The Garden Guide

Book: C.M Villiers Stuart Gardens of the Great Mughals
Chapter: Chapter 12 Some garden contrasts and a dream

Decay of Indian gardens

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Since the fall of that [Mughal] Empire, raids and wars, years of unstable government and adverse European influences, have all but destroyed Indian gardening. Only in Rajputana and the lesser Native States something of the old skill lingers, something of the old fire smoulders. There it awaits the coming Indian renaissance. Whence will it come, that fresh breath which will blow the embers into flame ? From new Japan ? From the vast, slowly awakening bulk of China? Or from England? The British Badshahi which maintains the necessary peace, so far has lacked the intuition and taste to lead Indian art, and to trust to Indian craftsmen. But a love of nature generally, especially of flowers, is as much a national characteristic of the English as of Indians. Surely a fresh and brilliant chapter of Indian art and garden history should open at the Delhi of King George. In the words of the town planners recent report, 'Delhi once more is to be an Imperial capital, and is to absorb the traditions of all the ancient capitals. It is to be the seat of the Government of India. It has to convey the idea of a peaceful domination and a dignified rule over the traditions and life of India by the British Raj.'