Chashme Shahi also called Chashma Shahi, is one of the Mughal Gardens
built around a spring by Ali Mardan, a governor of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, in 1632. The garden is located in the Zabarwan Range, near Rajbhawan (Governor‘s house) overlooking Dal Lake
The Chashme Shahi originally derives its name from the spring which was discovered by the great female saint of Kashmir, Rupa Bhawani, who was from the Sahib clan of Kashmiri Pandits. The family name of Rupa Bhawani was 'Sahib' and the spring was originally called 'Chashme Sahibi'. Over the years the name got corrupted and today the place is known as Chashme Shahi (the Royal Spring).
Architecture And The Spring
The garden presents Mughal architecture as used in different Mughal gardens. The artistically build garden has Iranian influence in its art and architecture and the design is based on the Persian gardens. It is built around a fresh water spring, discovered by Rupa Bhawani, which flows through its centre in terraces. The topography and the steepness of the land has led the formation of the garden.
The main focus of the garden is the spring which flows down in terraces and is divided into three sections: an aqueduct, waterfall, and fountains. A two-storey Kashmiri hut stands at the first terrace which is the origin of the spring. The water then flows down through a water ramp (chadar) into the second terrace. The second terrace serves as a water pool and a large fountain stands at its centre.
The water again flows down through a water ramp into the third terrace, which is a square five-fountain pool. It is the lowest pool at the entrance of the garden. The visitors are received through a flight of stairs on both sides of the terraces which leads up to the origin of the spring.
The Chashme Shahi is located within the jurisdiction of Srinagar city, 14 kilometres (9 mi) in the northeast from the Srinagar Airport
. It is adjacent to Rajbhawan (Governor's house). The garden is connected by the Boulevard Road which passes along the banks of the Dal lake. There are many hotels and restaurants available for boarding and lodging near the garden. The garden remains open for tourists from March to November. The best time to visit the garden is from April to October. The garden is at full bloom during May and June.