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Two Of India’s Royal Gardens Are Blooming Again After A Four-Year Conservation Project

If visiting the Taj Mahal is on your bucket list, there are two more destinations you can add while you’re in Agra. Two of the royal gardens in India have been restored after a four-year conservation project and are back to their original splendour.

The Mehtab Bagh garden and the I’timad-ud-Daulah garden (also known as the Garden of the Tomb) were built for Agra’s nobility in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries but were damaged over time by erosion and urban development. The conservation project, led by the World Monuments Fund and the Archaeological Survey of India, sought to restore the authentic form of these famous gardens, re-activate their water features and enhance their visitor experience.

 

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The gardens are about an hour’s drive from the Taj Mahal, and their positions on the Yamuna riverfront make them prime locations to view the iconic mausoleum from. They’re both classified as Mughal gardens, a term used to describe gardens built in a Persian architecture style using geometric lines and intricate waterworks built into the natural growth. Mughal gardens were purposed to provide shade, fruit, fragrance and running water. The conservation project aimed to evoke this spirit in the gardens once more.

 

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The water features were a special focus of the Agra garden restoration project. New water management systems were designed to service the plants that create shade, fruit and fragrance, and special care was taken to ensure they didn’t create any waste.

A new visitor information centre in I’timad-ud-Daulah educates visitors on the history of the gardens and their relationship with the Taj Mahal. I’timad-ud-Daulah is nicknamed the “Baby Taj” and the Mehtab Bagh garden was build long before the other designs were conceived. Together with the Taj Mahal, the royal gardens in India form one of the most important historic features in Agra.

Check out these other incredible attractions you should see in India.

How to get to Agra

Remember it takes some planning to go to Bhutan – check visa regulations before booking, and research available tours.

  • Fly Qantas to Delhi
  • Take the Humsafar Express from Hazrat Nizamuddin to Agra Cantt
  • Agra, India

(Lead image: World Monuments Fund)