Srinagar is a city of Mughal gardens and Chashme Shahi is one among many. It is smaller as compared to the other but sits in a very beautiful location, on the face of a mountain, and overlooking the city and Dal Lake.
A few other gardens like Pari Mahal, Tulip Garden, and Botanical Gardens are located in close vicinity. The other major and most well-known ones, Shalimar Bagh and Nishat Bagh are just a short drive away. Together, these gardens are an important part of the city sightseeing tour for any tourist.
In the post below, I will provide some details on how you can plan a trip to Chashme Shahi garden. I do not want to get into the entire history and theoretical part. Much has already been written about that on the web and you can take a look at the Wikipedia page for complete details.
What I rather intend to cover in this post is mostly the practical information that will be useful to you as a tourist to plan your day in the Srinagar city and include a visit to Chashme Shahi in it.
About Chashme Shahi Garden
The name of this garden is written in a few different ways. It is also spelled as Chashm-e-Shahi, Chashma-i-Shahi, Or Cheshma Shahi. It was built in the year 1632 by the governor Ali Mardan Khan, on the orders of Emperor Shah Jahan.
Shah Jahan intended this garden to be a gift to his favorite son, Dara Shikoh. A residence was also built for the prince near the garden and now is known as Pari Mahal. Dara Shikoh is said to have lived for several years in Pari Mahal and also used the place to learn astronomy.
I do not really mean to discourage anyone from visiting here but I did not really like Chasme Shahi that much. I have been to most of the gardens in Srinagar and this was one that I did not enjoy visiting.
The garden is much smaller in the area and there was not much to see. If you wanted to see a garden, then Nishat Bagh and Shalimar Bagh are a much better deal.
If you want to see an amazing view of the Dal Lake and the city around it, you will get a much better view from either Pari Mahal or the Shankaracharya temple.
So if you were short on time, then yes, a visit to Chashme Shahi can be skipped. There isn’t much that you will miss. But if you did have a couple of hours to spare and were anyway going to see Pari Mahal or Tulip Garden, then you should drive a little more and see Chashme Shahi as well.
What to See
Take a look at the first picture in this post. That is pretty much all that is there to see in Chashme Shahi. It is a terraced garden built around the water spring and comprises the different terraces.
The main attraction of the garden is the small stream of water. It flows down the hill and creates a small waterfall on the second terrace and a small pool of water on the third terrace.
There are water fountains that remain operational all day in the pool on the third terrace and add to the overall charm of the place.
As a tourist, you will first buy the tickets and enter at the third terrace, the lowest one. You will then climb a steep set of stairs to reach the other two terraces and walk around in the small garden. That will summarize your trip to Chashme Shahi.
Other Places to Visit
Pari Mahal is only a short distance from Chashme Shahi. It was the residence of Prince Dara Shikoh and also has a beautiful garden that is much larger in size. It also offers a stunning sunset view and the Dal Lake.
Tulip Garden is also located quite close to Chashme Shahi but it only blooms in April. If you were to drive about 6 kilometers on the Boulevard road around the lake, you will reach Nishag Bagh which in my opinion is the most beautiful of all the Mughal Gardens.
About 2 kilometers from Nishat Bagh is Shalimar Bagh which is also definitely worth visiting. If you had some time in hand, you can continue driving for another 6 kilometers, you will arrive at the Hazratbal Shrine.
Chashme Shahi Timings
Chashme Shahi remains open between 9 am to 5 every day, including Sundays and Holidays. Tourists can stay till sunset in the garden but the entry gate is closed at 5 pm.
Chashme Shahi Entry Fee
The entry fee for Chashme Shahi is Rs. 40 per person.
This is however an approximate number because both the times I visited there, I paid a different entrance fee. So it may change at the time of your visit but will be under Rs. 50 per person.
Best Time to Visit Chashme Shahi
The best time to visit Chashme Shahi is in the evening, at the time of sunset. You can visit during the day as well but it gets surprisingly hot in Srinagar during the day. So a better time to enjoy all these places is in the evening.
How to reach Chashme Shahi Garden
The best way to reach Chashme Shahi is to first get to Dal Lake and then drive up the mountain to the garden.
By Car / Bike
If you were traveling by self-owned car, navigating the way to the garden is easy. It is marked on Google Maps and you will reach the right spot following the directions. If not, then just reach Ghat No. 23 on Dal Lake.
Just before the ghat, there will be a road to your right going uphill. If you were not able to locate it, then just ask any of the locals and they will point you in the right direction. There is also a police check-post near that road so you can ask the cops as well.
If you were traveling in a private taxi then your driver will know the way and you wouldn’t have to worry about it.
There is no public transport available for Chashme Shahi and you will have to hire a private taxi for sightseeing in Srinagar. There is no bus available at all.
At best, you may get a shared cab to drop you near Ghat 23 or Botanical gardens. From there, you will either have to hitchhike or walk the distance to Chashme Shahi.
Chashme Shahi – Conclusion
I hope the information above on Chashme Shahi garden was of help. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below. You can also follow me on Instagram and chat with me live there or subscribe to my YouTube channel and ask a question there.