Set like a jewelled crown on the map of
India, Kashmir is a many faceteddiamond, changing character with the seasons -
always extravagantly beautiful.Three Himalayan ranges, Karakoram, Zanaskar and
Pir Panjal - snow capped,majestic, frame the landscape from northwest to
northeast. They are the birthplace of great rivers which flow through the
kashmir valley.RajTaringini the chronology of the Kashmir Kings written by
Kalhana eulogises the beauty of Kashmir as follows:"Kasmira Parvati Paroksh;
Tat Swami ch Maheswara". Meaning Kashmir is as beautiful as Goddess Parvati
manifest; and its owner is Lord Shiva Himself" And the Mughal Emperor
exclaimed "Gar Bar-ru-e-Zamin Ast ; Hamin Ast ,Hamin Ast Hamin Asto.
Meaning if there is paradise on this earth : This is it, this is it, this is it.
IF legends are to be believed, the
Kashmir valley was once a lake as large as a sea and here lived an abominable
demon who was killed after most of the lake had been drained with the collective
help of Brahma's grandson, Kashap and the goddess Parvati.She wasfinally stilled
the demon by dropping upon him a mountain and thereby crushing him to death.This
legendary mountain is no other than Hari Parbat, Srinagar's 'Takht-i- Sulaiman'
hill that forms the famous backdrop to the city.