Kashmir- If there is paradise on Earth, it is here, it is here . Persian Poet Firdousi     Jammu - The land of Temples  Ladakh -  the land of endless discovery .........



   Heritage Information 

Kashmir The Old City

With its almost medieval charm, the old city of Srinagar has sights, smells and sounds to enchant the most jaded traveller. Its labyrinthine roads and bustling bazaars are a photographer's delight. Traditionally dressed men and women on their way to the city's many mosques and shrines, burnt brick buildings with their rich warm colour, these are some of the old city's moods which linger in the corners of a traveller's mind, long after one leaves Kashmir.

Lending the area its vitality is the presence of the river Jhelum that flows through it. Srinagar has for long been Kashmir's most important commercial town, and when one considers that boats have always been a primary means of conveyance in Kashmir, it is not difficult to see why. In time, the city has formed around the banks of the river. Today, the presence of the river Jhelum has become an integral part of the old city, despite the fact that boats are no longer so extensively used as a means of conveyance. Nine bridges span the River Jhelum, and many, many more tiny ones intersect the network of waterways that flow through the old city.

Hazratbal Mosque

Hazratbal Mosque is located in a village of the same name on the banks of the Dal. Its pristine white marble elegance is reflected in the waters of the lake.

Hazratbal's special significance is derived from the fact that it houses a hair of the prophet Muhammad. This is displayed to the public on religious occasions, usually accompanied by fairs. Apart from these occasions, Friday prayers are offered at Hazratbal and attended by throngs of people. Hazratbal is remarkable for being the only domed mosque in Srinagar; the others having distinct pagoda like roofs. The shrine – mosque complex is situated on the western shore of the DalLake opposite Nishat Bagh and commands a grand view of the lake and the mountain beyond.

Jama Masjid

The interior courtyard of Jama Masjid The Jama Masjid at Nowhatta, in the heart of the old city, is the other important mosque in Srinagar at which thousands of people congregate for the Friday prayers. Of imposing proportions, the mosque is built around a courtyard and is supported by 370 wooden pillars.

The hushed quiet of the mosque counterpoints the bustle of the old bazaars surrounding it. Originally built by Sultan Sikandar in 1400 AD, and enlarged by his son, Zain-ul- Abidin, it is a typical example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. Destroyed thrice by fire and rebuilt each time, the mosque, as it now stands, was repaired during the reign of Maharaja Pratap Singh.

Imambara Zadibal

Located in the Zadibal locality of Srinagar to the west side of the Fort, Immabara Zadibal was constructed by Kaji Chek , Minister of Sultan Mohammed Shah (1517-25 AD) around 1518-28 AD. The Immabara got desecrated by fires eleven times right from the period of Sultan Nazuk Shah by Mirza Douglat in 1548 AD till the period of Maharaja Ranbir Sing in 1872 AD. The two-storeyed structure of Imamabara has been in the oriental bricks, Maharaji bricks, over 75 square meter area with sideways floor raisings (Gulam Gardish), central zero level floor (Pokhr), gallery and four gates. Recently, the reconstruction of this historic Immambara has been takenup and is likely to be built on the pattern of Persian architecture.

Shankaracharya Temple
The sacred temple of Shankaracharya occupies the top of the The sacred temple of Shankaracharya occupies the top of the hills known as Takht-I-Sulaiman in the south-east of Srinagar. The site dates back to 250BC. The philosopher Shankaracharya stayed at this place when he visited Kashmir ten centuries ago to revive Sanatan Dharma.

Hari Parbat Fort

Hari Parbat Fort, Srinagar The Mughal emperor's fort crowns the top of Hari Parbat hill. The fort was later developed in 18th century by an Afghan governor, Ata Mohammad Khan. The hill is considered sacred to the Hindus due to the presence of temple of Sharika, which is believed to be a form of goddess Durga or Shakti. The wall around the hill was built by Akbar in 1592-98 AD. The hill is surrounded by almond orchards, which make a lovely sight during April when the trees blossom, heralding the advent of spring in Kashmir.

Makhdoom Sahib

On the southern side of the Hari Parbat hill is the historic shrine of Makhdoom Sahib, which is visited by people of all faiths.

Chhatti Padshahi Gurudwara

The sixth Sikh guru travelled through Kashmir, stopping to preach occasionally. A gurudwara has been built at the exact site of each of these halts. The most important one among these is Chhatti Padshahi gurudwara, situated near the Kathi Darwaza, in Rainawari, Srinagar, which is held in great reverence by devotees of all faiths.

Martand Temple Martan Temple

Martand, located atop a plateau, close to the township of Anantnag, has a temple dedicated to Surya, the "Sun God". Built by king Laitaditya Muktapida (7th to 8th century AD), it is a medieval temple with a colonnaded courtyard and the shrine in its centre. The temple complex has 84 columns and offers a commanding view of the valley of Kashmir

Kheer Bhawani

Kheer Bhawani The Goddess Ragnya Devi is symbolised as a sacred spring at Tula Mula village, 27 kms from Srinagar. Within the spring is a small marble temple. The devotees of the goddess fast and gather here on the eighth day of the full moon in the month of May when, according to belief, the goddess changes the colour of the spring's waters. The temple-spring complex is affectionately known as Kheer Bhawani because of the thousands of devotees who offer milk and 'kheer' to the sacred spring, which magically changes colours to warn of disaster.

The Awantipur ruins

The Awantipur ruins Founded by Avantivarman who reigned Kashmir in the 9th century, this ancient township is 29 kms from Srinagar.

The site has two imposing temples, the larger one of Siva - Avantisvara is marked by huge walls, some half a mile beneath the town on the outskirts of village Jaubror. The subsidiary shrines are to the rear corner of the courtyard. The complex has, over the years, lost its grandeur and been reduced to ruins, though it is still visited by the devout. Half a mile up is Avantisvami - Vishnu, a better preserved, though smaller temple.

Parihaspora Budhistic Site

Parihaspora is situated on the karewa land 24 kms away from Srinagar on right side of Srinagar-Baramulla road. During first period of Dogra rule it used to be called pargana “Paraspur”. The ruins of Parihaspur Budhist site are presently spread over three karewa , namely: kane shahs ( main stone structure), Govrardhan & Budh karewa. This areas was developed and inhabited by famous King Lalitadita (695-731 AD) and later made it capital of Kashmir. Parihapora is presently known are kane shahr ( city of stones). The ancient ruins are seen at four places namely: Dewar Yekhmanpur, Govardhan karewa (Wudur), Teirgam & Budh karewa. It is observed by the archaeologists that this karewa land carries religious structures and palaces mainly. At the time when Parishapur would bloom as city, River Jhelum ( Vitasta) and River Sindh would meet at Naid Khai area and beyond Nigli Nallah would join to flow down in the Wular Lake ( the largest lake of Asia). Within the limits of this ancient city , the prominent structures which the King raised include: Govardhan, Mukta Keshav, Parhas Keshav, Mahavrah, Raj Vihar etc. The King has also constructed a Fort of iron brick in the city ; however, the remains of this Fort are not seen. In this city Turkish Minister of the King named Chuknan had constructed a Stupa, remains of which are still available.

The devastation of this monumental glorious city has been due to several wars between the kings and the last destruction of the city has been ascribed to Sultan Sikander ( 1379-1413 AD) though till the era of Sangram Raj ( 1003-28 AD) the structure of the Palaces and Temples has been largely in existence. Some historians say that during Kushan era (79-15 BC) Royal Bodh Vihar was constructed here and 3rd Budh Conference of Kashmir is believed to have been held here (79 BC) as evident from the inscriptions of certain stones discovered.

Harwan Buddhist Ruins

Harwan Buddhist Ruins date back to 300 AD ,as recorded in the chronicles, and is situated in North-West of Kashmir from eastern side of Shalimar Mughal Garden. The ruins are famous for Kushan period civilization. These ruins were discovered after excavation in the first quarter of 20th Century, i.e. between 1919-1929 AD, by the Archaeological Department. The position of the excavated site reveals that the settlement structures in steps. These ruins are not only unique in India but whole of the World where the habitat and living conditions of Kushan period people are seen. Henrich, an European writer, has stated that Nag Arjun the Budhist was born in the era of Kanshik who had stationed at Harwan and was all powerful..

The ancient name of Harwan was Shadarahadwan meaning woods of six saints. On the tiles discovered from the site the remnants of early civilization are evident. Properly shaped and backed tiles depict the images of such people which look similar to the people of Yarkand or Kashgar and some people are seen wearing Turkish caps and trousers. Two springs are seen closeby which would have been used for drinking water purpose. The artefacts discovered, tiles & stones etc, have been kept in the Ram Nagar Palaces Museum (Udampur-Jammu) by the Archaeological Survey of India.

Burzhama Ruins

Burzhama Ruins Burza Hama is situated in the north-west of Kashmir, nearly 24 kms from Shalimar road Srinagar and 16 kms from Naseem Bagh Road Srinagar. It is a karewa with ancient settlement ruins dating back to Neolithic age. Excavation of this site was conducted by the Archaeological Department, Government of India, in 1961. The ancient utensils and other artefacts discovered, signifying the ancient civilization, have been kept in the National Museum, Calcutta (Kolkatta).

Burza Hama ruins are unique and first of its kind in Kashmir and elsewhere in the country and the world. This civilisation has been segregated into four phases by the archaeologists signifying mud settlements, earthen utensils, bone utensils & tools, raw bricks. The fourth & last segment meets with ancient history which is earlier to the Harwan Budhist settlement ruins of Srinagar. On stones tiles some carvings depict Hangul (Kashmir Deer) game shooting with Sun, indicating day time game.



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