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The Last Mughal Garden of India
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Pinjore Garden (Panchkula)


Pinjore lies 5 kilometres short of Kalka on Ambala-Simla national highway. It lies at 30° 48' north latitude and 76° 55' east longitude. Pinjore is an ancient historical and religious place. It is said to be the earliest habitation of man as Guy E.Pilgrim discovered certain teeth and part of a jaw in the lower Shiwalik hills and concluded that one and half crores years ago, the early man lived in Pinjore region round about Chandigarh.

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Mughal Garden in 1900s (Credit: Punjab Digital Library)

But first the concept of grand gardens in India. Art historian Catherine Asher writes that though there we find mentions of sacred groves around Buddhist and Hindu shrines, as well as the names of myriad flowers and trees, it was Babur, the founder of the Mughal empire in India, who introduced the concept of grand gardens here. Though Babur held Samarkand briefly, its garden and the concept of charbagh (a quadrilateral garden layout based on the four gardens of Paradise mentioned in the Koran) made a profound impression on him. After he established his kingdom in India, Babur created many gardens. The first of them was the Aram Bagh in Agra.

Living Piece of Art



Pinjore Garden is a living example of the exquisite gardening art of the Mughals. In this park, nature seems to be swinging, singing and dancing. The design of the garden is based on the Charbagh style, which is characteristic of the Mughal garden system. Four doors have been made to enter the park, of which three remain closed. Only the front gate of the Chandigarh-Shimla National Highway opens. On entering through the crescent shaped gate, one enters the floor which is surrounded by huge trees of deodar and palm. There are places of interest in Pinjore Park like Sheeshmahal, Rangmahal and Jalmahal.

Sheesh Mahal is a unique palace of its kind, which is built on the top of the garden and the ceiling of its inner chamber is decorated with pieces of glass. Perhaps that is why it is named Sheeshmahal. The windows of the palace and the grand chhatra built on the roof are made on sight. From here begins a lawn built in the Mughal style, through which a beautiful canal passes. Then comes the Rangmahal on the next floor. Amazing example of architecture. Amazing carvings have been done on its pillars and arches. The tourism department has opened its restaurant here nowadays. The grand Jal Mahal is visible in front from the lattice of Rangmahal's pavilion.

The Story of Grand Garden



As soon as Pinjore is mentioned, a map of a place starts floating in front of our eyes, which not only peeks through the mirror of history, where nature also seems to be swinging, singing and blooming. Surrounded by Shivalik ranges, 22 km from Chandigarh on the Delhi-Shimla highway, Pinjore has also been a favorite place of the Mughal emperors and many religious and historical beliefs are also associated with this place. Coming here once makes you want to come again and again.

There is a Mughal garden in Panchkula district of Haryana that was the center of a clever conspiracy hatched by a local king to keep the Mughal rulers out of their den! The magnificent Pinjore Garden will take your breath away but the story behind it is equally interesting.

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Panoramic view of Mughal Garden Pinjore.

"Pinjore and its palaces served as a holiday home for the Maharajas of Patiala, especially Maharaja Bhupinder Singh, who used to host lavish parties here."


The Pinjore Gardens were built by the Mughal Governor of Punjab, Fidai Khan, around 1760-61 CE. A man with a great eye for beauty and detail, he planned the entire garden and the various palaces near it, around a natural spring in Panchkula. This made the garden lush and the three summer palaces around it – the Sheesh Mahal, Rang Mahal and Jal Mahal – cool havens. When finally complete, the Pinjore Gardens rivalled the other famous Mughal gardens strewn across the old royal cities. However, the man who created it didn't get a chance to enjoy it for long. The garden was abandoned just seven years after it was built, for a very unusual reason.

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Night view of Hawa Mahal during Heritage Festival.(2018)
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Aerial view of Pinjore Garden.

According to local folklore, the local king, the Raja of Bhawana, dreaded the coming of the Mughal Court to Panchkula and feared that he would lose more land to the Mughals. Hence, he drew up a crafty plan to drive the governor away.

In those days, all along the foothills of the Himalayas, cases of goitre were often reported because of the very low levels of iodine in the salt consumed by the people. The local raja used this to his advantage. He collected all the people suffering from goitre and made them appear as local inhabitants of the area when the governor and his family visited. In fact, people suffering from goitre were even placed as palace staff, gardeners and women carrying fruits and flowers to the zenana (women’s quarters), to drive the point home. And, guess what, it worked! The women of the harem, already terrified of contracting the disease, were made to believe that the air and water of Pinjore were contaminated and this is why the disease was so common. This eventually created such a panic among the petrified women of the zenana that they refused to stay in Pinjore! Fadai Khan was forced to move out of Pinjore and rarely came back to visit the lovely gardens that he had so painstakingly planned.

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A century old Made in England DC Generator.

At the time of Patiala Riyasat, oil torches used to light the garden. But even before the Chandigarh and Panchkula city could be settled, Pinjore Garden was lit with electricity. Later, it was decided to arrange electricity for the garden from the princely state Patiyala. For this a steam generator with direct current was specially ordered from England. This generator was made in 1919 which has completed its 100 years. Later, when Bhakra Dam was built and AC electric power started in the garden, then this generator was turned off. Nowadays this generator is kept outside the gate of the garden for the audience. The dynamo in the generator produced 110 volts of electricity.

Later in the 18th century, as Mughal power declined, Pinjore and the area around it was caught in the crossfire between the plundering Gurkhas, who marched in, and the local rulers who desperately tried to ward them off. Finally, the local rajas had to turn to the Sikhs of Patiala for help. The Gurkhas were defeated in 1769, and the gardens of Pinjore and adjoining lands were given to the state of Patiala as payment. And after independence garden was donated to nation.

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360 Virtual Tour



Panoromic 360 night view of Mughal Garden during Heritage Festival.
Panoromic 360 view of Mughal Garden.
Panoromic 360 view of Frescoes work on Main Entrance Gateway.
Panoromic 360 aerial view of Yadvandra Garden Pinjore.
Panoromic 360 view of Pinjore Garden..