In this post, I will talk about Chashm-e-Shahi.
"Chashm-e-Shahi" or the Royal Spring is believed to have been discovered by the famous saint-daughter of Kashmir, Roopa Bhawani. Right after its discovery, the "chashma" (or freshwater-spring) was called Chashme Sahibi, after the saint's family name, which was Sahib. However, with the passage of time, the place came to be known more as Chashm-e-Shahi, obviously because of phonetic modifications that are inevitable during public usage and recording of historical facts.
The area around the mouth of the spring was developed into one of the three major Mughal Gardens of Srinagar, Chashm-e-Shahi Garden in 1632. It was a small but beautiful garden , 108 metres long and 38 metres wide. However, with subsequent changes and passage of time, the garden was expanded further and now stands as a major tourist attraction. It is located atop a hillock, overlooking the Nehru Park, Dal Lake and Boulevard Road.
The Governor's House or Raj Bhawan of Srinagar is located just at its foothill.
Chashm-e-Shahi is distributed into three main sections, an aqueduct (the original mouth of the spring), fountains and waterfalls. Besides, the garden is planted with a variety of flowers and even fruit trees.
The freshwater from the spring is believed to be of medicinal value.During the worse years of terrorism in Kashmir, one had to take special permission from the state police department to be able to visit this garden, however, with the lapse of time, improvement in security scenario and overall decline in terrorism, the security constraints have been removed so that more and more people can enjoy its beauty freely.
On our last trip to the garden in 2004, we saw a vibrant crowd of tourists, from various parts of the country and the world, enjoying a healthy diet of fresh air and sparkling sunshine as well as clicking photographs under the shade of rare trees as well as inside the flower-beds.
So, come enjoy it!!!!!!!
P.S. - The first photograph is of the originating source of the Chashm-e-Shahi while in the second photograph, there is my brother, Prashant and me (facing the camera) seated atop the stairs leading to the Chashma.