How to Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Shalamar Gardens in Lahore, Pakistan

Lahore

Shalimar Gardens, situated 7 miles (12 kilometers) from the main city of Lahore, Pakistan, is a testament to the grandeur of Mughal architecture and artistic expression during the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1981 the Shalimar Gardens were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one part of two distinct royal complexes, the other being the Lahore Fort. 

A Garden Paradise

This UNESCO World Heritage Site was made to be a garden paradise, intended to resemble a harmonious, earthly utopia where people could co-exist with nature. The gardens encompass approximately 39 acres (16 hectares) in total. The Persian influences of art and architecture here are unparalleled. The large red sandstone enclosing walls, linear paths  combined with the large, gushing waterways and three articulately unique terraces, which grant you a view of the Lahore in all its dusky glory, are undoubtedly some of the most amazing sights in Pakistan.

The 400-year-old destination is perfect for those passionate about world history, art, and architecture and experiencing all that understanding these cultural dynamics has to offer. The gardens are renowned for their three unique terraces which descend from the south to the north. Each of them have their own respective names with a bit of historical significance. The first terrace is named “Hayat Baksh” which translates to “Bestower of Life” in Urdu, the second is named “Faiz Baksh” which translate to the “Bestower of Goodness”, and the uppermost terrace is named “Farah Baksh” which means the “Bestower of Pleasure”, a representation of both Mughal Romanticism and Sufism. 

The gardens also have an array of mesmerizing fountains. In total there are 410 fountains in the Shalimar Gardens, divided among the three terraces. These fountain pools are made from pure and pristine white marble and on a hot summer day, nothing is more appealing to tourists and locals alike than enjoying the relaxing and calming vibe that these fountains bring.

More than Gardens

During your visit don’t just expect greenery and flowers. There is also stunning architecture that inspires awe to think that building concepts like this existed 400 years ago. Leisurely bathhouses, royal dining halls, pavilions, restrooms, meeting halls for visitors known as the “Diwan-e-Khaas,” tall minarets to mark boundaries, mosques and much more.

Getting Here

To get to this historical landmark you can choose one of numerous modes of transportation. Automobiles both private (car rentals and transportation companies such as Uber) and public (the local Taxis and rickshaws) are the most convenient and popular. Public transportation is also an option. There are three metro bus stations in the 3-5 mile kilometer radius of the Shalimar Gardens (along the Grand Trunk Road) that are an extremely cost effective way to get to the gardens. Once you get there expect to pay 500 Rupees if your are a foreigner and 20-50 Rupees if  you are local.

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