Nature rolls out the red carpet

A sea of fallen red, brown and orange autumn leaves on Monday turned Nishat Bagh in Srinagar, Kashmir, into a scene worthy of a Bollywood film.

Known as "the Garden of Joy" or "Garden of Delight" in Urdu, the Persian-style garden was built in 1633 by Empress Noor Jahan's brother Asif Khan.

It is famous for its stunning lake and mountain vistas, avenues of poplars or chinar trees, and its 12 terraces, which are said to represent the different zodiac signs.

The rectangular pool in the middle of the garden was formed by changing the course of a mountain stream.

The picturesque site has also been featured in Bollywood movies.

The Kashmir Valley's dramatic change in colours during autumn draws thousands of tourists from India and other regions to attractions in the valley - including Srinagar's three royal Mughal Gardens, of which Nishat Bagh is the second largest.

Last year, the government of Jammu and Kashmir appointed award-winning conservation architect Abha Narain Lambah to prepare a dossier to have Nishat Bagh and other Mughal gardens listed as Unesco World Heritage sites. Restoration work began earlier this year.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 01, 2021, with the headline Nature rolls out the red carpet. Subscribe