Verinag Springs, Kashmir: Origin Of The Jhelum

The kids squealed. As they threw dough balls into the spring waters, the carp sprang up to snap it up. The spring waters were a Maldivian turquoise and clear as crystal.

Carp in the spring waters

Our visit to Verinag Springs in Kashmir in November 2011 was quite a thrill. It was a great place for the kids to witness how a river originates.

The origin of the Jhelum river, these ever-flowing springs were built by the Mughal emperor Jahangir in 1620 A.D. The Mughal Arcade and gardens around the spring were built later by his son, Shah Jahan.

Clear blue-green waters of Verinag Springs

Today the springs and the Mughal Arcade around it are recognized as a Monument of National Importance. The name of the springs, Verinag, arose because the nearby town was known as Vér. Nag is the local name for a spring.

Verinag springs in autumn

Before Emperor Jahangir decided to build a spring here, it was just a pond of water that formed a marsh. Always eager to improve on the beauty of Nature, the Emperor built the octagonal tank of sculpted stones using carvers from Iran, and – because that’s what Mughal emperors do – created a garden around it.

Mughal garden around Verinag Spring

The Mughal gardens were built as an adaptation of the traditional Persian Charbagh (four gardens), which takes its inspiration from the Quranic description of heaven as having four rivers, of wine, honey, milk, and water.

Entrance to Verinag Springs

From the entrances, a walkway takes the visitor towards the octagonal pool, which is approached through a colonnade.

Arch around the colonnade

This colonnade, composed of 24 arches, surrounds the pool, whose water comes from the spring deep below. The water exits from the pool into the 300-yard main axial water canal, which then flows down to the Bihat river.

The springs lead into a water canal
Water canal through Verinag Garden

Vernag is located on a steep hillside, with its water source at the top. The traditional Charbagh design had to be altered to fit the site’s topography, as the source of water shifted from the traditional centre of the square garden to the highest point of the garden.

Verinag Mughal Garden Plan by Akshey25, CC BY-SA 3.0

His son Shah Jahan, constructed the cascades and aqueducts laid in straight lines through the garden. Little trace remains of the hot and cold baths he built to the east of the garden, or of the pavilions that once decorated the area.

Could this be one of the hot or cold baths?

On the stone slabs built into the walls surrounding the spring are carvings in Persian that describe how the source of the underwater spring is contained without revealing its architecture. The construction date is also inscribed on a stone slab built into the southern wall of the spring.

Inscriptions in Persian in the stone slabs around the spring

The structure is also a sacred place for Hindus as there is a shivling, built in honour of Lord Shiva, in one of the arches.

Shivling in an arch around Verinag spring

How to get to Verinag Springs

There are two ways to get to the springs:

  1. You can take a bus from Srinagar to Anantnag and then by taxi to Verinag.
  2. You can come the way we came, by car from Srinagar to Verinag via Kokernag, Achhabal Mughal garden and the Martand Sun Temple.

If you’re not pressed for time, the second route is preferable as it has much more to see along the way. Check out the video of our visit to Verinag springs below.

Also read:

Check out these Verinag Spring photos. Verinag water spring is the origin of the river Jhelum. Visit to see our Kashmir sightseeing video, images and photos and learn about more Kashmir sightseeing places that you can visit on your tour of Kashmir, India. #kashmir #india #sightseeing #traveltips #destinations

All images are © Priya Florence Shah unless otherwise mentioned.

Priya Florence Shah

22 thoughts on “Verinag Springs, Kashmir: Origin Of The Jhelum”

  1. This is really interesting! Sometimes we come and snap a few pictures at a place, then move on. I appreciate the history and background behind the springs. Of course emperors build gardens! 🙂

  2. Maldivian is right Priya. Eye popping my friend. I had no idea such colored water existed in Kashmir. Or that far away from tropical paradises. Talk about clean and pristine, eh? Good to see the carp are eating well too 🙂


  3. Very interesting post! I really want to visit Kashmir one day – maybe one sunny day I’ll manage it! Thanks for all the tips, they were very useful 🙂

  4. Wow, such an interesting spot. I was not aware of this place in Kashmir. Such an important site it seems now. Great pictures. Thanks for the share. Enjoyed reading it plus the video work was great.

  5. I didn’t know that the verinag springs are the origin of Jhelum River. It is interesting to read the history behind it and seems like a great place to visit with family, thanks for sharing!

  6. It wonders to know about this amazing thing about Kashmir, The blue crystal water and the structure of the Mughal garden is the great attraction for all the traveler. You capture some wonderful views of this place. I love to visit historical places, this is one of the best historical places. Thanks for sharing this wonderful article.

    1. Abdul Rashid padder

      Thanks for exploring verinag.i really feel proud for being a citizen of t Allah gave me the opportunity for constructing the main channel flowing through the garden .

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