The Garden Guide

Book: C.M Villiers Stuart Gardens of the Great Mughals
Chapter: Chapter 6 Gardens of the Plains Lahore

Udaipur courtyard gardens

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The two other parterres illustrated here are taken from Mughal gardens at Udaipur. The Emperor Jahangir as a young man, before he came to the throne, constructed several gardens there. The first design, though probably not of his time, is in the same style which he introduced into Rajputana. The flower-beds are worked out in bricks like those at Lahore but are covered with a fine polished plaster, and the design shows at a glance the origin of the Persian floral carpet patterns. The lake water flows into the spaces forming the ground of the design. There are platforms on which to sit and enjoy the colours of the living carpet, and in the centre it a small marble pavilion for musicians. A marble platform with beds for trees surrounds the garden, and the pavilions on each of its four sides look out over the lake. The courtyard parterre is a typical specimen of a small zenana garden. Geometric flower-beds panelled by slabs of marble surround the central tank. A perforated marble rail encloses the flower-plots, and four cypresses mark the outer corners.