||This article may require copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone, or spelling. (October 2012)|
|State||Jammu and Kashmir|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|PIN||193101 (New City), 193102 (Old City), 193103 (Khawajabagh area)|
|Vehicle registration||JK 05|
|Sex ratio||873 ♂/♀|
Baramulla (ˌbærəˈmʊlə) is a city and municipality in Baramulla district in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is located on the banks of Jhelum river downstream of Srinagar, the capital city of the state.
- 1 Origin
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Climate
- 5 Demographics
- 6 Economy
- 7 Education
- 8 Healthcare
- 9 Eco Park
- 10 Transport
- 11 Language
- 12 References
The name Baramulla, meaning "Boar's Molar" is derived from a Sanskrit word Varahamula (वराहमूल) that is a combination of two words Varaha (Boar) and Mul (root or deep). According to Hindu teachings, the valley of Kashmir was once a lake called "Satisaras" (Parvati's Lake in Sanskrit). The ancient Hindu texts state that the lake was occupied by a demon, Jalodbhava (meaning "Originated from water"), until Lord Vishnu, assumed the form of a boar and struck the mountain at Baramulla (ancient Varahamula) creating an opening in the mountain for the water to flow out.
Ancient and medieval
The city of Baramulla was founded by Raja Bhimsina in 2306 BCE.
A number of prominent visitors have travelled to Baramulla. These include the famous Chinese visitor Heiun T'Sang and the British historian, Moorcraft. Mughal emperors had special fascination for Baramulla. Being the gateway of the Kashmir Valley, Baramulla was a halting station for them during their visits to the valley. In 1508 CE Emperor Akbar, who entered the valley via Pakhil, spent a few days at Baramulla and, according to "Tarikh-e-Hassan", the city had been decorated like a bride during Akbar's stay. Jahangir also stayed at Baramulla during his visit to Kashmir in 1620 CE.
From the very beginning, Baramulla has enjoyed religious importance. The construction of Hindu Teertha and Buddhist Vihars made the city sacred to Hindus as well as Buddhists. In the 15th century, the place became important to Muslims also, as the famous Muslim saint, Syed Janbaz Wali, who visited the valley along with his companions in 1421 CE, chose Baramulla as the centre of his mission and was buried here after death. His shrine attracts pilgrims from all over the Valley. In 1894, the sixth Sikh Guru Shri Hargobind visited the city. Baramulla thus became an abode of Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and Sikhs living in harmony and contributing to a rich composite culture.
It was the oldest and the most important town in north of princely state of Kashmir and Jammu and the 'Gateway of Kashmir Valley' by Rawalpindi-Murree-Muzaffarabad-Baramulla Road until 27 October 1947. It acceded to India when the Maharaja signed the instrument of accession on 26 October 1947 which was accepted the next day. It is now the headquarters of Baramulla district in the state of Jammu and Kashmir which is now a part of the Republic of India.
Atrocities in October 1947
While addressing a mammoth public meeting at Hazuri Bagh, Srinagar on 1 October 1947, Sher-e-Kashmir, Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, had made things about the future of the state obvious when he said, "Till the last drop of my blood, I will not believe in two-nation theory."
On 2 October 1947, the Working Committee of the National Conference met under Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah's presidency and took the decision to support the accession to India but Maharaja Hari Singh wanted to remain independent.
A large number of tribals from Pakistan attacked Kashmir under the code name "Operation Gulmarg" to seize Kashmir. The invading tribals started moving along Rawalpindi-Murree-Muzaffarabad-Baramulla Road on 22 October 1947 with Pakistani army men in plain clothes. Muzaffarabad fell on 24 October 1947. They reached and captured Baramulla on 25 October. There they stayed for several days looting, raping, killing, burning, plundering and desecrating and vandalising shrines and temples instead of moving on to Srinagar just 50 km away and capture its airfield which was not defended at all. They raped and killed European nuns (only one survived) at Baramulla's St. Joseph convent and Christian nurses at the missionary hospital. According to a book by Tariq Ali, the local cinema theatre was transformed into a "rape center". This savage orgy of loot, rape, murder and abduction of girls continued for several days. Baramulla suffered this savage orgy but saved the rest of Kashmir because the aeroplanes carrying the Indian troops airlifted from Delhi on the morning of 27 October could land at Srinagar airfield as the invaders were still at Baramulla.
Alastair Lamb wrote in his "Incomplete Partition", Roxford 1997, pp. 186–187:
The (tribal) leaders completely lost control over their men, an orgy of killing was the result. This was certainly the case at St. Joseph's College, Convent and Hospital, the site of what was to become one of the most publicised incidents of the entire Kashmir conflict. Here nuns, priests and congregation, including patients in the hospital, were slaughtered; and at the same time a small number of Europeans, notably Lt.Colonel D.O. Dykes and his wife, an Englishwoman preparing to leave the hospital that day with her new-born baby, Mother Teresalina, a twenty-nine-year-old Spanish nun who had been in Baramulla only a few weeks, as well as Mother Aldertrude, the Assistant Mother Superior, and one Mr. Jose Barretto, husband of the doctor, met their deaths at tribal hands.
Sam Manekshaw (who later became Field Marshal) was a colonel in the Directorate of Military Operations. He went to Srinagar with V. P. Menon to get a first-hand assessment of the situation on 26 October 1947. He later told a journalist
Fortunately for Kashmir, the tribals were busy raiding, raping all along. In Baramulla they killed Colonel D.O.T. Dykes. Dykes and I were of the same seniority. We did our first year's attachment with the Royal Scots in Lahore, way back in 1934-5. Tom went to the Sikh regiment. I went to the Frontier Force regiment. We'd lost contact with each other. He'd become a lieutenant colonel. I'd become a full colonel. Tom and his wife were holidaying in Baramulla when the tribesmen killed them...
Charles Chevenix Trench writes in his 'The Frontier Scouts' (1985):
In October 1947... tribal lashkars hastened in lorries – undoubtedly with official logistic support – into Kashmir... at least one British Officer, Harvey-Kelly took part in the campaign. It seemed that nothing could stop these hordes of tribesmen taking Srinagar with its vital airfield. Indeed nothing did, but their own greed. The Mahsuds in particular stopped to loot, rape and murder; Indian troops were flown in and the lashkars pushed out of the Vale of Kashmir into the mountains. The Mahsuds returned home in a savage mood, having muffed an easy chance, lost the loot of Srinagar and made fools of themselves.
Tom Cooper of Air Combat Information Group wrote:
…the Pathans appeared foremost interested in looting, killing, ransacking and other crimes against the inhabitants instead of a serious military action.
Biju Patnaik (who later became Chief Minister of Odisha) piloted the first plane to land at Srinagar airport that morning. He brought 17 soldiers of 1-Sikh regiment commanded by Lt.Col. Dewan Ranjit Rai. "...The pilot flew low on the airstrip twice to ensure that no raiders were around... Instructions from Prime Minister Nehru’s office were clear: If the airport was taken over by the enemy, you are not to land. Taking a full circle the DC-3 flew ground level. Anxious eye-balls peered from inside the aircraft – only to find the airstrip empty. Nary a soul was in sight. The raiders were busy distributing the war booty amongst them in Baramulla."
In the words of Gen Mohammad Akbar Khan (Brigadier-in-Charge, Pakistan, in his book "War for Kashmir in 1947"): "The uncouth raiders delayed in Baramulla for two (whole) days for some unknown reason."
It took two weeks for the Indian army to evict the raiders, who had been joined by Pakistani regular troops and became well-entrenched, from Baramulla on 9 November 1947.
Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah spoke in UN Security Council on 5 February 1948 thus: "...the raiders came to our land, massacred thousands of people — mostly Hindus and Sikhs, but Muslims, too — abducted thousands of girls, Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims alike, looted our property and almost reached the gates of our summer capital, Srinagar..."
Roads have been improved and road network has grown considerably in Baramulla town since 1947. New schools and colleges have started and better facilities for education have been created. More bridges on Jhelum river have been constructed or planned to connect the old town on the north bank of the river with the new town on the south bank. Decongestion of the old town has been attempted by moving some residents to houses in the new town.
Baramulla city is located on the banks of Jhelum river at the highest point of the river. The old town lies on the north (right) bank of the river and the new town lies on the south (left) bank. They are connected by five bridges including a suspension bridge connecting Gulnar park with Dewan Bagh. Five more bridges are being constructed or planned. A new bridge will connect Khanpora and Drangbal areas of the City.
The old town is congested and much smaller than the new town. Government offices, civil hospital, district hospital, bus station and most other facilities are situated in the new town. The railway station is on the eastern end of the new town on left bank of the river.
Past the old town, the Jhelum river divides into two channels at Khadanyar just before police headquarters and forms an island that has been designated Eco Park.
Baramulla has severe cold climate in winter and a pleasant weather in summer. It experiences snowfall during winter. The city is known for its pleasant summer climate.
|Climate data for Baramulla (1971–1986)|
|Average high °C (°F)||7.0
|Average low °C (°F)||−2
|Precipitation mm (inches)||48
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||6.6||7.3||10.2||8.8||8.1||5.7||7.9||6.8||3.5||2.8||2.8||5.1||75.6|
Baramulla is the fifth most populous town of Jammu & Kashmir state. Males constituted 55% of the population and females 45%.
The total population of Baramulla municipality was slightly less than 200,000 as per 2011 census and the city did not appear in the list of cities that had a population of two lakh or more as per 2011 census. Baramulla city consists of Sher-e-Khas (old town) and the new town (Greater Baramulla). According to 2011 census,(refer Population of Jammu and Kashmir Wikipedia 2011) the city recorded the population of (municipal council limits) as 167,986 and has been ranked at S.No. 05 among major cities of Jammuand Kshmir state. The four major towns ahead of Baramulla as per 2011 census are Srinagar, Jammu, Anannag and Udhampur. Baramulla has average 55% literacy rate (61% for males and 49% for females). The population under 06 years of age was 11%.
Baramulla is the largest producer of horticulture products in the state. World-class apples are grown here.
Baramulla has a Kendriya Vidyalaya (Central School) and a Sainik (Military) School, both affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education. St. Joseph's School, Baramulla, is one of the oldest missionary schools in Kashmir valley. There are a number of government-run public schools. Higher Secondary schools are also known as intermediate colleges.
Baramulla has separate government degree colleges for men and women and a nursing college associated with the district hospital. A polytechnic’s building is being constructed. North campus of University of Kashmir is situated in Baramulla city and an engineering college has started there.
Baramulla has a district civil hospital and a district veterinary hospital with facilities such as radiology (x-ray) and ultrasonography. A new building costing about INR 10 million for the veterinary hospital is under construction. of which 60% works have been completed till date.
Eco Park, Khadniyar, Baramulla is located at the island in the middle of Jhelum river on the road from Baramulla town to Uri. It is approached by a wooden bridge. In has been recently developed by J&K Tourism Development Corporation with a blend of modern substructure and natural exquisiteness. It offers a great view with mountains in the background, Jhelum river flowing along the island and lush green well-maintained garden with some beautifully designed wooden huts. It is one of the best places to visit in the Baramulla and is a famous destination of locals particularly in summer evenings. Some tourists also visit it. A cable car project and expansion of the existing eco park have been planned.
Access to Baramulla
Baramulla town is located about 55 km (34 mi) from Srinagar, the capital of Jammu & Kashmir state. National Highway NH-1A connects the town to the rest of the country. Taxis and buses to the town are available from Srinagar and Jammu. The nearest airport is at Srinagar. The nearest railhead is Jammu Tawi, about 360 km (220 mi) to the south.
From Uri and Muzaffarabad
The 123 km (76 mi) road from Muzaffarabad to Baramulla is along Jhelum river. It crosses the actual Line of Control and then passes through Uri town, 45 km (28 mi) to the west of Baramulla town. The first 5 km of the road from Uri to Baramulla is not along the river but the remaining 40 km (25 mi) is along the river and passes through fine scenery of wooded mountain-slopes broken by cliffs that rise to great heights above the path while below it the river either flows in narrow paths or roars over ledges and other obstacles.
Srinagar is the nearest airport, 50 km (31 mi) to the southeast. Jammu, the summer capital of the state also has an airport.
Baramulla is connected to Pattan, Uri, Sopore, Gulmarg, Kreeri,Athoora,Tangmarg and other towns and villages in Baramuula district by road. It is also connected to Srinagar and other towns in Kashmir by road. It is also connected to Muzaffarabad across the actual Line of Control by 123 km (76 mi) road that was closed in October 1947 after invasion by Pakistani tribals. The road was reopened in 2005 but the travel across the line of control is highly restricted and controlled.
Baramulla is the last station on the 119 km (74 mi) long Kashmir railway that started in October 2009 and connects Baramulla to Srinagar, Qazigund and Banihal across the Pir Panjal mountains through the newly constructed 11.2 km long Banihal railway tunnel. It will finally connect with Indian railway network after a few years.
- The economy of Jammu & Kashmir. Radha Krishan Anand & Co., 2004. Retrieved 1 July 2010. "... meaning in Sanskrit a boar's molar place. Foreigners who visited this place pronounced ... The place was thus named as Baramulla meaning 12 bores."
- The economy of Jammu & Kashmir. Radha Krishan Anand & Co., 2004. Retrieved 1 July 2010. "... meaning in Sanskrit a boar's place. Foreigners who visited this place pronounced ... The place was thus named as Baramulla meaning 12 bores."
- Kashmir and its people: studies in the evolution of Kashmiri society. A.P.H. Publishing Corporation. Retrieved 1 July 2010. "That the valley of Kashmir was once a vast lake, known as "Satisaras", the lake of Parvati (consort of Shiva), is enshrined in our traditions. There are many mythological stories connected with the desiccation of the lake, before the valley was fit for habitation. The narratives make it out that it was occupied by a demon 'Jalodbhava', till Lord Vishnu assumed the form of a boar and struck the mountain at Baramulla (ancient Varahamula) boring an opening in it for the water to flow out."
- "District Profile". Baramulla.nic.in.
- Wilhelm von Pochhammer (1981). India's road to nationhood: a political history of the subcontinent. Allied Publishers. pp. 512–. ISBN 978-81-7764-715-0.
- Tariq Ali; Hilal Bhat; Arundhati Roy; Angana P. Chatterji, Pankaj Mishra (24 October 2011). Kashmir: The Case for Freedom. Verso Books. pp. 33–. ISBN 978-1-84467-735-1.
- Triloki Nath Dhar. "The Story of Kashmir Affairs – A Peep into the Past". Kashmir-information.com.
- "Remember Baramulla". Jloughnan.tripod.com.
- "Kashmir & Manekshaw This eye witness... – Join Indian Defence Forces". Facebook.
- Tom Cooper (29 October 2003), Indo-Pakistani War, 1947–1949, Air Combat Information Group, retrieved 11 April 2012
- "October 27, 1947: Dakota in my dell ~ FRONTLINE KASHMIR". Frontlinekashmir.org.
- "Climatological Information for Srinigar, India". Hong Kong Observatory. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
- "Top cities of India by Population census 2011". Census2011.co.in.
- GreaterKashmir.com (Greater Service) (3 July 2011). "Where is Greater Baramulla Lastupdate:- Sun, 3 Jul 2011 18:30:00 GMT". Greaterkashmir.com.
- S.C. Bhatt; Gopal Bhargava. Land and People of Indian States and Union Territories. Retrieved 1 July 2010. "As most of these Hindi albeit Gujari speakers have been shown as concentrated in Baramulla, Kupwara, Punch, Rajouri and Doda districts, their Gujar identity becomes obvious. The number of Punjabi speakers in 1961, 1971 and 1981 Census Reports, actually reflects the number of Sikhs who have maintained their language and culture, and who are concentrated mainly in Srinagar, Badgam, Tral, Baramulla (all in Kashmir region), Udhampur and Jammu."
- Directory of Statistics, Jammu and Kashmir (2009)