Mohd. Sidiq Sheikh , Founder of Hotel Paradise and Restaurant, rose from a humble background and succeeded in establishing himself as a successful contractor and a reputed hotelier of valley. Born with foresight and great intellect , he worked tirelessly all through his life to achieve his preset goals. He had conceived a dream in his mind and strive hard to make it a reality. While still in his young age, he had already established himself as a successful contractor and had raised enough money to purchase land at the famous Boulevard Road. He worked endlessly under scorching Sun and shivered in frosty chill to make his long cherished dream a reality. His dream was finally fulfilled when he constructed a hotel and named it as Hotel Paradise in 1978. Shortly after a restaurant was added to the hotel to cater to the needs of tourists. Then in 1987, together with his sons , a second building was added to the hotel with all the modern facilities in it. In 1997 , he laid the foundation for third block and got it completed within record period. The dream which Sheikh Sidiq had cherished came true and Hotel Paradise came up as a famous hotel in valley.
Our prestigious Hotel Paradise is located right at the Boulevard Road Srinagar. We provide modern, international standard accommodation with commonsense pricing. Whether you are seeking a corporate hotel or leisure hotel, a hotel near the airport or luxury at a Budget Hotels, you will find what you need at Paradise Hotel. We embody experience, expertise and excellence as our company is managed by top hoteliers and professionals with over three decades experience in travel and hospitality. Our close proximity to all major business centers as well as shopping hubs provides convenient accessibility to our esteemed guests.
A salient feature of Paradise Hotel is family and senior citizen friendly ethos. As a Family Hotel in Srinagar, basic family per-requisites like satellite TV, 24 hour hot water and Wi-Fi are a great bonus, especially with older kids. Our spacious rooms are easily converted into a family suite with one to three extra beds.There is the utter joy family and kids get when they tuck in our scrumptious food.
Kashmir is perhaps, to possess an authentic account of its history from the very earliest period. This past account of the valley, its culture and traditions, rise and fall of various Kingdoms, victory and defeats of the people have been noted carefully, yet critically by the sons of its soil. True it is, that the Kashmiriat literature is very rich in information about Kashmir.
The modern state of Jammu and Kashmir covered an area of 86024 square miles (prior to 1947) extending from 32deg 78′ to 36deg 58′ N and from 73deg 27′ to 80deg 72′ E. The entire state included, beside the Jammu region, Ladakh, Gilgit, Hunza, Nagar, Punial, and Yasin. The tiny state of Chitral, located towards the northwestern side of Gilgit, used to pay tribute to Kashmir ruler. It was due to the untiring efforts of Maharaja Gulab Singh Ji (the founder of Dogra Hindu dynasty in Kashmir) that the State took its present shape and form in the 2nd half of the 19th century.
The beauty and the salubrious climate of the valley were known even from the ancient times. The mythological traditions supported fully by the research of geologists confirm that the valley originally was a huge lake called “Satisar”, (the land of goddess Sati, consort of Lord Shiva) and its waters were blocked near Baramulla (ancient Varahmulla). In the words of Sir Francis Young Husband, “The huge lake must have been twice the length and three times the width of the lake of Geneva, completely encircled by snowy mountains as high, and higher than Mount Blank, while in the immediately following glacial period, mighty glaciers came wending down to the Sindh, Lidder, and other valleys even to the edge of water.”
Kashmir’s greatest historian Kalhan writes about his native land: “It is a country where the sun shines mildly, being the place created by Rishi Kashyap, for his glory – big and lofty houses, learning, Saffron, icy cool water and grapes rare in Heaven are plentiful here – Kailash is the best place in the three worlds (Tri-lok), Himalayas the best place in Kailash, and Kashmir the best place in Himalayas”.
Our immortal Sanskrit poet Kalidas writes about the valley:
“The place is more beautiful than the heaven and is the benefactor of supreme bliss and happiness. It seems to me that I am taking a bath in the lake of nectar here.”
According to the oldest extant book on Kashmir, ” Nilmat Puran “, in the Satisar lived a demon called Jalod Bowa, who tortured and devoured the people, who lived near mountain slopes. Hearing the suffering of the people, a great saint of our country, Kashyap by name, came to the rescue of the people here. After performing penance for a long time, the saint was blessed, and he was able to cut the mountain near Varahmulla, which blocked the water of the lake from flowing into the plains below. The lake was drained, the land appeared, and the demon was killed. The saint encouraged people from India to settle in the valley. The people named the valley as Kashyap-Mar and Kashyap-Pura. The name Kashmir also implies land desicated from water: “ka” (the water) and shimeera (to desicate). The ancient Greeks called it “Kasperia” and the Chinese pilgrim Hien-Tsang who visited the valley around 631 A. D. called it KaShi-Mi-Lo “. In modern times the people of Kashmir have shortened it into “Kasheer” in their tongue.
In 1960, Archaeological Department of the Govt. of India began systematic excavation at this site. Near about the siltbed, pits have been discovered in sections, indicating a settlement of early Pit dwellers whose date has tentatively been fixed at 3000 B.C. This is perhaps the only known find of such a settlement in India. It is possible that more valuable data would be found, when extensive surface diggings are completed.
Kalhan has started the history of Kashmir just before the great Mahabharat war, and the first King mentioned by him is Gonanda I, whose initial year of reign he places in 653 Kali-era, the traditional date of the coronation of King Yudhistira, the eldest brother of the Pandvas. Gonanda was killed in a battle along with his son in India, and at the time of the commencement of the Mahabharat war, Gonanda II was ruling Kashmir. After his death, the great historion informs that he could not trace the record of 35 kings who ruled the valley, because of the destruction of the record. However a modern scholar Peer Zada Hassan has given a brief record of these Kings from a Persian work composed during the time of Sultan Zainul-Abdeen (1420-70 ). The author of this work Mulla Ahmad had been able to obtain the names of these kings from an earlier Sanskrit work ” Ratnakar “. The great Mauryan emperor Ashoka is recorded to have ruled Kashmir, and Kalhan rightly mentions that the king was a follower of Buddhism. Ashoka founded the old city of Srinagar called now as ” Pandrethan “, ( Puranadhisthan ) and also build many vihars and temples and repaired the old shrine. At Vijeshwari (modern Bijbehra), he built a Shiva Temple, thus winning the heart of the local population, who were mostly worshippers of Lord Shiva. It was Majjhantika, a celebrated Buddhist missionary who was deputed to Kashmir and Urvasa to preach the faith of Buddha in those territories. Hien-Tsang mentions the arrival of 500 monks to Kashmir, and Ashoka making a gift of the valley to Sangha. Many Buddhist scholars, missionaries, and intellectuals permanently settled in the valley. Naturally, in course of time, many people embraced Buddhism here. According to local tradition, like Lord Shri Krishna, Lord Buddha is also supposed to have visited Kashmir. Writes Sir Charles Elliot in a book called ‘Hinduism and Buddhism’: “For some two centuries after Gautam’s death, we have little information as to the geographical extension of his doctrine, but some of the sanskrit versions of the ” Vinaya “, represent him visiting Mathura, north-west India and Kashmir. After the death of Ashoka, his son Jaluka ascended the throne of Kashmir, and his son King Damodar II succeeded the latter. Jaluka was a great king who cleared the valley of oppressing ‘Malechas’, (foreign unclean tribes). King Damodar lives in our memory even at present, for the Srinagar Air-port is located at Damodar I Karewa ‘, where the king is supposed to have lived in a big palace and, where again, he was transformed into a snake by the curse of a Brahmin. The scholars also, accept the theory that the valley for over two hundred years was ruled by Indo-Greek Kings before the start of ” Turushka ” ( Kushan ) rule in the state. Cunningham records a large find of silver coins of Azes (and Azilies) (coins of Indo-Scythians) on the banks of Vitasta (river Jhelum) in the hills between Varahmulla and Jhelum. The contact with the Greeks is responsible for the beautiful architectural, and sculptural style of old Kashmir temples, and the coinage of later Kashmir Kings has also been influenced by this contact. Kalhan’s account of Turushka Kings,indicates without any doubt the Kushan occupation of the Valley.
After the death of Queen Kota, Shah Mir ascended the throne under the name of Sultan Shamas-ud-din, and his dynasty ruled the state for 222 years. This period is one of the most important in the annals of Kashmir, in as much as Islam was firmly established here. The Shah-Miri dynasty has given us only two rulers, who are worthy of mention. One is Sultan Shihabud-din, and the second is the great Sultan Zain-ul-Abdin. The former ascended the throne in 1354, and continued to rule till 1373. He was full of energy, and vigour and he was able to establish his sway over the neighbouring countries. His army mainly consisted of Damras, Lavans and the hill tribes of Poonch, Rajapuri and Kishtwar. The important commanders who served under him were both Hindus and Muslims, such as Chandra-Damra, Laula Damara, Shura, Syed Hassan and Abdul Raina. His two important Hindu ministers were Kota Bhat and Udyashri. At the begining of his reign, he led an army to Sindh and defeated its ruler. While returning he defeated Afgans near Peshawar and then he conquered Kabul, Gazni, Qandhar, Pakhali, Swat and Multan. He invaded Badakshan, and then marched towards Dardistan and Gilgit, which he easily conquered. Then he marched towards Bulochistan and Ladhak. The ruler of Kashgar (central Asia) came with a huge army and Shah-u-din whose army was numerically inferior, inflicted a crushing defeat and the Kashgar army was almost wiped out. This led to the annexation of Laddhak and Bultistan, which were claimed by the Kashgar ruler. It is also said that the ruler or Kashmir marched towards Delhi, and on the way conquered Kangra, and then the army of Ferozashah Tughlaq opposed him on the banks of Sutluj. Since the battle between the rulers of the Delhi and Kashmir was indecisive, peace was concluded and it was agreed that all the territory from Sirhind to Kashmir was to belong to the Kashmir ruler. Shah-ud-din was not only a great conqueror but also an able administrator, and he governed his kingdom with firmness and justice. He was tolerant ruler and treated his Hindu subjects generously.
It is reported that owing to prolonged campaigns he needed money, and his ministers asked him to loot the temples, but he stoutly opposed the proposal, and to quote Jonaraj, he is reported to have said in anger: “Past generation have set-up images to obtain fame, and earn merit, and you propose to demolish them. Some have obtained renown by setting up images of gods, others by worshipping them, some by maintaining them, and you propose demolishing them. How great is the enormity of such a deed “. The king founded a new town, which he called Shihab-ud-din-pora, known now as Shadipur. He is also said to have erected many mosques and monasteries. Shihab-ud-din can rightly be called the Lalitaditya of medieval Kashmir. During his time Kashmir armies marched to distant lands, and our victorious banners were unfurled on many forts of foreign countries. Thus this great ruler raised Kashmir to great eminence, and power.
The next ruler was Sultan Qutab-ud-din, and in whose time the only important event worth mentioning is the arrival of said Ali Hamdani, who was the most remarkable personality of the then muslim world. At the time of his third visit he got with himself 700 Syeds from Hamdan, who were being out to torture by Timur, ruler of Persia. These syeds established their centres of missonery activities in different parts of the valley. In 1389, Qutab-ud-din died, and his eldest son Sultan-Sikandar succeeded him. It was in the time of this Sultan, that the political atmosphere of the state was vitiated. Whereas all former rulers had followed a policy of religious toleration, the new Sultan like Aurangazeb was a man of puritan temperament. He banned all gay celebrations and would not listen to music even. He imposed Jizia upon Hindus and stopped them to use tilak on their foreheads. Writes M. Hassan: “In their misplaced zeal for their faith, Sikandar and his minister Saif-ud-din (who was originally a Hindu) were also responsible for the destruction of images and temples.” Almost all the muslim chroniclers speak of the wholesale destruction of Hindu shrines including the ‘Martand’ Temple, and forcible conversion of Hindus to Islam.