Srinagar is an ancient town located in the Pauri Garhwal district in the state of Uttarakhand. It is the largest municipality in the entire Garhwal region and encompasses an area of 9 square kilometer. River Alakananda, one of the two headstreams of the River Ganges, flows through this town.
Etymology of SrinagarIf hearsays are to be believed the name Srinagar has been derived from Sri Yantra, a giant rock so evil that whoever looked at it died instantly. However, scholars are of the opinion that it was probably a tantric device, in front of which human sacrifices were made. They also believe that as many as one thousand lives were lost before it was destroyed by Adi Shankarcharya in the 8th century AD. The Adi Guru turned it upside down and hurled it into River Alakananda. To this day, it lies submerged in the water. The area where the Sri Yantra was thrown is famed as Sri Yantra Tapu.
Brief History of Srinagar
If you go through our page on History of Srinagar, you will know that in ancient times the town was known as Shri Khsetra. Later it became the capital of the Garhwal Kingdom and remained so for more than nine hundred years. Its administrative importance was reduced in the beginning of the nineteenth century AD when the Gorkhas occupied the area. Although the British established their rule within twelve years they shifted the district headquarters from Srinagar to Pauri in 1840. Thus Srinagar was relegated to the secondary position for some time. Several natural calamities like earthquakes and floods also contributed to such decline
Disasters in SrinagarIndeed, disasters were not very infrequent in ancient Srinagar. For example, in 1803, a devastating earthquake destroyed much of Srinagar causing heavy deaths and damages. Then in 1894, the old city was wiped out by Gohna Lake dam burst. The flood, which was caused by a landslide induced temporary lake, destroyed all its old relics. Fortunately, the inhabitants were relocated in time and only one person died in this flood. A new city was slowly rebuilt in its place.
Srinagar at Present
Administration in SrinagarToday Srinagar has its own Municipality Board (NPP) to look after its civic administration. It is also the administrative headquarters of a tehsil and a Sub Division of the same name and has many important offices located within its periphery. The Court of Civil Sub Judge (Junior Division) is also located in this town.
Culture in Srinagar
Thanks to the royal patronage, Srinagar has always been a hub of art and culture. Many learned people and well known painters had adorned the courts of the kings. Mola Ram, who is said to have laid the foundation for the Garhwal School of painting, is one among them. A rich collection of his painting has been preserved in different museums of the world including HNB Garhwal University Museum of Srinagar.
Apart from that, the city has become a center for higher learning. It now houses a central university with jurisdiction over the entire Garhwal region. It not only offers excellent educational opportunity for the youth here, but also has considerable impact on the business and economy of this remote town.
Business and Economy of Srinagar
The economy of Srinagar depends mainly on trade and commerce. Presence of many government offices, courts, universities, medical collages, hospitals etc has given rise to a very thriving market economy. What is more, because of its central position and easy accessibility people from far and wide also come here for marketing purpose and this has further boosted the economy of the town.
Tourism too plays an important part here. Apart from usual sightseers, the town has turned into a popular stopover for pilgrims to Kedarnath and Badrinath. Consequently, it now has a growing hospitality industry. In short, what was a typical ‘chhatti’ in the beginning of the twentieth century has now turned into a thriving economy.
How to Reach Srinagar
Srinagar does not have any direct rail or air connection. Jolly Grant Airport at Dehradun is the nearest airport to Srinagar while Rishikesh and Kotdwar are the nearest railway stations. However, not many trains stop at these two stations. Consequently, Hardwar, located 24 km further from Rishikesh, is the major railhead for the town. There is also a plan to extend the railway line from Rishikesh to Karnaprayag. When that materializes, one will be able to reach Srinagar directly by train. Till then, one has to reach the town only through road transport system.
Fact File on SrinagarTehsil: Srinagar
District: Pauri Garhwal
Geographical Coordinate: 30.22° N 78.78° E
Elevation: 560 meter (1,840 feet)
Assembly Constituency: Srinagar
Parliamentary Constituency: Garhwal
Pin Code: 246174
STD Code: 01346
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