The valley of Kashmir

koshalsingh By koshalsingh, 19th Aug 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Asia>India>Jammu & Kashmir

Our planet is full of revelations and surprises when it comes to people and places, monuments and marvels, many of which are till date an enigma for the intellectuals. I am going to explore some of such world’s unique places, which keep everyone from a common person to a connoisseur interested and intrigued even after thousands and millions of years. I will start with India and one of worlds most coveted tourist place and jewel in the crown of India - the heaven on earth - the valley of Kashmir.

The valley of Kashmir heaven on earth

Once the summer residence of the royal Mogul dynasty and families of British, the valley of Kashmir has been, since the time immemorial, likened to paradise on earth. Between the snow-capped Himalayan peaks and summits of the Pir Panjal lies the valley of Kashmir, one of the most beautiful, fertile and temperate parts of Indian subcontinent. It was once held in great esteem that when, on his deathbed, the Mogul Emperor Jahangir was asked if there was anything he desired, he replied only Kashmir.
Around 60 Million years ago, the Valley of Kashmir was the basin of a lake some 3000ft. deep, 140km.long and 30km. wide. For centuries, it was fed by melted waters from glaciers and rain-swollen Mountain Rivers. The lake eventually disappeared, leaving behind the fertile valley that is now drained by the meandering Jhelum River.
According to Hindu mythology, the lake was once the home of water demon Jalodbhava, whom Gods wished to destroy. While he remained in water the demon was invincible, and the conflict was only resolved when the grandson of Brahma, the creator of earth, used his magic sword to cut across through the mountains at Baramula.The water of the lake drained and Jalodbhava was left defenceless.
The grand and picturesque valley lies at an altitude of 5300ft.and is sheltered by mountains, which safeguard its inhabitants from the worst of the monsoon. Because it is so high, its climate is far milder then that of nearby region. Many of heat weary British flocked in the summer months to Kashmir during the days of reign in India.
Srinagar the capital of Jammu and Kashmir was particular favourite of the British. However, the then Maharaja of J&K refused to allow British to buy land to build palatial homes. The British therefore took to the water and constructed wooden houseboats on the lake Dal.The British have long gone, but the houseboats still remain, and are a major tourist attraction.
Srinagar was founded in third century BC, when King Ashoka sent Buddhist missionaries to Kashmir. From then until AD144, 52 Kings ruled the country; various rulers introduced the religions of Hinduism and Islam in turn. Then in 1585, Kashmir was conquered by the Mughal emperror Akbar and become part of the Muslim Mogul Empire. During the summer, Akbar used to shift base to Kashmir. It was an ideal location, since it was relatively close to his power base in Delhi and to the trade routes over mountains. It also provided a respite from the heat and dust of the plain.
Akbar declared Kashmir as his own private garden and believed that the purpose of its inhabitants was to tend it. It was he who instigated the building of magnificent places and their grounds in Srinagar. All Mogul Gardens confirm to a set design comprising of a series of rectangular stepped terraces. In those of Srinagar, water rushes over stone parapets, runs beneath the pavilions and flows in a series of waterfalls through the length of the gardens until it joins Dal Lake. The largest of Srinagar’s Garden, covering an area of 1797ft. x 1109ft. is Nishat Baugh. It was laid out in 1633 to a design by Asaf Khan, brother-in-law of Shah Jahan, the builder of the Taj Mahal. ShahJahan also created Kashmir’s Shalimar Baugh, arguably the most magnificent garden in the world, with splendid pavilions, cascading waterfalls and a profusion of exotic flowers.
Tulip Garden: Kashmir has Asia's Largest Tulip Garden at the foothills of Zabarwan hills and on the banks of the famous Dal Lake in full bloom and open to the public every Spring Season.
Intended to be a terraced garden, three terraces have been laid , complete with fountains and other decorations.
Parimahal ( The palaces of Fairies) it was a school of Astrology built by Dhara Shikua, Shah Jahan’s eldest son for his tutor Muhlah Shah. School of observatory.
Hari Prabat: The Hill of Hari Parbat crowned by the pathan fort which is visible from every part of the city. 400 feet above the plain, Legend says the hill grew from a pebble dropped by the goddess Paravati to crush a demon, in the form of Sharika bird (Maina). This is called now Hari Parbat.
Shankrancharya Temple is situated at the height of 1000ft above the plain. The earliest of all the Temples built in 200 BC,. By Jalaka the son of the Great Buddhist convert Ashoka. The temple was subsequently rebuilt and dedicated by Raja Gopadittya in 6th Century. It is said to be that “ the Takhut-I-Sulaiman (throne one of the Solomon).
Hazrat Bal is the most important Muslim Religious place, situated on the western shore of Dal Lake.
Jamia Masjid The largest Masque built by Sultan Sikandar Constructed in 1400 A.D. Enlarged by his son Zain-Ul- Abdin.
Tomb Of Zain-Ul-Abdin the most attractive chapter of Muslim rule in Kashmir (1421-1472) in the reign of Zain- Ul-Abdin.
Pather Masjid the Mughal Mosque built by emperor Noor Jahan in 1620 A.D. wife of Jahangir. Muslims did not however use it for prayers.
Shah Hamdan built in 1953 AD. To commemorate the visit of Mir Syed Ali Hamdan destroyed by fire in 1479 and 1731 AD. It was rebuilt in 1732 by Abdul Barket Khan and since then stand as a land mark in the City. Built of timber, not a nail or Screw was used in the construction.


Kashmir Has Asias Largest Tulip Garden

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author avatar koshalsingh
retired from indian navy in 1998,now sailing on merchent ships.likes ghost hunting.

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author avatar Rathnashikamani
20th Aug 2011 (#)

Lovely Kashmir presented wonderfully!

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author avatar koshalsingh
23rd Aug 2011 (#)


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author avatar koshalsingh
21st Aug 2011 (#)

Thankyou very much Mr. Rathnashikamani

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