The culture and festivals in Srinagar today are rooted in a rich blend of imperial influences, from the Mauryan roots of its beginnings as Parvasenpur two millennia ago to the Islamic touches of the Mughals later on. This is among the oldest cities in the country, which means that it has had so many influences coming into contact with it over the years that a particular brand of culture specific to it yet drawn from many other cultures has been developed already.
As in many other parts of India, Islam is present here and has written itself into the city’s inhabitants as well as buildings. There are several mosques in Srinagar, including the noteworthy Jama Masjid of the city. Christians and their churches are present too, as are the Hindus, of course. Srinagar has several places, in fact, that are ripe with religious significance-say the shrine of Kheer Bawani, for instance, where the natural spring’s water actually changes colour and is said to prophesy in such a way the future of the Kashmir region-and this has a profound effect on the character of the city as well as on its festivals. [Read more…]