Out of the three most beautiful gardens built by the Mughals in India, Chashme Shahi is the smallest of the lot located 9 kms from the city of Srinagar in Jammu & Kashmir. Chashme Shahi meaning the ‘Royal Spring’ may be the smallest, yet is remarkably famous for its architecture and fresh water spring which is a source of natural mineral water, often believed to have medicinal properties.
The garden was built on the order of Shah Jahan for his eldest son Dara Sikoh, by Ali Mardan Khan, a Mughal Governor in the year 1632 AD. The garden spreads over an area of 1 acre and is located at the foothills of Zabarwan range lying near to Raj Bhawan-the governor’s residence in Srinagar. It has got three terraces, a wide range of fruits and flowering lush green plants, fountains and beautiful Chinar trees all around.
The garden is at maximum bloom in the months of May and June. There is an entrance fee of Rs.10 for adults and Rs.5 for children. It is a major tourist attraction in Srinagar and is open for tourists only from March to November. The ChashmeShahi garden lies at a distance of 20 km from Srinagar International Airport and Jammu is the nearest rail head which is 300 kms from Srinagar.