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Kashmir, ks, کٔشیٖر, kaśīr () is the northernmost geographical region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term "Kashmir" denoted only the
Kashmir Valley The Kashmir Valley, also known as the ''Vale of Kashmir'', is an intermontane valley in Kashmir Kashmir, ks, کٔشیٖر, kaśīr is the northernmost geographical region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the ...

Kashmir Valley
between the
Great Himalayas The Great Himalayas or Greater Himalayas probably is the highest mountain range of the Himalayan Range.Hussain, MajidGeography of India/ref> Entities the range is within include Nepal Nepal (; ne, नेपाल ), officially Nepal, is a ...

Great Himalayas
and the
Pir Panjal Range Image:Kashmir-sat-nasa.jpg, Kashmir valley seen from satellite. Snow-capped Pir Panjal range is to the left of the image The Pir Panjal Range (Kashmiri language, Kashmiri: ) is a group of mountains in the Lesser Himalayas, Himalayan region, run ...
. Today, the term encompasses a larger area that includes the Indian-administered territories of
Jammu and Kashmir Jammu is the winter capital of the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir (union territory), Jammu and Kashmir. It is the headquarters and the largest city in Jammu district of the union territory. Lying on the banks of the river Tawi River ...
and
Ladakh Ladakh () is a region administered by as a , and constitutes a part of the larger region, which has been the subject of dispute between India, , and since 1947. (subscription required) Quote: "Jammu and Kashmir, state of India, located in ...

Ladakh
, the Pakistani-administered territories of
Azad Kashmir Azad Jammu and Kashmir ( ur, , translit=āzād jammū̃ o kaśmīr, translit-std=IAST, ), abbreviated as AJK and colloquially referred to as simply Azad Kashmir, is a region administered by Pakistan as a nominally self-governing entitySee: ...

Azad Kashmir
and
Gilgit-Baltistan Gilgit-Baltistan (; , : རྒྱལ་སྐྱིད་ སྦལྟི་ཡུལ།), formerly known as the Northern Areas, is a region administered by as an administrative territory, and constitutes the northern portion of the larger ...

Gilgit-Baltistan
, and the Chinese-administered territories of
Aksai Chin Aksai Chin is a region administered by China as part of its Xinjiang and Tibet Autonomous Region, Tibet autonomous regions (mostly as part of Hotan County, Hotan Prefecture in Xinjiang), and constituting the eastern portion of the larger Kash ...
and the
Trans-Karakoram Tract The Trans-Karakoram Tract (, ur, شکسگام, translit=Shaksgām), also known as Shaksgam or the Shaksgam Tract, is an area of more than north of the Karakoram, including the Shaksgam valley and Raskam ( Yarkand river valley). The tract is ad ...
. Quote: "Kashmir, region of the northwestern Indian subcontinent. It is bounded by the Uygur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang to the northeast and the Tibet Autonomous Region to the east (both parts of China), by the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the south, by Pakistan to the west, and by Afghanistan to the northwest. The northern and western portions are administered by Pakistan and comprise three areas: Azad Kashmir, Gilgit, and Baltistan, ... The southern and southeastern portions constitute the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian- and Pakistani-administered portions are divided by a "line of control" agreed to in 1972, although neither country recognizes it as an international boundary. In addition, China became active in the eastern area of Kashmir in the 1950s and since 1962 has controlled the northeastern part of Ladakh (the easternmost portion of the region)." Quote: "The Himalayan region of Kashmir has been a flashpoint between India and Pakistan for over six decades. Since India's partition and the creation of Pakistan in 1947, the nuclear-armed neighbours have fought three wars over the Muslim-majority territory, which both claim in full but control in part. Today it remains one of the most militarised zones in the world. China administers parts of the territory." In the first half of the first millennium, the Kashmir region became an important centre of
Hinduism Hinduism () is an and ', or way of life. It is the , with over 1.2 billion followers, or 15–16% of the global population, known as . The word ' is an , and while Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world, many practitione ...

Hinduism
and later of
Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and ...

Buddhism
; later still, in the ninth century,
Kashmir Shaivism Kashmir Shaivism, or Trika Shaivism, is a nondualist tradition of Shaiva- Shakta Tantra ''Tantra'' (; Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language ...
arose. In 1339,
Shah Mir Shams-ud-Din Shah Mir () was a ruler of the Kashmir Kashmir, ks, کٔشیٖر, kaśīr is the northernmost geographical region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term "Kashmir" denoted only the Kashmir Valley ...
became the first
Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", " ...
ruler of Kashmir, inaugurating the ''Salatin-i-Kashmir'' or Shah Mir dynasty.''Imperial Gazetteer of India, volume 15''. 1908. Oxford University Press, Oxford and London. pp. 93–95. The region was part of the
Mughal Empire The Mughal, Mogul, or Moghul Empire was an early modern The early modern period of modern history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's past. It is understood through archaeology, anthropology, ge ...
from 1586 to 1751, and thereafter, until 1820, of the Afghan
Durrani Empire The Durrani Empire ( ps, د درانيانو ټولواکمني), also called the Sadozai Kingdom and the Afghan Empire, was an Afghan Afghan ( Pashto/Persian language, Persian: ) refers to someone or something from Afghanistan, in particul ...
. That year, the
Sikh Empire The Sikh Empire ( fa, , Sarkār-ē-Khālsā, lit=Government of the Khalsa; pa, , ਸਿੱਖ ਖ਼ਾਲਸਾ ਰਾਜ , Sikkh Khālsā Rāj, lit=Sikh Khalsa rule), also known as the Punjab Empire, was a state originating in the Indian ...

Sikh Empire
, under
Ranjit Singh Maharaja Ranjit Singh (2 November 1780 – 27 June 1839), popularly known as Sher-e-Punjab or "Lion of Punjab", was the first Maharaja Mahārāja (; also spelled Maharajah, Maharaj) is a Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ...

Ranjit Singh
, annexed Kashmir. In 1846, after the Sikh defeat in the
First Anglo-Sikh War The First Anglo-Sikh War was fought between the Sikh Empire The Sikh Empire ( fa, , Sarkār-ē-Khālsā, lit=Government of the Khalsa; pa, , ਸਿੱਖ ਖ਼ਾਲਸਾ ਰਾਜ , Sikkh Khālsā Rāj, lit=Sikh Khalsa rule), als ...
, and upon the purchase of the region from the
British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people, nationals or natives of the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories, and Crown Dependencies. ** Britishness, the British identity and common culture * British English, ...

British
under the Treaty of Amritsar, the Raja of Jammu,
Gulab Singh Maharaja Gulab Singh (1792–1857) was the founder of Dogra dynasty and the first Maharaja Mahārāja ; (also spelled Maharajah, Maharaj) is a Sanskrit title for a "great ruler", "great Monarch, king" or "high king". A few ruled mighty ...

Gulab Singh
, became the new ruler of Kashmir. The rule of his descendants, under the ''paramountcy'' (or tutelage) of the
British Crown The Crown is the in all its aspects within the of the s and their subdivisions (such as the , , , or ). Legally ill-defined, the term has different meanings depending on context. It is used to designate the monarch in either a personal capa ...

British Crown
, lasted until the
Partition of India The partition of India was the division of British India The Provinces of India, earlier Presidencies of British India and still earlier, Presidency towns, were the administrative divisions of British governance in the Indian subcont ...

Partition of India
in 1947, when the former
princely state A princely state, also called a native state, feudatory state or Indian state (for those states on the subcontinent), was a under a local or indigenous or regional ruler in a with the and after 1858 with the . Though the history of the pri ...
of the
British Indian Empire The British Raj (; from ''rāj'', literally, "rule" in Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, ...

British Indian Empire
became a disputed territory, now administered by three countries:
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

India
,
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a popul ...

Pakistan
, and
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in . It is the world's , with a of more than 1.4 billion. China spans five geographical and 14 different countries, the in the world after . Covering an area of ap ...

China
. C. E Bosworth, University of Manchester Quote: "KASHMIR, kash'mer, the northernmost region of the Indian subcontinent, administered partlv by India, partly by Pakistan, and partly by China. The region has been the subject of a bitter dispute between India and Pakistan since they became independent in 1947"; Quote: "Jammu and Kashmir: Territory in northwestern India, subject to a dispute between India and Pakistan. It has borders with Pakistan and China."


Etymology

The word ''Kashmir'' was derived from the ancient
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor langua ...

Sanskrit
language and was referred to as '. The
Nilamata Purana The Nilamata Purana (नीलमत पुराण), also known as the ''Kasmira Mahatmya'', is an ancient text (6th to 8th century CE) from Kashmir Kashmir, ks, کٔشیٖر, kaśīr is the northernmost geographical region of the Ind ...
describes the valley's origin from the waters, a lake called ''Sati-saras''. A popular local etymology of ''Kashmira'' is that it is land desiccated from water. Geologists agree that the Valley was formerly a lake, and the lake drained through the gap of Baramulla (Varahamula) which matches with the Hindu legends. An alternative etymology derives the name from the name of the
Vedic upright=1.2, The Vedas are ancient Sanskrit texts of Hinduism. Above: A page from the ''Atharvaveda''. The Vedas (, , ) are a large body of religious texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the ol ...
sage
Kashyapa Kashyap ( sa, कश्यप}, ) is a revered Vedas, Vedic Sage (philosophy), sage of Hinduism., Quote: "Kasyapa (Rudra),(Vedic Seer)..." He is one of the Saptarishis, the seven ancient sages of the ''Rigveda'', as well as numerous other San ...
who is believed to have settled people in this land. Accordingly, ''Kashmir'' would be derived from either ''kashyapa-mir'' (Kashyapa's Lake) or ''kashyapa-meru'' (Kashyapa's Mountain). The word has been referenced to in a Hindu scripture mantra worshipping the
Hindu Hindus (; ) are persons who regard themselves as culturally, ethnically, or religiously adhering to aspects of Hinduism.Jeffery D. Long (2007), A Vision for Hinduism, IB Tauris, , pages 35–37 Historically, the term has also been used as ...

Hindu
goddess and is mentioned to have resided in the land of ''kashmira'', or which might have been a reference to the
Sharada Peeth Sharada Peeth (; ; ; Kashmiri: (Nastaliq), (Devanagari Devanagari ( ; , , Sanskrit pronunciation: ), also called Nagari (''Nāgarī'', ),Kathleen Kuiper (2010), The Culture of India, New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, , page 83 is ...
. The
Ancient Greeks Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, antiquity ( AD 600). This era was ...
called the region ''Kasperia'', which has been identified with ''Kaspapyros'' of
Hecataeus of Miletus Hecataeus of Miletus (; el, Ἑκαταῖος ὁ Μιλήσιος; c. 550 BC – c. 476 BC), son of Hegesander, was an early Ancient Greece, Greek historian and geographer. Biography Hailing from a very wealthy family, he lived in Miletus ...
(
apud Apud may refer to: ;People * Alejandro Apud, Uruguayan football manager * Antonio Apud, Argentine footballer ;Other * apud Apud may refer to: ;People * Alejandro Apud, Uruguayan football manager * Antonio Apud, Argentine footballer ;Other * ap ...
Stephanus of Byzantium Stephanus or Stephan of Byzantium ( la, Stephanus Byzantinus; grc-gre, Στέφανος Βυζάντιος, ''Stéphanos Byzántios''; centuryAD), was a Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzant ...

Stephanus of Byzantium
) and ''Kaspatyros'' of
Herodotus Herodotus ( ; grc, Ἡρόδοτος, Hēródotos, ; BC) was an Classical Greece, ancient Greek writer, geographer, and historian born in the Greek city of Halicarnassus, part of the Achaemenid Empire, Persian Empire (now Bodrum, Turkey). He ...
(3.102, 4.44). Kashmir is also believed to be the country meant by
Ptolemy Claudius Ptolemy (; grc-koi, Κλαύδιος Πτολεμαῖος, , ; la, Claudius Ptolemaeus; AD) was a mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes ...
's ''Kaspeiria''. The earliest text which directly mentions the name ''Kashmir'' is in '' Ashtadhyayi'' written by the Sanskrit grammarian
Pāṇini (Devanagari: पाणिनि, ) was a Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language ...
during the 5th century BC. Pāṇini called the people of Kashmir ''Kashmirikas''. Some other early references to Kashmir can also be found in
Mahabharata The ''Mahābhārata'' (; sa, महाभारतम्, ', ) is one of the two major Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan langua ...

Mahabharata
in
Sabha Parva Sabha Parva, also called the "Book of the Assembly Hall", is the second of eighteen books of Mahabharata The ''Mahābhārata'' (, ; sa, महाभारतम्, ', ) is one of the two major Sanskrit literature, Sanskrit Indian epic poet ...
and in puranas like
Matsya Purana The ''Matsya Purana'' (IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, ...
,
Vayu Purana The ''Vayu Purana'' ( sa, वायुपुराण, ) is a Sanskrit text and one of the eighteen major Purana Purana (; sa, , '; literally meaning "ancient, old"Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature (1995 Edition), Article on ...
,
Padma Purana The ''Padma Purana'' ( sa, पद्मपुराण or पाद्मपुराण, or ) is one of the eighteen major Puranas, a genre of texts in Hinduism. It is an encyclopedic text, named after the lotus in which creator god Brahma ...
and
Vishnu Purana The Vishnu Purana (, विष्णुपुराण) is one of the eighteen Mahapuranas, a genre of ancient and medieval texts of Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic ...

Vishnu Purana
and
Vishnudharmottara Purana The Vishnudharmottara Purana (or the ''Vishnudharmottara'') is a Hindu Hindus () are persons who regard themselves as culturally, ethnically, or religiously adhering to aspects of Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion and ''dhar ...
. , the Buddhist scholar and Chinese traveller, called Kashmir ''kia-shi-milo'', while some other Chinese accounts referred to Kashmir as ''ki-pin'' (or Chipin or Jipin) and ''ache-pin''. ''Cashmeer'' is an archaic spelling of modern Kashmir, and in some countries it is still spelled this way. Kashmir is called ''Cachemire'' in French, ''Cachemira'' in Spanish, ''Caxemira'' in Portuguese, ''Caixmir'' in Catalan, ''Casmiria'' in Latin, ''Cașmir'' in Romanian, and ''Cashmir'' in Occitan. In the
Kashmiri language Kashmiri () or Koshur (, /kəːʃur/) is a language from the Dardic subgroup of Indo-Aryan languages The Indo-Aryan or Indic languages form a major language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, ...

Kashmiri language
, Kashmir itself is known as ''Kasheer''.


Terminology

The Government of India and Indian sources, refer to the territory under Pakistan control "Pakistan-occupied Kashmir" ("POK"). The Government of Pakistan and Pakistani sources refer to the portion of Kashmir administered by India as "Indian-occupied Kashmir" ("IOK") or "Indian-held Kashmir" (IHK); The terms "Indian-administered Kashmir" and "Pakistani-administered Kashmir" are often used by neutral sources for the parts of the Kashmir region controlled by each country.


History


Hinduism and Buddhism in Kashmir

During the ancient and medieval periods, Kashmir was an important centre for the development of a Hindu-Buddhist
syncretism Syncretism is the combining of different beliefs and various schools of thought A school of thought, or intellectual tradition, is the perspective of a group of people who share common characteristics of opinion or outlook of a philosophy, Li ...
, in which
Madhyamaka Madhyamaka ("middle way" or "centrism"; ; Tibetic languages, Tibetan: ''dbu ma pa'') also known as ''śūnyavāda'' (the Śūnyatā, emptiness doctrine) and ''niḥsvabhāvavāda'' (the no Svabhava, ''svabhāva'' doctrine) refers to a tradition o ...
and
Yogachara Yogachara (IAST: '; literally "yoga practice"; "one whose practice is yoga") is an influential tradition of Buddhist philosophy and psychology emphasizing the study of cognition, perception, and consciousness through the interior lens of meditative ...
were blended with
Shaivism Shaivism (; Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; , , ) is a of that belongs to the branch of the . It arose in South Asia after its predecessor languages had there from the northwest in the late . Sanskrit is the of , the langua ...
and
Advaita Vedanta ''Advaita Vedānta'' (; sa, अद्वैत वेदान्त, IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation Romanization or romanisation, ...
. The Buddhist
Mauryan The Maurya Empire was a geographically extensive Iron Age list of ancient great powers, historical power in South Asia based in Magadha, founded by Chandragupta Maurya in 322 BCE, and existing in loose-knit fashion until 185 BCE. Quote: "Ma ...
emperor
Ashoka Ashoka (; Brāhmi: 𑀅𑀲𑁄𑀓, ''Asoka'', IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation of Brahmic family, Indic scripts as employed by Sanskrit ...

Ashoka
is often credited with having founded the old capital of Kashmir, Shrinagari, now ruins on the outskirts of modern
Srinagar Srinagar (English: , ) is the largest city and the summer capital A summer capital is a city used as an administrative capital during extended periods of particularly hot ummerweather. The term is mostly of relevance in a historical context ...

Srinagar
. Kashmir was long a stronghold of
Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and ...

Buddhism
. As a Buddhist seat of learning, the
Sarvastivada The ''Sarvāstivāda'' (Sanskrit; Pāli: Sabbatthivāda ) was one of the early Buddhist schools established around the reign of Asoka (3rd century BCE).Westerhoff, The Golden Age of Indian Buddhist Philosophy in the First Millennium CE, 2018, ...
school strongly influenced Kashmir. East and Central Asian Buddhist
monk A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "single, solitary" via Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (f ...

monk
s are recorded as having visited the kingdom. In the late 4th century CE, the famous
Kucha 250px, Location of Kucha within Aksu in yellow Kucha or Kuche (also: ''Kuçar'', ''Kuchar''; ug, كۇچار, Кучар; zh, t=wikt:龜茲, 龜茲, p=Qiūcí also zh, t=wikt:库车, 库车, p=Kùchē; sa, Kucina), was an ancient Buddhist ki ...
nese monk
Kumārajīva Kumārajīva (Sanskrit, , 344–413 CE) was a bhikkhu, Buddhist monk, scholar, missionary and translator from the Kingdom of Kucha (present-day Aksu Prefecture, Xinjiang, China). Kumārajīva is seen as one of the greatest translators of Chi ...
, 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. 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 ''''.
Karkoṭa Empire Karkota Dynasty (c. 625 - 855 CE) ruled over the Kashmir valley and some northern parts of the Indian subcontinent during 7th and 8th century. Their rule saw a period of political expansion, economic prosperity and emergence of Kashmir as a center ...
(625–885 CE) was a powerful Hindu empire, which originated in the region of Kashmir. It was founded by Durlabhvardhana during the lifetime of
Harsha Harshavardhana (c. 590–647 CE) was an Indian emperor who ruled North India North India is a loosely defined region consisting of the northern part of India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in Sou ...

Harsha
. The dynasty marked the rise of Kashmir as a power in South Asia. Avanti Varman ascended the throne of Kashmir on 855 CE, establishing the
Utpala dynasty Utpala dynasty was a Kashmiri kingdom which ruled over the Kashmir region in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent from 9th to 10th century CE. The kingdom was established by Avanti Varman (Utpala dynasty), Avanti Varman, ending the rule ...
and ending the rule of Karkoṭa dynasty. According to tradition,
Adi Shankara Adi Shankaracharya (Sanskrit: ) was an Indian people, Indian philosopher and theologian who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta. Although he is credited by some with unifying and establishing the main currents of thought in Hindu ...

Adi Shankara
visited the pre-existing ' (
Sharada Peeth Sharada Peeth (; ; ; Kashmiri: (Nastaliq), (Devanagari Devanagari ( ; , , Sanskrit pronunciation: ), also called Nagari (''Nāgarī'', ),Kathleen Kuiper (2010), The Culture of India, New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, , page 83 is ...
) in Kashmir in the late 8th century or early 9th century CE. The ''Madhaviya Shankaravijayam'' states that this
temple A temple (from the Latin ) is a building reserved for spiritual rituals and activities such as prayer and sacrifice. Religions which erect temples include Christianity (whose temples are typically called church (building), churches), Hinduism (w ...

temple
had four doors for scholars from the four cardinal directions. The southern door of Sarvajna Pitha was opened by Adi Shankara.Shyama Kumar Chattopadhyaya (2000) ''The Philosophy of Sankar's Advaita Vedanta''
Sarup & Sons, New Delhi ,
According to tradition, Adi Shankara opened the southern door by defeating in debate all the scholars there in all the various scholastic disciplines such as
Mīmāṃsā Mīmāṃsā (Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languag ...
,
Vedanta ''Vedanta'' (; sa, वेदान्त, ), also ''Uttara Mīmāṃsā'', is one of the six (''āstika'') schools of Hindu philosophy Hindu philosophy encompasses the philosophies, world views and teachings of Hinduism Hindui ...
and other branches of
Hindu philosophy Hindu philosophy encompasses the philosophies, world views and teachings of Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic religions, are the religions that origina ...
; he ascended the throne of Transcendent wisdom of that temple.
Abhinavagupta Abhinavagupta (c. 950 – 1016 CE) was a philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philosophos, meaning 'lover of wisdom'. The coining of th ...
(c. 950–1020 CE) was one of India's greatest
philosophers A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, ...
, mystics and . He was also considered an important
musician A musician is a person who Composer, composes, Conducting, conducts, or Performing arts, performs music. According to the United States Employment Service, "musician" is a general Terminology, term used to designate one who follows music as a pr ...
,
poet A poet is a person who creates poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek language, Greek ''poiesis'', "making") is a form of literature that uses aesthetics, aesthetic and often rhythmic qualities of language—such as phonaesthetics, soun ...
,
dramatist A playwright or dramatist is a person who writes play Play most commonly refers to: * Play (activity), an activity done for enjoyment * Play (theatre), a work of drama Play may refer also to: Computers and technology * Google Play, a digital c ...
,
exegete Exegesis (; from the Greek from , "to lead out") is a critical explanation or interpretation of a text, especially a religious text Religious texts are texts related to a religious tradition. They differ from literary texts by being a compi ...
, theologian, and
logician Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth Truth is the property of being in accord with fact A fact is something that is true True most commonly refers to truth Truth is the property of being in accord with fac ...
Re-accessing Abhinavagupta, Navjivan Rastogi, page 4 – a
polymath A polymath ( el, πολυμαθής, , "having learned much"; la, homo universalis, "universal human") is an individual whose knowledge spans a substantial number of subjects, known to draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific pro ...

polymath
ic personality who exercised strong influences on Indian culture. He was born in the Kashmir Valley 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 (, ; sa, गुरु, IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation of Brahmic family, Indic scripts as employed by Sanskrit and related Indic langu ...

guru
s. In his long life he completed over 35 works, the largest and most famous of which is Tantrāloka, an encyclopaedic treatise on all the philosophical and practical aspects of
Trika Kashmir Shaivism, or Trika Shaivism, is a nondualist tradition of Shaivism, Shaiva-Shaktism, Shakta Tantra which originated sometime after 850 CE. Since this tradition originated in Kashmir it is often called "Kashmiri Shaivism". It later went ...
and
KaulaKaula may refer to: People * Prithvi Nath Kaula (1924–2009), Indian librarian * William J. Kaula (1871–1953), American watercolor painter * William M. Kaula (1926–2000), Australian-born American geophysicist Other uses * USS ''Kaula'' (AG- ...
(known today as
Kashmir Shaivism Kashmir Shaivism, or Trika Shaivism, is a nondualist tradition of Shaiva- Shakta Tantra ''Tantra'' (; Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language ...
). Another one of his very important contributions was in the field of philosophy of aesthetics with his famous Abhinavabhāratī commentary of of
Bharata Muni Bharata Muni (भरत मुनि) was an ancient India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous country, t ...
.Luce dei Tantra, Tantrāloka, Abhinavagupta, Raniero Gnoli, page LXXVII In the 10th century ''
Mokshopaya The ''Mokṣopāya'' or ''Mokṣopāyaśāstra'' is a Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Arya ...
'' or ''Moksopaya Shastra'', a philosophical text on salvation for non-ascetics (''moksa-upaya'': 'means to release'), was written on the Pradyumna hill in
Srinagar Srinagar (English: , ) is the largest city and the summer capital A summer capital is a city used as an administrative capital during extended periods of particularly hot ummerweather. The term is mostly of relevance in a historical context ...

Srinagar
. It has the form of a public sermon and claims human authorship and contains about 30,000
shloka Shloka or śloka ( sa, श्लोक , from the root , Macdonell, Arthur A., ''A Sanskrit Grammar for Students'', Appendix II, p. 232 (Oxford University Press, 3rd edition, 1927).) is a poetic form used in Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively ...
's (making it longer than the ''
Ramayana ''Rāmāyana'' (; sa, रामायणम्, ) is one of the two major Sanskrit literature, Sanskrit Indian epic poetry, epics of ancient India and important text of Hinduism, the other being the ''Mahabharata, Mahābhārata''. The epi ...

Ramayana
''). The main part of the text forms a dialogue between
Vashistha Vashista ( sa, वसिष्ठ, IAST: ') is one of the oldest and most revered Vedic rishis or sages. He is one of the Saptarishis (seven great Rishis) of India. Vashistha is credited as the chief author of Mandala 7 of the ''Rigveda''. Vashi ...
and
Rama Rama (; , ; ), Ram, Raman or Ramar, also known as Ramachandra (; , ), is a major deity in Hinduism. He is the seventh and one of the most popular ''avatars'' of Vishnu. In Rama-centric traditions of Hinduism, he is considered the Supreme Be ...

Rama
, interchanged with numerous short stories and anecdotes to illustrate the content.Lekh Raj Manjdadria. (2002?)
The State of Research to date on the Yogavastha (Moksopaya)
''.
This text was later (11th to the 14th century CE) expanded and Vedanta, vedanticised, which resulted in the ''Yoga Vasistha''. Queen Kota Rani was medieval Hindu ruler of Kashmir, ruling until 1339. She was a notable ruler who is often credited for saving Srinagar city from frequent floods by getting a canal constructed, named after her "Kutte Kol". This canal receives water from Jhelum River at the entry point of city and again merges with Jhelum river beyond the city limits.


Shah Mir Dynasty

Shams-ud-Din Shah Mir (reigned 1339–42) was the first Muslim ruler of KashmirConcise Encyclopedia Of World History By Carlos Ramirez-Faria, page 412 and founder of the Shah Mir dynasty. Kashmiri historian Jonaraja in his ''Jonaraja, Dvitīyā Rājataraṅginī'' mentioned Shah Mir was from the country of ''Panchagahvara'' (identified as the Panjgabbar valley between Rajouri and Budhal tehsil, Budhal), and his ancestors were Kshatriya who converted to Islam. Scholar A. Q. Rafiqi states: Rinchan, from
Ladakh Ladakh () is a region administered by as a , and constitutes a part of the larger region, which has been the subject of dispute between India, , and since 1947. (subscription required) Quote: "Jammu and Kashmir, state of India, located in ...

Ladakh
, and Lankar Chak, from Dardic People, Dard territory near Gilgit, came to Kashmir and played a notable role in the subsequent political history of the Valley. All the three men were granted Jagirs (feudatory estates) by the King. Rinchan became the ruler of Kashmir for three years. Shah Mir was the first ruler of the Shah Mir dynasty, which was established in 1339. Muslim ulama, such as Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani, arrived from Central Asia to proselytize in Kashmir and their efforts converted thousands of Kashmiris to Islam and Hamadani's son also convinced Sikandar Butshikan, Sikander Butshikan to enforce Islamic law. By the late 1400s most Kashmiris had accepted Islam. Persian was introduced in Kashmir by the Šāh-Miri dynasty (1349–1561) and started to flourish under Sultan Zayn-al-ʿĀbedin (1420–70).


Mughal rule

The Mughal Empire, Mughal padishah (emperor) Akbar conquered Kashmir from 1585 to 1586, taking advantage of Kashmir's internal Sunni-Shia divisions, and thus ended indigenous Kashmiri Muslim rule. Akbar added it to the History of Afghanistan#Mughals, Uzbeks, and Safavids, Kabul Subah (encompassing modern-day northeastern Afghanistan, northern Pakistan and the Kashmir Valley of India), but Shah Jahan carved it out as a separate subah (imperial top-level province) with its seat at
Srinagar Srinagar (English: , ) is the largest city and the summer capital A summer capital is a city used as an administrative capital during extended periods of particularly hot ummerweather. The term is mostly of relevance in a historical context ...

Srinagar
. Kashmir became the northernmost region of Mughal India as well as a pleasure ground in the summertime. They built Persian water-gardens in Srinagar, along the shores of Dal Lake, with cool and elegantly proportioned terraces, fountains, roses, jasmine and rows of chinar trees.


Afghan rule

The Afghan Durrani dynasty's
Durrani Empire The Durrani Empire ( ps, د درانيانو ټولواکمني), also called the Sadozai Kingdom and the Afghan Empire, was an Afghan Afghan ( Pashto/Persian language, Persian: ) refers to someone or something from Afghanistan, in particul ...
controlled Kashmir from 1751, when 15th Mughal Padishah, padshah (emperor) Ahmad Shah Bahadur's viceroy Muin-ul-Mulk was defeated and reinstated by the Durrani founder Ahmad Shah Durrani (who conquered, roughly, modern day Afghanistan and Pakistan from the Mughals and local rulers), until the 1820 Sikh triumph. The Afghan rulers brutally repressed Kashmiris of all faiths (according to Kashmiri historians).


Sikh rule

In 1819, the
Kashmir Valley The Kashmir Valley, also known as the ''Vale of Kashmir'', is an intermontane valley in Kashmir Kashmir, ks, کٔشیٖر, kaśīr is the northernmost geographical region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the ...

Kashmir Valley
passed from the control of the
Durrani Empire The Durrani Empire ( ps, د درانيانو ټولواکمني), also called the Sadozai Kingdom and the Afghan Empire, was an Afghan Afghan ( Pashto/Persian language, Persian: ) refers to someone or something from Afghanistan, in particul ...
of Afghanistan to the conquering armies of the Sikh Empire, Sikhs under
Ranjit Singh Maharaja Ranjit Singh (2 November 1780 – 27 June 1839), popularly known as Sher-e-Punjab or "Lion of Punjab", was the first Maharaja Mahārāja (; also spelled Maharajah, Maharaj) is a Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ...

Ranjit Singh
of the Punjab,''Imperial Gazetteer of India, volume 15''. 1908. "Kashmir: History". pp. 94–95. thus ending four centuries of Muslim rule under the Mughal Empire, Mughals and the Durrani Empire, Afghan regime. 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, Srinagar, Jamia Masjid in Srinagar, and banning the ''adhan'', 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. Many Kashmiri peasants migrated to the plains of the Punjab. 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 Kashmir shawls became known worldwide, attracting many buyers, especially in the West. The Jammu district, state of Jammu, which had been on the ascendant after the decline of the Mughal Empire, came under the sway of the Sikhs in 1770. Further in 1808, it was fully conquered by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Gulab Singh, then a youngster in the House of Jammu, enrolled in the Sikh troops and, by distinguishing himself in campaigns, gradually rose in power and influence. In 1822, he was anointed as the Raja of Jammu. Along with his able general Zorawar Singh Kahluria, he conquered and subdued Rajouri district, Rajouri (1821), Kishtwar district, Kishtwar (1821), Suru valley and Kargil district, Kargil (1835), Leh district, Ladakh (1834–1840), and Baltistan (1840), thereby surrounding the Kashmir Valley. He became a wealthy and influential noble in the Sikh court.


Princely state

In 1845, the
First Anglo-Sikh War The First Anglo-Sikh War was fought between the Sikh Empire The Sikh Empire ( fa, , Sarkār-ē-Khālsā, lit=Government of the Khalsa; pa, , ਸਿੱਖ ਖ਼ਾਲਸਾ ਰਾਜ , Sikkh Khālsā Rāj, lit=Sikh Khalsa rule), als ...
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 Montgomery Lawrence, Henry Lawrence. Two treaties were concluded. By the first the State of Lahore (i.e. West Punjab) 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:Bowers, Paul. 2004
"Kashmir." Research Paper 4/28
, International Affairs and Defence, House of Commons Library, United Kingdom.
to the east, Ladakh was ethnically and culturally Tibetan people, Tibetan 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 Muslim, however, there was also a small but influential Hindu minority, the Kashmiri brahmins or Kashmiri Pandit, pandits; to the northeast, sparsely populated Baltistan had a population ethnically related to Ladakh, but which practised Shia Islam; to the north, also sparsely populated, Gilgit Agency, was an area of diverse, mostly ''Shiʻa'' groups; and, to the west, History of Poonch District, Punch was Muslim, but of different ethnicity than the Kashmir valley. After the Indian Rebellion of 1857, in which Kashmir sided with the British, and the subsequent assumption of British Raj, direct rule by Great Britain, the
princely state A princely state, also called a native state, feudatory state or Indian state (for those states on the subcontinent), was a under a local or indigenous or regional ruler in a with the and after 1858 with the . Though the history of the pri ...
of Kashmir came under the suzerainty of the
British Crown The Crown is the in all its aspects within the of the s and their subdivisions (such as the , , , or ). Legally ill-defined, the term has different meanings depending on context. It is used to designate the monarch in either a personal capa ...

British Crown
. 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 comprising the remaining 3%. That same year, Prem Nath Bazaz, a Kashmiri Pandit 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." Under the Hindu rule, Muslims faced hefty taxation, discrimination in the legal system and were forced into labor without any wages. Conditions in the princely state caused a significant migration of people from the Kashmir Valley to Punjab of British India. 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 landlords and moneylenders, having no education besides, nor awareness of rights, the Muslim peasants had no political representation until the 1930s.


1947 and 1948

Ranbir Singh's grandson Hari Singh, 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 of India, partition of the British British India, Indian Empire into the newly independent Dominion of India and the Dominion of Pakistan. According to Burton Stein's ''History of India'',
Kashmir was neither as large nor as old an independent state as Hyderabad State, Hyderabad; 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 Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Mountbatten for assistance, and the Governor-General of India, governor-general 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 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.Stein, Burton. 2010. ''A History of India''. Oxford University Press. 432 pages. . Page 358.
In the last days of 1948, a ceasefire was agreed under UN auspices. However, 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 Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, 1965 and Kargil War, 1999.


Current status and political divisions

India has control of about half the area of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, which comprises
Jammu and Kashmir Jammu is the winter capital of the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir (union territory), Jammu and Kashmir. It is the headquarters and the largest city in Jammu district of the union territory. Lying on the banks of the river Tawi River ...
and
Ladakh Ladakh () is a region administered by as a , and constitutes a part of the larger region, which has been the subject of dispute between India, , and since 1947. (subscription required) Quote: "Jammu and Kashmir, state of India, located in ...

Ladakh
, while Pakistan controls a third of the region, divided into two provinces,
Azad Kashmir Azad Jammu and Kashmir ( ur, , translit=āzād jammū̃ o kaśmīr, translit-std=IAST, ), abbreviated as AJK and colloquially referred to as simply Azad Kashmir, is a region administered by Pakistan as a nominally self-governing entitySee: ...

Azad Kashmir
and
Gilgit-Baltistan Gilgit-Baltistan (; , : རྒྱལ་སྐྱིད་ སྦལྟི་ཡུལ།), formerly known as the Northern Areas, is a region administered by as an administrative territory, and constitutes the northern portion of the larger ...

Gilgit-Baltistan
. Previously parts of the same State, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are administered by India as union territory, union territories since 5 August 2019, after the revocation of the Revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, limited autonomy and bifurcation of the State. 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.
The eastern region of the former princely state of Kashmir is also involved in a boundary dispute that began in the late 19th century and continues into the 21st. Although some boundary agreements were signed between Great Britain, Afghanistan and Russia over the northern borders of Kashmir, China never accepted these agreements, and China's official position has not changed following the Chinese Communist Revolution, communist revolution of 1949 that established the People's Republic of China. By the mid-1950s the People's Liberation Army, Chinese army had entered the north-east portion of Ladakh.Kashmir. (2007). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 27 March 2007, fro
Encyclopædia Britannica Online
By 1956–57 they had completed a military road through the
Aksai Chin Aksai Chin is a region administered by China as part of its Xinjiang and Tibet Autonomous Region, Tibet autonomous regions (mostly as part of Hotan County, Hotan Prefecture in Xinjiang), and constituting the eastern portion of the larger Kash ...
area to provide better communication between Xinjiang and western Tibet Autonomous Region, Tibet. India's belated discovery of this road led to border clashes between the two countries that culminated in the Sino-Indian War of October 1962.
The region is divided amongst three countries in a Kashmir conflict, territorial dispute: Pakistan controls the northwest portion (Northern Areas and Kashmir), India controls the central and southern portion (Jammu and Kashmir) and Ladakh, and the People's Republic of
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in . It is the world's , with a of more than 1.4 billion. China spans five geographical and 14 different countries, the in the world after . Covering an area of ap ...

China
controls the northeastern portion (Aksai Chin and the Trans-Karakoram Tract). India controls the majority of the Siachen Glacier area, including the Saltoro Mountains, Saltoro Ridge passes, whilst Pakistan controls the lower territory just southwest of the Saltoro Ridge. India controls of the disputed territory, Pakistan controls , and the People's Republic of China controls the remaining . Jammu and Azad Kashmir lie south and west of the Pir Panjal range, and are under Indian and Pakistani control respectively. These are populous regions. Gilgit-Baltistan, formerly known as the ''Northern Areas'', is a group of territories in the extreme north, bordered by the Karakoram, the western Himalayas, the Pamir Mountains, Pamir, and the Hindu Kush ranges. With its administrative centre in the town of Gilgit, the Northern Areas cover an area of and have an estimated population approaching 1 million (10 lakhs). Ladakh is between the Kunlun Mountains, Kunlun mountain range in the north and the main Great Himalayas to the south. Capital towns of the region are Leh and Kargil. It is under Indian administration and was part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir until 2019. It is one of the most sparsely populated regions in the area and is mainly inhabited by people of Indo-Aryan peoples, Indo-Aryan and Tibetan descent. Aksai Chin is a vast high-altitude desert of salt that reaches altitudes up to . Geographically part of the Tibetan Plateau, 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 The Trans-Karakoram Tract (, ur, شکسگام, translit=Shaksgām), also known as Shaksgam or the Shaksgam Tract, is an area of more than north of the Karakoram, including the Shaksgam valley and Raskam ( Yarkand river valley). The tract is ad ...
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 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 resulted in a stalemate and a UN-negotiated ceasefire.


Geography

The Kashmir region lies between latitudes 32nd parallel north, 32° and 36th parallel north, 36° N, and longitudes 74th meridian east, 74° and 80th meridian east, 80° E. It has an area of . It is bordered to the north and east by China (Xinjiang and Tibet), to the northwest by Afghanistan (Wakhan Corridor), to the west by
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a popul ...

Pakistan
(Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab) and to the south by
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

India
(Himachal Pradesh and Punjab). The topography of Kashmir is mostly mountainous. It is traversed mainly by the Western Himalayas. The Himalayas terminate in the western boundary of Kashmir at Nanga Parbat. Kashmir is traversed by three rivers namely Indus River, Indus, Jhelum River, Jehlum and Chenab River, Chenab. These river basins divide the region into three valleys separated by high mountain ranges. The Indus valley forms the north and north-eastern portion of the region which include bare and desolate areas of Baltistan and Ladakh. The upper portion of the Jhelum valley forms the proper Vale of Kashmir surrounded by high mountain ranges. The Chenab valley forms the southern portion of the Kashmir region with its denuded hills towards the south. It includes almost the whole of the Jammu Division, Jammu province. High altitude lakes are frequent at high elevations. Lower down in the Vale of Kashmir there are many freshwater lakes and large areas of swamplands which include Wular Lake, Dal Lake and Hokersar near Srinagar. To the north and northeast, beyond the Great Himalayas, the region is traversed by the Karakoram mountains. To the northwest lies the Hindu Kush mountain range. The upper Indus River separates the Himalayas from the Karakoram. The Karakoram is the most heavily glaciated part of the world outside the polar regions. The Siachen Glacier at and the Biafo Glacier at rank as the world's second and third longest glaciers outside the polar regions. Karakoram has four eight-thousander mountain peaks with K2, the second highest peak in the world at . The Indus River system forms the drainage basin of the Kashmir region. The river enters the region in Ladakh at its southeastern corner from the Tibetan Plateau, and flows northwest to run a course through the entire Ladakh and Gilgit-Baltistan. Almost all the rivers originating in these region are part of the Indus river system. After reaching the end of the Greaty Himalayan range, the Indus turns a corner and flows southwest into the Punjab plains. The Jhelum and Chenab rivers also follow a course roughly parallel to this, and join the Indus river in southern Punjab plains in Pakistan. The geographical features of the Kashmir region differ considerably from one part to another. The lowest part of the region consists of the plains of Jammu at the southwestern corner, which continue into the plains of Punjab at an elevation of below 1000 feet. Mountains begin at 2000 feet, then raising to 3000–4000 feet in the "Outer Hills", a rugged country with ridges and long narrow valleys. Next within the tract lie the Middle Mountains which are 8000–10,000 feet in height with ramifying valleys. Adjacent to these hills are the lofty Great Himalayas, Great HImalayan ranges (14000–15000 feet) which divide the drainage of the Chenab River, Chenab and Jehlum River, Jehlum from that of the Indus. Beyond this range lies a wide tract of moutainous country of 17000–22000 feet in Ladakh and Baltistan.


Climate

Kashmir has a different climate for every region owing to the great variation of the level of the altitude. The temperatures ranges from the tropical heat of the Punjab summer to the intensity of the cold which keeps the perpetual snow on the mountains. Jammu Division, excluding the upper parts of the Chenab Valley, features a humid subtropical climate. The Vale of Kashmir has a moderate climate. The Astore Valley and some parts of
Gilgit-Baltistan Gilgit-Baltistan (; , : རྒྱལ་སྐྱིད་ སྦལྟི་ཡུལ།), formerly known as the Northern Areas, is a region administered by as an administrative territory, and constitutes the northern portion of the larger ...

Gilgit-Baltistan
features a semi-Tibatan climate. While as the other parts of Gilgit-Baltistan and Ladakh have Tibetan climate which is considered as almost rainless climate. The southwestern Kashmir which includes much of the Jammu province and Muzaffarabad falls within the reach of Indian monsoon. The Pir Panjal Range acts as an effective barrier and blocks these monsoon tracts in reaching the main Kashmir Valley and the Himalayan slopes. These areas of the region receive much of the precipitation from the wind currents of the Arabian Sea. The Himalayan slope and the Pir Panjal witness greatest snow melting from March until June. These variations in snow melting and rainfall have led to destructive inundations of the main valley. One instance of such Kashmir flood of a larger proportion is recorded in the 12th-century book ''Rajatarangini''. A single cloudburst in July, 1935 caused the upper Jehlum river level to rise 11 feet. The 2014 India–Pakistan floods, 2014 Kashmir floods inundated the Kashmir city of Srinagar and submerged hundreds of other villages.


Flora and fauna

Kashmir has a recorded forest area of along with some Deosai National Park, national parks and Hemis National Park, reserves. The forests vary according to the climatic conditions and the altitude. Kashmir forests range from the Tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests, tropical deciduous forests in the foothills of Jammu and Muzafarabad, to the temperate forests throughout the Vale of Kashmir and to the Alpine tundra, alpine grasslands and high altitude medows in Gilgit-Baltistan and Ladakh. The Kashmir region has four well defined zones of vegetation in the tree growth, due to the difference in elevation. The tropical forests up to 1500 m, are known as the Phulai (''Acacia modesta'') and Olive (Olea cuspid ata) Zone. There occur semi-deciduous species of ''Shorea robusta'', ''Acacia catechu'', ''Dalbergia sissoo'', ''Albizia lebbeck'', ''Garuga pinnata'', ''Terminalia bellirica'' and ''Tilia tomentosa, T. tomentosa'' and ''Pinus roxburghii'' are found at higher elevations. The temperate zone between (1,500–3,500 m) is referred as the Chir Pine (Finns longifolia). This zone is dominated by oaks (''Quercus'' spp.) and ''Rhododendron'' spp. The Blue Pine (Finns excelsa) Zone with ''Cedrus deodara'', ''Abies pindrow'' and ''Picea smithiana'' occur at elevations between 2,800 and 3,500 m. The Birch (Betula utilis) Zone has Herbaceous genera of Anemone, Geranium, Iris (plant), Iris, Lloydia, Potentilla and Primula interspersed with dry dwarf alpine scrubs of Berberis, Cotoneaster, Juniperus and Rhododendron are prevalent in alpine grasslands at 3,500 m and above. Kashmir is referred as a beauty spot of the medicinal and herbaceous flora in the Himalayas. There are hundreds of different species of wild flowers recorded in the alpine meadows of the region. The Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Botanical Garden, botanical garden and the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden, tulip gardens of Srinagar built in the Zabarwans grow 300 breeds of flora and 60 varieties of tulips respectively. The later is considered as the largest Tulip Garden of Asia. Kashmir region is home to rare species of animals, many of which are protected by sanctuaries and reserves. The Dachigam National Park in the Valley holds the last viable population of Kashmir stag ''(Hangul)'' and the largest population of Asian black bear, black bear in Asia. In Gilgit-Baltistan the Deosai National Park is designated to protect the largest population of Himalayan brown bears in the western Himalayas. Snow leopards are found in high density In the Hemis National Park in Ladakh. The region is home to musk deer, markhor, leopard cat, jungle cat, red fox, jackal, Himalayan wolf, serow, marten, Himalayan yellow-throated marten, marmot, long-tailed marmot, Indian porcupine, Himalayan mouse-hare, langur and Siberian weasel, Himalayan weasel. At least 711 bird species are recorded in the valley alone with 31 classified as globally threatened species.


Demographics

In the 1901 Census of the British British Raj, Indian Empire, the population of the princely state of Kashmir and Jammu was 2,905,578. Of these, 2,154,695 (74.16%) were Muslims, 689,073 (23.72%) Hindus, 25,828 (0.89%) Sikhs, and 35,047 (1.21%) Buddhists (implying 935 (0.032%) others). The Hindus were found mainly in Jammu, where they constituted a little less than 60% of the population.''Imperial Gazetteer of India, volume 15''. 1908. Oxford University Press, Oxford and London. pp. 99–102. 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 "Brahmin, Brahmans (186,000), the Rajputs (167,000), the Khatri, Khattris (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, to 190 thousand (1.5 to 190,000) of a total Pandit population of 200 thousand (200,000), to a number as high as 300 thousand (300,000). People in Jammu speak Hindi, Punjabi and Dogri, the Kashmir Valley speaks Kashmiri and the sparsely inhabited Ladakh speaks Tibetan and Balti. The population of Indian-administered union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh combined is 12,541,302 and Pakistani-administered territory of Azad Kashmir is 2,580,000 and Gilgit-Baltistan is 870,347. File:Muslim-shawl-makers-kashmir1867.jpg, A Muslim shawl-making family shown in ''Cashmere shawl manufactory'', 1867, chromolithograph, William Simpson File:KashmirPundit1895BritishLibrary.jpg, A group of Pandits, or Brahmin priests, in Kashmir, photographed by an unknown photographer in the 1890s File:Kashmir Ladakh women in local costume.jpg, Brokpa women from Kargil town, Kargil, northern
Ladakh Ladakh () is a region administered by as a , and constitutes a part of the larger region, which has been the subject of dispute between India, , and since 1947. (subscription required) Quote: "Jammu and Kashmir, state of India, located in ...

Ladakh
, in local costumes File:Mud house in Kashmir.jpg, A traditional mud house in the Kashmir valley.


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, artichoke, seakale, broad beans, scarletrunners, beetroot, cauliflower and cabbage. Fruit trees are common in the valley, and the cultivated orchards yield pears, apples, peaches, and cherries. The chief trees are Cedrus deodara, deodar, firs and pines, Platanus orientalis, chenar or plane, maple, birch and walnut, apple, cherry. Historically, Kashmir became known worldwide when Cashmere wool 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 and making Pashmina shawls, silk carpets, rugs, kurtas, and pottery. Saffron, too, is grown in Kashmir. Srinagar is known for its silver-work, papier-mâché, wood-carving, and the weaving of silk. The economy was badly damaged by the 2005 Kashmir earthquake which, as of 8 October 2005, resulted in over 70,000 deaths in the Pakistani-administered territory of Azad Kashmir and around 1,500 deaths in Indian-administered territory of Jammu and Kashmir.


Transport

Transport is predominantly by air or road vehicles in the region. Kashmir has a long modern Jammu–Baramulla line, railway line that started in October 2009, and was last extended in 2013 and connects Baramulla, in the western part of Kashmir, to Srinagar and Banihal. It is expected to link Kashmir to the rest of India after the construction of the railway line from Katra, Jammu and Kashmir, Katra to Banihal is completed.


In culture

Irish poet Thomas Moore's 1817 romantic poem ''Lalla Rookh'' is credited with having made Kashmir (spelt ''Cashmere'' in the poem) "a household term in Anglophone societies", conveying the idea that it was a kind of paradise (an old idea going back to Hindu and Buddhist texts in Sanskrit).


See also

* 1941 Census of Jammu and Kashmir * Human rights abuses in Kashmir * Kashmiris * List of Jammu and Kashmir-related articles * List of Kashmiri people * Theory of Kashmiri descent from lost tribes of Israel


Notes


References


Bibliography


General history

* . * . * * * . * . * * . * * .


Kashmir history

* * * * * * * * * * ** ** ** ** ** ** ** * * * *


Historical sources

* 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 24–25 August 1997: University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Muzaffarabad, AJK, 1997. * Manoj Joshi (journalist), Joshi, Manoj Lost Rebellion: Kashmir in the Nineties (Penguin, New Delhi, 1999). * Khan, L. Al
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. * Hans Köchler, Köchler, Hans
''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. * William Moorcroft (explorer), Moorcroft, William 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; . First published as a four-part series, March 2002 – April 2003, in 'Prakash', a review of the Jagat Guru Bhagavaan Gopinath Ji Charitable Foundation
Kashmir and the Convergence of Time Space and Destiny by Patrizia Norelli Bachelet
* Muhammad Ayub. ''An Army; Its Role & Rule (A History of the Pakistan Army from Independence to Kargil 1947–1999)''. Pittsburgh: Rosedog Books, 2005. .


External links




United Nations Military Observers Group in Kashmir

Official website of the Jammu and Kashmir Government
(Indian-administered Kashmir)
Official website of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Government
(Pakistan-administered Kashmir) {{Irredentism Kashmir, Disputed territories in Asia Divided regions Geography of India Geography of Pakistan Historical regions Kashmiri-speaking countries and territories Regions of Asia