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Landscpe Design

Salient features of
mughal gardens

West Asian Gardens

Asian gardens design and history overview - West Asia:

Egyptian Gardens
Indian Gardens
Arab Gardens
Persian Gardens
Timurid Gardens
Mughal Gardens
Turkish Gardens

Common features of
Persian gardens
A high surrounding wall
Straight tile-lined
channels of water
Bubbling fountains
Trees for shade and fruit
A Pavilion or gazebo
Strong emphasis on
flowers in beds and pots

Mughal gardens are a group of

gardens built by the Mughals
in the Islamic style of
architecture. This style was
influenced by Persian gardens
and Timurid gardens.
Significant use of rectilinear
layouts are made within the
walled enclosures
Many Mughal gardens can be
seen as paradise gardens,
creating the effect of total
immersion of the senses.
Invariably square or
rectangular, they are
subdivided into smaller
parterres with imposing tall
Characteristic design elements
include horizontal planes,
terraces arranged in a
symbolic hierarchy, symmetry,
linear paths and avenues of

The focal point is always an

arrangement of canals edged
with stone or brick, in which
water cascades over carved
Trees, such as plane and
cypress, emphasise the lines
and create a background to
rose beds bordering the

The quadrilateral garden is
divided by walkways or flowing
water into four smaller parts. [1]
In Persian, "Chr" means 'four'
and "bgh" means 'garden'.
Mughal gardens would
originally have taken advantage
of naturally occurring streams
flowing from the mountains,
channelling the water into
canals for pleasure and
decoration near to the palaces,
then flowing on down to
irrigate crops in adjacent fields.
Charbagh evolved into a unique
style of garden planning and
design that came to be known
as the Mughal garden

Taj MahalChahar Bagh

The Taj Mahal is composed
of a Single Chahar Bagh,
whereas Shalamar Garden
is composed of two Chahar
Baghs. These Chahar Baghs
are divided and subdivided
in almost the same manner,
and a comparison of
Shalamar garden at Lahore
and the garden of the Red
Fort at Delhi suggests that
the Chahar Baghs were
divided and subdivided in a
similar fashion as well.

. One of the important
aspects of the garden
design is the raised
Khayabans (walkways).
They are approximately ten
feet higher than the ground.
The result being that, there
is no conflict between
vegetation and architecture.
One would only see tops of
flowers or trees while
walking on khayabans.
The garden givesthe
impression of a floral
carpet. We find a similar
concept in some of the
Spanish gardens as well.

The Mughals were obsessed
with the use of symbols and
incorporated them into their
gardens in many ways.
Non-religious symbols and
ideas are also prevalent, with
elements from numerology
and astrology
The elements that the
Mughals introduced were
the.inclusion of tents,
carpets and canopies
reflecting nomadic roots.
Tents indicated status in these
societies, so wealth and power
were displayed through the
richness of the fabrics as well
as by size and number.

Mughal gardens had a
raised hillock at the
The numbers eight and
nine were considered
auspicious by the
Mughals and can be
found in the number of
terraces or in garden
architecture such as
octagonal pool.

The trees and flowers

The trees in the Mughal
gardenswere generally
planted to emphasize the
general lines of the
Flowers were mostly planted
parallel to principal water
channels and also bordering
the smaller subdivisions of
Chahar Bagh.
In the Mughal gardens,
flowering fruit trees such
as lemon, oranges, plums,
white kachnars and almonds
represented renewal, a symbol
of youth and life, portraying a
cycle of life in the garden.
This theme can easily be
identified on the minarets
of a gateway to a garden
known as Chauburji (the
four minarets) at Lahore.

Maple trees in nishat bagh


In Mughal miniatures,
cypresses can be seen
planted on four
corners of chabutras or
Mughal flowers were
spring flowers. Lilles,
tulips, poppies,
anemones, cyclamen,
iris,violets were all
planted in Mughal
gardens. However,
during summer,
roses, pinks
delphiniums and
hollyhocks were also

There are two types of

Mughal Gardens, one is
like park enclosures
surrounding the
principal monumental
structure especially
Mughal tomb such as
Taj Garden at Agra, and
in other type there are
no principal
monumental structure
such as Nishat Garden
at Srinagar, Kashmir.

At the Taj Garden, the tomb

building is placed at the
farthest end.
The tomb garden and
subsidiary buildings are
enclosed by a broad wall
with octagonal pavilions at
each end.
When the Emperor built the
Taj, the garden was full of
trees, such as fruit trees,
cypress, palm trees and
flowering trees.
The formal garden is based
on Char Bagh or four
proportional garden plan.
The use of water is the most
remarkable character of
Mughal Garden.
The water channels flow in
four directions dividing the
garden at right angles into

The second type of

Mughal Gardens was also
designed as a pleasure
resort and picnic spots, but
without a tomb, a
monumental structure, for
example Nishat Garden at
Srinagar, Kashmir.
Here the full advantage of
the slope of hills is made to
construct flow of water in
pools, fountains, water
channels etc.
The gardens are laid out on
regular and suitable forms
and divided into smaller
squares or rectangular.

Persian Gardens

>The Persian gardens were created
as a model of paradise.
> Greater part of Persia was arid,
lacking water and vegetation.
>The concept of Persian garden was
definitely paradise like, fertile and
rich with fruits and flowers in
contrast to the draught, heat and
sun outside.
>It had order and tranquility.
>It can be identified as a place
where one could sit in shade and
Persian Gardens
relax, enjoy the sounds of the birds,



paradise is derived from old Iranian

root, as pairi.daza
>In Quran, the garden is constantly
cited as the symbol of paradise, with
shade and water as its ideal
>For main rivers of paradise are also
specified, one with water, one with
milk, one with wine and one of
purified honey .
>This is the origin of the Quartered
Persian Gardensas >Chahar
Garden known in Persia


Persian Gardens


The god has actually defined paradise as

Garden, and it is up to individual not only to
aspire to it in the after-life, but also to try to
create its image hare on earth.

The concept of Persian garden was definitely

paradise like, fertile and rich with fruits and
flowers in contrast to the draught, heat and sun
outside. It had order and tranquility.
It can be identified as a place where one

could sit in shade and relax, enjoy the

sounds of the birds, water flow and
fragrance of flowers.
Planting of trees and selection of species
Persian Gardens
was carefully done in order to improve

57 degrees

32 degrees



The tradition and style in

the garden design of
Persian gardens has
influenced the design of
gardens from Spain to
India and beyond.

The Persian garden styles

follow the gardening
styles of Egypt.
The local climate, high
walled structures, shady
trees, water streams and
fountains are the factors
which makes the Persian
garden a paradise on
The different styles of
Persian garden are Hayat,
Meidan, Chahar Bagh, Park
and Bagh.


The Persian gardens are

planted with different
types of fruit, flower
trees, shrubs, shady
plants, etc.
The irrigation canals are
also planted in the
The canals were planted
straight to provide water
to the plants which were
also planted straight
along the canals.
The Persian garden style
spread eastwards to India
and westwards via Spain
with the spread of Islam
and by the Romans.



Origin :
Persian gardens originated in 4000 BCE.

The decorated pottery of that time shows the

typical cross plan of the Persian gardens.

This style is best seen in Cyrus the Great's garden

which was built-in around 500 BCE.

During the reign of Sassanids and under the influence of

Zoroastrianism, water was considered an important
factor in the art of garden.
The greater emphasis was given on ponds and
fountains in the garden.
During the Arab occupation, gardens were built by
taking into consideration aesthetic rules.
The best example of this is 'Chahar bagh', with four
rivers and four quadrants representing the world.
After 18th century, European Garden design began to
influence Persia, especially those of France, Russia and
United Kingdom.


These gardens are enclosed.
The main purpose behind building
such gardens was to provide
relaxation in different manners
such as spiritual,
leisurely (e.g. meetings with
Pairi daeza means enclosed space
in Persian language.
This Christian mythology adopted
this term to describe
the Garden of Eden or paradise on

Garden of Eden

The construction of garden may

have an emphasis either on
nature or on structure, however
the main thing this garden should
allow is maximization of function.
The Persian gardens were built as
a retreat from the harsh
These gardens are followed by
modern-day garden, from the
sanctuaries and hunting parks of
5th century B.C.,
19th century magical
nightingale gardens of Tehran,
The Cyrus's garden had a
geometrical plan and stone

Cyrus's garden

Water courses


This style was widely used with the

spread of Islam, from Moorish gardens
(Spain) to Mughul gardens (India).
In contrast with the European gardens
of the time the Persian gardens were
very lavish. These gardens consisted
of herb plants around monasteries.

The gardens also had red and yellow

beautiful, colourful fruit plants in it.

Bagh-e-Shahzadeh is one of the

remaining few persian garden. It has
series of split level fountains and it is
full of tender beauty of nature.

The Persian gardens have influenced

the gardeners of Andalusia to India
and other countries also.

Basic styles of Persian garden :

This is the old classical Persian garden layout
which highly emphasizes on aesthetics.
The grounds are covered with gravels flagged
with stones.
Planting is very simple. The trees are planted
in a line with a shade.
The pools are the source of humidity in the
surrounding atmosphere.
These gardens are mainly pool centred and
structure centred.

This is a public, formal garden which
emphasizes more on biotic elements than
Here we see bedding plants, trees, shrubs,
grasses, etc.
In this garden also the elements like
gravel pathways, pools divide the lawns.
The shade providing structures pavilions
are also built.

Chahar Bagh:
These gardens are formal and private.
The garden structure mainly consists of four
quadrants divided by pathways and
This garden has a balanced structure with
proper pathways and greenery or plants
around the periphery of the pool.


These are casual parks used for public functions.

These are full of various plants.
Here we see pathways and seating but these gardens are limited in terms of structural elements.
The purpose of such gardens is relaxation and socialization.


Like other casual gardens, it focuses on natural and green aspects of nature.
These gardens are often attached to houses consisting of trees, lawns and ground plants.
It gives less emphasis on waterways and pathways.
The primary aim is familial relaxation.

Elements of Persian
The important Persian garden elements are
sunlight, shade, water, buildings.
These elements provide relaxation in
different manners such as spiritual,
leisurely (e.g. meetings with friends) etc.
which is the primary aim of Persian garden
which is considered as a paradise on earth.
The Persian gardens often connect internal
yard gardens with the surrounding outward

Sunlight :
The important factor to be
considered while designing the
Persian garden is sunlight and its
effects in the garden.
Architects arranged the samples
and forms from the rays of light to
restrain the sunlight.
The specific textures and shapes
were chosen by the experienced
architects to harness the light.

The shade is also very important due to the
dry heat of Iran.
The Persian gardens includes trees,
shrubs and trellises which work as biotic
shades to provide protection from strong
In these gardens we can see large number
of big shade trees, fruit and flower trees as
Walls and pavilions are also important in
blocking the harsh sunrays.
Mostly cypress trees are found .

In desert regions, there are many dry areas beside the many
forests, therefore water comes as the next important element
in the Persian garden.
The underground water canals are built on slopes to
facilitate either natural or the artificial flow of water
It is assumed that this style of irrigation is thousand years
This style works in the best way and widely used even in
modern gardening styles.
For this purpose of moving water around the surface water
Trees are planted in a ditch called a jub, to prevent water
evaporation and allow quick access of water to the tree roots.


In many of the Persian gardens, buildings of splendour,
brick works and pavilions are seen.
Here we also get to see the different structural designs
like royal palaces, mansions, temples, etc.
Iranian architects used to build domes on square
buildings very skilfully.
These enhance the beauty of these gardens.
In Persian gardens, beautiful arches were constructed.
In front of many mansions and palaces of these gardens,
the water fountains were placed as the source of cool,
peaceful atmosphere and pleasure.
The beautiful types of glasses (e.g. stain glasses) were
used for windows and other glass works.

Characteristic features of
Persian gardens:

The most important factor of Persian gardens is to

build shade type structures wherever necessary in the
garden. This helps to cope with hot climates and keep
the atmosphere cool.
These gardens are closed and walled and have very
little association with the area outside these walls.
The Persian gardens necessarily have a central water
feature or ponds as water is the soul of these gardens.
Fountains tend to be more of modern Persian garden
design. It is a best way save water and maintain with
the original design consisting of a water structure.
The gardens have crisp colours and clean alignments.
Intricate mosaic tiles are occasionally used in these

The garden can be conservative, refined,

formal or relaxed and casual. The different
garden designs serve different purposes.
Arches play an important role in Persian
garden designs. It shows typical Persian
architectural theme. These arches are made
from stonework or sometimes wooden support
which can be made appear as original.
Symmetry is very important in these designs.
The matching or mirroring elements can give
enjoyment and pleasure.

Fin Garden,Kashan

It is also called as Bagh-e-Fin located in Kashan, Iran.

It is a historical Persian garden. The garden might have its
origin in Safavid period.
It was built near the village of Fin under the reign of Abbas I
of Persia (1571-1629).
The area of garden is 2.3 hectares consisting of a main yard
surrounded with four circular towers.
The fin garden is full of water features.
There was a spring behind the garden on the hillside which
was the main source of water for this garden.
In this place the water pressure was such that fountains and
pools could easily be constructed without the use of
mechanical pumps.
The garden contains many cypress trees

The plan is a sophisticated charhar bagh with grids

of canals and paths.
The canals are lined with blue-green tiles, a colour
which contrasts wonderfully with the desert outside
the garden walls.
At Fin, all the channels are lined, sides and bottom,
with blue faience tiles so that the very water seems
bright and gay until it flows into one of the larger
pools, lined with great trees.