Achabal Gardens, "the places of the princes", is a small Mughal garden located at the southeastern end of the Kashmir Valley in the town of Achabal, Anantnag district, India. Located near the Himalayan Mountains.
This place is also noted for its spring, which is finest in Kashmir and is supposed to be the re-appearance of a portion of the river Bringhi, whose waters suddenly disappear through a large fissure underneath a hill at the village Wani Divalgam in the Brang Pargana. It is said that in order to test this, a quantity of chaff was thrown in the Bringhi river at a place its water disappears at Wani Divalgam and that chaff came out of the Achabal spring. The water of the spring issues from several places near the foot of a low spur which is densely covered with deodar trees and at one place it gushes out from an oblique fissure large enough to admit a man's body and forms a volume some 18 inches high and about a foot in diameter
It was built about 1620 A.D. by Mughal Empire Emperor Jahangir's wife, Nur Jahan, called the "greatest garden lovers of them all." The garden was rebuilt on smaller scale by Gulab Singh and is now a public garden. A main feature of the garden is a waterfall that enters into a pool of water.
As with other Kashmiri gardens, Achabal is located on a hillside, with its water source at the top. The typical chahar bagh design had to be altered to fit the site's topography, as the source of water shifted from the traditional center of the square garden to the highest point of the garden. In this manner, one axial stream is emphasized and the other streams were minimized or even removed from the design.
Although Achabal was once larger than it is today, its original dimensions are unknown. Today it has a rectangular shape, 247 meters long by 155 meters wide. It is aligned along the north-south axis, with the southern edge along its highest point (the site of the water source). The garden is segmented into three terraces, with a central water stream along the north-south axis that features three fountain basins. There are two walkways on either side of the axial water stream. Smaller side water channels to the east and west parallel the principal axial stream, and receive water from a stream running east-west on the third terrace. The smaller side water channels do not have fountain basins, but each channel features two chadars between the three terraces of the garden. A chadar is a special water ramp that transfers water between garden terraces; the surface of a chadar is usually treated with engraved patterns that influence the appearance of the water flowing over it.