Achabal’s Mughal Garden are splendid and certainly worth a walk if you are passing through Achabal, also known as the ‘City of Springs’. Achabal is a small laid back town in Kashmir located around 10 KMs from Anantnag where you will not find much except beautiful Mughal Garden. You do not have to plan a stay at Achabal to visit Mughal Gardens . You can plan half a day visit and that would be good enough time to enjoy the beauty of these gardens developed by Mughal Emperor Jahangir’s wife, Noor Jahan.
We had a night halt at Jammu & Kashmir Tourism Guest house at Achabal while on our way to Chatpal and visited Mughal Gardens in morning as soon as they opened at 9 AM. It was still quite cold and sun still not out. Achabal Gardens are symmetrically built around a central water stream that originates from a spring within the Garden itself. As you walk further inside, you will find many small domes created right in middle of the flowing water where you can sit, relax and enjoy the sound of water and also observe the wonderful Mughal architecture from 16th Century.
Out of the five streams that originate from the source spring located at the end of Mughal Gardens, central stream carries the maximum flow and heads right in the middle with multiple fountains getting energized as water gushes down. These gardens have lot of open space and you can roam around and relax under big Chinar trees.
As you walk straight towards the end of the Gardens, you can easily locate the source spring under a small building with water gushing out from under the mountains. Once the water emerges out, it is divided into 5 streams which flow symmetrically through the gardens adored with Chinar trees and roses. Garden caretaker told us that it is a river that disappears in the village behind and again appears here after flowing under the mountain.
Achabal Gardens are considered one of the most beautiful Mughal Gardens in Kashmir. These peaceful gardens are certainly a treat to eyes and heart. These may not be as big as those of Mughal Gardens in Delhi and Srinagar but these are one of the finest masterpiece of Mughal Architecure and the combination of peace and perfection adds to the entire experience. This is the very reason why many tourists visit Achabal despite it being slightly off route from main tourist places in Kashmir.
How to reach Achabal’s Mughal Gardens (Location)
Achabal is located around 10 KMs from Anantnag (also known locally as Islamabad). You can hire a taxi from Anantnag to Achabal or alternately take public transport. Shared taxi (Tavera etc) are quite common in Kashmir as public transport which charge on per seat basis. They are convenient and also the primary mode of transport.
To reach Achabal by public transport, you can take a shared taxi from Anantnag (Distance ~10 KMs, Fare ~ ₹ 20). Though distance is short but road condition was poor during our visit and thus it took around 40 minutes for us to reach Achabal. Mughal Gardens are just 5 minute walk from the Central Chowk where taxi would drop you. Buses too ply from Anantnag to Achabal (~ ₹10 per person) but these are usually overcrowded and should be avoided.
Mughal Garden Entry Timings & Ticket Charges
Mughal Gardens open at 9 AM. Entry ticket costs ₹ 20 per person. Best time to visit would be in summers from April to Mid October.
Stay at Achabal
Jammu & Kashmir Tourism Guest House is the only decent option to stay at Achabal, located right next to Mughal Gardens. You can book the stay through Jammu & Kashmir Tourism website or by directly calling them. It has only dormitory rooms with shared toilets and bathroom (were not clean). Rooms are just average (No room heaters) and cost ₹ 700 per day. We will recommend to visit the Mughal Gardens and return on the same day as it will not take more than few hours even if you want to enjoy at leisure.