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| Last Updated:: 30/01/2017

Verinag Garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Verinag is a town and a notified area committee in Anantnag district in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is about 26 kilometers away from Anantnag and approximately 78 kilometeres south-east from Srinagar which is the summer capital of the state of Jammu & Kashmir. Verinag is also the first tourist spot of Kashmir Valley when travelling by road from Jammu, the winter capital of the state of Jammu and Kashmir towards Srinagar, the summer capital of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It lies at the entry point of Kashmir Valley right after crossing Jawahar Tunnel.

 

 

 

A major tourist attraction of this place is Verinag Spring, for which this place is named. There is an octagonal stone basin at Verinag Spring and an arcade surrounding it which was built by Mughal emperor Jahangir in 1620 A.D. Later, a beautiful garden next to this spring was laid out by his son Shah Jahan. This spring is known to never dry up or overflow. Verinag Spring is also the major source of river Jhelum. Verinag Spring and Mughal Arcade surrounding it is officially recognized by Archaeological Survey of India as a Monument of National Importance.

 

 

 

Verinag spring was originally an irregular and shapeless pond, and water, oozing out from different places in it and spread about and formed a little marsh. Emperor Jahangir, whose artistic taste for polishing the beauty of nature is well known, saw this and at once determined to improve it. He built the octagonal tank of sculptured stones round it, so that all water was collected therein, for which carvers were brought from Iran. A garden was also built by Jahangir next to this natural spring which is of pre-Islamic religious significance. The construction date of the octagonal tank and the garden is 1029 Hijri or 1620 A.D, during the 15th year of the Jahangir's reign, which is duly inscribed on a stone slab built into the southern wall of the spring. Seven years later, Jahangir's son Shah Jahan, who was no less a lover of natural beauty, constructed cascades and aqueducts in straight lines through and around the fine garden which he, in order to enhance further the beauty of the place laid out in front of the spring. He also built hot and cold baths to the east of this garden, just outside it, of which little trace is now left. The water contained in an octagonal spring has crystal blue water in which a variety of big fishes live.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This spring is also considered to be the residing place of Nilanaga, who is placed by ancient tradition, at the head of all Nagas or spring-deities of Kashmir. Thus this spring is also known as "Nilakunda" or spring of Nila. According to Nilamata Purana, the valley of Kashmir was once a lake called "Satisara" or lake of Parvati. Near this spring, Lord Vishnu is said to have first placed the point of the plough with which Satisara was drained and here goddess Parvati was brought to light from the netherworld in the form of river Vitasta by stroke of Lord Shiva's trident.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The spring is at the exact centre almost 50 feet (as the locals tell about the depth) under water from where the water continuously comes up and flows into the gardens facing the spring. It is also a sacred place for Hindus as there is a Lord Shiva shivling in one of the arcs (the very first on the left of the entry of the spring). The historical garden also has an old temple with some ancient idols of Hindu goddesses.

 

 

 

Verinag Mughal Garden Design

 

 

 

The design of the Verinag garden is an adaptation of the traditional Persian Charbagh(four gardens). The Charbagh takes its inspiration from the Quranic description of heaven as having four rivers, of wine, honey, milk, and water. The traditional Charbagh is uniformly shaped, with a water source in its center and four (char) radiating streams which divide the garden (bagh) into four parts. As with other Kashmiri gardens, Vernag is located on a steep hillside, with its water source at the top. The traditional Charbagh design had to be altered to fit the site's topography, as the source of water shifted from the traditional center of the square garden to the highest point of the garden. Given the limited options for flowing water (which could only run in one direction, from top to bottom), the double symmetry of the Persian garden was reduced to a central water axis, and the other traditional streams were minimized, appearing only in the form of the east-west canal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The garden is rectangular in shape, measuring 460 meters by 110 meters. It runs a few degrees off a south-north axis, moving down the side of a hill. The garden is bisected on its long axis by a water canal that transfers water from the water source at the southern (upper) end into the Jhelum River on its northern end. Another canal running east-west intersects the main water canal at its southern end. The entrances to the garden lie at both ends of this east-west canal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the entrances, a walkway takes the visitor towards the octagonal pool, which is approached through a colonnade. This colonnade, composed of 24 arches, surrounds the pool, whose water comes from the spring deep below. The pool's water is clear and filled with carp. The water exits from the pool into the main axial water canal, which measures 305 meters long by 3.65 meters wide. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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