Srinagar

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Srinagar
سری نگر
Panorama of city in green area near a river and lakes
View of Srinagar and Dal Lake
Coordinates: 34°5′24″N 74°47′24″E / 34.09000°N 74.79000°E / 34.09000; 74.79000
DistrictSrinagar
Settled3rd century BC
Founded byRaja Pranavsarena
Government
 • TypeDemocracy
 • BodyNRHM Srinagar
 • MayorSalman Sagar (NC)
Area
 • Total294 km2 (114 sq mi)
Elevation1,585 m (5,200 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total1,273,312
 • Density8,523/km2 (22,070/sq mi)
Languages
 • OfficialUrdu[2]
Time zoneIST (UTC+5:30)
PIN190 001
Telephone code0194
Vehicle registrationJK 01
Sex ratio888 / 1000
Literacy71.45%
Distance from Delhi876 kilometres (544 mi) NW
Distance from Mumbai2,275 kilometres (1,414 mi) NE (land)
ClimateCfa (Köppen)
Precipitation710 millimetres (28 in)
Avg. summer temperature24.1 °C (75.4 °F)
Avg. winter temperature2.5 °C (36.5 °F)
Websitewww.srinagar.nic.in
 
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This article is about the municipality in Jammu and Kashmir. For its namesake district, see Srinagar district.
For other uses, see Srinagar (disambiguation).

Srinagar District

Srinagar
سری نگر
Panorama of city in green area near a river and lakes
View of Srinagar and Dal Lake
Coordinates: 34°5′24″N 74°47′24″E / 34.09000°N 74.79000°E / 34.09000; 74.79000
DistrictSrinagar
Settled3rd century BC
Founded byRaja Pranavsarena
Government
 • TypeDemocracy
 • BodyNRHM Srinagar
 • MayorSalman Sagar (NC)
Area
 • Total294 km2 (114 sq mi)
Elevation1,585 m (5,200 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total1,273,312
 • Density8,523/km2 (22,070/sq mi)
Languages
 • OfficialUrdu[2]
Time zoneIST (UTC+5:30)
PIN190 001
Telephone code0194
Vehicle registrationJK 01
Sex ratio888 / 1000
Literacy71.45%
Distance from Delhi876 kilometres (544 mi) NW
Distance from Mumbai2,275 kilometres (1,414 mi) NE (land)
ClimateCfa (Köppen)
Precipitation710 millimetres (28 in)
Avg. summer temperature24.1 °C (75.4 °F)
Avg. winter temperature2.5 °C (36.5 °F)
Websitewww.srinagar.nic.in

Srinagar /sriˈnɑːɡər/ (Hindi: श्रीनगर); (Urdu: سری نگر‎); (About this sound listen ) is the summer capital of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is situated in the Kashmir Valley and lies on the banks of the Jhelum River, a tributary of the Indus.[3] The city is famous for its gardens, lakes and houseboats. It is also known for traditional Kashmiri handicrafts and dry fruits.

Origin of names[edit]

Etymologically Srinagar is composed of two Sanskrit words, śrī (other name for the goddess Lakshmi) and nagar, which means "city". One theory of the origin of the name is that a Pandava King Ashok (not to be confused with the Mauryan Emperor Ashok) built the city of Srinagari (Srinagar).[4] Another theory is that Mauryan Emperor Ashoka founded the original city of Srinagar, then situated on the site of the present village of Pandrethan, 5 km to the north of the existing capital.[5]

History[edit]

Ancient Srinagar[edit]

Srinagar has a long history, dating back at least to the 3rd century BC,[citation needed] and has been known by different names. The city is said to have been founded by the King Pravarasena II over 2,000 years ago, named it Parvasenpur.[citation needed] The city was then a part of the Maurya Empire, one of the largest empires of the Indian subcontinent.[citation needed] Ashoka introduced Buddhism to the Kashmir valley, and the adjoining regions around the city became a centre of Buddhism.[citation needed] In the 1st century, the region was under the control of Kushans, based out of modern Pakistan and Afghanistan. Several rulers of this dynasty strengthened the Buddhist tradition.[citation needed] Vikramaditya (of Ujjain) and his successors probably ruled the regions just before the city fell to the control of the Huns-a nomadic tribe from central Asia in the 6th century, and Mihirkula was the most dreaded ruler of the city and the valley.[citation needed]

Srinagar became the capital of Kashmir around 960 CE.[6]

Srinagar in 14th to 19th centuries[edit]

The independent Hindu and the Buddhist rule of Srinagar lasted until the 14th century when the Kashmir valley, including the city, came under the control of the several Muslim rulers, including the Mughals. It was also the capital during the reign of Yusuf Shah Chak, an Independent Kashmiri ruler who was tricked by Akbar when Akbar failed to conquer Kashmir by force. Yusuf Shah Chak remains buried in Bihar in India. Akbar established Mughal rule in Srinagar and Kashmir valley.

With the disintegration of the Mughal empire after the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, infiltrations to the valley from the Pashtun tribes increased, and the Durrani Empire ruled the city for several decades. Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab province annexed a major part of the Kashmir Valley, including Srinagar, to his kingdom in the year 1814 and the city came under the influence of the Sikhs. In 1846, the Treaty of Lahore was signed between the Sikh rulers and the British in Lahore. The treaty inter alia provided British de facto suzerainty over the Kashmir Valley and installed Gulab Singh as an independent and sovereign ruler of the region. Srinagar became part of his kingdom and remained until 1947 as one of several princely states in British India. The Maharajas choose Sher Garhi Palace as their main Srinagar residence.

Srinagar city and its vicinity in 1959

Post Independence[edit]

After India and Pakistan's independence from Britain, villagers around the city of Poonch began an armed protest at continued rule of the Maharaja on August 17, 1947.[7] In view of the Poonch uprising, certain Pashtun tribes such as Mehsud and Afridi from mountainous region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa of Pakistan and with its collusion, entered the Kashmir valley to capture it on October 22, 1947.[8] The Maharaja, who had refused to accede to either India or Pakistan in hopes of securing his own independent state, signed the instrument of accession in exchange for refuge on 26 October 1947, as tribesmen approached the outskirts of Srinagar. The Accession was accepted by India the next day. The government of India immediately airlifted Indian troops to Srinagar and prevented the tribesmen from reaching Srinagar.[citation needed]

In 1989-1990 Kashmiri pandits were forced to leave Kashmir . Since they were in minority they had no option but to leave because even their fight against the injustice did not help as Many kashmiri Pandits who raised their voices were brutally murdered. Around 350,000 Kashmiri Pandits, constituting 99% of the total population of Hindus living in Muslim majority area of the Kashmir Valley, were forcibly pushed out of the Valley by Muslim terrorists, trained in Pakistan, since the end of 1989. They have been forced to live the life of exiles in their own country in Jammu city till date, outside their homeland, by unleashing a systematic campaign of terror, murder, loot and arson. In 1989, Srinagar became the focus of the Kashmiri uprising against Indian rule, and continues to be a highly politicized hotbed of separatist activity with frequent spontaneous protests and strikes ("bandhs" in local parlance). On January 19, 1990, the Gawakadal massacre of at least 50 unarmed protestors by Indian forces,[9] and up to 280 by some estimates from eyewitness accounts,[10] set the stage for bomblasts, shootouts, and curfews that characterized Srinagar throughout the early and mid-1990s. Further massacres in the spring of 1990 in which 51 unarmed protesters were allegedly killed by Indian security forces in Zakura and Tengpora, along with the January 6th 1993 massacre of 55 unarmed protestors allegedly by Indian security forces in the nearby town of Sopore heightened anti-Indian sentiments in Srinagar.[11] As a result, bunkers and checkpoints are found throughout the city, although their numbers have come down in the past few years as militancy has declined. However, frequent protests still occur against Indian rule, such as the August 22, 2008 rally in which hundreds of thousands[12] of Kashmiri civilians protested against Indian rule in Srinagar.[13][14] Similar protests took place every summer for the next 4 years. In 2010 alone 120 unarmed protestors were killed by police and CRPF, most recently protest following the execution of Afzal Guru in February 2013.[15]

Geography[edit]

Map of Kashmir showing disputed territory

The city is located on both the sides of the Jhelum River which is called Vyath in Kashmir. The river passes through the city and meanders through the valley, moving onward and deepening in the dal Lake. The city is famous for its nine old bridges, connecting the two parts of the city.

Hokersar is a wetland situated near Srinagar. Thousands of migratory birds come to Hokersar from Siberia and other regions in the winter season. Migratory birds from Siberia and Central Asia use wetlands in Kashmir as their transitory camps between September and October and again around spring. These wetlands play a vital role in sustaining a large population of wintering, staging and breeding birds.

Hokersar is 14 km (8.7 mi) north of Srinagar, and is a world class wetland spread over 13.75 km2 (5.31 sq mi) including lake and marshy area. It is the most accessible and well-known of Kashmir's wetlands which include Hygam, Shalibug and Mirgund. A record number of migratory birds have visited Hokersar in recent years.[citation needed]season.

Birds found in Hokersar—Migratory ducks and geese which include Brahminy Duck, Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Garganey, Greylag Goose, Mallard, Common Merganser, Northern Pintail, Common Pochard, Ferruginous Pochard, Red-crested Pochard, Ruddy Shelduck, Northern Shoveler, Common Teal, and Eurasian Wigeon.[citation needed]

Climate[edit]

Srinagar has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), much cooler than what is found in much of the rest of India, due to its moderately high elevation and northerly position. The valley is surrounded by the Himalayas on all sides. Winters are cool, with daytime a January average of 2.5 °C (36.5 °F), and temperatures below freezing at night. Moderate to heavy snowfall occurs in winter and the only road that connects Srinagar with the rest of India may get blocked for a few days due to avalanches. Summers are warm with a July daytime average of 24.1 °C (75.4 °F). The average annual rainfall is around 710 millimetres (28 in). Spring is the wettest season while autumn is the driest. The highest temperature reliably recorded is 38.3 °C (100.9 °F) and the lowest is −19.9 °C (−3.8 °F)[16]

Climate data for Srinagar (1971–1986)
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)12
(54)
19
(66)
28
(82)
33
(91)
32
(90)
30
(86)
29
(84)
26
(79)
25
(77)
22
(72)
15
(59)
13
(55)
33
(91)
Average high °C (°F)5
(41)
6
(43)
17
(63)
26
(79)
21
(70)
24
(75)
23
(73)
19
(66)
14
(57)
11
(52)
11
(52)
6
(43)
19.7
(67.5)
Daily mean °C (°F)2.5
(36.5)
3.8
(38.8)
8.8
(47.8)
14.2
(57.6)
17.7
(63.9)
22.3
(72.1)
24.1
(75.4)
23.5
(74.3)
19.8
(67.6)
14.1
(57.4)
8.1
(46.6)
3.4
(38.1)
13.53
(56.34)
Average low °C (°F)−9
(16)
−4
(25)
0
(32)
16
(61)
14
(57)
12
(54)
11
(52)
10
(50)
8
(46)
2
(36)
−5
(23)
−8
(18)
7.3
(45.1)
Record low °C (°F)−34
(−29)
−27
(−17)
−19
(−2)
−13
(9)
−10
(14)
−4
(25)
−3
(27)
−8
(18)
−14
(7)
−18
(0)
−35
(−31)
−42
(−44)
−42
(−44)
Precipitation mm (inches)48
(1.89)
68
(2.68)
121
(4.76)
85
(3.35)
68
(2.68)
39
(1.54)
62
(2.44)
76
(2.99)
28
(1.1)
33
(1.3)
28
(1.1)
54
(2.13)
710
(27.96)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)6.67.310.28.88.15.77.96.83.52.82.85.175.6
 % humidity82797064615666706769778470.4
Source: NOAA (1961-1990) [17]

Economy[edit]

Market boats on Mal Canal in Srinagar.

In November 2011, the City Mayors Foundation – an advocacy think tank – announced that Srinagar was the 92nd fastest growing urban areas in the world in terms of economic growth, based on actual data from 2006 onwards and projections to 2020.[18]

Tourism[edit]

Srinagar is one of several places that has been called the "Venice of the East" or the "Kashmiri Venice"[19][20][21] Lakes around the city include Dal Lake – noted for its houseboats – and Nagin Lake.

Srinagar has some Mughal gardens, forming a part of those laid by the Mughal emperors across the Indian subcontinent. Those of Srinagar and its close vicinity include Chashma Shahi (the royal fountains); Pari Mahal (the palace of the fairies); Nishat Bagh (the garden of spring); Shalimar Bagh; and the Naseem Bagh.[citation needed].

The Sher Garhi Palace houses administrative buildings from the state government.[citation needed] Another palace of the Maharajas, the Gulab Bhavan, has now become the Lalit Grand Palace hotel.[citation needed]

Government and politics[edit]

The city is run by the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC). The Srinagar district along with the adjoining Budgam district forms the Srinagar Parliamentary seat.

Stray dog controversy[edit]

Srinagar's city government attracted brief international attention in March 2008 when it announced a mass poisoning program aimed at eliminating the city's population of stray dogs.[22] Officials estimate that 100,000 stray dogs roam the streets of the city, which has a human population of just under 900,000. In a survey conducted by an NGO, it was found that some residents welcomed this program, saying the city was overrun by dogs, while critics contended that more humane methods should be used to deal with the animals.

The situation has become alarming with local news reports coming up at frequent intervals highlighting people, especially children being mauled by street dogs.[23]

Demographics[edit]

As of 2011 census, Srinagar city's population was 1,192,792 and Srinagar urban agglomeration had 1,273,312 population.[24] Both the city and the urban agglomeration has average literacy rate of approximately 71%,[24] whereas the national average is 74.04%.[25] The child population of both the city and the urban agglomeration is approximately 12% of the total population.[24] Males constituted 53.0% and females 47.0% of the population. The sex ratio in the city area is 888 females per 1000 males, whereas in the urban agglomeration it is 880 per 1000,[24] and nationwide value of this ratio is 940.[26] The predominant religion of Srinagar is Islam with 95% of the population being Muslim. Hindus constitute the second largest religious group representing 4% of the population. The remaining 1% of the population are Sikhs, Buddhist and Jains.[27]

Transport[edit]

Road[edit]

A dual lane road in Srinagar
Srinagar International Airport
A Passenger Train at Srinagar Railway Station

The city is served by many highways, including National Highway 1A and National Highway 1D.[28]

Air[edit]

Srinagar Airport (IATA code SXR) has regular domestic flights to Leh, Jammu, Chandigarh and Delhi and occasional international flights. The International flights terminal was inaugurated on 14 February 2009 with an Air India flight from Dubai.[29]

Rail[edit]

Srinagar is a station on the 119 km (74 mi) long Kashmir railway that started in October 2009 and connects Baramulla to Srinagar, Anantnag and Qazigund. The railway track also connects to Banihal across the Pir Panjal mountains through a newly constructed 11 km long Banihal tunnel, and subsequently to the Indian railway network after a few years. It takes approximately 9 minutes and 30 seconds for train to cross the tunnel. It is the longest rail tunnel in India. This railway system, proposed in 2001, is not expected to connect the Indian railway network until 2017 at the earliest, with a cost overrun of INR5,500 crore.[30]

Cable car[edit]

In December 2013, the 594m cable car allowing people to travel to the shrine of the Sufi saint Makhdum Sahib on Hari Parbat was unveiled. The project is run by the Jammu and Kashmir Cable Car Corporation (JKCCC), and has been envisioned for 25 years. An investment of INR30cr was made, and it is the second cable car in Kashmir after the Gulmarg Gondola.[31]

Boat[edit]

Whilst popular since the 7th century, water transport is now mainly confined to Dal Lake, where shikaras (wooden boats) are used for local transport and tourism. There are efforts to revive transportation on the River Jhelum.[32]

Culture[edit]

Hazratbal Shrine built in around 1700 AD
The Shankaracharya temple built in around 200 BC

Like the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar too has a distinctive blend of cultural heritage. Holy places in and around the city depict the historical cultural and religious diversity of the city as well as the Kashmir valley.

Places of worship[edit]

There are many religious holy places in Srinagar. They include:

Additional structures include the Dastgeer Sahib shrine, Hazratbal Shrine, Mazar-e-Shuhada, Roza Bal shrine, Khanqah of Shah Hamadan, Patthar Masjid "The Stone Mosque," tomb of the mother of Zain-ul-abidin, tomb of Pir Haji Muhammad, Akhun Mulla Shah Mosque, cemetery of Baha-ud-din Sahib, tomb and Madin Sahib Mosque at Zadibal.[34]

Performing arts[edit]

Main article: Music of Kashmir

Schools[edit]

Higher education[edit]

Srinagar is home to one of India's premier technical institutes – The National Institute of Technology Srinagar (NIT – SRI), formerly known as Regional Engineering College (REC Srinagar). It is one of the oldest NIT among the National Institutes of Technology that were established during 2nd Five year plan. Besides this the other Institutions/Colleges and Universities in Srinagar are:

Sports[edit]

The city is home to the Sher-i-Kashmir Stadium, a stadium where international cricket matches have been played.[35] The first international match was played in 1983 in which West Indies defeated India and the last international match was played in 1986 in which Australia defeated India by six wickets. Since then no international match have taken place in the stadium due to the prevailing security situation.Srinagar has an outdoor stadium namely Bakshi Stadium for hosting football matches.[36] It is named after Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad. The city has a golf course named Royal Springs Golf Course, Srinagar located on the banks of Dal lake, which is considered as one of the best golf courses of India.[37]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Population in the age group 0–6 and literates by sex—urban agglomeration/town". Census of India 2001. Government of India. 27 May 2002. Retrieved 2007-04-14. 
  2. ^ "Kashmiri: A language of India". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  3. ^ http://www.world-gazetteer.com/wg.php?x=&men=gcis&lng=en&dat=32&geo=-104&srt=npan&col=aohdq&pt=c&va=&srt=pnan
  4. ^ http://www.stanford.edu/group/hsc/kashmir/History%20of%20Kashmir.pdf
  5. ^ http://www.stanford.edu/group/hsc/kashmir/Brief%20history%20of%20Kashmir.pdf
  6. ^ Lawrence, Walter R (1985) [1895]. Valley Of Kashmir. Oxford University Press Warehouse. p. 35. Retrieved 2012-03-14. 
  7. ^ Umar, Baba (February 28, 2013). "‘Nehru didn’t want to publicise the Poonch rebellion because it would have strengthened Pakistan’s case’". Tehelka. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  8. ^ The Story of Kashmir Affairs – A Peep into the Past
  9. ^ Peerzada, Ashiq (December 27, 2012). "'90 Srinagar massacre: SHRC orders fresh probe". Hindustan Times (http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/Srinagar/90-Srinagar-massacre-SHRC-orders-fresh-probe/Article1-981312.aspx). "At least 52 people were allegedly killed in security forces' firing during a protest demonstration on January 21, 1990 near Gow Kadal, in heart of Srinagar." 
  10. ^ Dalrymple, William. Kashmir: The Scarred and the Beautiful. "The New York Review of Books." May 1, 2008.
  11. ^ http://presstv.us/detail/2013/01/21/284807/kashmir-marks-gaw-kadal-massacre/
  12. ^ "Muslims wage huge Kashmir protest". Chicago Tribune. August 23, 2008. Retrieved March 1, 2013. "A Kashmiri Muslim watches a protest march Friday by hundreds of thousands of Muslims in Srinagar, Indian Kashmir's main city. It was the largest protest against Indian rule in the Himalayan region in more than a decade" 
  13. ^ "Hundreds of Thousands March for Kashmir’s Independence". The Epoch Times. August 22, 2008. Retrieved March 1, 2013. "Waving green Islamic flags and shouting "we want freedom", hundreds of thousands of Muslims marched peacefully in Indian Kashmir's main city on Friday" 
  14. ^ "Muslims in huge Kashmir protest". BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7576156.stm). August 22, 2008. "Hundreds of thousands of Muslims have taken part in a protest rally called by separatist leaders in Indian-controlled Kashmir's main city, Srinagar." 
  15. ^ Hussein, AijazSt (February 12, 2013). "India's hanging of Kashmiri man leads to fears of new unrest after 2 years of quiet". Star Tribune. Retrieved March 1, 2013. "In all three years, hundreds of thousands of young men took to the streets, hurling rocks and abuse at Indian forces." 
  16. ^ Extreme Temperatures Around The World
  17. ^ "Srinagar Climate Normals 1971-1986". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved December 21, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Srinagar among 100 fastest growing cities in world". Greater Kashmir.com. 17 November 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  19. ^ The Sydney Morning Herald – Google News Archive Search
  20. ^ Holloway, James (1965-06-13). "Fabled Kashmir: An Emerald Set Among Pearls". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 
  21. ^ The Earthtimes (2007-09-24). "Chan Kashmir become 'Venice of the East' again? | Earth Times News". Earthtimes.org. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 
  22. ^ MSNBC: Indian authorities to poison 100,000 stray dogs
  23. ^ http://www.greaterkashmir.com/news/2012/May/12/stray-dogs-maul-over-3-dozen-55.asp
  24. ^ a b c d "Jammu and Kashmir Population Census data 2011". 2011 census of India. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  25. ^ "Literacy in India". 2011 census of India. Retrieved 6 December 2012. 
  26. ^ "Sex Ratio of India". 2011 census of India. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  27. ^ http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/11399/13/13_chapter%205.pdf
  28. ^ http://maps.newkerala.com/map-of-national-highways-in-india.php
  29. ^ http://www.aai.aero/allAirports/Srinagar.jsp
  30. ^ "Kashmir rail by 2017-end, cost overrun Rs 5,500 cr". The Hindu Business Line. December 6, 2012. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Kashmir gets a dream ropeway". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 24 December 2013. 
  32. ^ Raina, Muzaffar (7 May 2012). "Boat down the Jhelum". The Telegraph (Calcutta, India). 
  33. ^ "Hazratbal Shrine". travelinos.com. 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2013. 
  34. ^ Chapter 4 of Ancient Monuments of Kashmir by Ram Chandra Kak (1933)
  35. ^ "Records / Sher-i-Kashmir Stadium, Srinagar / One-Day Internationals". ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  36. ^ "J&K stadium hosts football match after 25-year gap". Times of India. 16 July 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  37. ^ "India". Robert Trent Jones – Golf Architects. Retrieved 21 September 2012. 

External links[edit]