Erstwhile a peaceful, old-fashioned town, the quaint city of Srinagar, better known for its serene lakes and beautiful boathouses, has been home to millions of migratory birds. A real paradise on earth, the beauty of Srinagar is not just trammeled to its scenic locales but extends to its rich history too. Both the Hindu and the Buddhist cultures have influenced Srinagar’s history considerably. According to the records, the history of the city dates back to the Mauryan Empire when Buddhism was introduced in Srinagar. After the fall of the Maurya dynasty, the valley witnessed a consecutive shift in power, with the rein of the land being passed on from the Kushans to king Vikramaditya of Ujjain and later to the Huns. The leadership of the Hindu kingdom remained until the 14th century in the region before it ceded to the Mughal kings. The introduction of the Muslim rule in Srinagar transformed the political, cultural and religious scene in Kashmir. To know more such interesting facts of Srinagar’s past, scroll down to read the write-up.
According to the historians, Srinagar, erstwhile known as Parvasenpur, was founded by King Pravarasena II, almost 2000 years ago. During the 3rd century, the region fell under the control of Mauryan kingdom. However, it was only when emperor Ashoka embraced Buddhism did this place rise to its present-day historical and spiritual status. When Maurya dynasty ended, Srinagar was usurped by the Kushans who played a vital role in spreading Buddhism in this region. By this time, the city had reached its religious peak with several Buddhist monasteries cropping up in and around the state. Just before the arrival of the Islamic rulers in India, Srinagar was under the administration of several Hindu and Buddhist rulers. Lalitaditya, Avantiverman and Sangrama Deva are some of the noted rulers to have presided over the throne of Srinagar.
The arrival of Muslim monarchs in the province completely altered the spiritual scene in India. Yusuf Shah Chak, a powerful military strategist, took over the throne of Srinagar. Yusuf Shah Chak was noted for his well-planned line of attack that even emperor Akbar found it difficult to defeat him by force and was left with no choice but to deceive him in order to annex Kashmir valley. During the Mughal dictate in India, Srinagar remained under the powerful control of the Muslim rule. Srinagar never experienced an autonomous rule until the leadership of Aurangzeb.
After the death of Aurangzeb, Pashtun clan of Afghanistan invaded the vale. Later they formed the Durrani Kingdom, who governed the province for several years. In 1814, Maharaja Ranjit Singh of the Sikh Empire annexed Srinagar again. With the invasion of the East Indian Company, the British signed a peace treaty in 1846, which is popularly known as the Treaty of Lahore. The Treaty of Lahore allowed the heirs of the Sikh dynasty to succeed to the royal throne. Srinagar remained under a sovereign rule of the Sikh kingdom until 1947. Once India gained independence, a certain tribe with the combined efforts of the Pashtun clan attacked the region. Historians believe that the attack was instigated by Pakistan to create dissonance in the state. Hari Singh, the ruler in the region was left with no other option but to sign a treaty with India and thereby concede to India Government. Since then, Indian government has taken several initiatives and tried hard to protect and maintain peace and order in the province.