Saturday, April 4, 2015


Shalimar_gardens srinagar
Shalimar Gardens of Srinagar

The Shalimar Gardens were built between 1619 and 1653, while the Renaissance period was happening in European countries, Portugal and Russia, by the Mughal Emperors of the Indian Subcontinent. Collectively the gardens are known as the Mughal gardens, because there are four total with the name Shalimar, located in Lahore, Ghaziabad, Delhi, and Srinagar. However, this style of garden was nothing new, and could be traced back to Persia, probably around 600 BC.

Shalimar Bagh in Srinagar came first. It originated as a cottage for the ruler Pravasena II, who founded the city of Srinagar and ruled in Kashmir. Over time the cottage deteriorated, but Emperor Jahangir found it again in 1619 and decided to make it bigger and more beautiful to please his wife. It became the imperial summer residence of Jahangir and his wife, Nur Jahan, and their entire court. In 1630 it was extended by his son, Shah Jahan, who is also famous for the Taj Mahal. Shalimar Bagh of Delhi was built by Shah Jahan as well.

The Shalimar Gardens of Lahore, Pakistan are perhaps the most well known. This location had only been called Shalimar starting at the beginning of the 18th century, and the other locations that are today called Shalimar were also known by other names. Those of Lahore were built in 1641 during the rule of Shah Jahan. The Shalimar Gardens of Delhi were built in 1653. The Shalimar Garden of Ghaziabad may just be a city.

It was commonly believed that the word shalimar means "abode of love," or "abode of light/moonlight." However, the Russian scholar Anna Suvorova deduced the origin of the word must be Arabic-Persian, and its likely meaning is from the Arabic expression shah al-'imarat, "master of buildings." Since 'buildings' generally meant [institutional] gardens, one could say shalimar means "masterful garden."

As a baby name, Shalimar would work as well as other place and word names such as Forest, River or India, even though it is as unusual as Topanga, Aragon and Quillan. Due to its pleasing sound, it could even be categorized alongside Lorelei - a German place name/legend which is not actually used in Germany. Those with heritage that makes the Shalimar Gardens meaningful might like to use this in the first or middle spot.

In 2015 there were 5 baby girls named Shalimar.

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