Kashmir from Wikipedia

Kashmir (BaltiGojriPoonchi/ChibhaliDogri: कश्मीर; Kashmiri: कॅशीर, کٔشِیر Ladakhi: ཀཤམིར; Uyghurكەشمىر Shina: کشمیر ) is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range. Today Kashmir denotes a larger area that includes the Indian-administered state ofJammu and Kashmir (the Kashmir valley, Jammu and Ladakh), the Pakistani-administered Gilgit-Baltistan and the Azad Kashmir provinces, and the Chinese-administered regions of Aksai Chin and Trans-Karakoram Tract.
In the first half of the first millennium, the Kashmir region became an important center of Hinduism and later of Buddhism; later still, in the ninth century, Kashmir Shaivism arose.[1] In 1349, Shah Mir became the first Muslim ruler of Kashmir and inaugurated the Salatin-i-Kashmir or Swatidynasty.[2] For the next five centuries, Muslim monarchs ruled Kashmir, including the Mughals, who ruled from 1526 until 1751, then the Afghan Durrani Empire that ruled from 1747 until 1820.[2] That year, the Sikhs under Ranjit Singh, annexed Kashmir.[2] 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 Rule, under the paramountcy (or tutelage) of the British Crown, lasted until 1947, when the former princely state became a disputed territory, now administered by three countries: IndiaPakistan, and the People's Republic of China.

Etymology

The word Kashmir is an ancient Sanskrit word which literally means Land of Kashyap Rishi. Kashyap Rishi was a Saraswat Brahmin and one of the Saptarshis, who was key in formalizing the ancient Historical Vedic Religion. The Kashmiri Pandits are his descendants and have named the valley after him, in his honour. According to the "Nilmat Puran," the oldest book on Kashmir, in the Satisar, a former lake in the Kashmir Valley meaning "lake of the Goddess Sati,"[3] lived a demon called Jalodbhava (meaning "born of water"), who tortured and devoured the people, who lived near mountain slopes.[4] Hearing the suffering of the people, Kashyap, a Saraswat Brahmin, came to the rescue of the people that lived there.[4] After performing penance for a long time, the saint was blessed, and therefore Lord Vishnu assumed the form of a boar and struck the mountain at Varahamula, boring an opening in it for the water to flow out into the plains below.[5] The lake was drained, the land appeared, and the demon was killed.[4] The saint encouraged people from India to settle in the valley.[4] 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.[4] The name "Kashmir," in Sanskrit, implies land desiccated from water: "ka" (the water) and shimeera (to desiccate).[4] 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.[4] In modern times the people of Kashmir have shortened the full Sanskrit name into "Kasheer," which is the colloquial Koshur name of the valley, as noted in Aurel Stein's introduction to the Rajatarangini metrical chronicle.[4]

The "Rajatarangini," a history of Kashmir written by Kalhana 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 or sage, Kashyap, son of Marichi, son of Brahma, by cutting the gap in the hills at Baramulla (Varaha-mula). Cashmere is a variant spelling of Kashmir, especially within the English language.

History of Kashmir

Buddhism in Kashmir

The Buddhist Mauryan emperor Ashoka is often credited with having founded the old capital of Kashmir, Shrinagari, now ruins on the outskirts of modern Srinagar. Kashmir was long to be a stronghold of Buddhism.[7]
As a Buddhist seat of learning, the Sarvāstivādan school strongly influenced Kashmir.[8] East and Central Asian Buddhist monks are recorded as having visited the kingdom. In the late 4th century AD, the famous Kuchanese monk Kumārajīva, born to an Indian noble family, studiedDīrghāgama 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 Vinayapiṭaka.
Adi Shankara visited the pre-existing Sarvajñapīṭha (Sharada Peeth) 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) 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 MimamsaVedanta and other branches of Hindu philosophy; he ascended the throne of Transcendent wisdom of that temple.[9]
Abhinavagupta (approx. 950–1020 AD[10][11]) was one of India's greatest philosophersmystics and aestheticians. He was also considered an important musicianpoetdramatistexegettheologian, and logician[12][13] – a polymathic personality who exercised strong influences on Indian culture.[14][15] He was born in the Valley of Kashmir[16] 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 gurus.[17] In his long life he completed over 35 works, the largest and most famous of which is Tantrāloka, an encyclopedic treatise on all the philosophical and practical aspects of Trika and Kaula(known today as Kashmir Shaivism). Another one of his very important contributions was in the field of philosophy of aesthetics with his famous Abhinavabhāratī commentary of Nāṭyaśāstra of Bharata Muni.[18]

In the 10th century AD Moksopaya or Moksopaya Shastra, a philosophical text on salvation for non-ascetics (moksa-upaya: 'means to release'), was written on the Pradyumna hill inŚrīnagar.[19][20] It has the form of a public sermon and claims human authorship and contains about 30,000 shloka's (making it longer than the Ramayana). The main part of the text forms a dialogue between Vasistha and Rama, interchanged with numerous short stories and anecdotes to illustrate the content.[21][22] This text was later (11th to the 14th century AD)[23] expanded and vedanticized, which resulted in the Yoga Vasistha

Muslim rule

The Muslims and Hindus of Kashmir lived in relative harmony, since the Sufi-Islamic way of life that Muslims followed in Kashmir complemented the Rishi tradition of Kashmiri Pandits, and Sufi saints such as Sheikh Noor-ud-din Wali were thought of as Muslim Rishis. This led to a syncretic culture where Hindus and Muslims revered the same local saints and prayed at the same shrines[citation needed]. Famous Sufi saint Bulbul Shah was able to convert Rinchan Shah who was then prince 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.
[edit]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 were 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 who was popularly known as Budshah(بڈشاہ ) (the King) (r.1423–1474)[citation needed], 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 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 Brahmins, 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 metrical chronicle of the kings of Kashmir, called the Rajatarangini, has been pronounced by Professor H. H. Wilson to be the onlySanskrit 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 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, 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, 1412[citation needed]. 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.
[edit]Sikh rule
In 1819, the Kashmir valley passed from the control of the Durrani Empire of Afghanistan, and four centuries of Muslim rule under the Mughals and the Afghans, to the conquering armies of the Sikhs under Ranjit Singh of Lahore.[26] As the Kashmiris had suffered under the Afghans, they initially welcomed the new Sikh rulers.[27] The first governor of Kashmir under Sikh Empire became the most gallant general of Maharaja Ranjit Singh Diwan Misr Chand who was a hindu khatri from Punjab region. He was also the commander in charge of the armies[28]which routed the Afghan army led by Jabbar Khan. Afghans who infamously committed atrocities particularly on Hindu Kashmiri Pandits was still fresh in Diwan's Mind. The very first thing which he did was to forcefully take all the Pathan, Uzbak women who were mostly wives of Pashtuns soldiers alongside tajiks and uzbaks to lahore and sold all of them in the Hira Mandi as sex workers. However, the Sikh governors turned out to be hard taskmasters, and Sikh rule was generally considered oppressive,[29] protected perhaps by the remoteness of Kashmir from the capital of the Sikh empire in Lahore;[30] The Sikhs enacted a number of anti-Muslim laws,[30] which included handing out death sentences for cow slaughter,[27] closing down the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar,[30] and banning the azaan, the public Muslim call to prayer.[30] 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.[27] 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.[27] 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;[30] Kashmir became the second highest revenue earner for the Sikh empire.[30] During this time Kashmiri shawls became known world wide, attracting many buyers especially in the west.[30]

Earlier, in 1780, after the death of Ranjit Deo, the Raja 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.[26] 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, Gulab Singh soon captured for the Sikhs the lands of Ladakh and Baltistan to the east and north-east, respectively, of Jammu.

Princely State

In 1845, the First Anglo-Sikh 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. 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)."[26]
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:[31] to the east, Ladakh was ethnically and culturally 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 brahminsor pandits; to the northeast, sparsely populated Baltistan had a population ethnically related to Ladakh, but which practised Shi'a Islam; to the north, also sparsely populated, Gilgit Agency, was an area of diverse, mostly Shi'a groups; and, to the west, Punch was Muslim, but of different ethnicity than the Kashmir valley.[31] After the Indian Rebellion of 1857, in which Kashmir sided with the British, and the subsequent assumption of direct rule by Great Britain, the princely state of Kashmir came under the suzerainty of the 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%.[32] 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.”[33] For almost a century until the census, a small Hindu elite had ruled over a vast and impoverished Muslim peasantry.[32][34] Driven into docility by chronic indebtedness to landords and moneylenders, having no education besides, nor awareness of rights,[32] the Muslim peasants had no political representation until the 1930s.

Year 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 the British Indian Empire into the newly independent Union of India and theDominion of Pakistan. According to Burton Stein's History of India,
"Kashmir was neither as large nor as old an independent state as 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 Mountbatten[35] for assistance, and the 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."[36]

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,[36]and eventually led to two more wars over Kashmir in 1965 and 1999. 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 and Azad 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 had entered the north-east portion of Ladakh.[37]

"By 1956–1957 they had completed a military road through the Aksai Chin area to provide better communication between Xinjiang and western Tibet. India's belated discovery of this road led to border clashes between the two countries that culminated in the Sino-Indian warof 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 controls the northeastern portion (Aksai Chin and the Trans-Karakoram Tract). India controls the majority of the Siachen Glacier area including the Saltoro Ridge passes, whereas Pakistan controls the lower territory just southwest of the Saltoro Ridge. India controls 101,338 km2 (39,127 sq mi) of the disputed territory, Pakistan 85,846 km2 (33,145 sq mi) and China, the remaining 37,555 km2 (14,500 sq mi).
Jammu and Pakistan administered Kashmir lie outside Pir Panjal range, and are under Indian and Pakistani control respectively. These are populous regions. The main cities are Mirpur, Dadayal, Kotli, Bhimber JammuMuzaffarabad and Rawalakot.
The Gilgit-Baltistan, formerly called Northern Areas, are a group of territories in the extreme north, bordered by the Karakoram, the westernHimalayas, the Pamir, and the Hindu Kush ranges. With its administrative center at the town of Gilgit, 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.
Ladakh is a region in the east, between the Kunlun mountain range in the north and the main Great Himalayas to the south.[39] Main cities areLeh and Kargil. 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 and Tibetan descent.[39]
Aksai Chin is a vast high-altitude desert of salt that reaches altitudes up to 5,000 metres (16,000 ft). 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 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.


[edit]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% population, Hindus, 23.72%, and Buddhists, 1.21%. The Hindus were found mainly in Jammu, where they constituted a little less than 70% of the population.[40] In the Kashmir Valley, Muslims constituted 95.6% of the population and Hindus 3.24%.[40] These percentages have remained fairly stable for the last 100 years.[41] 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%.[41] In 2003, the percentage of Muslims in the Kashmir Valley was 95%[42] and those of Hindus 4%; the same year, in Jammu, the percentage of Hindus was 66% and those of Muslims 30%.[42] In the 1901 Census of the British Indian Empire, the population of the princely state 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 ..."[40] It was recorded that these kram names included "Tantre," "Shaikh,", "Bhat", "Mantu," "Ganai," "Dar," "Damar," "Lon" etc. TheSaiyids, 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."[40] 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 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."[40] Among the main tribes of Muslims in the princely state are the Butts, Dar, Lone, Jat, Gujjar, Rajput, 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, where they constituted a little less than 60% of the population.[40] 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%)."[40] 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.[40] 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 (48,000) and the Thakkars (93,000)."[40]
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%).[43]

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,[44] 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.[45] Other authors have suggested a higher figure for the exodus, ranging from the entire population of over 150,000,[46] to 190,000 of a total Pandit population of 200,000,[47] to a number as high as 300,000.

Administered by

Area

Population

 % Muslim

 % Hindu

 % Buddhist

 % Other

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/4/41/Flag_of_India.svg/22px-Flag_of_India.svg.png India

Kashmir Valley

~4 million

95%

4%*

Jammu

~3 million

30%

66%

4%

Ladakh

~0.25 million

46%

50%

3%

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/32/Flag_of_Pakistan.svg/22px-Flag_of_Pakistan.svg.png Pakistan

Azad Kashmir

~2.6 million

100%

Gilgit-Baltistan

~1 million

99%

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/fa/Flag_of_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China.svg/22px-Flag_of_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China.svg.png China

Aksai Chin

  1. Statistics from the BBC In Depth report.

Culture and cuisine

Kashmiri cuisine includes rogan josh (lamb cooked spices), yakhiyn (lamb cooked in curd ), hakh (a spinach-like leaf), rista-gushtaba (minced meat balls in tomato and curd curry), and danival korme. The traditional wazwan feast involves cooking meat or vegetables, usually mutton, in several different ways. Wazwan consist of more than 25 dishes made from muttonTuj, one of more famous dishes of Kashmir, is made of roasted mutton.
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, a tea for festive occasions, made with saffron and spices (cardamomcinnamonsugar, 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, artichoke, seakale, broad beans, scarletrunners, beetroot, cauliflower and cabbage. Fruit trees are common in the valley, and the cultivated orchards yield pears, applespeaches, and cherries. The chief trees are deodar, firs and pineschenar 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 Pashminashawls, silk carpets, rugs, kurtas, and pottery. Saffron, too, is grown in Kashmir. Efforts are on to export the naturally grown fruits and vegetables as organic foods mainly to the Middle East. Srinagar is known for its silver-work, papier mache, wood-carving, and the weaving ofsilk.
The economy was badly damaged by the 2005 Kashmir earthquake which, as of October 8, 2005, resulted in over 70,000 deaths in the Pakistan-controlled part of Kashmir and around 1,500 deaths in Indian controlled Kashmir.
The Indian-administered portion of Kashmir is believed to have potentially rich rocks containing hydrocarbon reserves.[49][50]


[edit]History of tourism in Kashmir

The state of Jammu and Kashmir is a region of diverse people and geography. In the south of the state, Jammu is a transition region from the North Indian plains to the Himalayan mountains. Kashmir has a distinct alpine ecosystem. The state has borders with Afghanistan, China and Pakistan. Major historical caravan routes traversed this region.
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 nomadic groups transitioned to a settled life. Buddhism influenced Kashmir during the rule of Ashoka. The town of Srinagar was founded by him, the place being earlier known as 'Srinagari' or Purandhisthan. The brahmins who inhabited these areas coexisted with the Buddhist communities. From the regions of Kashmir Buddhism spread to Ladakh, Tibet, Central Asia and China. Various traditions co-existed till the advent of the Muslims.
The Mughals 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.

 

 
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  Qaid-e-Azam and Kashmir  
The Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah thanked the National Conference leadership for the right royal reception given to him but at the same time said that it was not a reception for his person.read more...
  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.
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  Kashmir from Wikipedia  
Kashmir (Balti, Gojri, Poonchi/Chibhali, Dogri:  Kashmiri: Ladakhi:  Uyghur: Shina:  is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographicallyread more...
  Kashmir Dispute  
The Kashmir dispute is the oldest unresolved international dispute in the world today. Pakistan considers Kashmir as its core political dispute with India. So does the international community, except India.read more...
  History of Jamu & Kashmir  
Jammu & Kashmir, commonly known as Kashmir, is surrounded on the north by Afghanistan and China, on the east by China, on the south by the state of Himachal Pradesh and the state of Punjab in India,read more...
  Kashmir Tourism  
Kashmir valley is described as a paradise on earth. ChashmaShahisprings, Shalimar Bagh, Dal Lake, etc., in Srinagar; Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Sonamarg, etc., in the valley; Vaishno Devi temple and Patnitop near Jammu, etc., are important tourist centres.read more...
 
 
 
 
   
   
   
   
   
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