History of Srinagar: More than 2000 years ago Srinagar was founded by the King Pravarasena II, who named it Parvasenpur then which dates the city to the 3rd Century BC. During this time, the city was a part of one of India’s largest empires – the Maurya Empire which spanned 50 lakh square kilometres in area.
Chandragupta Maurya founded this Empire in 322 BC. It was Chandragupta’s grandson – Ashoka - also known as ‘Ashoka the Great’–who was an aggressive and accomplished Warrior known to crush rebels such as in Ujjain and Taxila who introduced Buddhism to the Kashmir Valley post his ‘Kalinga conquest’ in 265 BC. This explains the Centuries of Buddhist presence in the Kashmir Valley.
During the 1st Century, Srinagar region was under the control of the Kushan Empire which spanned across South Asia and was founded by Kujula Kadphises in the 1st Century. The legendary Emperor of Ujjain – King Vikramaditya and his descendents also ruled the Srinagar region till the 6th Century. The Hun Dynasty – also known as the ‘Hephthalite’ and ‘Sveta Huns’ and ‘Turushkas’ – a Central Asian nomadic Dynasty, ruled the Srinagar region briefly during the late 6th Century.
The Independent Hindu and the Buddhist rule of Srinagar lasted till the 14th century when the Kashmir valley, including the city of Srinagar, came under the control of the Mughals. Few of the eminent independent rulers were Lalitaditya, Avantiverman and Sangrama Deva.
Srinagar was also the capital city during the reign of Yusuf Shah Chak, an Independent Kashmiri ruler – known for his Military prowess - also was tricked by Mughal Emperor Akbar into surrendering his kingdom to Akbar. Thus Akbar established Mughal rule in Srinagar and Kashmir valley. After the death of Aurangzeb in 1707 AD, the Mughal Empire got shattered paving way for the infiltrators from the neighbouring areas. The Durrani Empire, also known as the Afghan Empire was a Pashtun Dynasty from Afghanistan occupied and ruled the Kashmir Valley in the latter part of the 1700s.
The first king of the Sikh Empire – Maharaja Ranjit Singh annexed a major part of the Kashmir Valley, including Srinagar, to his kingdom in the year 1814 after defeating the Pashtun militia. This brought about the strong Sikh presence in Srinagar. In 1846, the ‘Treaty of Lahore’ which was signed between the Sikh rulers and the British in Lahore made a provision for de-facto suzerainty of the British over the Kashmir Valley, and authorized Gulab Singh as an independent and sovereign ruler of the region. Srinagar became part of his kingdom and remained so until 1947.
Post India and Pakistan's independence from Britain, certain tribes from mountainous region of west Kashmir, at the behest of Pakistan and with the collusion allied Pushtun tribals, infiltrated the Kashmir valley to capture it. India responded by sending in troops to the Kashmir valley. While the Pushtuns gained control of the majority of Srinagar they were not able to capture Srinagar Airport. This gave India leverage to air lift in supplies, including heavy weapons, and were able to control the city and its surroundings and evicted the Pushtuns out of Srinagar.
In order to prevent further attacks by armed forces and the probability that his kingdom, including the city of Srinagar, might fall prey to Pakistan, Hari Singh signed an agreement with the Government of Indian late 1947. This granted Hari Singh a political refuge, which ensured legal and binding accession to India.
The state of Jammu & Kashmir is a region of widely varying people and geography. In the south, Jammu is a transition zone from the Indian plains to the Himalaya. Nature has lavishly endowed Kashmir with certain distinctive favors which hardly find a parallel in any alpine land of the world. It is the land of snow clad mountains that share a common boundary with Afghanistan, China and Pakistan; Jammu and Kashmir is the northernmost state of the Indian Union. Known for its extravagant natural beauty this land formed a major caravan route in the ancient times.
Trade relations through these routes between China and Central Asia made it a land in-habited by various religious and cultural groups. It was during the reign of Kashyapa that the various wandering groups led a settled life Buddhism influenced Kashmir during the rule of Ashoka and the present town of Srinagar was founded by him. This place was earlier called 'Srinagari' or Purandhisthan. The Brahmins who inhabited these areas admired and adorned Buddhism too. From the regions of Kashmir Buddhism spread of Ladakh, Tibet, Central Asia and China. Various traditions co-existed till the advent of the Muslims.
King Pravarasena II – 3rd Century BC
Ashoka the Great –265 BC
Kushan Empire – 1st Century
King Vikramaditya – 6th Century
Hun Dynasty – 6th Century
Lalitaditya, Avantiverman and Sangrama Deva – 14th Century
Yusuf Shah Chak
Mughal Emperor Akbar – 1600s
Aurangzeb – 1700s
Durrani Empire – 1700s
Maharaja Ranjit Singh – 1814
Gulab Singh – 1846
Hari Singh – 1940
Government of India - 1947 are the rulers who ruled the kingdom.
The Dal Lake, the houseboats on the Dal Lake and the vast and verdant gardens around the Dal Lake are what Srinagar is famous for.
Famous Personalities In Srinagar:
King Pravarasena II, Ashoka the Great, King Vikramaditya, Lalitaditya, Avantiverman and Sangrama Deva, Yusuf Shah Chak, Mughal Emperor Akbar, Aurangzeb, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Gulab Singh, Hari Singh.