Shalimar [Gardens], Lahore
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph from the Macnabb Collection of a tank filled with fountains and a pavilion in the Shalimar Bagh (Garden) in Lahore, taken by an unknown photographer, most likely in the 1890s. The garden is 8 km (5 miles) north-east of Lahore and was laid out in 1642 on the orders of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (ruled 1627-1658). At over 457 m (500 yards) long, it consists of three descending terraces through which a water channel flows, with pools and many fountains. Two of the terraces are designed as charbaghs, the “four-fold” square garden divided symmetrically into quarters by parterres, a form often used by the Mughals. Audience halls and marble pavilions used as residences for Shah Jahan and his daughter were built on the second terrace on the edges of a large central tank filled with fountains. The Shalimar Bagh was modelled on the Royal Gardens in Kashmir, also built by Shah Jahan. Gardens became popular spaces for pleasure and relaxation under Mughal patronage and Shah Jahan was personally interested in their design. Lahore became known as the “city of gardens” as a result of the Shalimar Bagh and other gardens created by the Mughals from the 16th to the 18th centuries.