Islamabad, the second town in Kashmir,stands a few miles higher up the Jhelum from Bijbehara, just where the river narrows. It is the starting-point for the Verinag-Jummu route. At the foot of the hill, overlooking the town, there are numerous springs, and consequently remains of Mughal gardens. But only some Kashmiri pavilions, and the stone tanks which swarm with sacred carp are left.
The direct road from Islamabad to Verinag Bagh, Nur-Jahan’s favourite Kashmir garden, runs for nineteen miles across the rivers and the rice-fields and a very bad road it is. For the traffic of the country goes down the new Jhelum valley road by
For those who feel the charm of solitude in a beautiful setting, Verinag Bagh is still an enchanting place to pass the early summer days. So at least we found it ; reading, writing, and painting under the fruit trees, or ensconced in latticed summer-houses built across the stream, where straggling Persian rose-bushes scented the garden with their soft pink blooms. Early every morning the Brahmins in charge of the spring came to gather the flowers to decorate their shrine. Later in the day, a school of small boys were usually busy at work in the shade of a large chenar, or were drawn up in line for a diving lesson, learning to swim with merry splashings in the clear, fast-flowing stream.