Area of the Anguri
and Inayat Gardens
Area of the Anguri and Inayat Gardens

Traveling east along the present alignment of the Grand Trunk, beyond Begumpura lies the village of Baghbanpura, the "Village of Gardeners." Baghbanpura is the settlement most clearly associated with, and dependent upon, a Mughal garden. It served Shah Jahan's Farah Bakhsh and Faiz Bakhsh gardens, which later came to be known as Shalamar.

This village of gardeners was presumably made up of families of malis (gardeners) and other site attendants, traders, and artisans. They initially served Shalamar garden, but subsequently worked around other gardens that were built in the area, including the Anguri (grape) and Inayat (providence) gardens, fragments of which survive just south of the Grand Trunk Road today. This village was not located in a prime horticultural area, from the standpoint of soils or vegetation. Instead, it lay at the best site for a Mughal garden in Lahore: a sharp escarpment created by the scouring of the Ravi River at some point in the sixteenth or early seventeenth century.

The Shrine of
Shah Abdul Ghani
The Shrine of Shah Abdul Ghani
Along that terrace lie tombs, graves, and gardens from the village of Kot Khwaja Saeed to Bhogiwal, Bhagbanpura, and beyond. Kot Khwaja Saeed has a tomb-garden attributed variously to Dara Shikoh, Prince Parvez, or to the sons of Parvez. Bhogiwal has the tomb-garden of Mian Khan (d. 1671), later known as the Raja Bagh after Raja Sochet Singh, which is distinguished by the unusual black marble cladding on its plinth. To the east is the shrine of Shah Abdul Ghani, the original construction of which was attributed to Dara Shikoh but which has been rebuilt many times since.
The Shrine of
Madho Lal Hussain
The Shrine of Madho Lal Hussain
Other prominent Mughal period monuments in the area include the mosque of Khwaja Ayaz and the shrine of Madho Lal Hussain. Hussain is renowned for his Punjabi mystical love poems.
Original Main Entry
to Shalamar Garden
Original Main Entry to Shalamar Garden

At the base of this river terrace, northeast of Madho Lal Hussain, runs the old road that served as the main entry to Shalamar garden. Although metropolitan Lahore has expanded far beyond this road and suburban garden outpost of Mughal times, the exuberance of bazaars, shrines, and schools in Baghbanpura today gives a sense of at least some aspects of this historic "Village of Gardeners."

A Mali (Gardener)
A Mali (Gardener)

Today only a few dozen gardeners tend the plots that were once manicured by hundreds of malis (gardeners) who lived in Baghbanpura. Although they remember some stories about the descendents of the malis of Shalamar, none of the gardeners employed there today is said to be related to the gardeners of Mughal times.