Mughal Gardens

  • IASbaba
  • February 2, 2023
  • 0
History and Art and Culture
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In News: The iconic Mughal Gardens at the Rashtrapati Bhavan (President’s House) in Delhi have been renamed. “The collective identity of all the gardens at Rashtrapati Bhavan will be ‘Amrit Udyan’.

  • The gardens will open to the public on January 31

About Mughal Gardens

  • In Babur Nama, Babur says that his favourite kind of garden is the Persian charbagh style (literally, four gardens).
  • The charbagh structure was intended to create a representation of an earthly utopia – jannat – in which humans co-exist in perfect harmony with all elements of nature.
  • Defined by its rectilinear layouts, divided in four equal sections, these gardens can be found across lands previously ruled by the Mughals.
  • From the gardens surrounding Humanyun’s Tomb in Delhi to the Nishat Bagh in Srinagar, all are built in this style – giving them the moniker of Mughal Gardens.
  • A defining feature of these gardens is the use of waterways, often to demarcate the various quadrants of the garden.
  • These were not only crucial to maintain the flora of the garden, they also were an important part of its aesthetic. Fountains were often built, symbolising the “cycle of life.
  • The gardeners of the Rashtrapati Bhavan have kept alive the tradition of nurturing the defining feature of the gardens — the multitude of rose varieties.
  • They include Adora, Mrinalini, Taj Mahal, Eiffel Tower, Scentimental, Oklahoma (also called Black Rose), Black Lady, Blue Moon and Lady X.
  • There are also roses named after personalities: Mother Teresa, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Abraham Lincoln, Jawahar Lal Nehru, and Queen Elizabeth — not to forget Arjun and Bhim. The ingenious gardeners also introduced new, exotic varieties of flowers like birds of paradise, tulips and heliconia in 1998.
  • For instance, C Rajagopalachari, the last Governor General of India, made a political statement when during a period of food shortage in the country, he himself ploughed the lands and dedicated a section of the garden to foodgrains.
  • Today, the Nutrition Garden, popularly known as Dalikhana, stands in that spot, organically cultivating a variety of vegetables for consumption at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
  • President R Venkatraman added a cactus garden (he just liked cacti) and APJ Abdul Kalam added many theme-based gardens: from the musical garden to the spiritual garden.

History of Mughal gardens

  • In 1911, the British decided to shift the Indian capital from Calcutta to Delhi.
  • About 4,000 acres of land was acquired to construct the Viceroy’s House with Sir Edwin Lutyens being given the task of designing the building on Raisina Hill.
  • Lutyens’ designs combined elements of classical European architecture with Indian styles, producing a unique aesthetic that defines Lutyens’ Delhi till date.
  • Lady Hardinge, the wife of the then Viceroy, urged planners to create a Mughal-style garden.
  • It is said that she was inspired by the book Gardens of the Great Mughals (1913) by Constance Villiers-Stuart as well as her visits to the Mughal gardens in Lahore and Srinagar.

Source: Indian Express

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) Who among the following Mughal Emperors shifted emphasis from illustrated manuscripts to album and individual portrait? (2019)

  1. Humayun
  2. Akbar
  3. Jahangir
  4. Shah Jahan


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