Wednesday, December 29, 2010

King of the World: Shah Jehan & my video of Shalamar Gardens

Browsing around the internet, as I am wont to do, I came across an image of the tughra, or seal of Shah Jehan, which brought back memories of my visit to Lahore, city of Shah Jehan's birth.  Before I show you some home videos, here is a picture of the tughra from the Met:

Image: Metropolitan Museum of Art
The intricate beauty of the calligraphy, the silver script almost invisible, is only befitting a man whose name means, "King of the World" and who was the ruler of the Mughal Empire at its peak.  Shah Jehan was born in Lahore in 1592, the grandson of Akbar, son of Jehanghir.  He came to power in 1627 and ruled until 1658.

Shah Jehan was a gifted ruler, but he is most remembered for the legendary love he had for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal ("jewel of the palace") for whom he built the Taj Mahal, one of the wonders of the world.  He established his court at Delhi and built many architectural marvels that stand to this day.

I recently visited Lahore and saw the Shalimar Gardens, which were commissioned by Shah Jehan in 1641 and built in just a year.  It is a beautiful network of 410 fountains, with water supplied by a canal that spanned 161 kilometers.

Below is a brief movie I took of Shalimar Gardens, back in November 2010. I think the video is so narrow due to size restrictions on blogger.

This is the upper part of the Gardens and the water was drained because they were cleaning out the fountains in preparation for Eid-ul-Adha, as hundreds, if not thousands, of people were expected to offer Eid prayers.  Also, a slight correction to the commentary, the Gardens are about 369 years old:

Second video, showcasing a different, and I think more beautiful, part of Shalimar:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...