Saturday, 9 June 2007


Srinagar is the summer capital of the state Jammu & Kashmir in India, and is situated in the valley of Kashmir. The city lies on both banks of the Jhelum River, a tributary of the Indus River. It`s famous for its lakes and also houseboats that float over them. Also it is known worldwide for traditional Kashmiri handicrafts and dry fruits.

Origin of the Name Srinagar
According to the history of words, the word Srinagar is composed of two Sanskrit words, namely, `Sri` meaning abundance and wealth and `Nagar` that means city. `Sri` is also the name of a goddess of Hindus. A legend as incorporated in Nila`s Nilmatapurana states that the Kashmir valley initially was a vast lake. A Hindu sage named Kshyapa drained out this water and there emerged the beautiful valley of Kashmir. It is said emperor Ashoka when laid the foundation of his capital of the region, named it `Srinagari`. Later many emperors came and changed the name according to their preferences but later original name `Srinagar` was retained.

History of Srinagar
Once a part of Mauryan Empire, the city was founded by King Pravarasena-II more than 2000 years ago. Ashoka introduced Buddhism in Kashmir valley and the adjoining regions around the city became centers of Buddhism.

Early Rulers: In the 1st century the region was under the control a Kushans .The rulers of this dynasty strengthened Buddhist tradition. Vikramaditya of Ujjain dynasty and his successors ruled the regions just before the city fell to the controls of Huns in 6th century. The Hindu and Buddhist rulers lasted till 14th century after which Kashmir valley and city came under the control of several Muslim leaders including Mughals. Akbar established Mughal rule in the valley and city.

Annexation of Kashmir Valley: When the disintegration of the Mughal Empire set forth in 1707, infiltrations to the valley from the Pathan tribes increased and they ruled over for several decades. Raja Ranjit Singh in 1814 annexed a major part of Kashmir valley, including Srinagar to his kingdom and the city came under the influence of Sikhs. Subsequent to the treaty between the Sikh rulers and the British in Lahore in 1846(treaty of Lahore), inter alias provided British suzerainty over the Kashmir valley. British kept Gulab Singh as an independent and sovereign ruler, and Srinagar became part of his kingdom, and remained princely state of undivided India for years together.

Post India Independence:
After, India`s independence, certain tribes of which maximum was pathans actively supported by Pakistani forces, invaded the valley to gain control, by armed forces. This was done even though Maharaja Hari Singh had assurance of British Government backed with international laws that all rulers of such states were free to remain independent entities, or to choose to annex either to India or to Pakistan. Hari Singh allegedly signed a covenant in 1948 with the Government of India, which ensured integration of his kingdom into newly formed Republic of India. Various historians, especially British historian Alaister Lamb, dispute the claim that the Maharaja signed any agreement at all.

Geography of Srinagar
Srinagar lies between two hills, the Hari Parbat and the Shankar Acharya (also known as Takht-i-Suleiman). The city had experienced several natural disasters. Before the nineteenth century, Srinagar had been destroyed and rebuilt six times. Two major fires, in 1892 and 1899, devastated large portions of the city. There have been eleven major earthquakes in the city since the fifteenth century.

It is located on both sides of river Jhelum,which is also called vyath in Kashmiri.The river passes through the city and meandering through the valley,moves onwards and deepens in Wular Lake. The city is famous for its nine old bridges,connecting two parts of the city. Hokersar,the capital of Indian Kashmir ,14 kilometers from srinagar,is a world class wetland including lake and marshy area.It is the most well known and accessible of all the wetlands of kashmir.Thousands of migratory birds come to Hokersar from Siberia and other regions in winter season. Such wetlands in Kashmir play a vital role in sustaining a large population of wintering ,staging and breeding birds.
Geographical factors govern transport and means of communication in Kashmir. Although there has been great progress in transport and communication system in the valley, man is still the swine of burden in some mountainous areas. In the valley roads are the main means of transportation for wheeled traffic. The Government of India, in order to make the traffic possible between the valley of Kashmir and the rest of the country even in the coldest weather of the year, has constructed two tubes of Jawahar Tunnel near Banihal at a height of 2200 meters above sea level Rivers in the valley of Kashmir are also navigable. On the higher altitudes, where roads are not so common, mules and ponies are also used as means of transportation. There is also Air transport from Jammu to Srinagar and Ladakh.

Climate of Srinagar The city has mild summers during the months April-June and cold winters of November-February.The city generally gets heavy snowfall from December to Februaury. Temperature lies within 29.5 degree centigrade to -1.9 degree centigrade. Best time to visit is the months from April to June.

Economy of Srinagar
Srinagar is the main center of the economy of the Kashmir Valley, and has remained tourist destination for centuries. The city remained on the itinerary of the Mughal ruling elite, and several Mughal emperors and their consorts had visited the city, and several Mughal gardens in and around the city indicate their close association with Srinagar. After the colonization of India by Europeans, the ruling elite as well as rich Indians used to visit the city and nearby locations during summers to avoid heat of the plains and during winters to enjoy the snowfall. Another significant segment of the economy include handicrafts, weaving of woolen shawls and dress material and woodcarving. Srinagar serves as one of the collecting point from where fruits and handicraft products are taken to several parts of Indian subcontinent. Srinagar also has specialized markets and retail shops. The hinterland of Srinagar is the most populous part of the Kashmir valley, and crops like wheat and paddy are cultivated for local consumption. Orchards produce a number of fruits, particularly apples.

i included pre & post independence history, incase y'all need it

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