hears 
it called sometimes, though I do not know why. 
No garden is complete in India without its 
champak tree, and the mali will plant one, should 
you neglect to do so, and ignore such an excellent 
omen. But be careful where he plants it, for 
the champaka is far too holy ever to be cut down. 
The images of Buddha are carved from the wood 
of its branches ; and its little blossoms are still 
strung together to form festival garlands those 
necklaces which look so quaint and sit so strangely 
on the black frock-coat of Anglo-Indian official- 
dom, and yet, despite their wearers' self-conscious 
faces, add such a touch of Eastern charm and 
dignity to the simplest ceremonial. Holy days 
and festivals are all graced by champak flowers ; 
arrivals or leave - takings are marked by the 
presentation of these sweet-scented wreaths. 
Great scenes and stirring moments fade in spite 
of all our will to keep them fresh ; while pleasant 
things, unnoticed from their very monotony, 
sink deep into the mind ; the white blaze of 
the sunlight, the sweet crooning whistle of the 
Indian kites, and the scent of the champak 
wreaths. 



252 MOONLIGHT GARDENS 

The natural divinity of trees, their fruit, 
the shelter they afford from the sun or bitter 
winds, their green leafy mystery, the sense of 
protection and consolation they bestow, all this 
is felt more vividly in Eastern countries than in 
Northern climes, where people tend to drift away 
from earlier, simpler realities. Nature is not so 
near in England as in India. The cold which 
forces us to use our wits, shuts us in from many 
things. 

So we have left phytomancy the divination 
or speech of trees and many other pretty things, 
now called by long names, behind us, and the 
garden, fond as we are of it, cannot talk to us 
as it can to Indian hearts which are still full of 
" the intelligence of the flowers." Krishna one 
day hid from his wife in the forest, and she 
wandered about seeking for him. Wherever 
she went down the long green glades, the trees 
drooped sadly, and the flowers hung their closed 
heads. At last she espied a tree in the direction 
of which a herd of fawns with large black eyes 
were grazing placidly, where the flowers looked 
bright and wide-awake, and birds were singing 
and flying happily from branch to branch ; and 
there was Krishna fast asleep in the shade ! 



A BED OF FLOWERS 253 

Though colour counts for much in an Indian 
garden, perfume counts for more. Flowers are 
not picked unless they are an " acceptable," i.e. 
sweet-smelling, offering to the gods. If used 
for decorative purposes, an offering of some of 
them is first made. This same religious senti- 
ment is also carried out in other ways : a gift of 
jewelry or rich clothing to a child or to a bride 
or bridegroom being dedicated, as it were, in a 
temple before its presentation. A favourite temple 
offering is a bed of flowers under a little arbour 
or " house of flowers." The bed is made of 
sweet-scented petals strewn on a sheet, over the 
petals a fine muslin cloth is spread, and this is 
then considered " a bed fit for the gods." Un- 
scented flowers may from time to time be placed 
in private rooms just to look at for the pleasure 
of their colours probably with the idea of 
following a Moslem or English custom ; but if 
scented flowers were gathered for this purpose 
and used without any previous offering, the Hindu 
idea would be that the flowers had sinned. 

To inhale a scented leaf on waking in the 
morning is thought to restore freshness and 
health surely a pleasanter prescription would 
be hard to find. 



254 MOONLIGHT GARDENS 

Water, trees, fruit, and perfumed flowers 
this is the order of an Indian garden ; then come 
the birds. No conception of a Hindu or Moslem 
Paradise is possible without their bright dainti- 
ness and sweet little songs. The birds, too, for 
all their gaiety, are wise shall we not rather 
say are gay because they are wise ? Birds fly 
everywhere and know everything ; whence the 
old classic " Auspicium " or " Augur mm," and 
trees are specially planted to attract them. 
Every garden should have its close dark cypresses 
for them to nest in ; for Kapolas the dove, and 
Cukas the green parrot of love, who shares with 
the Bignonia creeper twining through the lattice 
the honour of being Kama Deva's messenger. 
Kokilas, the Indian cuckoo, whose song the vain 
peacock tries to rival, never sings his sweetest 
until he sees the buds of the palace Asoka-tree 
burst into flower. He is the bird of the Hindu 
poets and teaches them melody an odd music- 
master, to our ears. Vartika, the watchful quail, 
shares the grass-plot with the hoopoes, who are 
to be encouraged as much for their graceful shape 
and dainty crest as for their song, the prediction 
of a plentiful vintage. The red geese are Brahma's 
birds of sunrise ; and no garden can expect to 



RAJPUT INFLUENCE 255 

prosper without the divine twins, the white 
Hanas, the ducks or swans of good fortune, 
swimming on its pools, and the butterflies of 
good luck, the souls of the departed, hovering in 
bliss over the flowers. 

Many fresh and charming ideas stepped into 
the Mughal gardens with the first Rajput queen. 
But the greatest change the Hindu influence 
wrought was the introduction of the moonlight 
garden ; the change from the sunlit Turki gardens, 
with the glory of their blended parterres and red 
rose alleys, to moonlight Indian gardens of dark 
trees, white flowers, white paths, perfumes, 
and lights. The Hindu pleasance is planned 
essentially for evening enjoyment. Not that 
the Mughals failed to see the beauty of night. 
Babar, who so loved the glowing rings of the 
camp fires, had his Mahtab Bagh, one may be 
sure. But the Indian flowering trees being at 
their best in the hot weather and the rains, 
especially when the cool evening breeze brings 
out their perfume, Hindu ladies until recently 
rarely entered their gardens except at night. 

In the fierce hot weather of the Central Indian 
plains the advantages and charms of the old 
baghs, with their cascades and swimming pools, 



256 MOONLIGHT GARDENS 

are easily recognisable. Then, when the treasured 
winter annuals of the bungalow gardens are all 
burnt up, those indifferent sweet-peas, minute 
pansies, and tiny violets, offerings of which the 
mali presents with pride ; for does he not know 
them from experience to be the Sahib's sacred 
flowers ? when even the Phlox Drummondi and 
the sunflower fail, and only the petunias and the 
fountain are left alive to console each other and 
brave the scorching midday wind, how one longs 
for a real Indian garden ! The heat shuts one 
fast in the house by day ; and after nightfall it 
is not safe to wander on the grass or the dark 
gravel paths. The malevolent ghosts, so feared 
by the garden coolies, may not hide for us in the 
dim shapes of the trees, but other dangers lurk 
on the ground, for even in the clear moonlight 
a snake may be mistaken for a stick. And how 
can one seriously set out to enjoy the fragrance 
of some white -starred gardenia -bush, attended 
by the watchman with his long staff and lamp ! 

An Indian garden, a great series of outdoor 
rooms, is, on the other hand, a beautiful and 
sensible place in which to wander after dark as 
well as by day. The long stone paths, raised 
above the level of the soil and fringed by fragrant 



THE WHITE GARDEN 257 

flowering shrubs, shine clear in the starlight. 
The raised chabutras, or pavilions, where the main 
paths cross have each their tank or fountain 
basin, and can be easily flooded with water and 
cooled ; the little baradaris at the angles of the 
walls are open on every side to the evening breeze ; 
and the flowers themselves in an Indian garden 
are chosen to look their best and smell their 
sweetest under the soft radiance of the moon. 

An evening garden, naturally, means a white 
garden, all other flowers being lost in the dusk of 
their leaves. So, many of the favourite Hindu 
flowers are white, like the champaka and double 
jasmine buds used for wreaths. Among others are 
white poppies, tuberose, datura, white petunia, 
stephanotis, magnolias, and gardenias of various 
kinds as well as the night opening flowers, the white 
scented cactus (Cereus grandiflora), the moon- 
creeper convolvulus called soma-vel (Calonyction 
speciosum), which when in bloom makes such a 
magical effect, and the white lotus beloved of 
Hindu poets. " Every one has his friend and 
confidant ; the sun which opens the pink lotus, 
closes the petals of the white," is one of their 
sayings ; and Hindu heroes and heroines declare 
their love for each other as " like that of the sun 



258 MOONLIGHT GARDENS 

and the day lotus, or the moon and the white 
lotus flowers." 

The white blossoming shrubs were grouped 
to stand out against the dark masses of the en- 
circling trees; but black and white are not the 
only shades in the moonlight garden, there is 
also the red flower of fire. Beautiful colour 
schemes carried out in lights such as those under 
the waterfalls at Pinjor in their red and green 
alcoves, form quite a feature of Indian garden- 
craft. And how pretty these are when lighted 
can be realised even from their rather clumsy 
reproduction in the coloured waterfalls which 
face the entrance to the Shepherd's Bush " White 
City." The parterres and platforms also are 
often outlined with tiny earthen lamps ; on 
festival occasions the trees are hung with lights ; 
but the fireflies, which are held to be under the 
special influence of the moon, are considered the 
prettiest of evening decorations. 

As the gardens of the Imperial palaces are 
nearly all transformed or destroyed, one must 
wander in the great lower garden of Pinjor, or 
visit the garden-palace of Deeg, to see the beauties 
and realise the charm of the Mughal gardens of 
the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The 



DEEG 259 

chapter of Indian garden history which Babar 




Scale of Feet 



PLAN OF THE GARDEN-PALACE OF DEEG. 

opened at Agra closes at Pinjor with Fadai Khan, 
but only to reopen with the story of Hindu 



260 MOONLIGHT GARDENS 

palace builders, foremost among whom was the 
Suraj Mai, Raja of Bharatpur, builder of Deeg. 
Commenced about the year 1725, this beautiful 
palace, unlike most of the Rajput palace-for- 
tresses, is built on a perfectly level site. Water 
and the surrounding flat country, which was 
once a morass, formed the principal defences of 
Deeg. Its large pavilions and gardens are laid 
out, as Fergusson remarks, " with a regularity 
which would satisfy the most fastidious Renais- 
sance architect." The whole garden-palace was 
to consist of an enclosure twice the length of its 
breadth, surrounded with buildings and divided 
into two parts by a broad terrace intended to 
carry the central pavilion and its fountains. 
Only one of these rectangles has been completed, 
measuring about 700 feet square. 

The gardens, which are rich in sculptured 
fountains, watercourses, parterres, and other 
fine architectural ornaments, were meant to rival 
those of the Imperial Palace at Agra, which the 
Jats of Bharatpur captured and looted in 1765, 
two years after Suraj Mai's death. Indeed some 
of the chabutras and marble thrones at Deeg are 
actually those taken from the Mughals. One 
wonders if the lovely white marble swing (Plate 



DEEG 261 

XXXVII.) also came from the palace gardens of 
Nur-Jahan and her niece Arjmand, the Beloved. 
The principal building is the Gopal Bhawan ; the 
north side of which faces a large bathing tank, 
and with its balconies and open pavilions forms 
a beautiful water front. One of the great features 
of Deeg apart from the gardens is the fine roof 
terraces. The flat Indian roof, " the best room 
of the house," is here extended on all four sides 
beyond the walls of the building by a bracketed 
pierced stone cornice. Below this again there is 
the usual wide dripstone ; and this unique 
combination gives a large roof space for pro- 
menading in the cool of the evening, and the 
richest effect of light and shade to the buildings 
in the sunshine. February and March are the 
months to see this lovely garden-palace, Suraj 
Mai's fairy creation, at its best ; when the 
fountains are playing, the flowering bushes are 
just coming out, the roses in the parterres are all 
in bloom, and the soft cool green of the mango, 
jaman, amalaka, and nim trees has not yet been 
spoiled by the hot, dusty winds of the Indian 
spring. 

Although the Mughal garden under the in- 
fluence of Hindu customs became essentially a 



262 MOONLIGHT GARDENS 

moonlight one, yet there was one month in the 
year, Sawan (the middle rains), when the palace 
ladies went down to see how their gardens fared 
by day. There are few prettier places than an 
Indian "rains" garden, when the wonderful 
flowering trees and creepers are in perfection. 
The herbaceous flowers are limited, but those 
that do grow, grow so riotously that they quite 
make up for their lack of variety. One would 
hardly recognise a zinnia in an English border, 
after the great beds of coral, red and orange 
blooms with their large flower heads and branch- 
ing stalks ; each colour massed separately, in 
gorgeous parterres filled with zinnias alone. 
Tall cannas and balsams make another blaze of 
colour, marigolds and cosmos flourish, amaranth, 
orchids, and the or chid -like achimenes are out, 
the ponds are filled with lotus, and the wet garden 
glows and glistens where the light shines through 
the dark, damp masses of translucent coloured 
leaves, bushes of coleus, and tufts of caladiums, 
little pots of which look so dull in English green- 
houses that one would never guess their splendour 
in the rains. 

This month of Sawan July is the month of 
the swings. "It is both pleasant and profitable 



SWINGS AND SWIMMING POOLS 263 

to swing in the rains," as I read once in some 
modern Indian book. In the damp, stifling air, 
when not even the watered fibre screens the 
kas - kas tatties can keep the rooms fresh, 
because there is no wind to blow through them, 
a swing under the trees wafts a cool, reviving air, 
and children and women, from the highest to the 
lowest, all have their swings. Sometimes it is 
but a rope thrown over the branch of a mango 
tree or slung between the pillars of a little court- 
yard, but in the palace gardens the swings were 
beautiful, elaborate constructions, their pointed 
arches forming one of the most charming garden 
ornaments. These arches were built of stone 
or white marble like that in the palace gardens 
at Deeg. They were finely carved, and when used 
in the month of Sawan were fitted with swings 
whose ropes were made of scented fibre and 
covered with wreaths of flowers. That at Deeg 
is placed on a platform under the trees at the 
end of one of the canals, where the swinger, swing- 
ing vigorously, could sway through the nearest 
fountain spray. 

Swimming baths are another delightful and 
invariable feature of an Indian garden ; and the 
ladies had their swimming tanks as well as the 



264 MOONLIGHT GARDENS 

men. These reservoirs are shallow as a rule, 
and filled by one or more fountains, so that the 
water may always be running and clear. The 
canals were also kept clean and free from plants, 
the lotus tank being generally on one of the lowest 
terraces or in an outer garden. At the Lahore 
Shalimar the mistake has recently been made of 
trying to grow these flowers in the shallow canals, 
which only results in making the water muddy, 
and confusing the effect of the range of little 
fountains. On the other hand, if grown round 
the central chabutra of the large tank the lotus 
would look very well, for the plants themselves 
cannot be seen to advantage unless they are 
given plenty of space and deep water. 

To return to the swimming pools. Certainly 
there is nothing so exhilarating as a swim in 
the open air ; but among the changes due to 
the British Raj and the consequent copying of 
European fashions, one of the greatest drawbacks 
to Indian women must be the loss of their fine 
water gardens. Indeed, in India we all lose by 
the neglect of Indian garden art, but none of us 
lose more of health, delight, and happiness than 
the gentle purdah ladies, whose lives are, in truth, 
rather cramped by contact with our ideas when 



A PURDAH SCHOOL 265 

this entails the loss of their beautiful terraced 
roofs and pavilions, and the introduction of the 
open, exposed garden which they cannot enjoy. 
A recent instance will illustrate my meaning. 
On the outskirts of a famous Indian city, not far 
away from the old Mughal gardens in which I was 
sketching, fine new buildings for a girls' school 
were about to be opened. The school was a 
strictly purdah school a comparatively new 
idea. The daughters and future wives of the 
Indian rulers and nobles were to be educated 
there, and fitted to become in after life good and 
helpful companions to their husbands and sons. 
By the particular advice of our wise Queen- 
Empress, their own best traditions and customs 
were in all cases to be adhered to. The open- 
ing ceremony was made an event of special im- 
portance. Princesses and officials' wives were 
gathered to meet the great lady who had snatched 
one day from a long round of other duties in 
order to be present. One could imagine how 
beautiful and useful the buildings to be opened 
might be an Indian garden of girls ; a modern 
maiden's palace, such as the garden-bower of 
Kadambari, the Gandharva Princess. One could 
picture the dark arched entrance ; the main 

34 



266 MOONLIGHT GARDENS 

building with its cool fountain court and airy 
terraced roof ; the pavilions and class-rooms 
built against the high enclosing garden walls ; 
the swimming pool and the swings ; the cypress 
walks, the squares of flowers and fruit trees, the 
plots laid out in grass for games, the whole 
combining to unite the best of Indian and English 
common-sense and art with the pleasant freedom 
of complete security. And the reality ? It 
was a large, solid, red-brick building of the 
British public institute order, with praiseworthy 
" Indian " trimmings by way of decoration, but 
with little Indian feeling ; low walls, a gravel 
sweep, a dry, bare-looking garden, the whole 
surrounded with hideous matting screens for 
was not this a school for purdah girls ? 



CHAPTER XII 

SOME GARDEN CONTRASTS AND A DREAM 

Heresy and Orthodoxy stand not behind the screen of Truth. 
Heresy to the Heretic, Orthodoxy to the Orthodox ; 
But only the dust of the Rose Petal remains to the seller of perfume. 

MAXIMS OF AKBAB. 

THE history of the Mughal garden follows the 
course of other Indian arts. When Aurungzeb 
destroyed at one blow Indian unity and Akbar's 
dream of Empire, by the banishment of the Hindu 
craftsmen from the Moslem Court, they took 
refuge with the Hindu Princes of Rajputana and 
Central India. There the masons and master- 
builders of the Taj and the Mughal garden- 
palaces found welcome and generous patronage, 
as the splendid gardens and palace fortresses of 
the Hindu Rajas testify. It is in Rajputana, 
more than in the remaining Moslem centres of 
Lucknow and Hyderabad, or the great Anglo- 
Indian coast towns, that Indian art has survived 
the fall of the Mughal Empire and is still a living 

267 



268 SOME GARDEN CONTRASTS 

force. The pride of race and the immutable 
nationality of the Rajputs have combined, with 
the isolation and strength of their rocky and 
desert-bound country, to save Indian architecture 
and its dependent crafts from extinction. 

But although " men come to build stately 
sooner than to garden finely," and Bacon's choice 
of the " greater perfection " is even more justified 
in the East than it is in the West, the garden, 
unfortunately, is the sooner altered and destroyed. 
Wherever English influence has been strong, as 
in British India and in the so-called " pro- 
gressive " Native States, the typical Indian 
gardens have been the first to go, and the old 
symbolic garden-craft the first of all the tradi- 
tional arts to disappear. 

In place of the stately water-ways and avenues, 
the pergolas and gay parterres, the perfumed dusk 
of the Hindu pleasure-grounds, and the sunshine 
brilliance of the Mughal baghs, the incongruities 
of the Anglo-Indian landscape gardener reign 
supreme. It is easy enough to picture the 
change : the exposed private garden, a con- 
tradiction in its very terms ; the public parks with 
their bare acres of unhappy-looking grass, their 
ugly bandstands, hideous iron railings, and forlorn 



A MODERN INDIAN GARDEN 269 

European statues ; their wide, objectless roads, 
scattered flower-beds, and solitary trees, and, 
worst of all in a hot country, their lack of fountains 
and running water. It is pleasanter to turn 
to some modern Indian garden, an attempt, 
perhaps, to reconcile these two opposing styles. 

In the station at which we were recently 
quartered, a wealthy merchant prince of the 
Jain caste happened to be rebuilding a large 
Anglo-Indian bungalow, and turning its grass 
compound into a garden. It was to be a country 
retreat, when the heat or the fear of plague drove 
the family from their high white palace in the 
town. And very interesting it was to see how 
they set about the work of reconstruction. 

The position of the house prevented the idea 
of the four water-ways roads in this case 
being carried out in its entirety ; but the first 
thing that was done was to run a path straight 
from end to end, replacing a former curving 
drive. A third road was then made leading up 
to the centre of the house, which from a solid 
block had been enlarged into a quadrangle en- 
closing a purdah garden for the ladies of the 
family ; for the English fashion of the low outer 
walls would prevent their enjoyment of the rest 



270 SOME GARDEN CONTRASTS 

of the grounds. At one end of the garden, under 
a line of fine old trees, several white marble 
shrines were built. These should have overlooked 
a large bathing tank, but the regulations of the 
station not permitting a sheet of stagnant water 
at close quarters to other bungalows, it had to be 
abandoned after being half dug out. And yet, 
had the tank been a shallow paved reservoir 
filled and refilled by fountains after the old 
fashion, there could have been no objection to it. 
But the only fountains in the garden were two 
large basins right and left of the main entrance, 
each surrounded by elaborate parterres made 
after the Mughal style, which is not yet quite 
forgotten in the gardens of Central India. In 
contrast with these was the round English lawn, 
presently to be adorned, so I was told, by a bust of 
His Majesty, the King-Emperor. 

In another part of the grounds a terrace had 
been constructed decorated with chabutras bear- 
ing picturesque garden vases. These overlooked 
a large plot set apart for football or, perhaps, 
cricket. Then, across the wide mown lawns one 
came upon a quaint element of the old para- 
disiacal idea, the tame fawns pacing restlessly 
round and round, seeking to escape from their 



A MODERN INDIAN GARDEN 271 

little white pavilions. Poor timid creatures, it 
was a tantalising Paradise for them, for there 
they were enclosed in the midst of an irrigated 
kitchen garden full of vegetables and herbs, 
where the tempting lush green leaves grew close 
against the pillars of their cages. 

The garden " koti " grew day by day. Every 
evening on the road outside the little buggies 
whirled along carrying their drivers to tea and 
tennis at the cheery Anglo-Indian club. One 
heard various opinions on the new garden seen 
over the low wall with its ugly iron railing. 
Quaint, queer, inexplicable, or frankly hideous 
were the bewildered comments ; but this garden, 
with its lovely parterres filled with white and 
yellow flowers, its marble shrines, its playing 
fields, and captive deer, if not artistically a com- 
plete success, was at least the most interesting 
experiment in the making of a modern Indian 
garden I had seen. 

It was evident that the builder was trying to 
adapt Eastern symbols to Western fashions and 
ideas. It is not surprising to find Indians copying 
European styles even when their own are sounder 
and more suitable, as they naturally wish to 
imitate the arts of a nation which has proved 



272 SOME GARDEN CONTRASTS 

itself to be so strong in other ways. But in these 
latter days of aesthetic revivals, and more particu- 
larly of the rediscovery of the truth that the 
house and garden should form one harmonious 
whole, it is indeed strange that we should be so 
slow to learn from India. 

What useful and delightful gardens might 
be made for clubs, residences, and public pleasure- 
grounds in every Anglo-Indian Station, if we 
would but call the Indian master-builder and his 
malis to our aid. It would be difficult to find 
a more appropriate design for a modern Indian 
house, or palace and its grounds, than that of a 
Mughal bagh with its adjoining serai, such as can 
be seen at the Taj, or on a still larger scale at 
Shah-Dara, Jahangir's tomb. The open square of 
the serai would form a useful and dignified fore- 
court. The modern dwelling-house would take 
the place of the high entrance to the bagh ; on 
the far side of which, the enclosed garden with 
its terraces, avenues, and long canals would 
stretch undisturbed. Apart from the beauty of 
Indian garden symbolism, and the use of the 
open pavilions and platforms, what a charm the 
formal setting and the fountains would lend to 
English skill in scientific horticulture our ex- 



PLATE XXXIX. 




THE PILLAR OF VISHXU (FATEHPUR SIKRI). 



A PEACEFUL OCCUPATION 273 

perience in the actual growing of the various 
flowers and trees. Many detailed suggestions 
might be made, but that one subject, the 
problem of New Delhi, now absorbs all lesser 
interests of its kind in India. 

Gardening, and its interwoven architecture, go 
to the very root of national life. In the garden 
the whole history of the nations finds a true and 
clear reflection. In times of peace and prosperity 
the craft expands and flourishes, while wars and 
long unsettled years sweep away the gardens and 
all their gentle arts. The Aryans of Vedic times 
brought their intense love of nature, their worship 
of trees and flowers, from the flowery tablelands 
and valleys of Central Asia to the Indian plains. 
After dim centuries, during which the priestly 
Brahman caste gained complete ascendency, 
and codes and elaborate ceremonies hardened 
and led to the creation of a chill, artificial world, 
the rise of Buddhism was welcomed and assured. 
The new phase of the old creed owed its immediate 
success to its restoration of the old joyous 
simplicities, and the " Lotus-bearers " of Asoka 
carried their flowers far and wide. Seventeen 
centuries later, with the coming of the Mughals, 
the wave washed back from the Central Asian 

36 



274 SOME GARDEN CONTRASTS 

gardens to India, where the peace and the genius 
of the Mughal Badshahi can be still traced in its 
baghs. 

Since the fall of that Empire, raids and 
wars, years of unstable government and adverse 
European influences, have all but destroyed 
Indian gardening. Only in Rajputana and the 
lesser Native States something of the old skill 
lingers, something of the old fire smoulders. 
There it awaits the coming Indian renaissance. 
Whence will it come, that fresh breath which 
will blow the embers into flame ? From new 
Japan ? From the vast, slowly awakening bulk 
of China? Or from England? The British 
Badshahi which maintains the necessary peace, 
so far has lacked the intuition and taste to lead 
Indian art, and to trust to Indian craftsmen. 
But a love of nature generally, especially of 
flowers, is as much a national characteristic 
of the English as of Indians. Surely a fresh 
and brilliant chapter of Indian art and garden 
history should open at the Delhi of King 
George. 

In the words of the town planner's recent 
report, " Delhi once more is to be an Imperial 
capital, and is to absorb the traditions of all the 



THE HOLY LAND OF THE EAST 275 

ancient capitals. It is to be the seat of the 
Government of India. It has to convey the idea 
of a peaceful domination and a dignified rule 
over the traditions and life of India by the British 
Raj." 

But whoever its designers may be, however 
eloquent of the genius of individual Englishmen 
its plans may be, this last Delhi, like all its pre- 
decessors, will be built by Indian workmen. 
Ideas of " peaceful domination " or " dignified 
rule " are but a poor exchange for Indian religious 
feeling, for the deep traditional reverence of 
Indians for their Emperor. 

The material advantages of our good govern- 
ment peace, laws justly administered, educa- 
tion, sanitation, hospitals, even the fairyland of 
European science leave the mass of India cold. 
But the return to the ancient capital commanded 
by the Emperor in person, made a direct appeal to 
Indian imagination and loyalty. The old Indian 
ideal of unity, in BHARATA, the Holy Land, 
revived and personified by their King-Emperor, 
touched the humblest peasant, and rekindled 
the long latent fires of Indian nationality. 
Here lies the great opportunity of New Delhi, for 
the motive that can really move and lead India 



276 SOME GARDEN CONTRASTS 

must be a religious one. This truth is cut deep 
in the edicts of Asoka. It was a religious ideal 
that inspired the Moslem reverence for the older 
Badshahi. It was Hindu bhakti that strengthened 
Akbar's throne. 

Religion, high politics, and statecraft may seem 
far enough away from gardens, but sound art 
makes for sound politics, and their affinity in 
India is curiously close. Akbar's pillar in his 
hall of private audience at Fatehpur Sikri is an 
instance of this in its strange beauty and its direct 
connection with the old ideas embodied in the 
sacred Mount, the Tree, and the Snake. On the 
outside the Diwan-i-Khas appears to be a two- 
storied building, but on entering it is seen to 
consist of a single vaulted hall, surrounded half- 
way up by a gallery. Standing alone in the centre 
of the chamber is a magnificently carved column, 
with a huge bracket capital which carried the 
Emperor's throne. The pillar supports four 
railed passages leading to the four corners of the 
gallery, where there were seats for the principal 
ministers. Here the Mount and the Tree are 
one, meeting in Vishnu's symbol of the Tree or 
Pillar of the Universe, whereon the Emperor as 
Vishnu's Regent sat enthroned ; while the four 



THE UMBRELLA OF STATE 277 

passages symbolise the cosmic cross of the four- 
went rivers of the Celestial Paradise. 

The Mughal miniature, Plate XL., said to repre- 
sent Akbar as a young man, shows a garden throne 
or chabutra in a chenar tree. The symbolism 
of Vishnu's pillar is very literally carried out, 
and some such charming retreat in one of his 
grandfather Babar's northern gardens most prob- 
ably suggested Akbar's novel treatment of the 
old idea. 

It has been urged in connection with the 
planning of New Delhi, that " any departure in the 
direction of Indian ideals, even if it produce fine 
architecture which is open to question would 
be misinterpreted as a weakness, as a relaxing of 
the firm grip which maintains order." But 
whether we know it or not, whether we like it or 
not, consciously or unconsciously, whatever our 
official policy may be, we cannot escape in India 
from Indian ideals. Even the gold-embroidered 
umbrella of State held over the King-Emperor 
at the Delhi Durbar was but a symbol of the 
sacred sheltering Tree ; a symbol greeted by 
the crowds who at sundown knelt in prayer 
before the empty thrones ; and by those who, 
when their Majesties reached Calcutta, flung 



278 SOME GARDEN CONTRASTS 

the welcoming marigold festoons into the 
Hugli till the sacred river blazed like an English 
field in the buttercup weeks of June. 

The interest, therefore, of the new capital 
centres in the Badshahi Mahal, the Imperial 
Palace and its gardens Government House, 
to give it the chill Anglo-Indian name. What 
are public institutes and pleasure-grounds, fine 
secretariats, alien Gothic cathedrals, Grecian 
post -offices, Roman forums, beside the Indian 
home of the Father of his people, the palace 
buildings of an Emperor who is Vishnu's Vice- 
Regent upon earth ? 

In a vast continent where temples, churches, 
mosques, forts, and even palaces but serve to 
mark and divide men and creeds, all might yet 
meet in a garden. Hindu and Moslem might 
both recognise their own symbols there, where 
the fountain mists and whispering trees would 
murmur to us of that power, the bhakti, which 
for all our restless Western cleverness we miss. 
There Indian women when they came to greet 
their Queen, or her representative, would each be 
welcomed by her own flowers and their legends, 
and the garden would speak for us better than 
we could ourselves. Laila would be there on her 



A DREAM OF NEW DELHI 279 

rose-bush mound or happy with her Majnum 
in the parterres ; with scarlet asoka trees, Kama 
Deva's perfumed buds, and tulsi in the terrace 
vases ; while the Lilies of Our Lady and the 
Lotus of the Good Law would share the gardens 
with the pink rose of the Persian poets and the 
red rose of England. Nor need we confine our- 
selves and our Indian craftsmen to imaginative 
reproductions of the past. New needs and our 
modern wealth of flowers would give fresh life 
and added beauty to ancient symbols and 
ideas, charms to rival and surpass all the older 
Shalimars. 

The Mughal Imperial gardens consisted, as we 
have seen, of three large enclosures, opening one 
out of the other : the semi-public garden of the 
Diwan-i-'Am; the Emperor's garden with its 
Diwan-i-Khas, where he received his princes 
and chiefs ; and the purdah garden of the 
Empress and her ladies. If the palace at New 
Delhi could form part of a scheme with a great 
Imperial Indian garden, with its symbolic divi- 
sions, water-ways, avenues, fountains, and walls, 
Indian art would receive a stimulus and Indian 
loyalty a lead which it would be impossible to 
overrate, although hard to believe in England, 



280 SOME GARDEN CONTRASTS 

where the gardens, beautiful as they are, lack the 
practical use and deeper religious significance of 
Indian garden-craft. 



Far, and far, our homes are set round the Seven Seas : 
Woe to us if we forget, we that hold by these : 
Unto each his mother-beach, bloom, and bird, and land 
Masters of the Seven Seas, oh ! love and understand. 

The Flowers RUDYARD KIPLING. 



PLATE XL. 




THE CHKNAR TREE THROXK. 

(By kind permission of the Fine Arts Society, Ltd.] 



Lo ! ye shall read it in the Sacred Books 
How, being met in that glad pleasaunce-place 
A garden in old days with hanging walls, 
Fountains, and tanks, and rose-banked terraces 
Girdled by gay pavilions and the sweep 
Of stately palace-fronts the Master sate 
Eminent, worshipped, all the earnest throng 
Watching the opening of his lips to learn 
That wisdom which hath made our Asia mild ; 
Whereto four thousand lakhs of living souls 
Witness this day. 

The Light of Asia Sir EDWIN ARNOLD. 



281 



CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF THE FIRST SIX MUGHAL 
EMPERORS AND OF THE PRINCIPAL GARDENS 
BUILT DURING THEIR REIGNS. 

BABAR M. MAHUM, 1494-1531. Bagh-i-Vafa, Bagh-i-Kilan, 
near Kabul. Ram Bagh, and Zuhara Bagh, Agra. 

HUMAYUN M. HAMIDA, 1531-1556. Humayun's Tomb 
Garden, Delhi. 

AKBAR M. MARIAM-UZ-ZAMANI, 1556-1605. Gardens at 
Fatehpur-Sikri, Sikandarah (built on site of Sikandar 
Lodi's garden). Nisim Bagh, Kashmir. 

JAHANGIR M. NUR-JAHAN, 1605-1628. Gardens at Udaipur. 
Dilkusha Bagh (Shah Dara), Lahore ; Garden tomb 
of I'timad-ud-Daulah, Agra. Nishat Bagh, Shalimar 
Bagh, Achibal Bagh, Verinag Bagh, Kashmir. Wah 
Bagh, Hasan Abdul. 

SHAH JAHAN M. MUMTAZ MAHAL, 1628-1658. Shalimar 
Bagh, Lahore. Gardens in Delhi Fort, Taj gardens. 
Shalimar Bagh, Delhi. Dara Shukoh's garden, Kash- 
mir. 

AURUNGZEB M. DILRAS BANU, BEGAM, 1658-1707. Badshahi 
Mosque and garden, Lahore. Roshanara Bagh, Delhi. 
Chau Burji Bagh, Lahore. Nawan Kot Bagh, Lahore. 
Pin j or Bagh. 

1725. Garden-Palace of Deeg, built by Suraj Mai, Maharaja 
of Bharatpur. 



GLOSSARY 

BADSHAH. A corruption of padishah, from pad, " a seat," 
" a throne," and shah, a prince meaning Emperor. 

BADSHAHI. Empire, imperial. 

BADSHAHI MAHAL. Imperial palace. 

BAGH. An enclosed garden, a country-house. 

BARADARI. Literally "12 doors," a pavilion, a large 
summer-house. 

BHARATA. The epical name of India. 

BHAKTI. Literally a state or condition of adoration, shown 
by devotion to altruistic works. 

BOSTAN. A fruit-tree garden, an orchard. 

BURJ. A fortified tower. 

CHABUTRA. A four-cornered bank, a raised place or plat- 
form for sitting on. 

CHADAR. Literally a sheet or shawl, here a water-chute 
or cascade. 

CHAR-BAGH. Literally four gardens, here a large garden 
divided by four water-ways. 

CHASMA. A sparkling [literally eye-bright] spring. 

CHATRI. Literally an umbrella, here a small open baradari 
or summer-house; the word also means mausoleum. 

CHENAR. The Oriental Plane-tree, Platanus orientalis, the 
fame of which has filled the whole history of Asia from 
the Punjab to Asia Minor from the beginning of human 
history. 

GULISTAN. Literally a rose garden, but meaning also any 
flower garden. 

HAUZ. A large stone-built tank. 
285 



286 GLOSSARY 

HUMMUM. A bath, bath-house, a public bath-house. 

LALA-ZAR or LALZAR. Literally a red garden, but meaning 
specifically a tulip garden. 

MAHAL. A palace, mansion, house. 

MALI. A gardener. 

MELA. A meeting, a fair, also a fair held at the seat of 
some shrine for the benefit of the pilgrims. 

MIHRAB. The central niche in the wall of a mosque marking 
the direction of Mecca. 

MISTRI. A master craftsman. 

PUJA. An act of devotion, of sacrifice. 

SANAD. A deed or written grant, a charter. 

SHIKARA. A small boat used in Kashmir on the rivers and 
lakes. 

TAJ. Literally a cap, a crown, the word being the second 
syllable of the name of the favourite wife of Shah 
Jahan, the immortal Mumtaz-i-Mahal, the Ornament of 
the Palace ; and her name being given to her sepulchral 
cenotaph at Agra, the word Taj gradually came to 
denominate any mausoleum. 



INDEX 



Abu Rehan, 199 

Achibal Bagh, 41, 191, 195 

Afghans, 4 

Agra, 5 

Akbar, 17, 44, 95, 158, 246, 

267, 276 

Akbarabadi Bibi, 105 
'All Mardan Khan, 136 
Alwar, 143 
Amalaka, 249 
Amarnath Cave, 189 
Angkor Vat, 232 
Anguri Bagh, 83, 85, 89 
Arghwan trees, 51 
Arjmand, 261 
Art, Mughal, 86 
Asaf Khan, 53, 167 
Asoka tree, 234, 236, 254, 276 
Avenues of trees, 23, 43, 131 
Aurungzeb, 22, 105, 123, 267 

Babar, 5, 16, 34, 41, 93, 225, 
230, 245, 246, 255, 259 

Badshahi Mahal, 276, 278 

" Badshah-Namah," the, 147 

Bagh-i-Dilawar Khan, 166 

Bagh-i-Kilan, 49 

Bagh-i-Vafa, 16, 18, 35 

Bahadur Shah, 124 

Baradaris, 79 

Bawan, 180 

Bentinck, Lord William, 83 

Bernier, 22, 28, 64, 119, 154, 
166, 190 

Bhakti, 276, 278 

Bharata, 275 

Bignonia, 236 

Bijbehara, 14, 180 



Birdwood, Sir George, 241 
Black Marble Pavilion, 164 
Borobudur, 232 
Bostan, 37, 247 
Buddha, 251 
Buddhist, 230 
Buddhist monks, 38 
Buddhist shrines, 3 
Bulbul, 7 
Butterflies, 255 

" Capability " Brown, 20 

Carpets, 87, 148 

Castle of Alamut, 41 

Central Asia, 7 

" Coal Hill," 237 

Cosmic Cross, 113, 114 

Chabutras, 21, 144, 257, 277 

Chadars, 99 

Champaka, 236, 251, 257 

Chanam, 106, 220 

Char-Burji, 134 

Chasma Shahi, 177 

Chattris, 79 

" Chaurasi," the, 242 

Chenar Bagh, 23 

Chenars, 158 

China, 232 

Chinese gardens, 4, 230 

Chini Bagh, 37 

Crown-imperials, 74 

Cukas, 254 

Curzon, Lord, 84 

Cypresses, 196, 254 

Dal Lake, 160, 231 

Dara Shukoh, 181 

Dara Shukoh's album, 182 



287 



288 GARDENS OF THE GREAT MUGHALS 



Darogha Bagh, 157 
Decorative lighting, 212, 258 
Deeg, 258 

Delhi Durbar, 194, 277 
Double flower-beds, 196 

Eden, 46 

English landscape style, 32 

Fadai Khan, 154, 202, 229, 

259 

Fatehpur Sikri, 276 
Fergusson, 92, 260 
Ferozabad, 5 
Feroz Shah, 4 
Flower festivals, 174 
Fountain basins, 160 
Fountains, 145 
Franklin, Lieutenant, 106 
Fruit trees, 71, 197 

Gabres, 10 

Garden-craft, 1, 10, 32, 119, 
132, 258 

Garden-design, 25 

Garden entrances and gate- 
ways, 13 

Garden of Butterflies, 206 

Garden of the Plain, the, 35 

Garden soil, 244 

Garden stairways, 223 

Garden thrones, 144, 171 

Garden-tombs, 48 

Gardens of the Ghat, 41 

Gardens of Paradise, 60 

Gateways, 146 

Geometrical designs, 10 

Gulab Singh, 192 

Gulabi Bagh, 133 

Gulistan, the, 247 

Hafiz, 6 

Haider, 188 

Hampton Court, 214 

Hanas, 255 

Hanging Gardens of Babylon, 

10 

Hasan Abul, 154 
Havell, Mr., 48, 61 
Hazrat Bal, 160 
Heart-delighting Garden, the, 

35 



Heber, Bishop, 107 
Hindu gardens, 229 
Hindu influence, 230 
Hindu symbolism, 234 
Hodgson, Colonel, 62 
Horticulture, 25 
Humayun, 93 
Hwen Thsang, 155 

Ida-varsha, 46 
Imperial Durbar, 121, 212 
Indian Buddhist gardens, 236 
Indian craftsmen, 274 
Indian renaissance, 274 
Indian roof, 261 
Irrigation, 11, 142 
Italian gardens, 24, 25 
Italian garden architecture, 

223 
I'timad-ud-Daulah, Tomb of, 

52, 54 

Jahanara, 108 

Jahangir, 4, 27, 67, 101, 125, 

246, 272 

Jains, the, 242, 269 
Jaman, 249 
Japan, 7, 232 
Japanese gardens, 4, 230, 237, 

239 

Japanese influence, 197 
Japanese iris, 237, 239 
Jardin Anglais, le, 30 
Jasmine Tower, 75 
Joret, Professor, 231, 235 

Kadambari, 265 
Kalka, 206 
Kama Deva, 279 
Kapolas, 254 
Kashmir, 103, 153 
Kashmir iris, 74 
Kashmiri lacquer- work, 8 
Khotan, 37 
Khwajah Nizami, 6 
Koh-i-nor, the, 93 
Kokilas, 254 
Koran, 6, 9 

Lahore Shalimar, 264 
Lahore Shalimar Bagh, 142 
Laila, 195, 278 



INDEX 



289 



Landscape gardener, 268 
" Lanoli Grove," 241 
Lilac thickets, 174, 179 
Lilies of Our Lady, 279 
Lotus, 37, 64, 177, 231, 234, 
239, 257, 279 

Machi Bhawan, 83 
Mahabharata, 200, 235 
Mahadev, 164 
Maharaja of Kashmir, H.H. 

the, 163 

Mahtab Bagh, 119, 255 
Majnum, 195, 279 
Manasbal Lake, 157 
Mango, 249 

Manucci, Niccolao, 83, 247 
Marco Polo, 41 
Mariam uz Zamani, 246 
Marriage of the fruit trees, 

47, 67, 238 
Martand, 189 
Mihrab, 231 

Miniature paintings, 86, 87 
Moonlight gardens, 255 
Moorcroft, 143, 155 
Moslem symbolism, 196 
Mount Meru, 45, 201 
Mount Olympus, 46 
Muhammad Salih, 107 
Mumtaz-Mahal, 53, 58 

Nadira, Princess, 182 
Naga, 45, 57, 210 
Nageen Bagh, 159 
Nagina Bagh, 70 
Nag- worship, 219 
Nakkashi work, 134 
New Delhi, 273, 275, 277, 279 
Nim-tree, 244 
Nishat Bagh, 11, 168 
Nisim Bagh, 158 
Nur-Jahan, 4, 28, 42, 52, 125, 
261 

Omar Khayyam, 6 

Panchpura, 200 
Pandavas, 200 
Panipat, 201 
Paradise Garden, 6, 148 
Parsees, 10 



Parterres, 15, 100, 138, 179, 196, 

233 

Pater, Walter, 230 
Pathans, 4 

Perfect Garden, the, 35 
Pergolas, 11, 15, 21, 67, 70, 

166 

Persia, 5, 7 
Persian poets, 5 
Pine-apples, 68 
" Pleasure Hill," 234, 236 
Pliny, 150 
Purana Kila, 91 
Purdah Gardens, 211, 279 
Purdah women, 248, 264 

Queen's Gardens, Delhi, 113 

Rajputana, 229, 267, 274 
Ramayana, 235 
Ram Bagh, 5, 42 
Ram Lai Kashmiri, 73 
" Rivers of Life," the, 55 
Roman de la Rose, 20 
Roshanara Begam, 106, 108 
Ruskin, 132 

Sadi, 5 

Safdar Jang, 102 
Samarkand, 35 
Sawan, 120, 262 
Shah Abbas, 24, 148 
Shah-Dara, 130 
Shah Jahan, 122, 148, 246 
Shalimar Bagh, 14, 41, 162 
Shalimar Bagh, Delhi, 103 
Shalimar Bagh, Lahore, 136 
Sidi Sayyid, 47 
Sikandrah, 44, 47, 67, 95 
Sitwell, Sir George, 31 
Siva, 234 
Srinagar, 189 
Stein, Sir Aurel, 36, 230 
Sunni, 10 
Suraj Mai, 260 
Swimming baths, 263 
Swimming tank, 192 
Swings, 262 
Sykes, Major P. M., 11 
Symbolic avenues, 66 
Symbolism, 2, 55, 67, 150, 271, 
272 

37 



290 GARDENS OF THE GREAT MUGHALS 



Taj, 59, 60 
Talkatora Bagh, 114 
Temporary camp, 22 
Tree of Ages, 46, 276 
Tudor Gardens, 20 
Tulips, 73, 133 
Tulsi, 233, 248 
Turkestan, 5 

Udaipur, 140 
Umbrella of State, 277 

Vaeshnavas, the, 242 
Vartika, 254 



Vases, 171, 172, 209 
Verinag Bagh, 41, 184 
Vigne, 166 

Violet Garden, Cabul, 133 
Vishnu, 231, 278 
Vogel, Dr., 107 

Wah Bagh, 41, 154 
Water-chutes, 99 
Water pavilion, 143 

Zebanissa Begam, 134 
Zoroastrian skill, 10 
Zuhara, 44 



THE END 



Printed by R. & R. CLARK, LIMITED, Edinburgh. 



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"The lover of gardens . . . will feel a particular gratitude towards the author of these varied and 
thoroughly pleasant chapters on garden lore, garden moods, and garden incidents." Daily Mail. 

GARDENS OF ENGLAND 

PAINTED BY BEATRICE PARSONS. DESCRIBED BY E. T. COOK. 

Containing 20 full-page Illustrations in Colour. Square demy 8vo, cloth, gilt top. 

PRICE 7s. 6d. NET. (By post, 75. nd. ) 

" A book of very great value. . . . Highly deserving of a place in the country house. ... It is 
instinct with the spirit of the garden, and no one could turn its leaves, or look at the pictures, without 
obtaining many a hint that could be put to practical purpose." Country Life. 

" Miss Parson's pictures are almost fragrant, so truly does she realise the atmosphere of her subjects. 
The volume is one which the garden lover . . . will find full of delight." Truth. 

THE GARDEN THAT I LOVE 

BY ALFRED AUSTIN (the late Poet Laureate). 
Containing 16 full-page Illustrations in Colour by GEORGE S. ELGOOD, R.I. 

Square demy 8vo, cloth, gilt top. 
PRICE 7s. 6d. NET. (By post, 75. nd.) 

" The illustrations are worthy of the book, which is one of the most charming books about a garden 
in the language." Daily Chronicle. 

"This sumptuous edition will enhance the appreciation even of this much appreciated book." 
Aberdeen Free Press. 

PAINTED BY ELLA DU CANE. DESCRIBED BY FLORENCE DU CANE. 

THE FLOWERS AND GARDENS OF JAPAN 

Containing 50 full-page Illustrations in Colour. Square demy 8vo, cloth, gilt top. 
PRICE 20s. NET. (By post, 205. 6d.) 

" This ' gardening ' book is one of the most fascinating that has ever been published, and is worthy 
of its most fascinating title." Morning Post. 

"The book has the best account we have seen anywhere of the way in which Japanese gardens, 
including the landscape garden, are planned, planted, and made effective." Outlook. 

THE FLOWERS AND GARDENS OF MADEIRA 

Containing 24 full-page Illustrations in Colour. Square demy 8vo, cloth, gilt top. 
PRICE 7S. 6d. NET. (By post, 75. nd. ) 

"This delightful volume is of an artistic standard that is above reproach. Never has the glow of 
colour of the flaunting blossoms of Madeira been better depicted. . . . Miss Florence Du Cane has 
succeeded well in her task of wedding the practical with the picturesque, and the volume will appeal 
to the gardener in esse and in posse." Manchester Courier. 

ALPINE FLOWERS AND GARDENS 

PAINTED AND DESCRIBED BY G. FLEMWELL. 

Containing 20 full-page Illustrations in Colour. Square demy 8vo, cloth, gilt top. 
PRICE 7S. 6d. NET. (By post, 75. nd. ) 

" The maker of this handsome volume writes with sympathy and botanical knowledge, and paints 
the scheme of flower-dappled steeps and crags as one inspired by 1 
, :,. ~r ~:~* ...i,:~u u-T . ..,- r_?7.. Af-:i 



series of 
"W 



me of flower-dappled steeps and crags as one inspired by beauty and truth. It is a masterly 
pictures which he presents us." Daily Mail. 
-heartily commend this beautiful book." Guardian. 



PUBLISHED BY A. AND C. BLACK 4, 5, AND 6 SOHO SQUARE LONDON, W. 




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