Bring back Agra`s Mughal gardens

Agra: Agra`s long-lost Mughal gardens need to be resurrected.

This demand was the outcome of a two-day symposium on the lost legacy of the royal gardens of Agra, organised by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in collaboration with the Agra Development Authority.

"We are in the process of finalising recommendations and an action strategy," Shyam Singh Yadav, former chief of the horticulture wing of the ASI Agra circle, said.

Except those that are part of the monuments at the Taj Mahal or Sikandra, 32 Mughal gardens have vanished from Agra. Thier land has been usurped by encroachers.

The ASI has decided to seek financial support from the World Monuments Fund to develop new gardens on the banks of the Yamuna river -- which too needs wholesale cleaning.

The focus of the deliberations at the conference was the seminal work of eminent Mughal garden specialist Ebba Koch, an Austrian researcher who has claimed that the Mughals built 26 gardens in and around Agra.

Most are now lost, she lamented at the conference.

The conference was told that of the 45 gardens mentioned in Koch`s book, 32 now house hutments and other residential quarters, the land having been leased out to private builders or nurseries.

Pic courtesy: