he Downtown Srinagar is the cultural capital of Srinagar. It houses the patron Saint of Kashmir. Besides, the shrines of all other prominent saints lie in the vicinity of downtown Srinagar. It was once a fortified city which has been the capital of Kashmir for more than a thousand years. It houses a continuous living civilization of around two thousand years-the second longest surviving river civilization after Varanasi. Kings have come, made it the capital, lost battles, won battles and administered it in their own way. It was once proudly called Shahr-e-Kashmir, the city of Kashmir. With the advent of militancy a lot of people left Downtown city to live amongst the pacific lots in the Civil areas of Srinagar. Whoever had money or position preferred to live in colonies like Hyderpora, Peer Bagh, Baghat, Sanat Nagar and Chanapora. The result was that downtown Srinagar lost its influential lots to the transformation and government starting ignoring it.
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The thing of irony is that the roads have innumerable potholes, and the electricity supply is erratic. Not many tourists prefer to visit downtown Srinagar as they do not consider it worth visiting. We have failed to promote downtown Srinagar as the cultural capital of Srinagar. It should have been the first place of preference for the tourists but as destiny is it is the last. It houses everything that has at the core of our spiritual enlightenment but still we are not promoting it. How far can we go without improving the socio-economic conditions of downtown Srinagar? We cannot forget the heartbeat of our history and culture. The government needs to take serious action to highlight downtown Srinagar as the main tourist attraction of Srinagar. As a top priority downtown Srinagar needs better roads, better water supply, better electricity supply and lesser restrictions on public movement.