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.
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.