The history of Srinagar goes back to ancient times. The presence of Neolithic and Megalithic cultures has been found at Burzahom archaeological site, about 10 km from Srinagar. The city was named as Srinagari, established by a king named Ashoka, before 1182 BCE. Based on topographical details, a king Pravarasena II established Srinagar as his capital sixth century CE, which was then named Pravarapura. Hindu and Buddhist dynasties ruled Kashmir until the 14th century, when several Muslim rulers including the Mughals, took over the city. After the fall of the Mughal empire following the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, Pashtun tribes infiltrated the valley. The Durrani Empire reigned the city for several decades. In 1814, the city came under the influence of the Sikhs, when Maharaja Ranjit Singh annexed Srinagar. In 1846, the Sikh rulers signed the Treaty of Lahore with the British, providing the British de facto suzerainty over the Kashmir Valley. They announced Gulab Singh as an independent and sovereign ruler of the region until the independence of India in 1947. On 22 October 1947, several Pashtun tribes from Pakistan entered the valley. This led the Maharaja to sign the instrument of accession with India, in exchange for protection. In 1989, Srinagar became the centre of the Kashmiri uprising against Indian rule. From mid-80s, the city witnessed violence against the Kashmiri Hindus, leading to their exodus. The area continues to be a hotbed of separatist activity with recurrent protests and strikes.
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