The Mughal reign in India may have ended 150 years ago but that need not stop you from tying the knot in a typical Mughal ambience in a majestic 17th century garden.
Or at least that's what Haryana's tourism department feels. It has made known plans to open up a part of the magical Yadavindra Gardens at Pinjore, 20 km from Chandigarh, for weddings.
The magnificently laid and maintained gardens, resting on the Himalayan foothills along the ever busy highway from Chandigarh to Shimla, have seven descending terraces with a gurgling water feature running along at every level.
"Once we are able to market it well, it can be an attractive wedding destination, especially for the rich and famous wanting a slice of novelty," says Haryana Tourism Minister Kiran Chaudhary.
Though the entire garden will never be given out for weddings, a part of it may be let out for the purpose.
"This is a very good idea. But the area being given on hire for weddings should reflect Mughal glory. There could be many takers for it," event management consultant Naveen Soni said.
Shopkeepers and traders in this bustling and congested town that thrives on tourist traffic to and from Shimla are also happy with the plan to open a portion of the garden for weddings.
"It will help us with business. I hope that the idea catches on," said shopkeeper Rattan Lal.
The gardens were built by Nawab Fidai Khan, a foster brother of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. Being an architect, Fidai Khan designed this garden himself.
However, records state that he himself did not live at these beautiful gardens for too long after local kings and chieftains created a scare among those close to him, especially women, that the water around Pinjore Gardens was cursed and could make people deformed.
The actual reason behind this rumour was the high incidence of goitre in the area at that time.
After the Mughal reign ended in India in 1857, the garden lay neglected till the Maharaja of Patiala, Yadavindra Singh, restored its past glory. Thus it came to be named after him.
The design of the garden has the touch of Mughal and Rajasthani architecture. The main structures include the Sheesh Mahal, Rang Mahal and Jal Mahal. The garden itself is surrounded by a fort-like high wall.
The present-day garden has a mango grove, a mini-zoo, shops and restaurants for hundreds of tourists and visitors that come every day.