Location : Srinagar
Best Time to Visit : March to October
Distance from Major Cities :
Srinagar - 11.6 km, New Delhi - 881 km
Located on top of the Zebanwan Mountain, the Pari Mahal is set southwest of the Dal Lake. It lies at an approximate distance of 5 kilometers west of Srinagar. It comprises six terraces that are in line with each other and run from north to south. Unlike the other Mughal gardens of Kashmir, here you will not find any chadars or water cascades. Instead you will find the water tanks on various terraces which are filled through underground pipes. With an approximate width of 62.5 meters and length of 122 meters, you will find that no two terraces are similar in their appeal and have their unique charm. Constructed on the remains of a Buddhist Gompa in the 17th century, the Pari Mahal is considered to be one of the well-known tourist attractions in Srinagar.
Today, the Pari Mahal in Kashmir can be approached through a dirt road that leads northwest. The garden is located on the fourth terrace and visitors interested in getting through the same need to follow a domed double archway in the middle of an entrance compound. If you want to get inside the other rooms of the compound then you need to get through the garden side or from the gateway. You will also find water pipes traces in at least three rooms of the compound and the hammam is believed to be the most embellished room amongst all.
Additionally, you can also access the terraces through sets of steps that you will find on their corners. Each step comes with an approximate measurement of 6.7 m by 1.3 m. At the middle of the uppermost level or more commonly the sixth step, you will find a water tank with an average measurement of 3.43 meters by 1.52 meters. Formerly, the water used to enter the tank through an arched drain. From the uppermost terrace, a pavilion or a baradari overlooks the other terraces. This pavilion is constructed on two levels and projects out on the retaining wall between the sixth as well as the fifth terraces. You can enter the upper level through the sixth terrace whereas you can enter the lower level through the fifth terrace. Built using white marble, the fifth terrace comes up with an average measurement of 12 meters by 8.07 meters. As you will find no water canals visible here, it can be stated that the tank receives its water with the help of an underground system of pipes. The remaining terraces are much simple in design. For example, the first terrace has only a single rectangular water tank and doesn't come with any retaining wall either.
By Air - The domestic airport of Srinagar is well connected with the major cities of India. Routine flights operate between Srinagar and Mumbai, Delhi, Shimla and Chandigarh. International tourists too can catch connecting flights from the International Airport of Delhi, which lies at an approximate distance of 876 kilometers from Srinagar. Once you reach the airport, you either catch a bus or hire a cab to reach the Pari Mahal.
By Rail - Located at a distance of 290 kilometers, Jammu is the nearest railway station of Srinagar. The railway station is well connected to the important cities of India including Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. It has direct train services from Trivandrum, Bangalore, Chennai and Delhi. From here you can catch a cab to reach Pari Mahal. After reaching the railway station, either catch a bus or hire a taxi to reach the Pari Mahal.
By Road - There are many bus service providers that arrange for deluxe bus services from various neighboring cities to Srinagar. The city lies at an approximate distance of 290 kilometers from Jammu, 630 kilometers from Chandigarh, 434 kilometers from Leh, 876 kilometers from Delhi and 96 kilometers from Phalgam by bus.
Srinagar, the capital city of Jammu and Kashmir is situated in the Kashmir Valley. It lies on the banks of River Jhelum. It is one of those few cities where you will get fewer number of Hindu locals.The city is noted for its houseboats, lakes and gardens. In addition to this, Srinagar is also marked for its authentic Kashmiri handicrafts as well as dry fruits.
Harwan : Located at a distance of 19 kilometers from the tourists reception center, Harwan is located on the hillside, towards the south of the Harwan Village. Noted for its antique tile pavements, each tiles helps you explore more about the dresses of the individuals, like the close fitted turbans, Turkoman caps and loose trousers that reveal the influence of the Central Asian culture.
Kashmir Mughal Gardens : With the Dal Lake as the backdrop, the three Mughal gardens of Kashmir are noted for their cascading fountains, terraced lawns as well as vibrant flowerbeds. Located at a distance of 15 kilometers from the Tourists Reception Centre, Shalimar Bagh was constructed by Emperor Jehangir. He constructed this Bagh for his wife Nur Jehan. This bagh comes with four shallow terraces each having an approximate measurement of 539 meters by 182 meters. You will also find a canal which gets water supply from Harwan and is lined with polished stones. At one point of time, the fourth terrace was exclusively reserved for the ladies. The second bagh, i.e. the Nishant Bagh is located on the banks of Dal Lake and gas the Zabarwan Mountains at its backdrop. It lies at a distance of 11 kilometers from the tourist reception centre and offers a remarkable view of the snow covered Pir Panjal Mountain range. Asaf Khan built this garden in 1633 A.D.
With attractively laid garden in the terraces, Chashma Shahi bagh offers a marvelous view of the Dal Lake as well as encompassing mountain ranges. Built in 1632 AD by Shah Jehan, the garden is also noted for its refreshing spring water. By the side of this garden, you will find a couple of huts exclusively designed for the residences of the government officials of the Jammu and Kashmir State Government.