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Image No. Ham-3

Indian Char Bagh Garden at the Hamilton Gardens, Hamilton, New Zealand.

An information sign at the gardens reads as follows:

Indian Char Bagh Garden


The ‘char bagh’ or ‘enclosed four part’ garden has been one of the most significant types of traditional garden. Between the 8th and 18th centuries these gardens spread throughout the Muslim world from Asia and North Africa to Spain.


They were the original ‘Paradise Gardens’, also known as the ‘Universal Garden’, because of their widespread use and their traditional symbolism for the universe itself derived from very ancient roots in Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, Islamism, and Buddhism.


In India these gardens became a distinctive art form during the 16th and 17th centuries, firstly under the Mughal rulers, then later the Hindu aristrocracy. This garden is an interpretation of a residential ‘Riverside Garden’ or ‘Kursi-cum-char bagh’, common along city riverbanks, such as the Jamna in Agra.


The Indian char bagh gardens were poetic, secret, pleasure gardens in which you could feel the breezes in the open sided pavilion, hear the sound of sparkling water, and enjoy the perfume of flowers in a living Persian carpet.

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