Nimla Gardens

sights / Parks & gardens

Nimla Gardens information

Location
Jalalabad , Afghanistan
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These gardens 40km from Jalalabad were laid out in 1610 by the Mughal emperor Jehangir. They follow the quartered Chahar Bagh –style of classical Mughal gardens, with beds of plants and trees given order by the addition of terraces, straight paths and channels of water punctuated by fountains. The design echoes the more celebrated Shalimar Bagh in Srinagar, Kashmir, also laid out at this time by Jehangir for his wife Nur Jahan. At Nimla, Nur Jahan is said to have supervised much of the actual planting. As in Srinagar, cypress and chinar trees play an important role in the garden’s design. Until recently much neglected, the gardens have been rehabilitated by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), although the water channels remain dry. FAO has been working here and elsewhere on extensive nursery and reforestation programmes to repopulate Afghanistan’s denuded orchards. Nimla is southwest of Jalalabad off the Kabul road. The route passes through the village of Sultanpur, where there is a temple dedicated to Guru Nanak, founder of Sikhism. In mid-April, Afghan Sikhs and Hindus visit the temple for its Waisak festival. The village of Gandamak is 11km from Nimla, where the British army made its last desperate (and doomed) stand in January of 1842.