Kashmir

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Kashmir is a rich north Indian sub-continent dialect spoken in the Pothohar Plateau around Rawalpindi, Kahuta, Gujar Khan, Jehlum, up to Gujrat in the south and Chakwal in the West, Hazara in the north, Azad Kashmir in the east and also by Sikhs from the Pothohar...

, Dogri
Dogri language
Dogri is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by about five million people in Pakistan and India, chiefly in the Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir, but also in northern Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, other parts of Jammu and Kashmir, and elsewhere. Dogri speakers are called Dogras, and the Dogri-speaking...

: कश्मीर; Kashmiri
Kashmiri language
Kashmiri is a language from the Dardic sub-group and it is spoken primarily in the Kashmir Valley, in Jammu and Kashmir. There are approximately 5,554,496 speakers in Jammu and Kashmir, according to the Census of 2001. Most of the 105,000 speakers or so in Pakistan are émigrés from the Kashmir...

: कॅशीर, کٔشِیر; Ladakhi
Ladakhi language
The Ladakhi language , now also called Bhoti, and by linguists more generally called Western Archaic Tibetan when the Balti and Burig or Purig or Purki dialects are included, is the predominant language in the Ladakh region of the Jammu and Kashmir state of India, and is also spoken in Baltistan...

: ཀཤམིར; Uyghur
Uyghur language
Uyghur , formerly known as Eastern Turk, is a Turkic language with 8 to 11 million speakers, spoken primarily by the Uyghur people in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of Western China. Significant communities of Uyghur-speakers are located in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, and various other...

: ; Shina
Shina language
Shina is a Dardic language spoken by a plurality of people in Gilgit-Baltistan of Pakistan and Dras in Ladakh of Indian-Administered Kashmir. The valleys in which it is spoken include Astore, Chilas, Dareil, Tangeer, Gilgit, Ghizer, and a few parts of Baltistan and Kohistan. It is also spoken in...

: کشمیر) is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley
Valley
In geology, a valley or dale is a depression with predominant extent in one direction. A very deep river valley may be called a canyon or gorge.The terms U-shaped and V-shaped are descriptive terms of geography to characterize the form of valleys...

 between the Great Himalayas
Great Himalayas
The Great Himalayas lie north of the Lower Himalayan Range. These mountains are bounded by the Indus River in the north and the west as the river takes a southward turn at Sazin. The average height of the range is about 6000 meters. Some of the highest peaks in the world lie in these mountains e.g...

 and the Pir Panjal mountain range. Today Kashmir denotes a larger area that includes the India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir is the northernmost state of India. It is situated mostly in the Himalayan mountains. Jammu and Kashmir shares a border with the states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the south and internationally with the People's Republic of China to the north and east and the...

 (the Kashmir valley, Jammu
Jammu
Jammu , also known as Duggar, is one of the three administrative divisions within Jammu and Kashmir, the northernmost state in India.Jammu city is the largest city in Jammu and the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir...

 and Ladakh
Ladakh
Ladakh is a region of Jammu and Kashmir, the northernmost state of the Republic of India. It lies between the Kunlun mountain range in the north and the main Great Himalayas to the south, inhabited by people of Indo-Aryan and Tibetan descent...

), the Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

i-administered Gilgit-Baltistan and the Azad Kashmir
Azad Kashmir
Azad Jammu and Kashmir or Azad Kashmir for short, is the southernmost political entity within the Pakistani-administered part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir...

 provinces, and the Chinese
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

-administered regions of Aksai Chin
Aksai Chin
Aksai Chin is one of the two main disputed border areas between China and India, and the other is South Tibet, which comprises most of India's Arunachal Pradesh. It is administered by China as part of Hotan County in the Hotan Prefecture of Xinjiang Autonomous Region, but is also claimed by India...

 and Trans-Karakoram Tract
Trans-Karakoram Tract
The Trans-Karakoram Tract is an area of nearly along both sides of the Shaksgam River, is entirely administered by the People's Republic of China as a part of Kargilik County and Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County in the Kashgar Prefecture of Xinjiang Autonomous Region, but claimed by Pakistan...

.

In the first half of the first millennium, the Kashmir region became an important center of Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 and later of Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

; later still, in the ninth century, Kashmir Shaivism
Kashmir Shaivism
Among the various Hindu philosophies, Kashmir Shaivism is a school of Śaivism consisting of Trika and its philosophical articulation Pratyabhijña...

 arose. In 1349, Shah Mir became the first Muslim
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 ruler of Kashmir and inaugurated the Salatin-i-Kashmir or Swati
Swati
Swati may refer to:* Swati language, Bantu language spoken in Swaziland and South Africa* Swati , Pashtun tribe in Pakistan** Riffat Akbar Swati** Sa'adat Khan Swati* Swati the Star, star in ancient Sanskrit scriptures that corresponds to Arcturus...

 dynasty. For the next five centuries, Muslim monarchs
Monarchy
A monarchy is a form of government in which the office of head of state is usually held until death or abdication and is often hereditary and includes a royal house. In some cases, the monarch is elected...

 ruled Kashmir, including the Mughals, who ruled from 1526 until 1751, then the Afghan Durrani Empire
Durrani Empire
The Durrani Empire was a Pashtun dynasty centered in Afghanistan and included northeastern Iran, the Kashmir region, the modern state of Pakistan, and northwestern India. It was established at Kandahar in 1747 by Ahmad Shah Durrani, an Afghan military commander under Nader Shah of Persia and chief...

 that ruled from 1747 until 1820. That year, the Sikhs under Ranjit Singh
Ranjit Singh
Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji was the first Maharaja of the Sikh Empire.-Early life:...

, annexed Kashmir. In 1846, upon the purchase of the region from the British under the Treaty of Amritsar, the Dogras—under Gulab Singh—became the new rulers. Dogra
Dogra
The Dogras are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group in South Asia. Being a diversified group, the Dogras include both Savarnas such as Brahmins, Rajputs and Non-savarnas. The Dogras also incluide merchant castes such as Mahajans...

 Rule, under the paramountcy (or tutelage) of the British Crown, lasted until 1947, when the former princely state became a disputed territory
Kashmir conflict
The Kashmir conflict is a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir region, the northwesternmost region of South Asia....

, now administered by three countries: India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, and the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

.

Etymology


The word Kashmir is an ancient Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 word which literally means Land of Kashyap
Kashyap
Kashyapa was an ancient sage , who is one of the Saptarshis in the present Manvantara; with others being Atri, Vashishtha, Vishvamitra, Gautama, Jamadagni, Bharadwaja...

 Rishi. Kashyap
Kashyap
Kashyapa was an ancient sage , who is one of the Saptarshis in the present Manvantara; with others being Atri, Vashishtha, Vishvamitra, Gautama, Jamadagni, Bharadwaja...

 Rishi was a Saraswat Brahmin
Saraswat Brahmin
The Saraswats are a Brahmin caste of India.- History :According to the legend, Saraswat Brahmins are Brahmins who lived on the banks of the former Saraswati River that once flowed in northern India. Although it is said that at Prayag the three rivers meet or met.the fact is that the Saraswati never...

 and one of the Saptarshi
Saptarshi
The Saptarishi are the seven rishis who are extolled at many places in the Vedas and Hindu literature. The Vedic Samhitas never actually enumerate these rishis by name, though later Vedic texts such as the Brahmanas and Upanisads do so. They are regarded in the Vedas as the patriarchs of the...

s, who was key in formalizing the ancient Historical Vedic Religion
Historical Vedic religion
The religion of the Vedic period is a historical predecessor of Hinduism. Its liturgy is reflected in the mantra portion of the four Vedas, which are compiled in Sanskrit. The religious practices centered on a clergy administering rites...

. The Kashmiri Pandits are his descendants and have named the valley after him, in his honour. According to the "Nilmat Puran
Puranas
The Puranas are a genre of important Hindu, Jain and Buddhist religious texts, notably consisting of narratives of the history of the universe from creation to destruction, genealogies of kings, heroes, sages, and demigods, and descriptions of Hindu cosmology, philosophy, and geography.Puranas...

," the oldest book on Kashmir, in the Satisar, a former lake in the Kashmir Valley meaning "lake of the Goddess Sati
Dakshayani
Dākshāyani or Satī is a Hindu Goddess of marital felicity and longevity. She is worshipped particularly by Hindu women to seek the long life of their husbands...

," lived a demon called Jalodbhava (meaning "born of water"), who tortured and devoured the people, who lived near mountain slopes. Hearing the suffering of the people, Kashyap
Kashyap
Kashyapa was an ancient sage , who is one of the Saptarshis in the present Manvantara; with others being Atri, Vashishtha, Vishvamitra, Gautama, Jamadagni, Bharadwaja...

, a Saraswat Brahmin
Saraswat Brahmin
The Saraswats are a Brahmin caste of India.- History :According to the legend, Saraswat Brahmins are Brahmins who lived on the banks of the former Saraswati River that once flowed in northern India. Although it is said that at Prayag the three rivers meet or met.the fact is that the Saraswati never...

, came to the rescue of the people that lived there. After performing penance for a long time, the saint was blessed, and therefore Lord Vishnu assumed the form of a boar
Varaha
Varaha is the third Avatar of the Hindu Godhead Vishnu, in the form of a Boar. He appeared in order to defeat Hiranyaksha, a demon who had taken the Earth and carried it to the bottom of what is described as the cosmic ocean in the story. The battle between Varaha and Hiranyaksha is believed to...

 and struck the mountain at Varahamula
Baramulla
Baramulla , known as Varahamula in antiquity, is a city in the Baramulla district in Jammu and Kashmir state in northern India...

, boring an opening in it for the water to flow out into the plains below. The lake was drained, the land appeared, and the demon
Demon
call - 1347 531 7769 for more infoIn Ancient Near Eastern religions as well as in the Abrahamic traditions, including ancient and medieval Christian demonology, a demon is considered an "unclean spirit" which may cause demonic possession, to be addressed with an act of exorcism...

 was killed. The saint encouraged people from India to settle in the valley. As a result of the hero's actions, the people named the valley as "Kashyap-Mar", meaning abode of Kashyap, and "Kashyap-Pura", meaning city of Kashyap, in Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

. The name "Kashmir," in Sanskrit, implies land desiccated from water: "ka" (the water) and shimeera (to desiccate). The ancient Greeks began referring to the region as "Kasperia" and the Chinese pilgrim Hien-Tsang who visited the valley around 631 AD. called it "KaShi-Mi-Lo" 迦濕彌羅. In modern times the people of Kashmir
Kashmiri people
The Kashmiri people are a Dardic linguistic group living in Kashmir Valley in Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir and parts of the Pakistani territory of Azad Kashmir who speak the Kashmiri language...

 have shortened the full Sanskrit name into "Kasheer," which is the colloquial Koshur
Kashmiri language
Kashmiri is a language from the Dardic sub-group and it is spoken primarily in the Kashmir Valley, in Jammu and Kashmir. There are approximately 5,554,496 speakers in Jammu and Kashmir, according to the Census of 2001. Most of the 105,000 speakers or so in Pakistan are émigrés from the Kashmir...

 name of the valley, as noted in Aurel Stein's introduction to the Rajatarangini
Rajatarangini
The Rājatarangiṇī is a metrical chronicle of North west of the Indian subcontinent particularly the kings of Kashmir from earliest time written in Sanskrit by Kalhaṇa. The Rājatarangiṇī often has been erroneously referred to as the River of the Kings. In reality what Kalhana means by Rājatarangiṇī...

metrical chronicle.

The "Rajatarangini
Rajatarangini
The Rājatarangiṇī is a metrical chronicle of North west of the Indian subcontinent particularly the kings of Kashmir from earliest time written in Sanskrit by Kalhaṇa. The Rājatarangiṇī often has been erroneously referred to as the River of the Kings. In reality what Kalhana means by Rājatarangiṇī...

," a history of Kashmir written by Kalhana
Kalhana
Kalhana , a Kashmiri, was the author of Rajatarangini , an account of the history of Kashmir. He wrote the work in Sanskrit between 1148 and 1149. All information regarding his life has to be deduced from his own writing, a major scholar of which is Mark Aurel Stein...

 in the 12th century, concurs with Nilmat Puran, stating that the valley of Kashmir was formerly a lake. This lake was drained by the great rishi
Rishi
Rishi denotes the composers of Vedic hymns. However, according to post-Vedic tradition, the rishi is a "seer" to whom the Vedas were "originally revealed" through states of higher consciousness. The rishis were prominent when Vedic Hinduism took shape, as far back as some three thousand years...

 or sage, Kashyap
Kashyap
Kashyapa was an ancient sage , who is one of the Saptarshis in the present Manvantara; with others being Atri, Vashishtha, Vishvamitra, Gautama, Jamadagni, Bharadwaja...

, son of Marichi, son of Brahma
Brahma
Brahma is the Hindu god of creation and one of the Trimurti, the others being Vishnu and Shiva. According to the Brahma Purana, he is the father of Mānu, and from Mānu all human beings are descended. In the Ramayana and the...

, by cutting the gap in the hills at Baramulla (Varaha-mula). Cashmere
Cashmere
Cashmere may refer to:* Cashmere wool, wool from the Cashmere goatPlaces* Another term for Kashmir, a region of the Indian subcontinent* Cashmere, New Zealand, a suburb of Christchurch, New Zealand* Cashmere, Queensland, a suburb of Brisbane, Australia...

 is a variant spelling of Kashmir, especially within the English language.
Kashmir — a beautiful mountain state with clear rivers, evergreen forests and one of the highest death rates in the world. It is at the center of an age-old dispute between Pakistan and India that has dragged on from the independence of both nations over fifty years ago to the present time, with no resolution in sight. The combined population of the two nation totals over a billion, so conflict between them could result in dire consequences, especially when nuclear weapons are involved. Pakistan and India share a common heritage, language, and traditions, yet the subject of Kashmir can push them to the brink of annihilation. Kashmir by culture, language and ethnicity is closer to Central Asia. Jammu
Jammu
Jammu , also known as Duggar, is one of the three administrative divisions within Jammu and Kashmir, the northernmost state in India.Jammu city is the largest city in Jammu and the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir...

 and Azad Kashmir
Azad Kashmir
Azad Jammu and Kashmir or Azad Kashmir for short, is the southernmost political entity within the Pakistani-administered part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir...

 are South Asian in culture, but unlike these two districts, Kashmir on the other hand, has had centuries of influence from Central Asia.

Hinduism and Buddhism in Kashmir




The Buddhist Mauryan emperor Ashoka
Ashoka
Ashok Maurya or Ashoka , popularly known as Ashoka the Great, was an Indian emperor of the Maurya Dynasty who ruled almost all of the Indian subcontinent from ca. 269 BC to 232 BC. One of India's greatest emperors, Ashoka reigned over most of present-day India after a number of military conquests...

 is often credited with having founded the old capital of Kashmir, Shrinagari, now ruins on the outskirts of modern Srinagar
Srinagar
Srinagar is the summer seasonal capital of Jammu and Kashmir. It is situated in Kashmir Valley and lies on the banks of the Jhelum River, a tributary of the Indus. It is one of the largest cities in India not to have a Hindu majority. The city is famous for its gardens, lakes and houseboats...

. Kashmir was long to be a stronghold of Buddhism.

As a Buddhist
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 seat of learning, the Sarvāstivādan
Sarvastivada
The Sarvāstivāda were an early school of Buddhism that held to 'the existence of all dharmas in the past, present and future, the 'three times'. Vasubandhu's states:-Name:...

 school strongly influenced Kashmir. East and Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

n Buddhist monk
Monk
A monk is a person who practices religious asceticism, living either alone or with any number of monks, while always maintaining some degree of physical separation from those not sharing the same purpose...

s are recorded as having visited the kingdom. In the late 4th century AD, the famous Kucha
Kucha
Kuchaor Kuche Uyghur , Chinese Simplified: 库车; Traditional: 庫車; pinyin Kùchē; also romanized as Qiuzi, Qiuci, Chiu-tzu, Kiu-che, Kuei-tzu from the traditional Chinese forms 屈支 屈茨; 龜玆; 龟兹, 丘玆, also Po ; Sanskrit: Kueina, Standard Tibetan: Kutsahiyui was an ancient Buddhist kingdom...

nese monk Kumārajīva
Kumarajiva
Kumārajīva; was a Kuchean Buddhist monk, scholar, and translator. He first studied teachings of the Sarvastivada schools, later studied under Buddhasvāmin, and finally became a Mahāyāna adherent, studying the Madhyamaka doctrine of Nagarjuna. Kumārajīva settled in Chang'an, which was the imperial...

, born to an Indian noble family, studied Dīrghāgama and Madhyāgama in Kashmir under Bandhudatta. He later became a prolific translator who helped take Buddhism to China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

. His mother Jīva is thought to have retired to Kashmir. Vimalākṣa, a Sarvāstivādan Buddhist monk, travelled from Kashmir to Kucha and there instructed Kumārajīva in the Vinayapiṭaka.

Adi Shankara
Adi Shankara
Adi Shankara Adi Shankara Adi Shankara (IAST: pronounced , (Sanskrit: , ) (788 CE - 820 CE), also known as ' and ' was an Indian philosopher from Kalady of present day Kerala who consolidated the doctrine of advaita vedānta...

 visited the pre-existing (Sharada Peeth
Sharada Peeth
Sharada Peeth , located near Sharda, was the famous temple of the goddess Sarasvatī in Northern Kashmir on the banks of what is known as the Neelum River in Pakistan . Its ruins are now in the Neelum District of Pakistan Administered Kashmir near the Line of Control and Gurez, India...

) in Kashmir in late 8th century or early 9th century AD. The Madhaviya Shankaravijayam states this temple had four doors for scholars from the four cardinal directions. The southern door (representing South India
South India
South India is the area encompassing India's states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well as the union territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry, occupying 19.31% of India's area...

) had never been opened, indicating that no scholar from South India had entered the Sarvajna Pitha. Adi Shankara opened the southern door by defeating in debate all the scholars there in all the various scholastic disciplines such as Mimamsa
Mimamsa
' , a Sanskrit word meaning "investigation" , is the name of an astika school of Hindu philosophy whose primary enquiry is into the nature of dharma based on close hermeneutics of the Vedas...

, Vedanta
Vedanta
Vedānta was originally a word used in Hindu philosophy as a synonym for that part of the Veda texts known also as the Upanishads. The name is a morphophonological form of Veda-anta = "Veda-end" = "the appendix to the Vedic hymns." It is also speculated that "Vedānta" means "the purpose or goal...

 and other branches of Hindu philosophy
Hindu philosophy
Hindu philosophy is divided into six schools of thought, or , which accept the Vedas as supreme revealed scriptures. Three other schools do not accept the Vedas as authoritative...

; he ascended the throne of Transcendent wisdom of that temple.

Abhinavagupta
Abhinavagupta
Abhinavagupta was one of India's greatest philosophers, mystics and aestheticians. He was also considered an important musician, poet, dramatist, exegete, theologian, and logician - a polymathic personality who exercised strong influences on Indian culture.He was born in the Valley of Kashmir in...

 (approx. 950 - 1020 AD) was one of India's greatest philosophers
Indian philosophy
India has a rich and diverse philosophical tradition dating back to ancient times. According to Radhakrishnan, the earlier Upanisads constitute "...the earliest philosophical compositions of the world."...

, mystics
Mysticism
Mysticism is the knowledge of, and especially the personal experience of, states of consciousness, i.e. levels of being, beyond normal human perception, including experience and even communion with a supreme being.-Classical origins:...

 and aestheticians
Aesthetics
Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty, art, and taste, and with the creation and appreciation of beauty. It is more scientifically defined as the study of sensory or sensori-emotional values, sometimes called judgments of sentiment and taste...

. He was also considered an important musician
Music of India
The music of India includes multiple varieties of folk, popular, pop, classical music and R&B. India's classical music tradition, including Carnatic and Hindustani music, has a history spanning millennia and developed over several eras. It remains fundamental to the lives of Indians today as...

, poet
Indian poetry
Indian poetry, and Indian literature in general, has a long history dating back to Vedic times. They were written in various Indian languages such as Vedic Sanskrit, Classical Sanskrit, Oriya, Tamil, Kannada, Bengali and Urdu. Poetry in foreign languages such as Persian and English also have a...

, dramatist
Theatre in India
The earliest form of the theatre of India was the Sanskrit theatre. It began after the development of Greek and Roman theatre and before the development of theatre in other parts of Asia...

, exeget
Exegesis
Exegesis is a critical explanation or interpretation of a text, especially a religious text. Traditionally the term was used primarily for exegesis of the Bible; however, in contemporary usage it has broadened to mean a critical explanation of any text, and the term "Biblical exegesis" is used...

, theologian
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

, and logician
Indian logic
The development of Indian logic dates back to the anviksiki of Medhatithi Gautama the Sanskrit grammar rules of Pāṇini ; the Vaisheshika school's analysis of atomism ; the analysis of inference by Gotama , founder of the Nyaya school of Hindu philosophy; and the tetralemma of Nagarjuna...

 - a polymath
Polymath
A polymath is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. In less formal terms, a polymath may simply be someone who is very knowledgeable...

ic personality who exercised strong influences on Indian culture. He was born in the Valley of Kashmir in a family of scholars and mystics and studied all the schools of philosophy and art of his time under the guidance of as many as fifteen (or more) teachers and guru
Guru
A guru is one who is regarded as having great knowledge, wisdom, and authority in a certain area, and who uses it to guide others . Other forms of manifestation of this principle can include parents, school teachers, non-human objects and even one's own intellectual discipline, if the...

s. In his long life he completed over 35 works, the largest and most famous of which is Tantrāloka
Tantraloka
Tantrāloka is the masterwork of Abhinavagupta, who was in turn the most revered Kashmir Shaivism master. On account of its size and scope it is a veritable encyclopedia of nondual Shaivism, a treasure text containing the synthesis of the 64 monistic āgamas and all the schools of Kashmir Shaivism....

, an encyclopedic treatise on all the philosophical and practical aspects of Trika
Trika
Trika, a concept of Kashmir Shaivism, refers to the 3 goddesses Parā, Parāparā and Aparā which are named in the Mālinivijayottata-tantra, a Bhairava Tantra.This gives Kashmir Saivism its other name, Trika.-Śiva, Śakti and :...

 and Kaula
Kaula
Kaula Island, also called Kaula Rock, is a small, crescent-shaped offshore islet in the Hawaiian Islands.-Geography:It is located west-southwest of Kawaihoa Point on Niihau, and about west of Honolulu. The island is actually the very top of a volcanic tuff cone that rests on top of a larger,...

 (known today as Kashmir Shaivism
Kashmir Shaivism
Among the various Hindu philosophies, Kashmir Shaivism is a school of Śaivism consisting of Trika and its philosophical articulation Pratyabhijña...

). Another one of his very important contributions was in the field of philosophy of aesthetics with his famous Abhinavabhāratī
Abhinavabharati
Abhinavabharati is a commentary on ancient Indian author Bharata Muni's work of dramatic theory, the Natyasastra. It is the only old commentary available on this work...

 commentary of Nāṭyaśāstra
Natya Shastra
The Natya Shastra is an ancient Indian treatise on the performing arts, encompassing theatre, dance and music. It was written during the period between 200 BC and 200 AD in classical India and is traditionally attributed to the Sage Bharata.The Natya Shastra is incredibly wide in its scope...

 of Bharata Muni
Bharata Muni
Bharata was an ancient Indian musicologist who authored the Natya Shastra, a theoretical treatise on ancient Indian dramaturgy and histrionics, dated to between roughly 400 BC and 200 BC. Indian dance and music find their root in the Natyashastra...

.

In the 10th century AD Moksopaya
Moksopaya
The Mokṣopāya or Mokṣopāyaśāstra is a Sanskrit philosophical text on salvation for non-ascetics , written on the Pradyumna hill in Śrīnagar in the 10th century AD. It has the form of a public sermon and claims human authorship and contains about 30,000 śloka's...

or Moksopaya Shastra, a philosophical text on salvation for non-ascetics (moksa-upaya: 'means to release'), was written on the Pradyumna hill in Śrīnagar
Srinagar
Srinagar is the summer seasonal capital of Jammu and Kashmir. It is situated in Kashmir Valley and lies on the banks of the Jhelum River, a tributary of the Indus. It is one of the largest cities in India not to have a Hindu majority. The city is famous for its gardens, lakes and houseboats...

. It has the form of a public sermon and claims human authorship and contains about 30,000 shloka
Shloka
A ' is a category of verse line developed from the Vedic Anuṣṭubh. It is the basis for Indian Epic verse, and may be considered the Indian verse form par excellence, occurring, as it does, far more frequently than any other meter in classical Sanskrit poetry. The Mahabharata and Ramayana, for...

's (making it longer than the Ramayana
Ramayana
The Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit epic. It is ascribed to the Hindu sage Valmiki and forms an important part of the Hindu canon , considered to be itihāsa. The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India and Nepal, the other being the Mahabharata...

). The main part of the text forms a dialogue between Vasistha
Vasistha
Vashist in the seventh, i.e the present Manvantara, and the Rajpurohit / Rajguru of the Suryavansha or Solar Dynasty. He was the mānasaputra of Brahma. He had in his possession the divine cow Kamadhenu, and Nandini her child, who could grant anything to their owners...

 and Rama
Rama
Rama or full name Ramachandra is considered to be the seventh avatar of Vishnu in Hinduism, and a king of Ayodhya in ancient Indian...

, interchanged with numerous short stories and anecdotes
Contents and stories of the Yoga Vasistha
The below list gives an overview of the contents and stories in the Yoga Vasistha, as it appears in Swami Venkatesananda's translation. The same stories are included in the Moksopaya, on which the Yoga Vasistha was based, as well....

 to illustrate the content. This text was later (11th to the 14th century AD) expanded and vedanticized
Vedanta
Vedānta was originally a word used in Hindu philosophy as a synonym for that part of the Veda texts known also as the Upanishads. The name is a morphophonological form of Veda-anta = "Veda-end" = "the appendix to the Vedic hymns." It is also speculated that "Vedānta" means "the purpose or goal...

, which resulted in the Yoga Vasistha
Yoga Vasistha
Yoga Vasistha is a Hindu spiritual text traditionally attributed to Valmiki. It recounts a discourse of the sage Vasistha to a young Prince Rama, during a period when the latter is in a dejected state...

.

Muslim rule



The Muslims and Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

s of Kashmir lived in relative harmony, since the Sufi-Islamic way of life that Muslims followed in Kashmir complemented the Rishi
Rishi
Rishi denotes the composers of Vedic hymns. However, according to post-Vedic tradition, the rishi is a "seer" to whom the Vedas were "originally revealed" through states of higher consciousness. The rishis were prominent when Vedic Hinduism took shape, as far back as some three thousand years...

 tradition of Kashmiri Pandit
Kashmiri Pandit
The Kashmiri Pandits are a Hindu Brahmin community originating from Kashmir, a mountainous region in South Asia.-Background:The Hindu caste system of the region was influenced by the influx of Buddhism from the time of Asoka, around the third century BCE, and a consequence of this was that the...

s, and Sufi saints such as Sheikh Noor-ud-din Wali
Sheikh Noor-ud-din Wali
Sheikh Noor-ud-din, also known as Nund Rishi, was a famous Kashmiri saint who belonged to the Rishi order. He belonged to a Rajput lineage of Kisthwar. He was born in 1377 CE, corresponding to 779 Hijri and he died at the age of 63 years in the year of 1440 CE or 842 Hijri...

 were thought of as Muslim Rishis
Rishi order
The Rishi order of Kashmir is a Sufi tradition associated with religious harmony. Many of the saints held dear by Kashmiris to this day were Sufi Rishis. The original Rishis include Sheikh Noor-ud-din Wali also known as Nund Rishi...

. This led to a syncretic culture where Hindus and Muslims revered the same local saints and prayed at the same shrines . Famous sufi saint Bulbul Shah was able to convert Rinchan Shah who was then prince
Prince
Prince is a general term for a ruler, monarch or member of a monarch's or former monarch's family, and is a hereditary title in the nobility of some European states. The feminine equivalent is a princess...

 of Kashgar Ladakh to an Islamic lifestyle, thus founding the Sufiana composite culture. Under this rule, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist Kashmiris generally co-existed peacefully. Over time, however, the Sufiana governance gave way to outright Muslim monarchs.

First Muslim Ruler, Shah Mir


In the beginning of 14th century a ferocious, Dulucha, coming from Turkestan invaded the valley through its northern side Zojila Pass, with an army of 60,000 men. Like Taimur in the Punjab and Delhi, Dulucha carried sword and fire, destroyed towns and villages and slaughtered thousands. Dulacha was liquidated on his way back from the valley as he was mis-directed by the Brahmins and thus he and his army perished in a snow blizzard. His savage attack practically ended the Hindu rule in Kashmir. Raja Sahadev was the ruler then. It was during his reign that three men, Shah Mir from (has often been mentioned erroneously from Swat) entered Kashmir from a proximal region of the Kashmir Valley, Rinchin from Ladhak, and Hilmat and Hikmat Chak from Dard territory came to Kashmir, and played a notable role in subsequentive political history of the valley.

Shah Mir was the second Muslim ruler (Rinchin was the first as he converted to Islam) of Kashmir and the founder of the Shah Miri dynasty named after him. Jonaraja, in his Rajatarangini mentioned him as Sahamera who was from a proximal region of Kashmir and claimed lineage from Arjuna. According to Jonaraja his ancestors were of Hindu origin and wrree Kshatriyas. Shah Mir was succeeded by his eldest son Jamshid, but he was deposed by his brother Ali Sher probably within few months, who ascended the throne under the name of Alauddin[1] Following the Shahmiri Dynasty, was the Chak Dynasty that ruled until Mughal conquest in 1586.

Some Kashmiri rulers, such as Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin
Zain-ul-Abidin
Sultan Ghiyas-ud-Din Zain-ul-Abidin was a sultan of Kashmir in the present day Jammu and Kashmir state of India. Mohibbul Hasan has said that "Of all the Sultans who sat on the throne of Kashmir, Zain-ul-Abidin was undoubtedly the greatest .....

 who was popularly known as Budshah(بڈشاہ)
Zain-ul-Abidin
Sultan Ghiyas-ud-Din Zain-ul-Abidin was a sultan of Kashmir in the present day Jammu and Kashmir state of India. Mohibbul Hasan has said that "Of all the Sultans who sat on the throne of Kashmir, Zain-ul-Abidin was undoubtedly the greatest .....

 (the King) (r.1423-1474), were tolerant of all religions in a manner comparable to Akbar. However, several Muslim rulers of Kashmir were intolerant of other religions. Sultãn Sikandar Butshikan
Sikandar Butshikan
Sikandar Butshikan also known as "Alexander the Iconoclast" in Indian History was the second Sultan of the Gabari Tajik Dynasty of Kashmir 1389-1413 CE...

 of Kashmir (AD 1389-1413) is often considered the worst of these. Historians have recorded many of his atrocities. The Tarikh-i-Firishta records that Sikandar persecuted the Hindus and issued orders proscribing the residence of any other than Muslims in Kashmir. He also ordered the breaking of all "golden and silver images". The Tarikh-i-Firishta further states: "Many of the Brahmin
Brahmin
Brahmin Brahman, Brahma and Brahmin.Brahman, Brahmin and Brahma have different meanings. Brahman refers to the Supreme Self...

s, rather than abandon their religion or their country, poisoned themselves; some emigrated from their native homes, while a few escaped. After the emigration of the Brahmins, Sikandar ordered all the temples in Kashmir to be thrown down. Having broken all the images in Kashmir, (Sikandar) acquired the title of 'Destroyer of Idols'."
Kalhana's
Kalhana
Kalhana , a Kashmiri, was the author of Rajatarangini , an account of the history of Kashmir. He wrote the work in Sanskrit between 1148 and 1149. All information regarding his life has to be deduced from his own writing, a major scholar of which is Mark Aurel Stein...

 metrical chronicle of the kings of Kashmir, called the Rajatarangini
Rajatarangini
The Rājatarangiṇī is a metrical chronicle of North west of the Indian subcontinent particularly the kings of Kashmir from earliest time written in Sanskrit by Kalhaṇa. The Rājatarangiṇī often has been erroneously referred to as the River of the Kings. In reality what Kalhana means by Rājatarangiṇī...

,
has been pronounced by Professor H. H. Wilson to be the only Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 composition yet discovered to which the appellation "history" can with any propriety be applied. It first became known to the Muslims when, on Akbar's invasion of Kashmir in 1588, a copy was presented to the emperor. A translation into Persian was made at his order. A summary of its contents, taken from this Persian translation, is given by Abul Fazl
Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak
Shaikh Abu al-Fazl ibn Mubarak also known as Abu'l-Fazl, Abu'l Fadl and Abu'l-Fadl 'Allami was the vizier of the great Mughal emperor Akbar, and author of the Akbarnama, the official history of Akbar's reign in three volumes, and a Persian translation of the Bible...

 in the Ain-i-Akbari. The Rajatarangini was written around the middle of the 12th century. His work, in six books, makes use of earlier writings that are now lost.

The Rajatarangini is the first of a series of four histories that record the annals of Kashmir. Commencing with a rendition of traditional history of very early times, the Rajatarangini comes down to the reign of Sangrama Deva, (c.1006 AD). The second work, by Jonaraja
Jonaraja
Jonaraja was a Kashmiri historian and Sanskrit poet. His is a continuation of Kalhana's and brings the chronicle of the kings of Kashmir down to the time of the author's patron Zain-ul-Abidin . Jonaraja, however, could not complete the history of the patron as he died in the 35th regnal year...

, continues the history from where Kalhana left off, and, entering the Muslim period, gives an account of the reigns down to that of Zain-ul-Abidin
Zain-ul-Abidin
Sultan Ghiyas-ud-Din Zain-ul-Abidin was a sultan of Kashmir in the present day Jammu and Kashmir state of India. Mohibbul Hasan has said that "Of all the Sultans who sat on the throne of Kashmir, Zain-ul-Abidin was undoubtedly the greatest .....

, 1412. Srivara carried on the record to the accession of Fah Shah in 1486. The fourth work, called Rajavalipataka, by Prajnia Bhatta, completes the history to the time of the incorporation of Kashmir in the dominions of the Mogul emperor Akbar, 1588.

Sikh rule


In 1819, the Kashmir valley passed from the control of the Durrani Empire
Durrani Empire
The Durrani Empire was a Pashtun dynasty centered in Afghanistan and included northeastern Iran, the Kashmir region, the modern state of Pakistan, and northwestern India. It was established at Kandahar in 1747 by Ahmad Shah Durrani, an Afghan military commander under Nader Shah of Persia and chief...

 of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, and four centuries of Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 rule under the Mughals and the Afghans
Demographics of Afghanistan
The population of Afghanistan is around 29,835,392 as of the year 2011, which is unclear if the refugees living outside the country are included or not. The nation is composed of a multi-ethnic and multi-lingual society, reflecting its location astride historic trade and invasion routes between...

, to the conquering armies of the Sikhs under Ranjit Singh
Ranjit Singh
Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji was the first Maharaja of the Sikh Empire.-Early life:...

 of Lahore
Lahore
Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

. As the Kashmiris had suffered under the Afghans, they initially welcomed the new Sikh rulers. However, the Sikh governors turned out to be hard taskmasters, and Sikh rule was generally considered oppressive, protected perhaps by the remoteness of Kashmir from the capital of the Sikh empire in Lahore; The Sikhs enacted a number of anti-Muslim laws, which included handing out death sentences for cow slaughter, closing down the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar, and banning the azaan, the public Muslim call to prayer. Kashmir had also now begun to attract European visitors, several of whom wrote of the abject poverty of the vast Muslim peasantry and of the exorbitant taxes under the Sikhs. High taxes, according to some contemporary accounts, had depopulated large tracts of the countryside, allowing only one-sixteenth of the cultivable land to be cultivated. However, after a famine in 1832, the Sikhs reduced the land tax to half the produce of the land and also began to offer interest-free loans to farmers; Kashmir became the second highest revenue earner for the Sikh empire. During this time Kashmiri shawl
Pashmina
Pashmina refers to a type of fine cashmere wool and the textiles made from it. The name comes from Pashmineh , made from Persian pashm . The wool comes from changthangi or pashmina goat, which is a special breed of goat indigenous to high altitudes of the Himalayas in Nepal, Pakistan and northern...

s became known world wide, attracting many buyers especially in the west.

Earlier, in 1780, after the death of Ranjit Deo, the Raja
Raja
Raja is an Indian term for a monarch, or princely ruler of the Kshatriya varna...

 of Jammu, the kingdom of Jammu (to the south of the Kashmir valley) was also captured by the Sikhs and afterwards, until 1846, became a tributary to the Sikh power. Ranjit Deo's grandnephew, Gulab Singh, subsequently sought service at the court of Ranjit Singh, distinguished himself in later campaigns, especially the annexation of the Kashmir valley, and, for his services, was appointed governor of Jammu in 1820. With the help of his officer, Zorawar Singh
General Zorawar Singh
Zorawar Singh Kahluria was born in a village of Kahlur State in modern Himachal Pradesh, India....

, Gulab Singh soon captured for the Sikhs the lands of Ladakh and Baltistan
Baltistan
Baltistan , also known as بلتیول བལིུལ་ in the Balti language, is a region in northern Pakistan which forms Gilgit-Baltistan, bordering the Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China. In addition, a part of Baltistan also falls into Jammu and Kashmir of India. It is situated in the Karakoram mountains...

 to the east and north-east, respectively, of Jammu.

Princely State



In 1845, the First Anglo-Sikh War
First Anglo-Sikh War
The First Anglo-Sikh War was fought between the Sikh Empire and the British East India Company between 1845 and 1846. It resulted in partial subjugation of the Sikh kingdom.-Background and causes of the war:...

 broke out. According to the Imperial Gazetteer of India,
"Gulab Singh contrived to hold himself aloof till the battle of Sobraon (1846), when he appeared as a useful mediator and the trusted advisor of Sir Henry Lawrence
Henry Montgomery Lawrence
Sir Henry Montgomery Lawrence was a British soldier and statesman in India, who died defending Lucknow during the Indian Mutiny.-Career:Lawrence was the brother of John Lawrence, 1st Baron Lawrence and was born at Matara, Ceylon...

. Two treaties were concluded. By the first the State of Lahore (i.e. West Punjab
Punjab region
The Punjab , also spelled Panjab |water]]s"), is a geographical region straddling the border between Pakistan and India which includes Punjab province in Pakistan and the states of the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and some northern parts of the National Capital Territory of Delhi...

) handed over to the British, as equivalent for one crore indemnity, the hill countries between the rivers Beas and Indus; by the second the British made over to Gulab Singh for 75 lakhs all the hilly or mountainous country situated to the east of the Indus and the west of the Ravi i.e. the Vale of Kashmir)."


Drafted by a treaty and a bill of sale, and constituted between 1820 and 1858, the Princely State of Kashmir and Jammu (as it was first called) combined disparate regions, religions, and ethnicities: to the east, Ladakh was ethnically and culturally Tibetan
Tibetan people
The Tibetan people are an ethnic group that is native to Tibet, which is mostly in the People's Republic of China. They number 5.4 million and are the 10th largest ethnic group in the country. Significant Tibetan minorities also live in India, Nepal, and Bhutan...

 and its inhabitants practised Buddhism; to the south, Jammu had a mixed population of Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs; in the heavily populated central Kashmir valley, the population was overwhelmingly Sunni
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

 Muslim, however, there was also a small but influential Hindu minority, the Kashmiri brahmins or pandits; to the northeast, sparsely populated Baltistan
Baltistan
Baltistan , also known as بلتیول བལིུལ་ in the Balti language, is a region in northern Pakistan which forms Gilgit-Baltistan, bordering the Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China. In addition, a part of Baltistan also falls into Jammu and Kashmir of India. It is situated in the Karakoram mountains...

 had a population ethnically related to Ladakh, but which practised Shi'a Islam; to the north, also sparsely populated, Gilgit Agency
Gilgit Agency
The Gilgit Agency was a political unit of British India, which administered the northern half of the Princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. The Gilgit Agency was created in 1877 and was overseen by a political agent of the Governor-General of British India. The seat of the agent was Srinagar...

, was an area of diverse, mostly Shi'a groups; and, to the west, Punch
Poonch District
Poonch District is a district of Kashmir that is divided between India and Pakistan. The Pakistani part of Poonch District is part of its Azad Kashmir territory, whilst Indian Poonch is part of Jammu and Kashmir state...

 was Muslim, but of different ethnicity than the Kashmir valley. After the Indian Rebellion of 1857
Indian Rebellion of 1857
The Indian Rebellion of 1857 began as a mutiny of sepoys of the British East India Company's army on 10 May 1857, in the town of Meerut, and soon escalated into other mutinies and civilian rebellions largely in the upper Gangetic plain and central India, with the major hostilities confined to...

, in which Kashmir sided with the British, and the subsequent assumption of direct rule
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

 by Great Britain, the princely state
Princely state
A Princely State was a nominally sovereign entitity of British rule in India that was not directly governed by the British, but rather by an Indian ruler under a form of indirect rule such as suzerainty or paramountcy.-British relationship with the Princely States:India under the British Raj ...

 of Kashmir came under the suzerainty
Suzerainty
Suzerainty occurs where a region or people is a tributary to a more powerful entity which controls its foreign affairs while allowing the tributary vassal state some limited domestic autonomy. The dominant entity in the suzerainty relationship, or the more powerful entity itself, is called a...

 of the British Crown
The Crown
The Crown is a corporation sole that in the Commonwealth realms and any provincial or state sub-divisions thereof represents the legal embodiment of governance, whether executive, legislative, or judicial...

.

In the British census of India of 1941, Kashmir registered a Muslim majority population of 77%, a Hindu population of 20% and a sparse population of Buddhists and Sikhs making up the remaining 3%. That same year, Prem Nath Bazaz, a Kashmiri Pandit
Kashmiri Pandit
The Kashmiri Pandits are a Hindu Brahmin community originating from Kashmir, a mountainous region in South Asia.-Background:The Hindu caste system of the region was influenced by the influx of Buddhism from the time of Asoka, around the third century BCE, and a consequence of this was that the...

 journalist wrote: “The poverty of the Muslim masses is appalling. ... Most are landless laborers, working as serfs for absentee [Hindu] landlords ... Almost the whole brunt of official corruption is borne by the Muslim masses.” For almost a century until the census, a small Hindu elite had ruled over a vast and impoverished Muslim peasantry. Driven into docility by chronic indebtedness to landords and moneylenders, having no education besides, nor awareness of rights, the Muslim peasants had no political representation until the 1930s.

Year 1947 and 1948




Ranbir Singh's grandson Hari Singh
Hari Singh
Maharaja Hari Singh was the last ruling Maharaja of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir in India.He was married four times...

, who had ascended the throne of Kashmir in 1925, was the reigning monarch in 1947 at the conclusion of British rule of the subcontinent and the subsequent partition
Partition of India
The Partition of India was the partition of British India on the basis of religious demographics that led to the creation of the sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan and the Union of India on 14 and 15...

 of the British Indian Empire into the newly independent Union of India and the Dominion of Pakistan
Dominion of Pakistan
The Dominion of Pakistan was an independent federal Commonwealth realm in South Asia that was established in 1947 on the partition of British India into two sovereign dominions . The Dominion of Pakistan, which included modern-day Pakistan and Bangladesh, was intended to be a homeland for the...

. According to Burton Stein
Burton Stein
Burton Stein was a scholar of India.Stein was born and grew up in Chicago, Illinois and served in the Second World War, before commencing tertiary study at the now disused Navy Pier facility that in 1945 was the Chicago campus of the University of Illinois. Stein was an unusual case in that he...

's History of India,
"Kashmir was neither as large nor as old an independent state as Hyderabad
Hyderabad State
-After Indian independence :When India gained independence in 1947 and Pakistan came into existence in 1947, the British left the local rulers of the princely states the choice of whether to join one of the new dominions or to remain independent...

; it had been created rather off-handedly by the British after the first defeat of the Sikhs in 1846, as a reward to a former official who had sided with the British. The Himalayan kingdom was connected to India through a district of the Punjab, but its population was 77 per cent Muslim and it shared a boundary with Pakistan. Hence, it was anticipated that the maharaja would accede to Pakistan when the British paramountcy ended on 14–15 August. When he hesitated to do this, Pakistan launched a guerrilla onslaught meant to frighten its ruler into submission. Instead the Maharaja appealed to Mountbatten
Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma
Admiral of the Fleet Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas George Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, KG, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCIE, GCVO, DSO, PC, FRS , was a British statesman and naval officer, and an uncle of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh...

 for assistance, and the governor-general
Governor-General of India
The Governor-General of India was the head of the British administration in India, and later, after Indian independence, the representative of the monarch and de facto head of state. The office was created in 1773, with the title of Governor-General of the Presidency of Fort William...

 agreed on the condition that the ruler accede to India. Indian soldiers entered Kashmir and drove the Pakistani-sponsored irregulars from all but a small section of the state. The United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 was then invited to mediate the quarrel. The UN mission insisted that the opinion of Kashmiris must be ascertained, while India insisted that no referendum could occur until all of the state had been cleared of irregulars."


In the last days of 1948, a ceasefire was agreed under UN auspices, but since the plebiscite demanded by the UN was never conducted, relations between India and Pakistan soured, and eventually led to two more wars over Kashmir in 1965
Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 was a culmination of skirmishes that took place between April 1965 and September 1965 between Pakistan and India. This conflict became known as the Second Kashmir War fought by India and Pakistan over the disputed region of Kashmir, the first having been fought in 1947...

 and 1999
Kargil War
The Kargil War ,, also known as the Kargil conflict, was an armed conflict between India and Pakistan that took place between May and July 1999 in the Kargil district of Kashmir and elsewhere along the Line of Control...

. India has control of about half the area of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, while Pakistan controls a third of the region, the Northern Areas
Northern Areas
Gilgit-Baltistan , is the northernmost political entity within Pakistan. It borders Pakistan's Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province to the west, Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor to the north, China to the east and northeast, Azad Kashmir to the southwest, and Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir to the...

 and Azad Kashmir
Azad Kashmir
Azad Jammu and Kashmir or Azad Kashmir for short, is the southernmost political entity within the Pakistani-administered part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir...

. According to Encyclopædia Britannica, "Although there was a clear Muslim majority in Kashmir before the 1947 partition and its economic, cultural, and geographic contiguity with the Muslim-majority area of the Punjab (in Pakistan) could be convincingly demonstrated, the political developments during and after the partition resulted in a division of the region. Pakistan was left with territory that, although basically Muslim in character, was thinly populated, relatively inaccessible, and economically underdeveloped. The largest Muslim group, situated in the Valley of Kashmir and estimated to number more than half the population of the entire region, lay in Indian-administered territory, with its former outlets via the Jhelum valley route blocked."

Current status and political divisions



The eastern region of the former princely state of Kashmir has also been involved in a boundary dispute. In the late 19th- and early 20th centuries, although some boundary agreements were signed between Great Britain, Afghanistan and Russia over the northern borders of Kashmir, China never accepted these agreements, and the official Chinese position did not change with the communist revolution in 1949. By the mid-1950s the Chinese army
People's Liberation Army
The People's Liberation Army is the unified military organization of all land, sea, strategic missile and air forces of the People's Republic of China. The PLA was established on August 1, 1927 — celebrated annually as "PLA Day" — as the military arm of the Communist Party of China...

 had entered the north-east portion of Ladakh.
"By 1956–57 they had completed a military road through the Aksai Chin
Aksai Chin
Aksai Chin is one of the two main disputed border areas between China and India, and the other is South Tibet, which comprises most of India's Arunachal Pradesh. It is administered by China as part of Hotan County in the Hotan Prefecture of Xinjiang Autonomous Region, but is also claimed by India...

 area to provide better communication between Xinjiang
Xinjiang
Xinjiang is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China. It is the largest Chinese administrative division and spans over 1.6 million km2...

 and western Tibet
Tibet Autonomous Region
The Tibet Autonomous Region , Tibet or Xizang for short, also called the Xizang Autonomous Region is a province-level autonomous region of the People's Republic of China , created in 1965....

. India's belated discovery of this road led to border clashes between the two countries that culminated in the Sino-Indian war
Sino-Indian War
The Sino-Indian War , also known as the Sino-Indian Border Conflict , was a war between China and India that occurred in 1962. A disputed Himalayan border was the main pretext for war, but other issues played a role. There had been a series of violent border incidents after the 1959 Tibetan...

 of October 1962."

The region is divided among three countries in a territorial dispute: Pakistan controls the northwest portion (Northern Areas and Azad Kashmir), India controls the central and southern portion (Jammu and Kashmir) and Ladakh, and China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 controls the northeastern portion (Aksai Chin and the Trans-Karakoram Tract). India controls the majority of the Siachen Glacier
Siachen Glacier
The Siachen Glacier is located in the eastern Karakoram range in the Himalaya Mountains at about , just east of the Line of Control between India-Pakistan. India controls all of the Siachen Glacier itself, including all tributary glaciers. At long, it is the longest glacier in the Karakoram and...

 area including the Saltoro Ridge passes, whereas Pakistan controls the lower territory just southwest of the Saltoro Ridge. India controls 101338 km² (39,126.8 sq mi) of the disputed territory, Pakistan 85846 km² (33,145.3 sq mi) and China, the remaining 37555 km² (14,500 sq mi).

Jammu and Pakistan administered Kashmir lie outside Pir Panjal range, and are under India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n and Pakistani control respectively. These are populous regions. The main cities are Mirpur, Dadayal, Kotli, Bhimber Jammu
Jammu (city)
Jammu is the largest city in the Jammu region and the winter capital of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is a municipal corporation.It is close to Sialkot in Pakistan...

, Muzaffarabad
Muzaffarabad
Muzaffarabad is the capital of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, Pakistan. It is located in Muzaffarabad District on the banks of the Jhelum and Neelum rivers...

 and Rawalakot
Rawalakot
Rawalakot , is a city in Azad Kashmir, and is the capital of Poonch Division and Poonch District. It is in a saucer-shaped valley at an elevation of 1,615 metres ....

.

The Gilgit-Baltistan, formerly called Northern Areas, are a group of territories in the extreme north, bordered by the Karakoram
Karakoram
The Karakoram, or Karakorum , is a large mountain range spanning the borders between Pakistan, India and China, located in the regions of Gilgit-Baltistan , Ladakh , and Xinjiang region,...

, the western Himalayas, the Pamir
Pamir Mountains
The Pamir Mountains are a mountain range in Central Asia formed by the junction or knot of the Himalayas, Tian Shan, Karakoram, Kunlun, and Hindu Kush ranges. They are among the world’s highest mountains and since Victorian times they have been known as the "Roof of the World" a probable...

, and the Hindu Kush
Hindu Kush
The Hindu Kush is an mountain range that stretches between central Afghanistan and northern Pakistan. The highest point in the Hindu Kush is Tirich Mir in the Chitral region of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.It is the westernmost extension of the Pamir Mountains, the Karakoram Range, and is a...

 ranges. With its administrative center at the town of Gilgit
Gilgit
Gilgit is a city in northern PakistanGilgit may refer to other terms related with the area of the city:* Gilgit River* Gilgit Valley* Gilgit District* Gilgit Agency * Gilgit Airport...

, the Northern Areas cover an area of 72,971 km² (28,174 mi²) and have an estimated population approaching 1,000,000. The other main city is Skardu
Skardu
Skardu , is the main town of the region Baltistan and the capital of Skardu District, one of the districts making up Pakistan's Gilgit Baltistan....

.

Ladakh is a region in the east, between the Kunlun
Kunlun Mountains
The Kunlun Mountains are one of the longest mountain chains in Asia, extending more than 3,000 km. In the broadest sense, it forms the northern edge of the Tibetan Plateau south of the Tarim Basin and the Gansu Corridor and continues east south of the Wei River to end at the North China Plain.The...

 mountain range in the north and the main Great Himalayas to the south. Main cities are Leh and Kargil
Kargil town
Kargil is a town, which serves as the headquarters of Kargil District of Ladakh in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in India. It is the second largest town in Ladakh after Leh...

. It is under Indian administration and is part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is one of the most sparsely populated regions in the area and is mainly inhabited by people of Indo-Aryan
Indo-Aryans
Indo-Aryan is an ethno-linguistic term referring to the wide collection of peoples united as native speakers of the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-Iranian family of Indo-European languages...

 and Tibetan
Tibetan people
The Tibetan people are an ethnic group that is native to Tibet, which is mostly in the People's Republic of China. They number 5.4 million and are the 10th largest ethnic group in the country. Significant Tibetan minorities also live in India, Nepal, and Bhutan...

 descent.

Aksai Chin is a vast high-altitude desert
Desert
A desert is a landscape or region that receives an extremely low amount of precipitation, less than enough to support growth of most plants. Most deserts have an average annual precipitation of less than...

 of salt
Salt
In chemistry, salts are ionic compounds that result from the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base. They are composed of cations and anions so that the product is electrically neutral...

 that reaches altitudes up to 5000 metres (16,404.2 ft). Geographically part of the Tibetan Plateau
Tibetan Plateau
The Tibetan Plateau , also known as the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau is a vast, elevated plateau in Central Asia covering most of the Tibet Autonomous Region and Qinghai, in addition to smaller portions of western Sichuan, southwestern Gansu, and northern Yunnan in Western China and Ladakh in...

, Aksai Chin is referred to as the Soda Plain. The region is almost uninhabited, and has no permanent settlements.

Though these regions are in practice administered by their respective claimants, neither India nor Pakistan has formally recognised the accession of the areas claimed by the other. India claims those areas, including the area "ceded" to China by Pakistan in the Trans-Karakoram Tract
Trans-Karakoram Tract
The Trans-Karakoram Tract is an area of nearly along both sides of the Shaksgam River, is entirely administered by the People's Republic of China as a part of Kargilik County and Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County in the Kashgar Prefecture of Xinjiang Autonomous Region, but claimed by Pakistan...

 in 1963, are a part of its territory, while Pakistan claims the entire region excluding Aksai Chin and Trans-Karakoram Tract. The two countries have fought several declared wars over the territory. The Indo-Pakistani War of 1947
Indo-Pakistani War of 1947
The India-Pakistan War of 1947-48, sometimes known as the First Kashmir War, was fought between India and Pakistan over the princely state of Kashmir and Jammu from 1947 to 1948. It was the first of four wars fought between the two newly independent nations...

 established the rough boundaries of today, with Pakistan holding roughly one-third of Kashmir, and India one-half, with a dividing line of control established by the United Nations. The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 was a culmination of skirmishes that took place between April 1965 and September 1965 between Pakistan and India. This conflict became known as the Second Kashmir War fought by India and Pakistan over the disputed region of Kashmir, the first having been fought in 1947...

 resulted in a stalemate and a UN-negotiated ceasefire.

Demographics


In the 1901 Census of the British Indian Empire, Muslims constituted 74.16% of the total population of the princely state of Kashmir and Jammu where Gujjar Muslims constitute 20%, Hindus 23.72%, and Buddhists 1.21% of the population. The Hindus were found mainly in Jammu, where they constituted a little less than 70% of the population. In the Kashmir Valley, Muslims constituted 95.6% of the population and Hindus 3.24%. These percentages have remained fairly stable for the last 100 years. Forty years later, in the 1941 Census of British India, Muslims accounted for 93.6% of the population of the Kashmir Valley and the Hindus for 4%. In 2003, the percentage of Muslims in the Kashmir Valley was 95% and those of Hindus 4%; the same year, in Jammu, the percentage of Hindus was 66% and those of Muslims 30%.
In the 1901 Census of the British Indian Empire, the population of the princely state
Princely state
A Princely State was a nominally sovereign entitity of British rule in India that was not directly governed by the British, but rather by an Indian ruler under a form of indirect rule such as suzerainty or paramountcy.-British relationship with the Princely States:India under the British Raj ...

 of Kashmir and Jammu was 2,905,578. Of these 2,154,695 were Muslims (74.16%), 689,073 Hindus (23.72%), 25,828 Sikhs, and 35,047 Buddhists.

Among the Muslims of the princely state, four divisions were recorded: "Shaikhs, Saiyids, Mughals, and Pathans. The Shaikhs, who are by far the most numerous, are the descendants of Hindus, but have retained none of the caste rules of their forefathers. They have clan names known as krams ..." It was recorded that these kram names included "Tantre," "Shaikh,", "Bhat", "Mantu," "Ganai," "Dar," "Damar," "Lon" etc. The Saiyids, it was recorded "could be divided into those who follow the profession of religion and those who have taken to agriculture and other pursuits. Their kram name is "Mir." While a Saiyid retains his saintly profession Mir is a prefix; if he has taken to agriculture, Mir is an affix to his name." The Mughals who were not numerous were recorded to have kram names like "Mir" (a corruption of "Mirza"), "Beg," "Bandi," "Bach," and "Ashaye." Finally, it was recorded that the Pathans "who are more numerous than the Mughals, ... are found chiefly in the south-west of the valley, where Pathan
Pashtun people
Pashtuns or Pathans , also known as ethnic Afghans , are an Eastern Iranic ethnic group with populations primarily between the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan and the Indus River in Pakistan...

 colonies have from time to time been founded. The most interesting of these colonies is that of Kuki-Khel Afridis at Dranghaihama, who retain all the old customs and speak Pashtu." Among the main tribes of Muslims in the princely state are the Butts, Dar, Lone, Jat, Gujjar, Rajput, Douli,Sudhan and Khatri. A small number of Butts, Dar and Lone use the title Khawaja and the Khatri use the title Shaikh the Gujjar use the title of Chaudhary. All these tribes are indigenous of the princely state and many Hindus also belong to these tribes.

The Hindus were found mainly in Jammu
Jammu
Jammu , also known as Duggar, is one of the three administrative divisions within Jammu and Kashmir, the northernmost state in India.Jammu city is the largest city in Jammu and the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir...

, where they constituted a little less than 60% of the population. In the Kashmir Valley, the Hindus represented "524 in every 10,000 of the population (i.e. 5.24%), and in the frontier wazarats of Ladhakh and Gilgit only 94 out of every 10,000 persons (0.94%)." In the same Census of 1901, in the Kashmir Valley, the total population was recorded to be 1,157,394, of which the Muslim population was 1,083,766, or 93.6% and the Hindu population 60,641. Among the Hindus of Jammu province, who numbered 626,177 (or 90.87% of the Hindu population of the princely state), the most important castes recorded in the census were "Brahmans (186,000), the Rajputs (167,000), the Khattris
Khatri
Khatri is a caste from the northern Indian subcontinent. Khatris in India are mostly from Punjab, region but later they migrated to regions like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Jammu, Uttarkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Balochistan, Sindh and Khyber...

 (48,000) and the Thakkars (93,000)."

In the 1911 Census of the British Indian Empire, the total population of Kashmir and Jammu had increased to 3,158,126. Of these, 2,398,320 (75.94%) were Muslims, 696,830 (22.06%) Hindus, 31,658 (1%) Sikhs, and 36,512 (1.16%) Buddhists. In the last census of British India in 1941, the total population of Kashmir and Jammu (which as a result of the second world war, was estimated from the 1931 census) was 3,945,000. Of these, the total Muslim population was 2,997,000 (75.97%), the Hindu population was 808,000 (20.48%), and the Sikh 55,000 (1.39%).

The Kashmiri Pandits, the only Hindus of the Kashmir valley, who had stably constituted approximately 4 to 5% of the population of the valley during Dogra rule (1846–1947), and 20% of whom had left the Kashmir valley by 1950, began to leave in much greater numbers in the 1990s. According to a number of authors, approximately 100,000 of the total Kashmiri Pandit population of 140,000 left the valley during that decade. Other authors have suggested a higher figure for the exodus, ranging from the entire population of over 150,000, to 190,000 of a total Pandit population of 200,000, to a number as high as 300,000.
Administered by Area Population % Muslim
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 
% Hindu
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 
% Buddhist
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 
% Other
Kashmir Valley ~4 million 95% 4%*
Jammu
Jammu
Jammu , also known as Duggar, is one of the three administrative divisions within Jammu and Kashmir, the northernmost state in India.Jammu city is the largest city in Jammu and the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir...

~3 million 30% 66% 4%
Ladakh
Ladakh
Ladakh is a region of Jammu and Kashmir, the northernmost state of the Republic of India. It lies between the Kunlun mountain range in the north and the main Great Himalayas to the south, inhabited by people of Indo-Aryan and Tibetan descent...

~0.25 million 46% 50% 3%
Azad Kashmir
Azad Kashmir
Azad Jammu and Kashmir or Azad Kashmir for short, is the southernmost political entity within the Pakistani-administered part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir...

~2.6 million 100%
Gilgit-Baltistan ~1 million 99%
Aksai Chin
Aksai Chin
Aksai Chin is one of the two main disputed border areas between China and India, and the other is South Tibet, which comprises most of India's Arunachal Pradesh. It is administered by China as part of Hotan County in the Hotan Prefecture of Xinjiang Autonomous Region, but is also claimed by India...

  • Statistics from the BBC
    BBC
    The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

     In Depth report.

Culture and cuisine




Kashmiri cuisine
Cuisine of Kashmir
Kashmiri cuisine is based on the ancient tradition of this area. The Rigvedamentioms the meat eating traditions of this area. The ancient epic of Kashmir, namely the Nilmatapurana informs us that Kashmiris were heavy meat eaters. This habit persists in today's Kashmir.The most notable ingredient...

 includes dum aloo
Dum aloo
Dum Aloo belongs to, specifically, Kashmiri cuisine. The potatoes, usually smaller ones, are first deep fried, then cooked slowly at low flame in a curd based gravy with spices. The dish has become popular in different neighboring regions including India and Pakistan....

 (boiled potatoes with heavy amounts of spice), tzaman (a solid cottage cheese), rogan josh
Rogan Josh
Rogan josh is an aromatic lamb dish hailing from Kashmir. Rogan means "oil" in Persian, while josh means "heat, hot, boiling, or passionate". Rogan josh thus means cooked in oil at intense heat. Another interpretation of the name rogan josh is derived from the word rogan meaning color and josh...

 (lamb cooked in heavy spices), yakhiyn (lamb cooked in curd with mild spices), hakh (a spinach-like leaf), rista-gushtaba (minced meat balls in tomato and curd curry),danival korme and of course the signature rice which is particular to Asian cultures. The traditional wazwan
Wazwan
Wazwan is a multi-course meal in Kashmiri cuisine, the preparation of which is considered an art and a point of pride in Kashmiri culture and identity. Almost all the dishes are meat-based . It is popular throughout Kashmir and served internationally at Kashmiri food...

 feast involves cooking meat or vegetables, usually mutton, in several different ways.

Alcohol is strictly prohibited in most places. There are two styles of making tea in the region: nun chai, or salt tea, which is pink in colour (known as chinen posh rang or peach flower colour) and popular with locals; and kahwah
Kahwah
Kahwah is a traditional green tea recipe in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Kashmir Valley. It is made in the Kashmir Valley of India and Pakistan, the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan, in the North-West Frontier Province and other provinces in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and other regions of...

, a tea for festive occasions, made with saffron
Saffron
Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the saffron crocus. Crocus is a genus in the family Iridaceae. Each saffron crocus grows to and bears up to four flowers, each with three vivid crimson stigmas, which are each the distal end of a carpel...

 and spices (cardamom, cinamon,sugar, noon chai leaves), and black tea.

Economy




Kashmir's economy is centred around agriculture. Traditionally the staple crop of the valley was rice, which formed the chief food of the people. In addition, Indian corn, wheat, barley and oats were also grown. Given its temperate climate, it is suited for crops like asparagus
Asparagus
Asparagus officinalis is a spring vegetable, a flowering perennialplant species in the genus Asparagus. It was once classified in the lily family, like its Allium cousins, onions and garlic, but the Liliaceae have been split and the onion-like plants are now in the family Amaryllidaceae and...

, artichoke, seakale, broad beans, scarletrunners, beetroot, cauliflower and cabbage. Fruit trees are common in the valley, and the cultivated orchards yield pears, apple
Apple
The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree, species Malus domestica in the rose family . It is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits, and the most widely known of the many members of genus Malus that are used by humans. Apple grow on small, deciduous trees that blossom in the spring...

s, peach
Peach
The peach tree is a deciduous tree growing to tall and 6 in. in diameter, belonging to the subfamily Prunoideae of the family Rosaceae. It bears an edible juicy fruit called a peach...

es, and cherries. The chief trees are deodar, firs and pine
Pine
Pines are trees in the genus Pinus ,in the family Pinaceae. They make up the monotypic subfamily Pinoideae. There are about 115 species of pine, although different authorities accept between 105 and 125 species.-Etymology:...

s, chenar
Chenar
-References:*...

 or plane, maple, birch and walnut
Walnut
Juglans is a plant genus of the family Juglandaceae, the seeds of which are known as walnuts. They are deciduous trees, 10–40 meters tall , with pinnate leaves 200–900 millimetres long , with 5–25 leaflets; the shoots have chambered pith, a character shared with the wingnuts , but not the hickories...

, apple, cherry. Horticulture is emerging as a fast growing sector in the State. Its importance can be visualized by its contribution to the State’s economy, which is estimated around 7-8%. Almost 45% economic returns in agriculture sector are accounted for by horticulture produce. 5 Iakh families comprising 30 Iakh people are involved in horticulture trade.http://epiloguepress.wordpress.com/2011/03/05/latest-statistics-state-of-jammu-kashmir-economy/

Historically, Kashmir became known worldwide when Cashmere wool
Cashmere wool
Cashmere wool, usually simply known as cashmere, is a fiber obtained from Cashmere and other types of goats. The word cashmere derives from an old spelling of Kashmir. Cashmere is fine in texture, and strong, light, and soft. Garments made from it provide excellent...

 was exported to other regions and nations (exports have ceased due to decreased abundance of the cashmere goat and increased competition from China). Kashmiris are well adept at knitting
Knitting
Knitting is a method by which thread or yarn may be turned into cloth or other fine crafts. Knitted fabric consists of consecutive rows of loops, called stitches. As each row progresses, a new loop is pulled through an existing loop. The active stitches are held on a needle until another loop can...

 and making Pashmina
Pashmina
Pashmina refers to a type of fine cashmere wool and the textiles made from it. The name comes from Pashmineh , made from Persian pashm . The wool comes from changthangi or pashmina goat, which is a special breed of goat indigenous to high altitudes of the Himalayas in Nepal, Pakistan and northern...

 shawls, silk carpets, rugs, kurta
Kurta
A kurta is a traditional item of clothing worn in Afghanistan, Pakistan , Nepal, India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. It is a loose shirt falling either just above or somewhere below the knees of the wearer, and is worn by both men and women...

s, and pottery. Saffron
Saffron
Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the saffron crocus. Crocus is a genus in the family Iridaceae. Each saffron crocus grows to and bears up to four flowers, each with three vivid crimson stigmas, which are each the distal end of a carpel...

, too, is grown in Kashmir. Efforts are on to export the naturally grown fruits and vegetables as organic food
Organic food
Organic foods are foods that are produced using methods that do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers, do not contain genetically modified organisms, and are not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives.For the...

s mainly to the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

. Srinagar is known for its silver-work, papier mache, wood-carving, and the weaving of silk
Silk
Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The best-known type of silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity...

. Kashmir has a long tradition of wooden furniture making. Within today’s Kashmir, a number of private entrepreneurs manufacture high-quality furniture, but the growth of their business is constricted by a lack of financial and marketing resources. The industrial base of Jammu and Kashmir consists mainly of hosiery and basic metal products and wood and food product industries, which contribute a major percentage of total industrial output in the registered manufacturing sector.http://www.usip.org/files/resources/sr121.pdfhttp://planningcommission.nic.in/plans/stateplan/sdr_jandk/sdr_jkch3a.pdf
The economy was badly damaged by the 7.6 magnitude 2005 Kashmir earthquake
2005 Kashmir earthquake
The 2005 Kashmir earthquake was a major earthquake centered in Pakistan-administered Kashmir known as Azad Kashmir, near the city of Muzaffarabad, affecting Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. It occurred at 08:52:37 Pakistan Standard Time on 8 October 2005...

 which resulted in over 86,000 deaths and over 32,000 destroyed buildings.

The Indian-administered portion of Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir is the northernmost state of India. It is situated mostly in the Himalayan mountains. Jammu and Kashmir shares a border with the states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the south and internationally with the People's Republic of China to the north and east and the...

 is believed to have rocks potentially rich in oil and natural gas deposits.

History of tourism in Kashmir


The state of Jammu & Kashmir is a region of widely varying people and geography. In the south, Jammu is a transition zone from the Indian plains to the Himalaya . Nature has lavishly endowed Kashmir with certain distinctive favors which hardly find a parallel in any alpine land of the world. It is the land of snow clad mountains that shares a common boundary with Afghanistan, China and Pakistan, Jammu and Kashmir is the northernmost state of the Indian Union. Known for its extravagant natural beauty this land formed a major caravan route in the ancient times.

Trade relations through these routes between China and Central Asia made it a land inhabited by various religious and cultural groups. It was during the reign of Kashyapa that the various wandering groups led a settled life Buddhism influenced Kashmir during the rule of Ashoka and the present town of Srinagar was founded by him. This place was earlier called 'Srinagari' or Purandhisthan. The Brahmins who inhabited these areas admired and adorned Buddhism too. From the regions of Kashmir Buddhism spread of Ladakh, Tibet, Central Asia and China. Various traditions co-existed till the advent of the Muslims.

The Mughal had a deep influence on this land and introduced various reforms in the revenue industry and other areas that added to the progress of Kashmir. In 1820 Maharaj Gulab Singh got the Jagir of Jammu from Maharaj Ranjit Sigh. He is said to have laid the foundation of the Dogra dynasty. In 1846 Kashmir was sold to Maharaj Gulab Singh. Thus the two areas of Kashmir and Jammu were integrated into a single political unit. A few chieftains who formed part of the administration were of the Hunza, Kishtwar, Gilgit Ladakh. During the Dogra dynasty trade improved, along with the preservation and promotion of forestry.

Art and crafts also developed through encouragement. After, independence of India in 1947 this region formed a part of the Indian territory and is an integral region that contributed its part to preserve the unity and integrity of India.
In 1989, a popular movement demanding independence from India and backed by various militant groups badly disrupted life in the Kashmir Valley. The insurgency in the area resulted in a huge decline of tourism after 1989. 70% of the Kashmir Valley was dependent on the tourism industry and its residents found themselves with no means of livelihood. The influx of tourists to J&K has increased from 28.35 lakh in 1988 to 77.18 lakh in 2008, showing an increase of 172.19% in tourist rush during the last two decades. http://epiloguepress.wordpress.com/2011/03/05/latest-statistics-state-of-jammu-kashmir-economy/ http://books.google.com/books?id=DmeHbsbbkDcC&lpg=PA21&ots=RY-cxjh7dS&dq=impact%20of%20militancy%20on%20Kashmir%20tourism&pg=PA14#v=onepage&q=impact%20of%20militancy%20on%20Kashmir%20tourism&f=false

See also

  • United Nations Security Council Resolution 47
    United Nations Security Council Resolution 47
    United Nations Security Council Resolution 47, adopted on April 21, 1948, after hearing arguments from both India and Pakistan the Council increased the size of the Commission established by United Nations Security Council Resolution 39 to five members, instructed the Commission to go to the...

  • Line of Control
    Line of Control
    The term Line of Control refers to the military control line between the Indian- and Pakistani-controlled parts of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir—a line which, to this day, does not constitute a legally recognized international boundary but is the de facto border...

  • Kashmir conflict
    Kashmir conflict
    The Kashmir conflict is a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir region, the northwesternmost region of South Asia....

  • List of Kashmiri people
  • Kargil War
    Kargil War
    The Kargil War ,, also known as the Kargil conflict, was an armed conflict between India and Pakistan that took place between May and July 1999 in the Kargil district of Kashmir and elsewhere along the Line of Control...

  • 2005 Kashmir earthquake
    2005 Kashmir earthquake
    The 2005 Kashmir earthquake was a major earthquake centered in Pakistan-administered Kashmir known as Azad Kashmir, near the city of Muzaffarabad, affecting Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. It occurred at 08:52:37 Pakistan Standard Time on 8 October 2005...

  • List of Jammu and Kashmir related articles

Further reading


  • Blank, Jonah. "Kashmir–Fundamentalism Takes Root," Foreign Affairs, 78,6 (November/December 1999): 36-42.
  • Drew, Federic. 1877. "The Northern Barrier of India: a popular account of the Jammoo and Kashmir Territories with Illustrations; 1st edition: Edward Stanford, London. Reprint: Light & Life Publishers, Jammu. 1971.
  • Evans, Alexander. Why Peace Won't Come to Kashmir, Current History (Vol 100, No 645) April 2001 p. 170-175.
  • Hussain, Ijaz. 1998. "Kashmir Dispute: An International Law Perspective", National Institute of Pakistan Studies.
  • Irfani, Suroosh, ed "Fifty Years of the Kashmir Dispute": Based on the proceedings of the International Seminar held at Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir August 24–25, 1997: University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Muzaffarabad, AJK, 1997.
  • Joshi, Manoj
    Manoj Joshi
    Manoj Joshi is an Indian journalist and author. As of 2009, he is Comment Editor with the Mail Today newspaper in India.He finished his schooling from the prestigious St. Joseph's College in Nainital. After an undergraduate degree at St. Stephen's College, Delhi, Joshi studied history at Lucknow...

     Lost Rebellion: Kashmir in the Nineties (Penguin, New Delhi, 1999).
  • Khan, L. Ali The Kashmir Dispute: A Plan for Regional Cooperation 31 Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, 31, p. 495 (1994).
  • Knight, E. F. 1893. Where Three Empires Meet: A Narrative of Recent Travel in: Kashmir, Western Tibet, Gilgit, and the adjoining countries. Longmans, Green, and Co., London. Reprint: Ch'eng Wen Publishing Company, Taipei. 1971.
  • Knight, William, Henry. 1863. Diary of a Pedestrian in Cashmere and Thibet. Richard Bentley, London. Reprint 1998: Asian Educational Services, New Delhi.
  • Köchler, Hans
    Hans Köchler
    Hans Köchler is a professor of philosophy at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, and president of the International Progress Organization, a non-governmental organization in consultative status with the United Nations...

    . The Kashmir Problem between Law and Realpolitik. Reflections on a Negotiated Settlement. Keynote speech delivered at the "Global Discourse on Kashmir 2008." European Parliament, Brussels, 1 April 2008.
  • Moorcroft, William
    William Moorcroft (explorer)
    William Moorcroft , English explorer, was born in Ormskirk, Lancashire, the illegitimate son of Ann Moorcroft, daughter of a local farmer...

     and Trebeck, George. 1841. Travels in the Himalayan Provinces of Hindustan and the Panjab; in Ladakh and Kashmir, in Peshawar, Kabul, Kunduz, and Bokhara... from 1819 to 1825, Vol. II. Reprint: New Delhi, Sagar Publications, 1971.
  • Neve, Arthur. (Date unknown). The Tourist's Guide to Kashmir, Ladakh, Skardo &c. 18th Edition. Civil and Military Gazette, Ltd., Lahore. (The date of this edition is unknown - but the 16th edition was published in 1938).
  • Stein, M. Aurel. 1900. Kalhaṇa's Rājataraṅgiṇī–A Chronicle of the Kings of Kaśmīr, 2 vols. London, A. Constable & Co. Ltd. 1900. Reprint, Delhi, Motilal Banarsidass, 1979.
  • Younghusband, Francis and Molyneux, Edward 1917. Kashmir. A. & C. Black, London.
  • Norelli-Bachelet, Patrizia. "Kashmir and the Convergence of Time, Space and Destiny", 2004; ISBN 0-945747-00-4. First published as a four-part series, March 2002 - April 2003, in 'Prakash', a review of the Jagat Guru Bhagavaan Gopinath Ji Charitable Foundation. http://www.patrizianorellibachelet.com/Kashmir.html
  • Muhammad Ayub. An Army; Ita Role & Rule (A History of the Pakistan Army from Independence to Kargil 1947-1999) Rosedog Books, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA 2005. ISBN 0-8059-9594-3.


External links