When you think of northern India, what comes to mind are sumptuous palaces, arresting forts and, of course, the Taj Mahal. Entranced by these edifices, you are forgiven for overlooking their splendid gardens.
However, they are worth a closer look. For example, observe the traditional Rajput courtyard gardens of the Amber Fort in Jaipur with their inspiring views of the sensational geometry of the lake gardens below. And how about the 32-acre, 250-year-old garden at Samode Bagh, northwest of Jaipur, centered on a canal with 42 fountains?
If you study them, it will become clear that the gardens of the Taj Mahal are integral parts of the monument’s design. And when in Agra, no garden lover worth her mulch would miss the terraced lawns, fountains, reflecting pools and pavilions of the Oberoi Amarvilas Hotel. Or the series of courtyard gardens at Agra Fort that exemplify the peak of Mughal garden design.
And there’s so much more. Enough to fill a book…such as the gorgeous forthcoming tome on the subject of Indian gardens by noted horticulturist, architectural historian and author of ten beautiful and meticulously researched titles on the gardens of the world, Patrick Bowe, to whom these descriptions are to be credited.