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Sunday, January 4, 2009

I got lost in its beauty

On this New Year we decided to take break from Delhi and decided to visit out of it. First it was Mathura,Agra & Vrindavan but after prolonged discussion we concluded on Srinagar, it was heaven on earth, literally. Here are few pics of Srinagar, Dal Lake. (For more pics click HERE)
The city was founded by the King Pravarasena II over 2,000 years ago, and the city of Srinagar has a long history, dating back at least to the 3rd century BC. The city was then a part of the Maurya Empire, one of the largest empires of the Indian subcontinent. Ashoka introduced Buddhism to the Kashmir valley, and the adjoining regions around the city became a centre of Buddhism. In the 1st century, the region was under the control of Kushans and several rulers of this dynasty strengthened the Buddhist tradition. 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.

The 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, a ruler who was tricked by Akbar when he failed to conquer Kashmir by force. Yusuf Shah Chak remains buried in Bihar in India. Akbar established Mughal rule in Srinagar and Kashmir valley. When the disintegration of the Mughal Empire set forth 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. Raja Ranjit Singh in the year 1814 annexed a major part of the Kashmir Valley, including Srinagar, to his kingdom, 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 the several princely states of undivided India.
After, India's independence, certain tribes, mostly Pashtun, actively supported by elements of the Pakistani forces, Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 came to the valley to help the local overwhelming Muslim majority of Srinagar and the whole of Kashmir to gain independence from the Hindu Dogra Ruler. Srinagar was almost won by the local helped by the Pakistan Army. Fortunately they did not manage to secure the Srinagar Airport. This gave India a chance to air lift the Indian Army along with all the heavy weapons and they were able to capture the city and its surroundings. In view of infiltration by armed forces and the possibility of his kingdom, including the city of Srinagar falling into civil war, Hari Singh signed a covenant in late 1947 with the Government of India, which ensured integration of his kingdom into the newly formed Republic of India, conditioned on the requirement of having a plebiscite after any conflict had ended. Various historians, notably British historian Alaister Lamb, dispute the claim that the Maharaja signed any agreement at all.
The Government of India, in view of its obligation enjoined upon it subsequent to this covenant, immediately air-lifted Indian troops to Srinagar, and the city was prevented by the Indian Army. In the meanwhile, the matter had been escalated to the United Nations, and a cease fire was imposed under its authority, resulting into certain parts of Hari Singh's kingdom going out of his hands, which now constitutes the Azad Kashmir state under Pakistani administration. The British Historian Alaister Lamb in his book claims that the troops were flown into Srinagar even before the alleged covenant was signed, his claims were proven after the agreement was found illegal.
The Dal Lake is a famous lake in Srinagar, the summer capital of the northernmost Indian administered state of Jammu & Kashmir. The lake itself is connected to a number of other lakes of the Kashmir valley. It is well known for its approximately 500 Victorian-era wooden houseboats, originally built as vacation homes for British administrators during the Raj. The lake covers 18 square kilometers, and is divided by causeways into four basins, called Gagribal, Lokut Dal, Bod Dal and Nagin. Lokut-dal and Bod-dal have an island each in the centre, known as Rup Lank (or Char Chinari) and Sona Lank respectively. Along most of the shore of the lake is a boulevard, lined with Mughal-era gardens, parks, and hotels. During the winter season the lake sometimes freezes over.
The lake has some interesting flora and fauna. The flora include lotus flower, water lillies and water chestnuts. Notable birds are kingfishers and heron. Apart from the houseboats, the Lake and Waterways Dal Authority allows kayaking, canoeing, water surfing and licensed angling on the lake
With the onset of militancy in the immediate area, tourism dwindled in the late 1980s and 1990s. However, after concerted efforts by the authorities, tourist inflow has slightly improved in the 21st century. Wi-Fi internet access was implemented across the lake in November 2003, making it the first lake in the world to provide wireless internet connectivity Uncontrolled macrophytic growth, introduction of exotic species like azolla , salvinia etc and silt are major problems affecting the lake.
Dax Networks Ltd, part of Apcom Group, has Wi-Fi enabled Dal Lake, the second largest lake in the J&K state, thus making it the first Wi-Fi enabled lake in the world. The project which has been conceived by Dax Networks and was being implemented in partnership with the Department of Tourism, J&K and iPeaks, an ISP of the state, will be inaugurated by the Chief Minister of J&K Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on November 1.

34 comments:

Swati January 4, 2009 at 8:29 AM  

lovely captures very well documented

Rohit Sharma January 4, 2009 at 9:01 AM  

wow all pics are so beautiful...specially d first one

Shreya Rajput January 4, 2009 at 9:12 AM  

beautiful snaps...seems u had gr8 new year ...pis is best

Anonymous,  January 4, 2009 at 9:18 AM  

beaitiful captures

Anouska Awasthi January 4, 2009 at 9:37 AM  

fantastic csaptures the sunset looks awesome.Nice presentation of history as well...

Jyoti Dixit January 4, 2009 at 9:46 AM  

simply beautiful n outstanding captures

Er. Snigddha Aggarwal January 4, 2009 at 9:49 AM  

Seems u had lovely new year party at Srinagar...as always u come wid some thing out standing
Lovely captures.Too good.

Dr. Neha Srivastav January 4, 2009 at 10:54 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous,  January 4, 2009 at 10:54 AM  

beautiful post n even better blog
nice guys..doing good service 2 Delhi via this blog.....
Regards

Priya Talwar January 4, 2009 at 10:55 AM  

lovely pics ..specially the first one the sunset one....too good

humanobserver January 4, 2009 at 11:04 AM  

Even I lost...They are so nicely captured I could not ask more......

Er. Paayal Sharma January 4, 2009 at 12:08 PM  

lovely captures...u gotta be lost here

Anonymous,  January 4, 2009 at 8:11 PM  

lovely captures

Dr.Nishi Chauhan January 4, 2009 at 8:16 PM  

thx 4 sharing beautiful pics

nidhi January 4, 2009 at 11:01 PM  

wowwwwwwwww wat a lovly pics,amazingggg yaar thy were damn gud n i lost there

Prachi Pandey January 5, 2009 at 2:34 PM  

thx all 4 valuable comments

Anonymous,  January 5, 2009 at 10:07 PM  

simply outstanding pics

Photographer Pappu!!! January 6, 2009 at 12:14 PM  

Nice pics, especially 4th and 5th from the top. Sorry couldnt read the description as it's too late for me now, but surely will read soon.

Anonymous,  January 6, 2009 at 12:56 PM  

fantastic captures
Regards

Rashmi Yadav January 6, 2009 at 1:11 PM  

fantastic captures....Literally

Alec January 6, 2009 at 2:17 PM  

simply fantastic pics

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