Srinagar

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Srinagar
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From the top clockwise:
Panorama of Srinagar City, Hazratbal shrine, Pari Mahal, Tulips at Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden, Boats in Dal Lake and Shankaracharya Temple
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Srinagar
Location in Jammu and Kashmir
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Srinagar
Srinagar (India)
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Srinagar
Srinagar (Asia)
Coordinates: 34°5′24″N74°47′24″E / 34.09000°N 74.79000°E / 34.09000; 74.79000 Coordinates: 34°5′24″N74°47′24″E / 34.09000°N 74.79000°E / 34.09000; 74.79000
Country India
Union Territory Jammu and Kashmir
District Srinagar
Government
   Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu [1]
Area
   City 294 km2 (114 sq mi)
  Metro766 km2 (296 sq mi)
Elevation
1,585 m (5,200 ft)
Population
 (2011) [6] [7]
   City 1,180,570
  Rank 32nd
  Density4,000/km2 (10,000/sq mi)
   Metro
1,273,312
  Metro Rank
38th
Demonym(s) Srinagari, Sirinagari
Languages
  Official Kashmiri, Urdu, Hindi, Dogri, English
Time zone UTC+5:30 (IST)
PIN
190001
Telephone code0194
Vehicle registration JK 01
Sex ratio 888 / 1000
Literacy69.15%
Distance from Delhi876 kilometres (544 mi) NW
Distance from Mumbai2,275 kilometres (1,414 mi) NE (land)
Climate Cfa
Precipitation 710 millimetres (28 in)
Avg. summer temperature23.3 °C (73.9 °F)
Avg. winter temperature3.2 °C (37.8 °F)
Website www.smcsite.org

Srinagar (English : /ˈsrnəɡər/ ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ), Kashmiri pronunciation:  [siriːnagar] ), is the largest city and the summer capital of the Indian-administered union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. It lies in the Kashmir Valley on the banks of the Jhelum River, a tributary of the Indus, and Dal and Anchar lakes. The city is known for its natural environment, gardens, waterfronts and houseboats. It is also known for traditional Kashmiri handicrafts like Kashmir shawls and also dried fruits. [11] [12] It is the northernmost city of India with over one million people. [13]

Contents

Origin of name

The earliest records, such as Kalhana's Rajatarangini , mentions the Sanskrit name shri-nagara which have been interpreted distinctively by scholars in two ways: one being sūrya-nagar, meaning "City of the Surya " (trans) "City of Sun" [14] [15] [16] [17] and other being "The city of "Shri" (श्री), the Hindu goddess of wealth, meaning "City of Lakshmi ". [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23]

History: Srinagar after 1900

Srinagar and Environ map 1911 Srinagar and Environ map 1911.jpg
Srinagar and Environ map 1911
Srinagar city and its vicinity in 1959 Srinagar city 1959.jpg
Srinagar city and its vicinity in 1959

In 1989, Srinagar became the focus of the insurgency against Indian rule. The area continues to be a highly politicised hotbed of separatist activity with frequent spontaneous protests and strikes ("bandhs" in local parlance). On 19 January 1990, the Gawakadal massacre of at least 50 unarmed protestors by Indian forces, and up to 280 by some estimates from eyewitness accounts, set the stage for bomb blasts, shootouts, and curfews that characterised Srinagar throughout the early and mid-1990s. [24] [25] 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 22 August 2008 rally in which hundreds of thousands of Kashmiri civilians protested against Indian rule in Srinagar. [26] [27] Similar protests took place every summer for the next 4 years. In 2010 alone 120 protesters, many of whom were stone pelters and arsonists, were killed by police and CRPF. Large scale protests were seen following the execution of Afzal Guru in February 2013. [28] In 2016, after the death of militant leader Burhan Wani, there were mass protests in the valley and about 87 protesters were killed by Indian Army, CRPF and police in the 2016 Kashmir unrest.

The city also saw increased violence against minorities, particularly the Hindu Kashmiri Pandits, starting from mid-1980s and resulting in their ultimate exodus. [29] [30] [31] Posters were pasted to walls of houses of Pandits, telling them to leave or die, temples were destroyed and houses burnt; [32] but a very small minority of pandits still remains in the city. [33] In 2015 protests in Srinagar from local Kashmiri pandits were held in order to express demands from the government related to their official status, temples, and the ability to visit a temple in Pakistani-administered Kashmir. [34]

After revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and the subsequent devolution of the state into a union territory in August 2019, a lockdown was imposed in Kashmir, including in Srinagar. [35] This lockdown has been ongoing for over a year. Thousands, including two former chief ministers, were arrested during this lockdown. [36]

Geography

Map of Kashmir showing various geographic regions Kashmir map.jpg
Map of Kashmir showing various geographic regions

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 Wular Lake. The city is known for its nine old bridges, connecting the two parts of the city.

There are a number of lakes and swamps in and around the city. These include the Dal, the Nigeen, the Anchar, Khushal Sar, Gil Sar and Hokersar.

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. [37]

Birds found in Hokersar are 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 shoveller, common teal, and Eurasian wigeon. [38] [39]

Climate

Srinagar has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa). The valley is surrounded by the Himalayas on all sides. Winters are cool, with daytime temperature averaging to 2.5 °C (36.5 °F), and drops below freezing point at night. Moderate to heavy snowfall occurs in winter and the highway connecting Srinagar with the rest of India faces frequent blockades due to icy roads and avalanches. Summers are warm with a July daytime average of 24.1 °C (75.4 °F). The average annual rainfall is around 720 millimetres (28 in). Spring is the wettest season while autumn is the driest. The highest temperature reliably recorded is 39.5 °C (103.1 °F) and the lowest is −20.0 °C (−4.0 °F). [40]

Climate data for Srinagar (1981–2010 normals, extremes 1901–2012)
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)17.2
(63.0)
20.6
(69.1)
27.3
(81.1)
31.1
(88.0)
36.4
(97.5)
37.8
(100.0)
39.5
(103.1)
36.7
(98.1)
35.0
(95.0)
33.9
(93.0)
24.5
(76.1)
18.3
(64.9)
39.5
(103.1)
Mean maximum °C (°F)11.6
(52.9)
15.0
(59.0)
21.4
(70.5)
26.8
(80.2)
30.4
(86.7)
33.8
(92.8)
34.2
(93.6)
33.3
(91.9)
31.5
(88.7)
27.7
(81.9)
21.4
(70.5)
13.9
(57.0)
34.8
(94.6)
Average high °C (°F)6.7
(44.1)
9.8
(49.6)
14.9
(58.8)
20.4
(68.7)
24.4
(75.9)
28.6
(83.5)
29.7
(85.5)
29.5
(85.1)
27.6
(81.7)
22.5
(72.5)
16.0
(60.8)
9.5
(49.1)
20.0
(68.0)
Daily mean °C (°F)3.0
(37.4)
5.1
(41.2)
9.5
(49.1)
14.1
(57.4)
17.8
(64.0)
21.6
(70.9)
23.9
(75.0)
23.5
(74.3)
20.1
(68.2)
14.1
(57.4)
8.2
(46.8)
4.0
(39.2)
13.7
(56.7)
Average low °C (°F)−1.9
(28.6)
0.4
(32.7)
4.1
(39.4)
7.8
(46.0)
11.0
(51.8)
14.8
(58.6)
18.2
(64.8)
17.7
(63.9)
12.6
(54.7)
5.9
(42.6)
1.0
(33.8)
−1.4
(29.5)
7.5
(45.5)
Mean minimum °C (°F)−5.7
(21.7)
−3.7
(25.3)
−0.2
(31.6)
3.6
(38.5)
6.6
(43.9)
10.5
(50.9)
14.2
(57.6)
13.4
(56.1)
8.0
(46.4)
1.7
(35.1)
−2.7
(27.1)
−5.3
(22.5)
−6.8
(19.8)
Record low °C (°F)−14.4
(6.1)
−20.0
(−4.0)
−6.9
(19.6)
0.0
(32.0)
1.0
(33.8)
7.2
(45.0)
10.3
(50.5)
9.5
(49.1)
4.4
(39.9)
−1.7
(28.9)
−7.8
(18.0)
−12.8
(9.0)
−20.0
(−4.0)
Average rainfall mm (inches)53.9
(2.12)
81.9
(3.22)
117.6
(4.63)
90.8
(3.57)
71.0
(2.80)
42.0
(1.65)
68.9
(2.71)
64.2
(2.53)
29.0
(1.14)
27.8
(1.09)
28.7
(1.13)
46.0
(1.81)
721.8
(28.42)
Average rainy days4.95.97.96.96.23.95.25.52.62.02.03.256.3
Average relative humidity (%) (at 17:30 IST)69625449504654565154617056
Mean monthly sunshine hours 74.4101.7136.4189.0238.7246.0241.8226.3228.0226.3186.0108.52,203.1
Mean daily sunshine hours 2.43.64.46.37.78.27.87.37.67.36.23.56.0
Source 1: India Meteorological Department [41] [40]
Source 2: Deutscher Wetterdienst (sun 1945–1988), [42] Tokyo Climate Center (mean temperatures 1981–2010) [43]

Economy

Market boats on Mar Canal in Srinagar Market boats on Mar Canal, Srinigar.jpg
Market boats on Mar 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. [44]

Tourism

Srinagar is one of several places that have been called the "Venice of the East". [45] [46] [47] Lakes around the city include Dal Lake  noted for its houseboats   and Nigeen Lake. Apart from Dal Lake and Nigeen Lake, Wular Lake and Manasbal Lake both lie to the north of Srinagar. Wular Lake is one of the largest fresh water lakes in Asia.

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; the Naseem Bagh. Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Botanical Garden is a botanical garden in the city, set up in 1969. [48] The Indian government has included these gardens under "Mughal Gardens of Jammu and Kashmir" in the tentative list for sites to be included in world Heritage sites.

The Sher Garhi Palace houses administrative buildings from the state government. [49] Another palace of the Maharajas, the Gulab Bhavan, has now become the Lalit Grand Palace hotel. [50]

The Shankaracharya Temple which lies on a hill top in the middle of the city, besides the Kheer Bhawani Temple are important Hindu temples in the city. [51]

Government and politics

The city is run by the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) under leadership of Mayor. The Srinagar district along with the adjoining Budgam and Ganderbal districts 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. [52] 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. [53]

Demographics

Religion in Srinagar (2011) [54]

   Islam (95.19%)
   Hinduism (3.44%)
   Sikhism (0.99%)
   Jainism (0.01%)
  Christianity (0.22%)
   Buddhism (0.02%)
  Other or Not stated (0.13%)

As of 2011 census Srinagar urban agglomeration had 1,273,312 population. [13] Both the city and the urban agglomeration has average literacy rate of approximately 70%. [13] [55] The child population of both the city and the urban agglomeration is approximately 12% of the total population. [13] Males constituted 53.0% and females 47% 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 1,000. [13] [56] The predominant religion of Srinagar is Islam with 96% of the population being Muslim. Hindus constitute the second largest religious group representing 2.75% of the population. The remaining population constitutes Sikhs, Buddhist and Jains. [57]

Transport

Srinagar International Airport Lapangan terbang Srinagar 2.jpg
Srinagar International Airport
A passenger train at Srinagar Railway Station A DEMU passenger train at Srinagar Railway Station Platform.jpg
A passenger train at Srinagar Railway Station

Road

The city is served by many highways, including National Highway 1A and National Highway 1D. [58]

Air

Srinagar International Airport has regular domestic flights to Leh, Jammu, Chandigarh, Delhi and Mumbai and occasional international flights. An expanded terminal capable of handling both domestic and international flights was inaugurated on 14 February 2009 with Air India Express flights to Dubai. Hajj flights also operate from this airport to Saudi Arabia. [59]

Rail

Srinagar is a station on the 119 km (74 mi) long Banihal-Baramulla line 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 a 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 55 billion INR. [60] The train also runs during heavy snow.

There are proposals to develop a metro system in the city. [61] The feasibility report for the Srinagar Metro is planned to be carried out by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. [62]

Cable car

In December 2013, the 594m cable car allowing people to travel to the shrine of the Sufi saint Hamza Makhdoom 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 300 million INR was made, and it is the second cable car in Kashmir after the Gulmarg Gondola. [63]

Boat

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. [64]

Culture

Like the territory 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

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

Additional structures include the Dastgeer Sahib shrine, Mazar-e-Shuhada, Roza Bal shrine, Khanqah of Shah Hamadan, Pathar Masjid ("The Stone Mosque"), Hamza Makhdoom shrine, 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. [66]

The Sheikh Bagh Cemetery is a Christian cemetery located in Srinagar that dates from the British colonial era. The oldest grave in the cemetery is that of a British colonel from the 9th Lancers of 1850 and the cemetery is valued for the variety of persons buried there which provides an insight into the perils faced by British colonisers in India. [67] It was damaged by floods in 2014. [68] It contains a number of war graves. [69] The notable interments here are Robert Thorpe [70] and Jim Borst.

Performing arts

Education

University of Kashmir University Convocation Complex, University of Kashmir.png
University of Kashmir

Srinagar is home to The National Institute of Technology Srinagar, formerly known as Regional Engineering College (REC Srinagar). It is one of the oldest among the National Institutes of Technology that were established during the second Five year plan. Other educational institutions are:

Schools

Medical colleges

Universities

General degree colleges

Broadcasting

Srinagar is broadcasting hub for radio channels in UT which are Radio Mirchi 98.3FM, [71] Red FM 93.5 [72] and AIR Srinagar. State television channel DD Kashir is also broadcast. [73]

Sports

Royal Springs Golf Course, Srinagar RSGC.jpg
Royal Springs Golf Course, Srinagar

The city is home to the Sher-i-Kashmir Stadium, where international cricket matches have been played. [74] 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 matches have been played in the stadium due to the security situation (although the situation has now improved quite considerably).[ citation needed ] Srinagar has an outdoor stadium namely Bakshi Stadium for hosting football matches. [75] 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. [76] Football is also followed by the youth of Srinagar and Polo ground is maintained for the particular sports recently. There are certain other sports being played but those are away from the main city like in Pahalgam (Water rafting), Gulmarg (skiing).

See also

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Rajendra Tiku, is an Indian sculptor and art teacher known for his outdoor stone sculptures. He was honoured by the Government of India, in 2013, by bestowing on him the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, for his contributions to the field of art.

Exodus of Kashmiri Hindus Forced expulsion of Hindus from the Kashmir Valley in the 1990s

The Exodus of Kashmiri Hindus, also sometimes known as the Exodus of Kashmiri Pandits, refers to the series of anti-Hindu pogroms and attacks that took place shortly after the inception of the Muslim-dominated insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir in 1989, which eventually forced Kashmiri Hindu Pandits out of the Kashmir Valley. The peak phase of the exodus was in the early 1990s, when Kashmiri Hindus, as a result of being targeted by the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front and other pro-Pakistan Islamist insurgents, fled from the Kashmir Valley to seek refuge elsewhere in India. As of 2016, only 2,000–3,000 Kashmiri Hindus remain in the Kashmir Valley compared to approximately 300,000–600,000 in 1990. Consequently, 19 January 1990 is widely known by Kashmiri Hindus as "Exodus Day", in memory of the Kashmiri Hindus who were either killed or forced out of Kashmir.

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