It was love at first sight with Badamvaer, Srinagar, for both the husband and me. The moment we set foot inside the gates of Badamvaer and caught a glimpse of its prettiness, we were charmed. It was a rainy weekend morning when we visited, in the course of our holiday in Kashmir, and we were lucky to have this beauty almost all to ourselves.
What is Badamvaer, you ask? Popularly called ‘Badamwari‘, Badamvaer is the Kashmiri name is a gorgeous, gorgeous garden in Srinagar. Like the name suggests, almond trees abound in the place (‘Badam‘ refers to ‘almond’, while ‘vaer‘ is ‘garden’ in Kashmiri). I hear the garden comes alive in the spring, when the almond trees blossom. There are beautiful white blossoms everywhere, and the garden is a sight to behold. When we visited this May, there were no blossoms on the almond trees, but the place was still a sight to behold.
The story of Badamvaer begins with the Durrani Fort, a very famous tourist spot in Srinagar. The Durrani Fort stands regal on a hillock called Hari Parbat, on the outskirts of Srinagar. The fort shares space with a few Muslim shrines, a Shakti temple that is sacred to the Kashmiri Pundits, and a Sikh gurudwara.
It is believed that Emperor Akbar had plans of setting up a new capital around Hari Parbat, which is why he began construction of a fort here in 1590. However, the project was never completed. It was during the Durrani reign in Kashmir, under the reign of Shuja Singh Durrani in 1808, that the present-day fort was constructed.
Emperor Akbar had plans of building Naagar Nagar, a city around the foothills of Hari Parbat, which would house palaces and balconies for the royal family, residences for the noblemen of the court, and army barracks. Thanks to the downfall of the Mughal empire that began at around this time, the city never came into existence. In the year 1876, when Dogras ruled over Kashmir, the then ruler Ranbir Singh got the garden area (as per Emperor Akbar’s original plans, I suppose) planted with almond trees. Over time, the garden began to be known as Badamvaer or Badamwari, the garden of almond trees.
Badamvaer used to be a popular picnic spot for Kashmiris in the 1900s, from what I understand. Slowly, though, the place fell into a state of neglect and disrepair, and local footfall kept reducing further and further. It was in the year 2007 that J&K Bank took up the project of bringing Badamvaer back to life. The garden was painstakingly cleaned up and landscaped all over again, a new lease of life handed to it. Over time, locals and tourists alike began to return to Badamvaer, and the Kashmiri picnics began happening here, all over again. The J&K Bank continues to undertake maintenance of the garden till date, and has done a really good job at it.
Badamvaer boasts of some stunning landscaping and extremely beautiful flowers, which had us going all ga-ga.
The huge climbing roses that are everywhere in Kashmir are present here as well, of course.
Apart from roses in many hues, the garden is full of exotic flowers that only a place like Kashmir can have in such plenitude.
Badamvaer also offers some lovely views of the mist-shrouded mountains that surround it.
I wonder why Badamvaer is not as popular among tourists as, say, Nishat Baugh or Shalimar Baugh is. I never read about Badamvaer on any of the travel blogs I checked out, while researching for our trip – I am so thankful our tour operator suggested we visit this lovely haven! When we visited, there were absolutely no tourists around – just some locals and school kids busy picnicking. Well, good for us!
I love how Badamvaer has managed to retain an air of purity, of cleanness and freshness, how it is still untouched by commercialisation in spite of being such a gloriously beautiful locale. I really hope it stays that way.
We spent a good couple of hours in Badamvaer, just walking around, basking in the beauty all around us, soaking in the place.
It is quite a huge garden too, one that deserves to be walked around leisurely and explored slowly, to one’s heart’s content.
Badamvaer was quite the weekend hang-out spot for locals from 2007 onwards (after the garden got a new lease of life) until recently, with dance performances and cultural programmes happening here. However, the performances have been temporarily put on hold as of now, considering the political unrest and upheaval in Kashmir in the last few months.
Here’s hoping peace finds its way to Kashmir soon!
If Badamvaer is pretty now, I can only imagine just how gorgeous it would be with all those almond trees weighed down by white blossoms, in spring time. I hope to be able to return to this place some time, to see that phenomenon in person.
So long, Badamvaer! I hope to meet you again, soon!
If you ever find yourself in Srinagar, don’t miss visiting this hidden gem. Highly recommended!
Tips for travellers:
- A visit to Badamvaer can be combined with one to the adjacent Hari Parbat fort and Old Srinagar, where there is loads to see and do and explore.
- There is a small entry fee that needs to be paid, to enter Badamvaer.
- If possible, try to time your visit to Badamvaer with the blooming of the almond trees in spring – it is totally worth it, I hear.
28 thoughts on “Walking Alongside The Almond Trees At Badamvaer, Srinagar”
The photos are too beautiful 😊 Has the little girl grown that big 😊
Thank you! Oh, yes, the little girl is no longer a baby. I’m constantly awed and sad about that…
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I know that feeling, I keep wondering how long can we keep cuddling them without any protests from them 😊
I’m definitely travelling to Kashmir some spring. I remember reading about blooming almond trees in Kashmir in some book many years back and falling in love. Your words and photographs bring the garden to life. I hope and pray that one day the whole of Kashmir will be demilitarised. The land needs love, not fear.
Kashmir definitely needs peace and love, not fear. The people are so friendly, warm and helpful – we’ll, most of them. Every single day we were there, we had someone or the other inviting us home, offering us tea, offering to help us with the bub, offering us their jackets if it got too cold! 🙂
Glad you liked the post!
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This is a strikingly beautiful garden! And is doesn’t look busy at all! I suspect it gets a lot more crowded in spring when the almonds are in bloom.
It is, indeed, a stunningly beautiful place. We were lucky to have it almost to ourselves.
Badamvaer sounds amazing and beautiful. Sometimes it’s great that places stay undiscovered like Badamvaer. it’s nice to have them all to yourself. I’m happy to hear that it was revitalized and is a nice outlet for locals. Beautiful description and pictures
Thank you! I’m glad you liked the post! 🙂
This April I just have visited Badamvaer and loved the total atmosphere. Locals found to enjoy there with family and many school kids were also there. Such a lovely Mughal garden, worth to visit!
It certainly is a hidden gem in Srinagar! 🙂
The pictures are so beautiful that it makes me want to travel to Srinagar right away. Love the stories in the post. Kashmir is truly incredible beyond words.
Thank you! Kashmir is beautiful beyond words. Badamwari is a must-visit place, not frequented by tourists.
I didn’t know about Badamvaer although I know why Kashmir is considered the Paradise on earth. The garden is so green and look at the way the flowers are thriving. The climbing rose bush in particular, totally won my heart. Definitely going here when I visit Srinagar.
Badamvaer is a hidden gem in Srinagar, a green oasis in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of the city, a salve for tired souls, a feast to the senses. Please don’t miss this place whenever you visit Kashmir! 🙂
The Badamvaer garden looks so beautiful and ethereal. The fact that there are hardly any people around adds to its allure. This garden is relatively lesser known that some of its other more illustrious counterparts, but nonetheless it stands high in its own individual beauty.
@Sandy N Vyjay
What a beautiful garden and photos. May is a good time to visit before the heat of the summer starts to fade the flowers.
It is, indeed, a gorgeous place. 🙂
Good on your tour operator for recommending, it looks like you found a real gem here, to have it almost to yourself is wonderful. Would love to see it when almonds are in blossom.
I’d love to see this place in the spring, when the almond trees are in bloom! 🙂 It’s a real gem of a place for sure!
Wow the Badamvaer garden is stunning! Look at all those gorgeous flowers and would love to see the almond trees in bloom. I am glad it got rescued and cleaned up.
It is a beautiful place for sure! 🙂
I love nature and I would definitely love to stroll around Almond trees. Those multi-hued flowers are heavenly. Good to see that, there are many exotic varieties of flowers.
This is definitely a hidden gem in Kashmir. Please do visit whenever you get a chance. 🙂
Aching to visit the spectacular Jammu & Kashmir one day! God willing I will soon….
Here’s hoping you will, soon! 🙂