Verinag is an octagonal pavilion-garden, built around a spring which is the acknowledged source of Jehlum River5 and also its principal feeder. The garden was constructed by Mirza Haider, an able engineer of the Mughal Court at the behest of Emperor Jahangir. A Persian quatrain indicates the date of construction of the garden as 1619-20. The garden was enlarged further between 1626 and 1627, during Emperor Shah Jahan’s reign and was renamed Shahabad.
The spring is enclosed within a perfectly geometric octagonal arcade with a fairly wide stone walkway that surrounds the spring. In plan, the garden is a large octagonal tank connected to a very long and straight water channel (12′ wide and 1000′ long) going towards the north that reaches a point where it discharges to feed the Jehlum River.
The spring is believed to be at its deepest around 15.24 m and has abundant trout fish, which is claimed to have never been consumed owing to certain religious sentiments. This attitude has helped in maintaining the spring as a rich fish-reserve.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration has started preparing a dossier on the six Mughal Gardens in the Kashmir Valley in a bid to empanel them in the list of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) mandated world heritage sites.
Locals are expecting that this consideration will boost tourism in the Kashmir Valley.