Gardens are a visual delight and are considered to be the most beautiful element in any landscape design. In history, we have different examples of different kinds of gardens built around fortresses, for pleasing the rulers and empresses of that time. Mughal gardens have had a major influence on the gardens in the world that exist today.
Mughal garden designs are heavily influenced by the medieval Islamic gardens and are often seen as a place to rest and reflect. These gardens are considered to be a reminder of paradise on earth. The Charbaugh style was influenced by the Persian gardens which intended to create a representation of an earthly utopia in which humans co-exist in perfect harmony with all the elements of nature.
The Book of Genesis (1450 BC) describes Emperor Cyrus’s love for trees and how he had set his garden which gives us a clue that the concept of gardens has came into existence even before the Persian Empire. In 224 AD, gardens were depicted in art forms like Persian carpets and paintings. In 1220, Mongol invaded Persia and the Charbaugh became a key feature of the Islamic gardens as well. In 1519 AD, Babur conquered India and introduced Charbagh to South Asia. The first Charbaugh garden was established by Babur in Afghanistan.
The main elements of Mughal gardens include running water and a pool to reflect the sky; different varieties of trees- to provide shade, bear colourful ,fragrant flowers and fruits and attract birds; and grass. Efficient Geometry work , symmetry , proportioning system , and execution is seen in Charbaugh gardens.
These gardens have highly disciplined geometry and can be divided in the following types based on their shape, i.e Rectangular, Butterfly shaped, Circular and Terraced. Most gardens are rectilinear, with four sections crisscrossed by pathways and water.
Another differentiation in the Mughal gardens can be made by the location and presence of the tomb, i.e Garden with tomb in centre- eg. Humanyun’s tomb which is built in Persian and Indo islamic style; Garden with tomb at the end- e.g Taj mahal garden; Garden without tomb e.g Rashtrapati Bhavan garden, Shalimar bagh located in Srinagar built by emperor Jahangir for his wife Nur Jahan. With a tomb or without Tomb , gardens have been playing an important role in enhancing human - nature relationships and providing a space to reflect.