History in Srinagar

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Srinagar history dates back to the third century when it was a part of one of the largest empires on the Indian subcontinent, the Maurya Empire. Though the city has roots that span centuries and numerous empires, it was only officially founded about 2000 years ago and today is teeming with a rich cultural history that makes it an ideal place for travel.

Ancient History of Srinagar

Officially founded by King Pravarasena II, the city today is the largest non-Hindu majority city in the country. The city's unique history was altered on its course, when Ashoka, the Maurya Dynasty emperor and one of the original rulers of the land, introduced Buddhism to the area around 250 B.C. Srinagar subsequently became a center for Buddhist study and thought in the region.

Throughout the centuries, rule of the city changed hands many times. The city fell to the Huns in the sixth century. However, the city continued to be ruled by Hindu and Buddhist leaders until the 14th century when Muslim leaders took over the city for the first time.

There were just as many Muslim leaders that claimed rule of the area, most notably the Mughals who ruled the area up until the 1700s. In the early 1800s, the city was annexed to the kingdom of Sikh leader Raja Ranjit Singh and it fell under Sikh influence for the first time. By 1846, the Sikh leaders in the government and the British in Lahore signed the treaty of Lahore, giving the British control of the area and installing the sovereign ruler Gulab Singh.

Modern History of Srinagar

When India gained independence in 1947, the Pashtun tribes in the area continued to support Pakistani forces in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 that was taking place in the neighboring Kashmir Valley. The Pakistani Army had control of the entire city, but not the airport, making it possible for Indian Army troops to arrive in Srinagar at the airport and push the Pakistani forces out by inflicting extreme casualties. Worried that his kingdom would fall to the Pakistani, Hari Singh signed paperwork with the government of India ensuring the integration of his kingdom into India, which happened shortly thereafter. The city has remained under the rule of the Indian government since.

A visit to Srinagar is a great lesson in history and its many landmarks will help tell the tumultuous tale of this storied city's past.

March 03, 2010 new by kat99

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