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Srinagar

                   
Srinagar
—  capital  —
Panorama of city in green area near a river and lakes
View of Srinagar and Dal Lake
Srinagar is located in Jammu and Kashmir
Srinagar
Coordinates: 34°5′24″N 74°47′24″E / 34.09°N 74.79°E / 34.09; 74.79Coordinates: 34°5′24″N 74°47′24″E / 34.09°N 74.79°E / 34.09; 74.79
Country India
State Jammu and Kashmir
District Srinagar
Settled 3rd century BC
Government
 • Mayor Salman Sagar (NC)
Area
 • Total 294 km2 (114 sq mi)
Elevation 1,585 m (5,200 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 1,273,312
 • Density 8,523/km2 (22,070/sq mi)
Languages
 • Official Kashmiri, Urdu[2]
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 190 001
Telephone code 0194
Vehicle registration JK 01
Sex ratio 888 /
Literacy 71.45%
Distance from Delhi 876 kilometres (544 mi) NW
Distance from Mumbai 2,275 kilometres (1,414 mi) NE (land)
Climate Cfa (Köppen)
Precipitation 710 millimetres (28 in)
Avg. summer temperature 24.1 °C (75.4 °F)
Avg. winter temperature 2.5 °C (36.5 °F)
Website www.srinagar.nic.in

Srinagar /sriˈnɑːɡər/ (About this sound Hindi pronunciation ) 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.

Contents

  Origin of name

Etymologically Srinagar is composed of two Sanskrit words, śrī (venerable) and nagar, which means "city". One theory of the origin of the name is that a Pandava King Ashoka (not to be confused with the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka) 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 Pandrathan, 5 km to the north of the existing capital.[5]

  History

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 was 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 and 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 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] Some of the notable independent rulers were Lalit Aditya, Avantiverman and Sangrama Deva. 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

After India and Pakistan's independence from Britain, certain Pashtun tribes such as Mehsud and Afridi from mountainous region of north west frontier province (NWFP) of Pakistan, at the instigation of Pakistan and with its collusion, entered the Kashmir valley to capture it.[7]

The Maharaja signed the instrument of accession on 26 October 1947 which was accepted by India the next day. The government of India immediately airlifted Indian troops to Srinagar, defended the city and drove away the invaders.[citation needed]

The city has suffered from severe political and terrorist unrest during the last decades. Kashmiri separatists have clashed with Indian Army on some occasions. The city is heavily militarized.[citation needed]

  Geography

  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[citation needed] 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

Srinagar has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), with a climate 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 Himalayas on all sides. Winters are cool, with a January daily mean of 10.0 °C (50.0 °F), and temperature remains below freezing at night. Moderate to heavy snowfall is expected in winters and the only road that connects Srinagar with the rest of India may get blocked a few days due to avalanche. Summers are warm with a July daily mean of 30.1 °C (86.2 °F). The average annual rainfall is around 710 millimetres (28 in). Spring is the wettest season while autumn is the driest.

  • Highest temperature: 37 °C (99 °F); lowest −14 °C (7 °F)[8]
Climate data for Srinagar (1971–1986)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 7.0
(44.6)
8.2
(46.8)
14.1
(57.4)
20.5
(68.9)
24.5
(76.1)
29.6
(85.3)
30.1
(86.2)
29.6
(85.3)
27.4
(81.3)
22.4
(72.3)
15.1
(59.2)
8.2
(46.8)
19.7
(67.5)
Average low °C (°F) −2
(28.4)
−0.7
(30.7)
3.4
(38.1)
7.9
(46.2)
10.8
(51.4)
14.9
(58.8)
18.1
(64.6)
17.5
(63.5)
12.1
(53.8)
5.8
(42.4)
0.9
(33.6)
−1.5
(29.3)
7.3
(45.1)
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
(27.95)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 6.6 7.3 10.2 8.8 8.1 5.7 7.9 6.8 3.5 2.8 2.8 5.1 75.6
Source: HKO[9]

  Economy

  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.[10]

  Tourism

  Panoramic view of Dal Lake and the city of Srinagar

Srinagar is one of several places that has been called the "Venice of the East" or the "Kashmiri Venice"[11][12][13] It is known for its lakes, which 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. The Tulip Gardens have been recently opened to public by Sonia Gandhi.[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

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

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.[14] 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 could have been used to deal with the animals.

  Demographics

As of 2011 census, Srinagar city's population was 1,192,792 and Srinagar urban agglomeration had 1,273,312 population.[15] The population density in the city is 556 inhabitants per square kilometre (1,440 /sq mi) while the overall population density is 99 /km2 (260 /sq mi). The languages spoken are mainly Kashmiri, Urdu and English. Muslims make up more than 97% of the population, Hindus 2% and Sikhs and others 1%.[citation needed]

Males constituted 53.0% and females 47.0% of the population. Sex ratio was just 888 females per 1,000 males compared to national average 940. Srinagar had an average literacy rate of 62.2%, lower than the national average of 64.3%. Male literacy was 67.9%, and female literacy was 55.7%. Children under six years of age numbered 148,178 and were 12.4% of the population in 2011.

  Transport

  Road

  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

  Air

Srinagar Airport (IATA code SXR) has regular domesitc 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.

  Rail

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 will connect to Banihal across the Pir Panjal mountains through the newly constructed 11 km long Banihal tunnel in 2012 and finally to Indian railway network after a few years.

  Boat

Boats are often used for transport, as the city is situated on the Jhelum River and Dal Lake.

  Culture

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

  Hazratbal Shrine built in around 1700 A.D.
  The Shankaracharya temple built in around 200 B.C

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

  Performing arts

Performing arts of the city include:

  • Bhand Pather, a form of traditional folk theatre art form of play and dance, is performed by a group of about ten to fifteen artists. They depict in a satirical style social evils. Performance is accompanied by light music.
  • Chakri is a major and popular form of Kashmiri folk music.
  • Another form of Kashmiri genre of music called Sufiana music is also practiced in the city. It was introduced in the valley in the 15th century from Iran. Over centuries, it has assimilated a number of Indian Ragas, and has established itself as a classical music of the region. The instruments used in the music include Santoor, Sitar, Kashmiri Saz, Tabla, and Wasool.
  • Hafiz Nagma, a form of dance, is performed to the accompaniment of Sufiana music. The dancer is a female while males play different instruments used in Sufiana music.
  • Rouf is also an important foulk dance kashmiri women do in marriages or on the eve of IDD/EID. All women's hands on another women's shoulders moving to and fro.

  Education

  Media

Four FM frequencies are available in the city. However, only two bids were received by the government. Adlabs is the only FM radio operator in Srinagar (its bid was Rs. 61 lakh). The second bidder South Asia FM did not qualify because its bid was less than 25 per cent of the highest bidder, the minimum amount to be eligible for bidding.[16]

  Sports

The city is home to the Sher-i-Kashmir Stadium, a stadium where international cricket matches have been played.

Sports like football and cricket are popular.

Srinagar has an outdoor stadium namely Bakshi Stadium for football named after the name of Bakshi ghulam Mohammed .

  See also

  References

  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. http://www.censusindia.gov.in/. Retrieved 2007-04-14. 
  2. ^ "Kashmiri: A language of India". Ethnologue. http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=kas. 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. http://books.google.co.th/books?id=DqAHweWRUs0C. Retrieved 2012-03-14. 
  7. ^ http://www.kashmir-information.com/KoshSam/Kashmir_Affairs.html The Story of Kashmir Affairs - A Peep into the Past
  8. ^ BBC - Weather - Average Conditions have moved!
  9. ^ "Climatological Information for Srinigar, India". Hong Kong Observatory. http://www.hko.gov.hk/wxinfo/climat/world/eng/asia/india/srinagar_e.htm. Retrieved 2011-05-02. 
  10. ^ "Srinagar among 100 fastest growing cities in world". Greater Kashmir.com. 17 november 2011. http://www.greaterkashmir.com/news/2011/Nov/18/srinagar-among-100-fastest-growing-cities-in-world-37.asp. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  11. ^ The Sydney Morning Herald - Google News Archive Search
  12. ^ Holloway, James (1965-06-13). "Fabled Kashmir: An Emerald Set Among Pearls". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/chicagotribune/access/585827282.html?dids=585827282:585827282&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:AI&type=historic&date=Jun+13%2C+1965&author=&pub=Chicago+Tribune&desc=Fabled+Kashmir%3A+An+Emerald+Set+Among+Pearls&pqatl=google. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 
  13. ^ The Earthtimes (2007-09-24). "Can Kashmir become 'Venice of the East' again? | Earth Times News". Earthtimes.org. http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/112701.html. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 
  14. ^ MSNBC: Indian authorities to poison 100,000 stray dogs
  15. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. http://web.archive.org/web/20040616075334/http://www.censusindia.net/results/town.php?stad=A&state5=999. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  16. ^ FM radio: Govt to garner Rs 84 cr

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