The smallest of the Srinagar Mughal gardens, the Chashma Shahi or 'Royal Spring' has always been the favourite of royal families (from Mughals to Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab and even the Dogra rulers). The garden was laid out by the renowned Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, in 1632. 'Chashma' is basically an Urdu word that means “waterfall”. The garden was so named because of a mountain spring/waterfall that feeds it. The famous fresh water spring inside the garden is believed to have medicinal values. As the legend goes, when Mumtaz Mahal (Shah Jahan's wife) fell ill and could not be cured even by the world's best doctors, somebody suggested the emperor to take his wife to some health resorts. Shahjahan prefered to stay at Pari Mahal in Kashmir along with his queen. She enjoyed the fresh air and flora, and drank the sweet waters of Chashma Shahi, resulting in a dramatic improvement in her health. Since then, the place has been cherished. It abounds in fruits, flowers and chinar trees.
Beautiful terraces, an aqueduct, waterfalls and fountains are credited for the popularity of the garden. Moreover, it commands a pleasant view of the Dal Lake surrounded by mountain ranges. Measuring 108 m by 38 m, the garden is set up the hillside, above the Nehru Memorial Park.