Situated at Hazratbal, an idyllic area on the western side of the fabulous Dal Lake of Srinagar and held in veneration by the Muslims for the beautiful mosque that enshrines the holy hair of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), the University of Kashmir is spread over 263 acres of lush green land with three adjacent campuses of exquisite beauty, Amar Singh Bagh, Naseem Bagh and Mirza Bagh. Amar Singh Bagh is located on the bank of the Dal having on its other three sides a background of mountainous amphitheatre rising to a great height above its crystal clear water. Naseem Bagh, or "the garden of breezes", laid originally by Emperor Akbar, is a magnificient grove of chinar trees, facing the artificially formed island, Sona Lank or the Golden Island, in the centre of the northern portion of the Dal. Mirza Bagh, now the "University Town", housing the residential quarters for the teaching and non-teaching staff of the University, is situated on the bank of the famous, Nageen Lake. The unique combination of lake and mountain scenery, and the impressive calm and serene ambience provide a highly congenial atmosphere for the philosopher's contemplation and the scientist's research.
The University arose out of humble origins immediately after Independence when in 1948 the State Government established an institute for conduct of examinations with its headquarters at Srinagar, Justice J. N. Wazir being its Honorary Vice-Chancellor. This was followed by a noble effort by the authorities to revive the old tradition of learning and teaching, an essential feature of ancient Kashmir, through the establishment of three postgraduate departments in 1956 - English at Srinagar, and Economics and Geology at Jammu. Thus came into being a full-fledged University, then christerned the University of Jammu and Kashmir, with Mr. A. A. Fyzee as its first whole-time Vice-Chancellor. The University was shifted to the present campus, known as Amar Singh Bagh, when the land was donated by Dr. Karan Singh, the second Chancellor of the University. A lay-out plan was prepared by Mr. Fayaz-ud-Din, Chief Town Planner from what is now Andhra Pradesh and Mr. G. B. Mhatra, an eminent architect of Bombay. With financial assistance provided by the University Grants Commission and the State Government, a series of construction works began at the Campus in 1959, with the foundation stone laid for the Arts Faculty Block by Bakhshi Ghulam Mohammad, the then Prime Minister of the State, on 5 June 1959. The Faculty was commissioned on 1 August 1960 by Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, the then Vice-President of the country.
In 1965 the University was reorganized and divided into two divisions of equal status; one for the province of Jammu and the other for the province of Kashmir - with a central organization having specific legislative and executive powers relating to budget, finance, planning, coordination, improvement of standards of teaching and examinations and devising of courses of studies. Each division had its own executive body to run the day-to-day administration and its own academic bodies to formulate programmes and policies. The Pro-Vice-Chancellor was the chief executive and academic officer of the concerned division while the Vice-Chancellor was the principal executive and academic head of the whole University. Mr. G. A. Mukhtar, the then Education Advisor to the State Government was appointed the first Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Kashmir division.
By an ordinance promulgated by the Governor of the State of J&K on 5 September 1969 - which was subsequently replaced by an Act of the State Legislature and was published in the Government Gazette on 10 November 1969, the University of Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into two full-fledged Universities : the University of Jammu and the University of Kashmir. Accordingly, the statutes and regulations of the Jammu and Kashmir University Act, 1965 were modified.
Since 1956, this academic institution has come a long way and has developed into a multi-faculty University, imparting instruction in various subjects in the Faculty of Arts, Languages, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Education, Commerce, Law, Medicine, Dental Surgery, Engineering, Music and Fine Arts and Non-formal Education, all manned by academics with considerable teaching and research experience, some of whom occupy places of eminence in the academic world.
The University provides reasonably comfortable residential facilities - on first-come-first-served basis to the teaching and non-teaching staff as well as to students, male and female, in hostels. Besides the departmental libraries, the University has a centrally-heated central library, called Iqbal Library, with a vast collection of books, leading national and international journals and magazines and the recently installed internet facility. The location of the library, a magnificent edifice, at a walking distance from the various departments of the University, renders it easily accessible to teachers, research scholars and students of the University.