The Garden Guide

Book: C.M Villiers Stuart Gardens of the Great Mughals
Chapter: Chapter 9 Pinjor - An Indian country house and its garden

Baradari in Pinjore Gardens

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The spell breaks, however, as, at the gardens entrance, a hideous little lamp-post catches the eye; and the graceful old baradari built across the stream, with its curved roof and small side domes, is seen to be disfigured by an ugly verandah of corrugated iron. Only a few big cypresses remain of the original avenues that led up to the garden-house. But close by the water, roses, jasmine, and palms still flourish, framing with their bright colours and green luxuriance, deepened in their soft reflections, a typical and charming picture. Behind the cypress trees, stone edgings show where long parterres of flowers once made a blaze of colour, while large chabutras shaded by mango trees form the centre of the design on each side. Flanking the white baradari, fragments of a wall remain, through which doors open on to the second terrace. This was the purdah garden for the ladies, and must have been shut out by high walls from the more public garden of the main entrance; where once for a short time Fadai Khan held his Court, and all the local business of the district was transacted. This second terrace is a hundred yards wide, and of the same length as the upper one, about one hundred and sixty yards. The water running beneath the white pavilion falls over a projecting ledge, below which the wall is decorated with many rows of small carved alcoves, used for lights. At dusk on fete days these old Indian gardens have an added charm and fascination. Here, when the little earthen lamps are lit, they twinkle through the shining falls of water like green glow-worms; while the rosy warmth of lights within the white pavilion gives the illusion of some huge transparent shell, poised above the waterfall, its curving back showing dimly against the twilight sky and the darker blue of the mountains beyond.