The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Bagh-e-Babur; Afghanistan historic & recreational park

Bagh-e Babur is located on the slopes of Kuh-e Sher Darwaza, (Sher Darwaza mountain) southwest of the old city of Kabul. The garden is arranged in 15 terraces along a central axis in east west direction. From the top terrace, the visitor has a magnificent vista over the garden and its perimeter wall, across the Kabul River towards the snow-covered mountains.
Created by the founder of the Mughal dynasty, Zaheeruddin Muhammad Babur (1483-1530), after his conquest of Kabul in 1504, Bagh-e Babur is one of the earliest surviving Mughal gardens. The king was a passionate gardener and personally designed and supervised at least 10 gardens in his capital Kabul.
They are described in the Babur-name, but the historical name of Bagh-e Babur is not known. Excavations revealed that Babur did not design his garden on an empty plot: ruins of a monumental building dating to the 3rd century BC and traces of a subsequent occupation to the 15th century made it necessary to clear the ground before a large terraced garden with a different orientation could be landscaped at this very spot.
For political reasons, Babur had to move east and conquered northern India in 1526; he died in Agra in 1530. Throughout his years in the flat, dusty plains of India he missed his home country and thus wished to be buried in Kabul. His body was transferred to Bagh-e Babur by his widow around 1544.
The texts do not provide a reason why out of all gardens he chose this one. However, remains of older tombs with brick vaults and stone cists excavated underneath the tomb platform revealed that the area was already used as a cemetery, possibly by his Timurid kin -a finding which might provide a context for his choice.
As the tomb garden of the founder of the Mughal dynasty, Bagh-e Babur became a place of veneration, a symbol, and hence gained superior importance among Babur’s gardens: For nearly 150 years, his heirs, especially Jahangir (r. 1605-1627) and Shah Jahan (r. 1627-1658), paid their respects to his burial place and sponsored ambitious building programs to preserve and beautify the garden according to contemporary taste.
With the completion of the rehabilitation in 2006 and the implementation of the institutional management plan within the framework of the MoU in 2008, Bagh-e Babur is the only carefully managed public space in Kabul that offers recreational facilities to the citizens.
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) says that the Babar Garden is equal to the UNESCO standards and they expect that this garden will soon be registered in the list of world cultural heritage.
According to the garden’s officials, Bagh-e-Babur is a masterpiece of human ingenuity, a part of human values, an important historical and cultural site, and it has met all conditions of UNESCO as it has 500 years of history, better in terms of beauty, environment and ecosystem; therefore, this garden should be registered as a cultural heritage.
It is worth mentioning that currently, the number of those visiting the garden has decreased due to increasing poverty and unemployment, while thousands of people used to visit the garden in the past. In addition, several cultural events are organized in the premises. The garden is a highly integral part of the cultural and social life. Secondly, the demand for such a facility is immense. The success of the garden as a public space is dependent on a management that secures -apart from the necessary maintenance of the plants and buildings -cleanliness, safety and privacy.
Saida Ahmadi

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.