Aam Khas Bagh



Located near Fatehgarh Sahib and Sirhind in Punjab, the Aam Khas Bagh (literally, garden of the ordinary and privileged) is the most visible reminder of Sirhind’s glorious past. A complex of palaces and gardens, it was used as a resting place by a succession of Mughal emperors and designed and renovated by many amongst them.

The origin of the garden can be traced to the period of Akbar. Hafiz Sultan Muhammad Rakhna of Herat, the then shiqdar (revenue collector) of Sirhind, laid out this garden and erected many other buildings.  After the death of Hafiz Rakhna the garden reverted to the crown and passed to the successive Mughal rulers which led to its renaming and repeated modelling.

Jahangir showed a deep concern for the garden. During the fourteenth year of his reign, i.e., in 1617, he, before his departure from Agra for Lahore, appointed Khwaja Waisi the Karori (revenue collector of the Khalisa, the imperial revenue establishment) of Sirhind to keep up the garden as he was well acquainted with the science of horticulture as well as of Buildings. Two more visits of the emperor to this garden are on record.

Shah Jahan also took a keen interest in the development of the garden. His six visits to it are mentioned in contemporary chronicles. During his seventh regnal year, he celebrated the Nauroz festival in this garden.

The garden, which complements an elegant palace, consists of three rectangular enclosures and includes domed bastions, an artificial lake, a long water channel punctuated with carved fountains, and a traditional bathhouse, known as a hammam.

The dilapidated buildings inside the garden still stand as a testimony to the ancient grandeur and magnificence of the place. During the famous Shaheedi Jor Mela at Fatehgarh Sahib, the light and sound programme regarding the history of Sirhind and the martyrdom of younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh in the form of Play – Sirhind Di Deewar is shown to the visitors at night in the Aam Khas Bagh.





Book:  Some Aspects of Indo-Islamic Architecture – By Subhash Parihar



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