Bagh-e-Babur was founded 500 years ago and today around one million people visit the Kabul gardens annually.
Bagh-e-Babur Draws One Million Visitors A Year
Gardens of Babur, also locally known as Bagh-e-Babur, which is located in Kabul city, have become a key attraction in the capital and draw about one million local tourists and foreigners a year.
According to officials, government makes about $300,000 USD a year in entrance fees which goes towards the upkeep of the gardens.
Bagh-e-Babur is on 11 acres of land in the city in PD5’s Sher Darwaza Mountain hillside.
At the entrance is a courtyard named caravanserai which was damaged during the civil war but reconstructed in 2002.
Ahmad Shah Wardak, head of the team managing and protecting the gardens said seven historical sites on the land have added to the heritage of the gardens.
“In the past caravans came from different parts carrying trade loads and they would exchange their trade loads here,” said Wardak.
Babur Gardens was then fist established by Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babur, the founder and first emperor of the Mughal dynasty on the subcontinent of India - it was also the first garden he had established on his arrival in Afghanistan 500 years ago.
When he returned to India, to Delhi, he asked his relatives to bury his body in Kabul at Bagh-e-Babur after his death.
Today his tomb is still intact as is the Shah Jahan Mosque, the central axis of the garden, the walls of the garden, Caravanserai, and Harem and Shah Jahan Doors - which are the seven historical sites in the gardens.
The walls and Shah Jahan Mosque were built by Mirza Nur-ud-din Beig Mohammad Khan Salim, known by his imperial name as Jahangir. He was the fourth Mughal emperor and ruled from 1605 until his death in 1627.
According to the staff at the gardens, tour guides accompany visitors who want to know more about its history.
“The visitors who do not know the garden well, they ask for help and we have employees to guide them,” Sharifuddin Arash, a staff member said.
“I along with my friends who have come from outside Afghanistan have come here to visit the garden,” Ahmad Wali, a visitor said.
Another key attraction to the gardens is the Qasre Malake (Queen's Palace) which draws thousands of visitors a year.
The palace was established in the south-east corner of the garden and is used for social and cultural events.
The palace was founded by Amir Abdul Rahman Khan who was Amir of Afghanistan from 1880 to 1901.
After building the palace, Khan lived in it for many years.
Today, 86 employees are assigned to manage and look after the gardens.