The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is said to have existed in Babylon, the then city state now known as Al-Hillah in the province of Babil, in Iraque by the river Euphrates.
It is also said that Nebuchannizzar ii , the Neo-Babylonian king ruling between 605-562 BC got this garden built to please his homesick wife Amytes. She was Amytes of Media whose ardent desire was to enjoy the floral beauty sitting in her bed room.
The garden is called the hanging garden because the trees and plants here were planted on higher level of platform from the level of ground.
Ancient Roman as well as Greek writers documented on this wonderful garden. Especially the names of Diodorus Siculus, Strabo and Quintus Curtius Rufus are worth mentioning in this regard.
Siculous and Strabo, the Greek historians described the garden as theatrical in shape. It was 100 ft wide and 100 ft long. The roofs that supported the garden were made of stone and thick layer of tar,then baked brick cement bounded were used with another layer of led so that moisture could not penetrate and harm the roof. Then thick layer of top soil was spread as roots of big trees could easily penetrate deep into the soil for good growth.
There is also reference of using pumps for watering the garden for the growth of planted trees and plants. The ground was ploughed well for planting trees and plants. It is thought that the Hanging Gardens of Babylon got destroyed by earth quake.
There have arisen controversies as regards whether there were the existence of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon or not as there is no documentation or reference of the gardens in any form in any document of that time. Some scholars opine that even Herodotus the historian cited about Nebuchdnizzar ii but he wrote nothing about the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. It is also presumed by some scholars that the Hanging Gardens of Babylon is simply a poetic imagination.
Not only that there is no archaeological evidence in favour of the existence of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. In recent times it is also presumed that it was not Nebuchadnizzar ii but Sennacherib the king (reigning 705- 681 AD) got the garden constructed but it got attributed to Nebuchadnizzar ii out of confusion.
Whatever the historical reality of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon is,it is a matter of hope and aspiration that people throughout the world have long been enchanted at the very thought of an artistic super creation of the hanging gardens that were totally unthought-of and beyond anybody’s dream. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon can be compared with The Taj Mahal at Agra in India in the sense that both the wonders were dedicated to the queens respectively. One emperor Nebuchadnizzar ii satisfied the demand of his homesick wife as regards her enjoying a floral scenery across a river Euphrates sitting in her bed room and the other emperor Saha Jahan got The Taj Mahal built on the bank of the river mighty Jamuna to keep the sweet recollections of Mum Taj alive in the days to come.
Actually, the thought of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon takes us to an elevated plane of aesthetic reality and we feel nostalgic. Whether its existence is purely legendary or based on reality the thought of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon will go on inspiring us generation after generation about its artistic romantic creation superb and unique in all respects.