The Garden Guide

Book: C.M Villiers Stuart Gardens of the Great Mughals
Chapter: Chapter 2 Gardens of the Plains - Agra

Islamic mausoleum gardens

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Numerous fine mausoleums, or their ruins, lie scattered round the three great Mughal capitals, Agra, Delhi, and Lahore, some of which still retain their enclosing garden walls. These garden-tombs were a great feature of Moslem art. It was customary for the Mughal princes and omrahs to keep up various pleasure-grounds outside the cities, one of which was always chosen as the owner's last resting-place. The central baradari which had been used as the summer palace during the owner's lifetime formed the mausoleum at his death, when the garden was made over to religious purposes and its fruit usually distributed among the fakirs who tended the tomb and the many beggars and wayfarers who passed by its gates. A garden of this description must have been acquired by purchase or fair means, else its possession would entail misfortune-Babar alludes to this idea when he mentions that he paid the full price of the Bagh-i-Kilan and received a grant of it from its proprietor. This was the beautiful garden in the district of Istalif, in which he was finally buried. [See note on Mughal Tomb Gardens]