INDIA TRAVEL - A MUGHAL ERA MARVEL - YADAVINDRA (PINJORE) GARDENS

Hello friends! Hope you are having a good time traveling and exploring. Today I am going to serve a slice of history.

India's most beautiful city, Chandigarh has a number of tourist attractions in and around it. But there is none to beat the historical Yadavindra Gardens, popularly known as Pinjore Gardens for their splendor, architecture, greenery and enchanting scenery.

HISTORY - It was built as Mughal Gardens for Aurangzeb, as a summer retreat by his foster brother and architect Muzaffar Hussain (also known as Fidai Khan) in the 17th century in the foothills of mighty Himalayas. Later mughals abandoned this garden and it came under the rulers of Patiala dynasty in the 19th century. They used the terraces of the garden to grow roses for making fragrances/perfumes for the Maharaja. Later Maharaja Yadavindra Singh restored it to it's erstwhile glory and so it was renamed after him as Yadavindra Gardens.

Yadavindra gardens
PINJORE GARDENS
LOCATION - Yadavindra or Pinjore Gardens are located on Ambala Shimla road on highway no. 21,  in Pinjore city of the Panchkula district of Haryana state. It is near to 8th century Bhima Devi Temple. It is just 22 km(14 mi) from the city of Chandigarh and 255 km(158 mi) from Delhi, the capital of India. And the best part is it is just 5 km(3 mi) from world heritage Kalka - Shimla railway. It is very easy to travel to this place from Delhi as well as Chandigarh. It has been used for shooting many Bollywood films.

ARCHITECTURE - Yadavindra garden has a layout in the shape of seven terraces. All at different levels. The main gate of the gardens opens in the highest terrace. Spread over an area of 100 acres, it has a central waterway with walkways on both sides of the waterway, which is in a channel shape. Both sides are covered by greenery and flowers and are provided shades by trees. The sloping ground has water fountains, which are located inside the waterway. Water channel runs along the entire length of the garden. All these give added charm and elegance to the gardens.

A palace called Sheesh Mahal(palace of glass) is built on the highest terrace. You can see the water channel from the glass floor of this palace. It has bedrooms and double bathroom. It is said that ladies of Patiala royal family used to stay in sheesh mahal during their sojourn here. It is adjoined by Hawa Mahal(airy palace), a romantic place.

Yadavindra gardens waterway
WATERWAY AT PINJORE GARDENS
Next terrace has another palace called Rang Mahal(palace of colors). It boasts of an arched doorway. 
In the third terrace you will see cypress trees and flower beds and further down it leads to dense groves of fruit trees.
Next terrace has another palace called Jal Mahal (water palace). A square fountain bed and a platform for relaxing are situated here. It also has a bedroom and a bathroom. Maharajas of Patiala dynasty used to stay here. This terrace provides a panoramic view of the Pinjore gardens along with orchid and beautiful mountains. Full moon nights here will leave you spellbound.
Next terrace is again full of fountains and tree groves.
The lowest terrace, which is designed as a disc, is provided with an open air theater.

PINJORE GARDEN SITE MUSEUM - The garden and Bhima Devi Temple are in an open air museum complex and are joined by pathways, which are well drained to remove any waterlogging. In the evenings, whole complex is very well illuminated.

OTHER ACTIVITIES AT YADAVINDRA(PINJORE) GARDENS :

1. Pinjore Baisakhi Fastival - Baisakhi is the harvest festival celebrated in North India, particularly in the states of Haryana and Punjab and union territory of Chandigarh. It is usually celebrated in the second week of April. In Pinjore gardens there is a two day festival during this time. You can see live folk arts and cultural festivals. These are spiced up with regional gourmet foods and traditional handlooms.

Pinjore gardens near Chandigarh
A PANORAMIC VIEW OF PINJORE GARDENS
2. Pinjore Mango Fair - This is again a two day affair, held during second weekend of July every year. This summer mango festival helps in promoting India as the largest producer of mangoes. People from as far as Maharashtra, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and also from Haryana, Punjab , Himachal Pradesh come here to participate with their produce. There are hundreds of varieties of mangoes on display and they delight everyone with their fragrance, taste and shape. There are anumber of activities during this festival which include mangoes competition, cultural programmes and a crafts bazar. There is also a cart competition for school students. And of course there is a food court also to satisfy your appetite. This festival receives almost 4000 entries every year, out of which around 3500 are for varieties of mangoes and rest are for mango products like pickles, jams, chutneys, squashes and juices etc. Various awards are given to the winners like Haryana Kesari(champion of Haryana), Hind Kesri(champion of India) and Aam Kesri( champion of mangoes for foreign participants). They are provided with shields and certificates. From this year i.e. 2018, Pinjore mango festival has been accorded international status.

3. Pinjore Heritage Festival - This is again a two day festival, celebrated in the last week of December every year. It is held to showcase and celebrate the cultural heritage of Haryana. You can see cultural festivals, music and dance competitions and crafts bazar displaying local crafts. Then there is food court and evening performances by various artistes. Whole Yadavindra garden is decorated with cutouts and lights. Gates are decorated and it is very well illuminated at night.


Illumination at Yadavindra gardens
AN ILLUMINATED PINJORE GARDEN
HOW TO REACH - Pinjore gardens are very easily accessible from all parts of India, particularly from Delhi and Chandigarh. It is well connected by road, rail and air. Nearest airports are Chandigarh and Delhi. Nearest rail station is Kalka. You will easily get taxis from Delhi as well as Chandigarh for Pinjore. Buses are also available to reach Pinjore.

WHERE TO STAY - There are number of hotels in Chandigarh and Panchkula to suit every budget.

So next time you visit Delhi or Chandigarh, don't miss a visit to Pinjore Gardens.

Cheeeers! Happy traveling!!




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