The municipality of Baramulla is located in the Baramulla district of Jammu & Kashmir. Baramulla lies on the banks of river Jhelum downstream from the capital of the State, Srinagar. It is known as the “Gateway to the Kashmir valley”. Earlier this town was famous as “Varahmula” which is a Sanskrit word which means boar’s molar. Varahmula comprises two words-“Varah” and “Mula”, Varah means “boar” and Mula means “root”.
The Origin of BaramullaAs per the legends, once upon a time the Kashmir valley used to be a lake named “Satisaras” (which means Parvati’s lake). The prehistoric Hindu texts narrate that a devil named “Jalodbhava” occupied this lake. Later Lord Vishnu adopted the appearance of a boar and smacked the Varahmula’s mountain. This act of Lord Vishnu created an aperture for the water to pour out.
History of Baramulla
Let's have a look at the past and present condition of Baramulla:
Baramulla in PastThe Baramulla city was established by King Bhimsina in the 2306 BCE. There are many famous visitors who have been to Baramulla such as Moorcraft(British Historian) and Hiuen Tsang(Chinese traveler). There were many Mughal rulers who were mesmerized with the city of Baramulla. Baramulla served as a good place to take a halt while these emperors were on their way to the Kashmir valley. In the 1508 CE, “Akbar” the famous ruler spent a number of days at Baramulla. Moreover, in Tarikh-e-Hassan it has been mentioned that during the stay of Akbar, the Baramulla city was bedecked beautifully. Besides Akbar, there was another renowned emperor “Jahangir” who lived in Baramulla during his trip to Kashmir in the year 1620.
Baramulla is a city which has a spiritual value ever since its foundation. The Buddhist Vihars and the Hindu Teertha made Baramulla devout to Buddhists and Hindus. In the 15th century Muslims also found this city to be of great consequence. In 1421, Syed Janbaz Wali chose this pious city as a center for his purpose.
Janbaz Wali was buried in Baramulla and a plethora of pilgrims from all over the Kashmir valley come to visit his shrine.
The 6th Guru of Sikhs, Sri Hargobind also visited Baramulla in 1620. Thus, the city like a sanctuary where people belonging to different religions (Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus and Buddhists) stay together in harmony. Until the year 1947, 27th October Baramulla was the most ancient and significant town of northern Jammu & Kashmir. Baramulla was surrendered to India on 26th October 1947 when Maharaja Hari Singh signed the “Instrument of Accession”. Baramulla city is the headquarters of the district of Baramulla.
On 24th October, 1947 some Pakistani tribal forces attacked Baramulla to capture Kashmir. They looted, burned, killed and damaged the temples and the mayhem continued for many days. The Indian Army took 2 weeks to get hold of the raiders and finally on 9th November, 1947 all the invaders were thrown out from Baramulla.
Baramulla at PresentSince 1947, the road network of Baramulla has been improved by leaps and bounds. There has been a remarkable growth in the educational facilities as well. The old Baramulla which is on the northern bank of Jhelum River is connected with the new Baramulla on the southern bank by the construction of 5 bridges on the river Jhelum. There are 5 more bridges which are planned to be constructed in the near future. There is also a proposed bridge which will link the Drangbal and Khanpora areas of Baramulla.
The old town of Baramulla is famous as “Sher-e-Khas” and the new town is referred to as “Greater Baramulla”. An effort has also been made for the urban restoration in old Baramulla town by moving the inhabitants to the new Baramulla town. The new town of Baramulla brags of excellent hospitals, many Government offices and bus station. The railway station of the town is located on the eastern end of new Baramulla town on the Jhelum River. Ahead of the old Baramulla town, the Jhelum River segregates into 2 channels at “Khadanyar” and forms an island which is famous as the “Eco Park”.
Baramulla is well-connected with important cities like Anantnag, Srinagar, Banihal and Qazigund by the railway network. Kashmiri is the predominant language of Baramulla which is followed by Gujari, Urdu and Punjabi.
Geography of BaramullaBaramulla is a highly populated town and is considered to be the 5th most populated town in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. The female population is 45% of the total population and the rest 55% is occupied by the male population. According to the census of 2011, the population of Baramulla was 167986. The average literacy rate of Baramulla is 55% with 49% female literacy rate and 61% male literacy rate. 11% of the total population comprises kids below 6 years of age. Baramulla is famous for the cultivation of apples.
Climate of BaramullaThe climate of Baramulla remains pleasant during the summers and is quite cold and snowy during the winters. In the winter months the minimum temperature drops down to -2 degree Celsius and the maximum temperature is about 7 to 8 degree Celsius. During the summer months the minimum temperature remains around 15 degree Celsius and the maximum temperature goes up to 30 degree Celsius.
Baramulla TourismThe efforts to convert the Baramulla town into a tourist hub had started since September 2010. The “Greater Baramulla Plan” was made to provide the residents with the latest and advanced public necessities. Some of the important tourist destinations of Baramulla are:
- Shilpathri Mandir- A holy place and heritage tourist spot.
Ziyarat Nabi Sahib, Hazrat Janbaz Wali shrine, Ziyarat Sharif Jalal Sahib, Ziyarat Dastgir Sahib and Mir Sahib in the old Baramulla town.
- Veervah Mandir
- Bohro Mandir
- Eco Park
Eco Park is the most sought after tourist spot in Baramulla which lies at an island amid the Jhelum River on the road from the town of Baramulla to Uri. To reach the park one has to go through a wooden bridge.
The Tourism Development Corp. of Jammu & Kashmir has lately upgraded
it with a combination of natural elegance and modern foundation. The
park offers a picturesque view with the river Jhelum streaming along the
island, beautiful mountains in the backdrop and lush green gardens with
a number of striking wooden huts. The park is flocked by a plethora of
locals as well as tourists in all seasons.
Places to Visit near BaramullaThere are a few places near Baramulla that one can visit during their stay at Baramulla. These are- Gulmarg(38 kms), Khilanmarg(40 kms), Kupwara(48 kms) and Watlab(29 kms), Srinagar (55 kms), Budgam (70 kms) and Pulwama(83 kms).
Transport in Baramulla
Here are some transport options in Baramulla: