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Use: The Persian word (paradeisoi), from which our word paradise comes, meant a walled garden. It derives from pairi (around) and deaza (wall). The term was first used for large hunting parks and later for rectangular walled gardens in cities or in the countryside. Paradise gardens were a calm retreat from the noisy and dusty outside world. They were used more as ornaments to be viewed from upper windows, or garden pavilions, than as rooms for outdoor living. Water channels, pools, fountains and cascades cooled the air. Flowers provided scent and colour. Fruit trees provided shade.
Form: The classic Paradise Garden is divided into four parts by canals. It is known as a charbagh or chahar bagh or quadripartite garden and has four square parts separated by water channels. The Greeks added the idea of four elements: earth, water, fire and air. The Koran (xxv.15) describes paradise as a garden of eternity (Arabic jannat al-khuld) with four rivers: of water, milk, wine and honey. Strict rectilinear gardens with squares and rectangles demarcated by water channels were made by the Persians (from the sixth century BC) by the Arabs (from the eighth century AD) and by the Mongols (from the sixteenth century until the eighteenth century). The underlying geometry had an amazing consistency for some 2,500 years. See also Paradise Garden.