Twenty two kms from Chandigarh on the Shimla highway lies the Pinjore gardens. Originally laid in seven descending levels by the local Mughal governor during the times of the Emperor Aurangzeb in the early 17th century and later, refurbished by the Patiala royals of Punjab, these gardens are now under the Haryana (State)Tourism. The Pandav brothers of Mahabharat fame are also known to have rested here for there was a natural spring, during their twelve year exile after they lost their kingdom over a game of dice
There is a central water channel with fountains, surrounded by groves in neat quadrants.
Some ancient cypresses also, home to hundreds of huge fruit bats. Notice the gradually descending levels
The Jal Mahal is a chamber surrounded with water. The entire place is lighted up in the evening and I suppose the white external paint has been applied to contrast well with the lighting effects at night
In my opinion however, the coat of white paint has been somewhat out of character with the place, considering the 400 year old history. On top of that, airconditioned rooms, a banquet hall for hire and bars and restaurants have made it a picnic destination rather than a heritage destination though the need for generating revenues cannot just be wished away. Kids would love it though!
There is an interesting resource about the Pinjore gardens in the 1913 book by C M Villiers Stuart, titled the Gardens of the Great Mughals, which can be accessed here.
Wandering through the groves, I came across a felled pipal or ficus tree, which perhaps, showed more character
And this 19th century steam locomotive, clearly one of the earliest ones, displayed outside, rubbing shoulders with a water park, joyrides and beverages counters
Also heard a pair of koels in full flow and was quite surprised to find the female and the male on trees opposite each other. Looked like the missus had a lot of complaints which she was intent on sharing with anyone who might care to lend an ear, while the gentleman was appropriately sheepish