Sei sulla pagina 1di 16

1/10/2016

AnOutlineoftheHistoryofKashmir

Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari


June, 1984

An Outline of the History of Kashmir


Prof. L. N. Dhar

Kashmirisperhaps,topossessanauthenticaccountofitshistoryfromthevery
earliestperiod.Thispastaccountofthevalley,itscultureandtraditions,riseandfallof
variousKingdoms,victoryanddefeatsofthepeoplehavebeennotedcarefully,yetcritically
bythesonsofitssoil.Trueitis,thattheKashmiriatliteratureisveryrichininformation
aboutKashmir.
ThemodernstateofJammuandKashmircoveredanareaof86024squaremiles(priorto
1947)extendingfrom32deg78'to36deg58'Nandfrom73deg27'to80deg72'E.The
entirestateincluded,besidetheJammuregion,Ladakh,Gilgit,Hunza,Nagar,Punial,and
Yasin.ThetinystateofChitral,locatedtowardsthenorthwesternsideofGilgit,usedtopay
tributetoKashmirruler.ItwasduetotheuntiringeffortsofMaharajaGulabSinghJi(the
founderofDograHindudynastyinKashmir)thattheStatetookitspresentshapeandform
inthe2ndhalfofthe19thcentury.
Thebeautyandthesalubriousclimateofthevalleywasknownevenfromtheancienttimes.
Themythologicaltraditionssupportedfullybytheresearchofgeologistsconfirmthatthe
valleyoriginallywasahugelakecalled"Satisar",(thelandofgoddessSati,consortofLord
Shiva)anditswaterswereblockednearBaramulla(ancientVarahmulla).Inthewordsof
SirFrancisYoungHusband,"Thehugelakemusthavebeentwicethelengthandthreetimes
thewidthofthelakeofGeneva,completelyencircledbysnowymountainsashigh,and
higherthanMountBlank,whileintheimmediatelyfollowingglacialperiod,mightyglaciers
camewendingdowntotheSindh,Lidder,andothervalleyseventotheedgeofwater."
Kashmir'sgreatesthistorianKalhanwritesabouthisnativeland:"Itisacountrywherethe
sunshinesmildly,beingtheplacecreatedbyRishiKashyap,forhisglorybigandlofty
houses,learning,Saffron,icycoolwaterandgrapesrareinHeavenareplentifulhere
Kailashisthebestplaceinthethreeworlds(Trilok),HimalayasthebestplaceinKailash,
andKashmirthebestplaceinHimalayas".
OurimmortalSanskritpoetKalidaswritesaboutthevalley:
"Theplaceismorebeautifulthantheheavenandisthebenefactorofsupremeblissand
http://www.koausa.org/Crown/history.html

1/16

1/10/2016

AnOutlineoftheHistoryofKashmir

happiness.ItseemstomethatIamtakingabathinthelakeofnectarhere."
SirWalterLawrencewrites"Thevalleyisanemeraldsetinpearlsalandoflakes,clear
streams,greenturf,magnificienttreesandmightymountainswheretheairiscool,andthe
watersweet,wheremenarestrong,andwomenviewiththesoilinfruitfulness."Hefurther
writesthatthevalleycontainseverythingwhichshouldmakelifeenjoyable.Thereissport
variedandexcellent,thereissceneryfortheartistandthelayman,mountainforthe
mountaineer,flowerfortheBotanist,avastfieldfortheGeologistandmagnificientruinsfor
thearchaeologist.

PreHistoricTimes
AccordingtotheoldestextantbookonKashmir,"NilmatPuran",intheSatisarliveda
demoncalledJalodBowa,whotorturedanddevouredthepeople,wholivednearmountain
slopes.Hearingthesufferingofthepeople,agreatsaintofourcountry,Kashyapbyname,
cametotherescueofthepeoplehere.Afterperformingpenanceforalongtime,thesaint
wasblessed,andhewasabletocutthemountainnearVarahmulla,whichblockedthewater
ofthelakefromflowingintotheplainsbelow.Thelakewasdrained,thelandappeared,and
thedemonwaskilled.ThesaintencouragedpeoplefromIndiatosettleinthevalley.The
peoplenamedthevalleyasKashyapMarandKashyapPura.ThenameKashmiralso
implieslanddesicatedfromwater:"ka"(thewater)andshimeera(todesicate).Theancient
Greekscalledit"Kasperia"andtheChinesepilgrimHienTsangwhovisitedthevalley
around631A.D.calleditKaShiMiLo".InmoderntimesthepeopleofKashmirhave
shorteneditinto"Kasheer"intheirtongue.
Regardingprehistorictimes,Dr.SunilChandraRaywrites:"Prehistoricexplorationshave
discoveredtheoccurenceofquaternaryGlacialcyclesinthevalley.ThechiefGeological
formationoftheiceageherearethelacustrinedepositscalledthe"Karewas",which
overlaytheterminalmorainesofthefirstGlaciationandarecomprisedoftwogroups,Lower
andUpper,differentiatedbythemorainesofthesecondGlaciation.Thefossilremainsof
Elphashysudriousobtainedinthelower'Karewas'pointtolower"Pleistoceneage",writes
DeTeera.Theneolithiccultureisindicatedbythediscoveryofgroundandpolishedstone
axes,hoes,pestle,andboneimplementsatthewellknownmenhirsiteofBurzahom,ten
mileseastof,Srinagar.Burazahomaisfamousasoneoftheonlytwomegalithicsitesinthe
extremenorthwestofIndiansubcontinent.WedonotexactlyknowtheCulturalhorizonof
theBurazahomamegalithic,northePurposeforwhichtheywereerected,buttheindications
are,theywereputinplacestowardstheendoftheneolithicperiodatthatsite,between400
to300B.C."
In1960,ArchaeologicalDepartmentoftheGovt.ofIndiabegansystematicexcavationat
thissite.Nearaboutthesiltbed,pitshavebeendiscoveredinsections,indicatingasettlement
ofearlyPitdwellerswhosedatehastentativelybeenfixedat3000B.C.ThisisPerhapsthe
onlyknownfindofsuchasettlementinIndia.Itispossiblethatmorevaluabledatawouldbe
found,whenextensivesurfacediggingsarecompleted.

HinduPeriod
KalhanhasstartedthehistoryofKashmirjustbeforethegreatMahabharatwar,andthefirst
KingmentionedbyhimisGonandaI,whoseinitialyearofreignheplacesin653Kaliera,
thetraditionaldateofthecoronationofKingYudhistira,theeldestbrotherofthePandvas.
http://www.koausa.org/Crown/history.html

2/16

1/10/2016

AnOutlineoftheHistoryofKashmir

GonandawaskilledinabattlealongwithhissoninIndia,andatthetimeofthe
commencementoftheMahabharatwar,GonandaIIwasrulingKashmir.Afterhisdeath,the
greathistorioninformsthattherecordof35kingswhoruledthevalleycouldnotbetraced
byhim,becauseofthedestructionoftherecord.HoweveramodernscholarPeerZada
HassanhasgivenabriefrecordoftheseKingsfromaPersianworkcomposedduringthe
timeofSultanZainulAbdeen(142070).TheauthorofthisworkMullaAhmadhadbeen
abletoobtainthenamesofthesekingsfromanearlierSanskritwork"Ratnakar".Thegreat
MauryanemperorAshokaisrecordedtohaveruledKashmir,andKalhanrightlymentions
thatthekingwasafollowerofBuddhism.AshokafoundedtheoldcityofSrinagarcalled
nowas"Pandrethan",(Puranadhisthan)andalsobuildmanyviharsandtemplesand
repairedtheoldshrine.AtVijeshwari(modernBijbehra),hebuiltaShivaTemple,thus
winningtheheartofthelocalpopulation,whoweremostlyworshippersofLordShiva.It
wasMajjhantika,acelebratedBuddhistmissionarywhowasdeputedtoKashmirandUrvasa
topreachthefaithofBuddhainthoseterritories.HienTsangmentionsthearrivalof500
monkstoKashmir,andAshokamakingagiftofthevalleytoSangha.ManyBuddhist
scholars,missionaries,andintellectualspermanentlysettledinthevalley.Naturally,in
courseoftime,manypeopleembracedBuddhismhere.Accordingtolocaltradition,like
LordShriKrishna,LordBuddhaisalsosupposedtohavevisitedKashmir.WritesSir
CharlesElliotinabookcalled'HinduismandBuddhism':"Forsometwocenturiesafter
Gautam'sdeath,wehavelittleinformationastothegeographicalextensionofhisdoctrine,
butsomeofthesanskritversionsofthe"Vinaya",representhimvisitingMathura,north
westIndiaandKashmir.AfterthedeathofAshoka,hissonJalukaascendedthethroneof
Kashmir,andthelatterwassucceededbyhissonKingDamodarII.Jalukawasagreatking
whoclearedthevalleyofoppressing'Malechas',(foreignuncleantribes).KingDamodar
livesinourmemoryevenatpresent,fortheSrinagarAirportislocatedatDamodarI
Karewa',wherethekingissupposedtohavelivedinabigpalaceand,whereagain,hewas
transformedintoasnakebythecurseofaBrahmin.Thescholarsalso,acceptthetheorythat
thevalleyforovertwohundredyearswasruledbyIndoGreekKingsbeforethestartof"
Turushka"(Kushan)ruleinthestate.Cunninghamrecordsalargefindofsilvercoinsof
Azes(andAzilies)(coinsofIndoScythians)onthebanksofVitasta(riverJhelum)inthe
hillsbetweenVarahmullaandJhelum.ThecontactwiththeGreeksisresponsibleforthe
beautifularchitectural,andsculpturalstyleofoldKashmirtemples,andthecoinageoflater
KashmirKingshasalsobeeninfluencedbythiscontact.Kalhan'saccountofTurushka
Kings,indicateswithoutanydoubttheKushanoccupationoftheValley.Thethreekings
mentionedbyhimareHuska,Juska,andKanishka,eachofthemiscreditedwiththe
foundationofatown,christenedaftertheirrespectivenames:Hushkapura,Jushkapuraand
Kanishkapura.TheKushanKingsalsobuiltmanytemplesandVihars.Accordingtomany
scholars,KanishkaheldthethirdgreatcounciloftheBuddhistchurchat"Kundalvan",
(Harwan,nearShalimargarden)HienTsanghasgiventheproceedingsofthiscouncil.
Nearly500BuddhistandHinduscholarsattendedthisconference,andalearnedKashmir
BrahminVasumitrapresidedoveritssession.SomeofthegreatBuddhistscholars,whotook
activepartinthiscouncilwereAshvagosha,Nagarjuna,VasubanduSugamitraand
Jinamitra.HienTsangpraisestheintellectualcalibreoftheKashmirscholars,and
consideredthemasincomparable.Theentireproceedingsoftheconferencewereinscribed
oncopperplatesinSanskrit,enclosedinstoneboxes,depositedinaVihar.Likefamous
Gilgitmanuscripts,itispossiblethatthesecopperplatesmavbeunearthedinnearfuture,
andwewouldlearnmuchabouttherichculturalhistoryofthevalley.
Asaresultofthisconference,largenumberofKashmiriintellectualstooktomissionary
workandhundredsofthewisestsonsofthevalleycarriedthetorchofIndiancivilisation
andculturetomanypartsofcentralAsia,China,Tibetandotherplaces.Dr.P.C.Bagchi,a
http://www.koausa.org/Crown/history.html

3/16

1/10/2016

AnOutlineoftheHistoryofKashmir

notedIndologistandscholarofrepute,writesinhisexcellentbook'IndiaandChina':"
KashmirtakestheleadingpartinthetransmissionofBuddhistthoughtandtraditionsdirectly
toTibet,andChina.ThenumberofBuddhistscholarswhowenttoChinafromKashmiris
largerthanthatofthosewhowentfromotherpartsofIndia.Kashmirwasthemost
flourishingcentreofBuddhistlearninginthisperiod.Itwasthecentreofmostpowerful
BuddhistsectofNorthernIndiaknownas'Sarvastivada'.Afewofthemostimportant
KashmirMissionarieswereKumarjiva,Yasa,VimaLaksha,Sanghbuti,GautamSangha,
Buddviyasa,Buddhijiva,Gunavarman,DharamputraandShyamaBhata.
AfterKanishka,localweakrulerscontinuedtogovernthestate,tillwehearfromKalhan,
thearrivalofMahirGul,thenotoriousHuninvaderofourcountry.Kalhancorrectly
representshimasasavagecruelking,whoseapproachbecameknownbythesightof
thousandsofvultures,crowsandthelikeinthesky,eagertofeedonthosebeingmassacred
byhisencirclingarmy.WhilecrossingPirPanchalpass,thetyrantrolleddownonehundred
elephantsfromamountainpass.Theshrieksandtheyellsofthedyingelephantsgreatly
delightedthisfiend.TilltheadventofKarkotadynasty(beginningof8thCentury)the
GonandadynastygaveKashmironlytwonotablerulersviz.MeghvahanandPravansein.
TheformerwasapiousandastrongrulerwithBuddhistleanings.Hestoppedkillingof
animalsandbirdsthroughouthisKingdom.Infact,heundertookconquestofmanycountries
solelyforthepurposeofstoppinganimalslaughter.HischiefqueenAmritPrabhabuilt
'AmritBhawan'ViharforforeignpilgrimsandstudentswhocametoKashmirinlarge
numbersforlearning.ThenextgreatKingwasPraverseinIIinwhosetimepeopleenjoyed
perfectpeaceandprosperity,Hewasagreatconquerorwhoextendedtheboundariesofthe
stateinalldirections.Hehasmadehisnameimmortalbyfoundingthecityof
Praverseinpura(moderncityofSrinagar),thesummercapitalofthestateatpresent.
Praverseinruledablyfor60yearsandissupposedtohavedirectlyascendedtoheavenwhile
worshippingLordShivainhistemple'Pravesha'nowstandinginruinsnearHariParbatfort.
ItwasduringthetimeoffirstkingofKarkotadynasty,DurlabvardhanthattheoreatChinese
pilgrim,HienTsangvisitedKashmirandenteredthevalleyviaVarahmullawherehefound
ahugestonegate.Theentryofalloutsiders,excepttheHindus,wasbannedinthestatethen.
HienTsangwasgivenarightroyalreceptionbythepeopleincludingtheking.Hestayedin
Kashmirfornearlytwoyears,studiedSanskritandHinduscripturesatthefeetoflearned
menhere.
ItistheKarkotadynastythathasgivenKashmirthegreatestrulerLalitadityaMuktapid(
724761A.D.).HeisundoubtedlytheSamudraGuptaofKashmir.Hewasfilledwithan
unquenchablethirstofworldconquest.HeinvadedandconqueredmanycountriesinAsia
andIndia.ThePunjab,Kanuj,Tibet,Ladhak,Badakshan,Iran,Bihar,Gauda(Bengal)
Kalinga(Orissa),SouthIndia,Gujarat,Malwa,MarwarandSindhwereallconqueredby
him.Itwashe,whofinallybrokethepowerofArabsinSindh.Alltheseunbrokenvictories
createdafeelingofprideamongthepeoplehereandhisvictoriescametobecelebratedina
bigway.Kalhanwhowrotehisfamouschronicle(Rajatarangini)nearlyfourhundredyears
afterthedeathofLalitaditya,recordsthateveninhistimethevictoriesofthegreatvictor
werebeingcelebratedthroughoutthevalley.Alberuni,whoaccompaniedMahmudGaznavi
inhisIndianCampaigns,specificallymentionsinhisbook(TahqiqiHind)thatKashmiris
observedsecondofChaitra,asthedayofvictory.Lalitadityawasequallyagreatbuilderand
hebuilthiscapitalnearthesacredshrineofKhirBhawani,andgaveitthenameof
Parihaspur(cityofpleasure).Throughoutthevalley,hebuiltveryfineandmassivetemples,
outofwhichtheworldfamoussuntemple(Martand)builtonMattanKarewa,remindsus
aboutthegranduerandsplendourofthetimeswhentheirbuilderruledthestate.The
http://www.koausa.org/Crown/history.html

4/16

1/10/2016

AnOutlineoftheHistoryofKashmir

extensiveruinsofhiscapitalcityParihaspur,speakofhisactivitiesinthefieldofartand
architecture.Afterhisdeath,itismostlytheweakrulersexcepthisgrandsonJayatida,who
ruledthevalley.BothLalitaditya,andJayatidaweregreatpatronsoflearningandextended
theirpartonagetoBhavabhuti,Vakpatrija,UdhataBhata,DamodharGupta,Manoratha,
SankhdantaandSamadhimatetc.ThehistoryofKarkotadynastyafterJayatidaisasadstory
ofdecline.Alltheconqueredterritoriesregainedtheirindependence,andthesovereigntyof
therulerofKashmircametobeconfinedtoVitastabasin.Theeconomicruinwashastened
bytheextravaganthabitsofboththerulersandtheministers.InthewordsofKalhan:"the
ministersandthegrandeescarriedofftherevenuesofthecountry,feastedinmutaljealousy
onthemasterlesskingdom,likewolvesonadeadbuffaloinadesert."Inspiteofallthisthe
Karkotaruleonthewholehasbeenconsideredasthegloriousandremarkableperiodsof
ancientKashmir.LamentsDr.P.C.Raythat"neverbeforetheKarkotaperiod,hadKashmir
performedsuchafeat,norwassheabletorepeatitinfuture."
Itwasroundaboutin85556A.D.thatKarkotaruleended,andanewUtpalDynasty
assumedpowerinKashmir.ThemostimportantrulerofthisdynastywasMaharajaAvanti
verman.Itwashe,whorecoveredKashmirfromutterpoliticalandeconomicdisorder.His
reignwitnessedaperiodofpeaceandconsolidationandprosperity.Itwasduringthistime,
thatthevalleyrosetogreatheightsintherealmofphilosophy,artandletters.Therewasan
outburstofliteraryactivityonagrandscale,andeminentmenKallataBhatsura,Ratnakar,
Anandavardhana,Muktakana,SivaSwamin,RudrataandMukula.Kalhan'smentionof
numeroustemplesbuiltandtownsfoundedbytheKing,andhisministersthrowsplentyof
lightontheprosperousconditionoftheperiod.ThemostimportantfoundationoftheKing
washiscapitalcityofAvantipur,whichheembellishedwithtwotemples:onededicatedto
Shiva,andothertoVishnu.Bothofthemareinruinsnow,buteventhen,theystandasthe
mostimposingmonumentsofancientKashmir.
ThereignofthisKingwouldnotbecompletewithoutthementionof'Suya'oneofthe
greatestengineerKashmirproducedinancienttimes.Forcenturiesthepeopleofthevalley
hadbeensufferingfromtherecurringcurseoffaminesandfloods.Suyacorrectlyassessed
thatthesefrequentcalamitiesoccuredduetoheavyrainsandexcessivewaterofVitastariver
whichcouldnoteasilygetoutwithswiftness,throughagorgenearVarahmulla,asthe
compressedpassagetherebadgotblockedwithsiltandhugeboulders.Thepeopleremoved
boththesiltandstoneswhenthegreatengineerthrewplentyofgoldandsilvercoinsintothe
riveratmanyplaces.Thousandsofstarvingpeopleimmediatelyjumpedintotheflooded
Vitastaandinordertofindthecoins,clearedthebedoftherocksandboulderswhichhad
chokedupthepassage.Suya,thenraisedstoneembankments,andadoptedotherprotective
measures.Manycanalsweredugouttoincreasetheirrigationalfacilities.Theresultofall
thesemeasureswas,thatagreatincreaseoflandbecameavailableforcultivation.The
productionofpaddyincreasedandthepriceofoneKhirwar(nearlytwomounds)came
downto36Dinarsfrom200Dinars.Suya'smemoryisstillpreservedtothisday,bythe
townSayapur(Sopore)foundedbyhimatthepointwhereriverVitasta,sincehisregulation
leavesthebasinofMahapadomsar(Woulerlake).AvantivarmandiedinatempleontheDal
Lake,whenafataldiseasecaughthim,andinthewordsofKalhan,"listeningtotheendto
thesongoftheLord(Bhagvatgeeta)andthinkingoftheresidenceofVishnu(Vaikuntha)
hecastoffhisearthlylifewithacheerfulmind."(June883)Avantivarmanwassucceeded
byhissonShankarvarman,butthenthedeclineofUtpaldynastysetin.InthetimeofKing
Yasakara(93948)a'Math'(hospice)wasbuiltforthestudentsofIndia,whocameto
Kashmirforstudyandmeditation.Itclearlyrevealsintimateculturalcontactbetweenthe
valley,andplainsofIndiainthe10thcentury.In950,Khemguptaascendedthethroneof
Kashmir,amanofmediocreabilitywhomarriedprincessDidda,daughteroftherulerof
http://www.koausa.org/Crown/history.html

5/16

1/10/2016

AnOutlineoftheHistoryofKashmir

Lohara(Poonch)andgranddaughteroftheShahikingofKabul.AftertheeclipseofUtpala
dynasty,LoharadynastyruledKashmirtilltheendoftheHinduruleinKashmir(1339).
QueenDiddawasthedefactorulerofthestate,asshewasverydominatingandexercised
immenseinfluenceoverherhusband.Shebuiltmanytemplesandmonasteriesandoneof
thesewasreservedforpeopleofMadyadeshaandLata(U.P.,BiharandCentralIndia).In
980A.D.Diddaascendedthethroneafterthedeathofherhusband.Beforeher,twoother
queenshadruledKashmirnamelyYashovatiandSugandha.Diddawasaveryunscrupulous,
andwilfulladyandledaveryimmorallife.Butinspiteofthesedrawbacks,shewasanable
ruler,whofirmlyruledthevalley.Shediedin1003A.D.andleftthethroneofKashmirto
herfamilyinundisputedsuccession.Asherchildrenhaddiedyoung,shetransmittedthe
crowntoSangramraj,sonofherbrotherUdairaj,therulerofLohara(Poonch).
Itwasduringhertime,thatMahmudGaznavitwicetriedtocapturethevalleybutthefortat
Lohara,remarkableforitsheightandstrengthprovedimpregnable.TheSultanwasobliged
toabandontheconquest.
From1089to1101A.D.,KingHarsharuledKashmir.Versedinmanylanguages,agood
poet,loverofmusicandart,hestartedhisruleinaremarkableway,andbecamefamousin
northernIndia.Hiscourtwasacentreofluxuryandsplendour.Heintroducednewfashions
indressandornaments.Hisministersweregorgeouslydressed,woreearringsandhead
dresses,previouslyreservedforthemembersofrulingfamiliesonly.Butstrangelyenough,
Harsha'scareerbecamearecordoffolliesandmisdeeds.Thepeoplealsosufferedfrom
famine,andplagueaswell,andaconsiderablesectionofpeoplebecamevictimsofthese
calamities.Aconfusionfollowedthesemisfortunes,leadingtoageneralrisingofthepeople
undertworoyalprincesUccaliaandSuccalla.HarshaalongwithhissonBhojawere
murdered,andtheKashmirthronepassedintothehandsoftwoprincesrespectively.Both
theprincesmetthefateofHarshaandwhenourgreathistorianKalhancompletedhis
'Rajatarangini'in114950KingJaisimha,thelastgreatruleroftheHindutimeswasruling
thestate.
Jaisimha's(112855)earlydayswerecritical,becauseofthepreceedingcivilwarsand
politicalunrest.Stillthenewrulerwasabletomaintainhisfirmrulefor27yearsin
comparativesafety.TheKingrepairedandrestoredmanytemplesandshrines,and
numerousotherpiousfoundationswerealsomadeduringhisreign.Thepeopleafteralong
timeheavedasighofrelief.From11551339,theKashmirrulersremainedbusyonlyin
intrigues,debauchery,andmutualquarrels.Theseincessantfeuds,civilwars,risingsand
upheavalsgreatlyweakenedHindudominationofKashmir.Thevalleysoonfellapreyto
MongolandTurkishraiders,freebootersandforeignadventurers.Quitenaturally,the
boundariesoftheKingdomgotshrunk,andwerereducedtothepeopervalleyonly.The
KabulvalleyProutonsa(Poonch),Pajapuri(Rajauri)Kangra,Jammu,KisthwarandLadhak,
oneaftertheotherthrewofftheirallegiancetotherulersofKashmir.
Inthebeginningof14thcenturyaferociousMongol,Duluchainvadedthevalleythroughits
northernsideZojilaPass,withanarmyof60,000men.LikeTaimurinthePunjabandDelhi,
Duluchacarriedswordandfire,destroyedtownsandvillagesandslaughteredthousands.His
savageattackpracticallyendedtheHinduruleinKashmir.AweakandworthlessmanRaja
Sahadevwastherulerthen.Itwasduringhisreignthatthreeadventurers,ShahMirfrom
Swat(Tribal)territoryonthebordersofAfganistan,RinchinfromLadhak,andLankar
ChakfromDardterritorynearGilgitcametoKashmir,andplayedanotablerolein
subsequentivepoliticalhistoryofthevalley.AllthethreemenweregrantedJagirsbythe
King.Rinchinfor3yearsbecametherulerofKashmir,ShahMirwasthefirstrularofShah
http://www.koausa.org/Crown/history.html

6/16

1/10/2016

AnOutlineoftheHistoryofKashmir

Miridynasty,andthedecendantsofLankarChakestablishedChakruleintheKashmir.
ThelastHindurulerofKashmirwasUdyanDev.ItwashischiefQueenKotaRani,who
practicallygovernedthestate.Shewasaverybravelady,shrewdandanableruler.Though
shetriedherbesttosaveherKingdom,oddsweretooheavyforher.Thevalleywasagain
invadedbyaMongalandTurkinvaderAchalla,buttheQueendefeatedhim,anddrove
awayalltheforeigntroops.IntheconfusionRinchin,theLadhakiprince,whomtheHindu
religiousleadersofthetimerefusedtoadmitintotheirfold,organisedaninternalrisingand
seizedthethrone.Beforehisdeath,heembracedIslam.Finallyanotherrisingwasledby
ShahMir,whodefeatedthequeenatJayapur(modernSumbal).Thedefeatupsetherand
seeingtheindifferenceoftheHindugrandeesandgeneralpublic,shestabbedherselfto
death,becauseShahMirwantedtomarryher.Herdeathin1339pavedthewaytorthe
establishmentofMuslimruleinKashmir.

AnAssessmentofHinduRule
BeforeswitchingovertotheearlyMuslimperiod,itwouldbepropertopointout,very
brieflyofcourse,thecontributionofpeoplehere,inthefieldofPhilosophy,Literatureand
Archaeology.
InthefieldofPhilosophyKashmir'scontributionisthe"ShivaSchoolofthought",which
assumedadistinctivecharacterinthevalley."ItisknownasTrika(Triple)Shastra,asit
pertainstothethreevitalmattersofgreatestimportancenamely(a)man(b)hisuniverseand
(c)fundamentalprinciplewhichkeepsonrestoringorder,equilibriumandharmonyinthe
universewhereitisdisturbedanddisruptedbyconstantchange."Trika,interestedinman
andhispersonality,andconsiderscompletefreedom(Swatantrya)astheoneandthefinal
goalofhumanlife.Shivaisanothernameforindependence,andtheonlyrealityofthe
universeisShivawhoisinfiniteconsciousness,andunrestrictedindependence.Hehasmany
otherfeatureslikeomnipresence,eternality,andformlessness,thoughindependenceis
peculiertohim.Shivaisthesubjectaswellastheobject,theexperience,aswellasthe
experienced".(P.N.Bazaz).ThethreegreatAcharyasofthisschoolareVasugupta,
KallathaandthegreatAbhinavagupta.HundredsofotherKashmiriphilosophers,and
thinkerswrote,masterpiecesonthisphilosophyinthesubsequentperiodsofourhistory.
AnotherdistinctschoolofphilosophywastheemergenceofMahayanaFormofBuddhism
duringthetimeofKanishka,whenthe3rdBuddhistCouncilmethereatHarwan.Itwas
VasumitraandNagarjunawhogaveshapeandformtothisnewschoolofthought.
Nagarjuna,inthewordsofHavell,wastheLutherofBuddhism,theapostleofBhaktimarga,
whowouldfindmeansofexpressionforthedeepseatedreligiousinstinctofthemasses,
throughthewayofdevotiontothedivineteacher,ratherthanthroughthedryagnostic
philosophyofHinayanaSchool.ThiscreedbecameverypopularinChina,Japan,Tibetand
Ladakh.NagarjunahasbeenraisedtotheexaltedpositionofBuddistavaandenjoysthe
reputationofbeingthegreatestthinkeroftheage.InthefieldofLiterature,thereishardly
anybranchoflearningwhichthepeopleofKashmirhadnotstudied,andtowhichtheydid
notmaketheirownoriginalcontribution.Inphilosophy,religion,medicine,astronomy,
literature,engineering,sculpture,architecture,painting,music,dancing,andinmanyother
walksoflifetheprogressofKashmiriesduringtheancienttimesisastonishingandstriking.
InthewordsofGrieson,"forupwardsoftwothousandyears,Kashmirhasbeenthehomeof
Sanskritlearningandfromthissmallvalleyhaveissuedmasterpiecesofhistory,poetry,
romance,fable,andphilosophy.Kashmiriesarejustlyproudoftheliterarygloriesoftheir
http://www.koausa.org/Crown/history.html

7/16

1/10/2016

AnOutlineoftheHistoryofKashmir

land.ForcenturiesKashmirwasthehouseofthegreatestSanskritscholars,andatleastone
greatIndianreligionof'Shaivism'hasfoundsomeofitsmosteloquentteachersonthebanks
oftheVitasta.SomeofthegreatestSanskritscholarsandpoetswereborn,andwroteinthe
valleyandfromithasissuedinSanskritlanguageaworldfamouscollectionoffolklore."
(Panchtantra.)
Inthedomainofarchitecture,thecharmofKashmir,apartfromitsmagnificentnatural
scenery,liesinitstemplesandfinearts.WroteoneEuropeanartcritic:"AncientIndiahas
nothingmoreworthyofitscivilization,thanthegrandremainsinKashmir,themassive,the
grotesquetheelegantinarchitecture,maybeadmiredinmanypartsofIndia,butnowhereis
tobeseen,thecounterpartsoftheclassicallygraceful,yetsymmetricallymassiveedificesof
Kashmir,andinbeauty,andpositionareimmenselysuperior."Thebestpreservedofthese
stonetemplesareatMartandandAvantipur.TheMartandtemplehasbeenuniversely
admiredbythearcheologistsandtheartists.Ineeddescribetheopinionofthreegreat
Europeansofmoderntimes:
WritesStein:"Itisnolongerpossibletotracewithcertainty,thecities,andremainsofall
thetownsandstructureswhichowedtheirexistencetoLalitaditya.Butthoseamongthem
whichcanbeidentifiedjustlybytheirextantruins,thegreatfamewhichLalitadityaenjoyed
asabuilder.TheruinsofthesplendidtempleofMartandwhichthekinghadconstructed
nearthe'Tirtha'ofthesamename,arestillthemoststrikingobjectofancientHindu
architectureinthevalley.Evenintheirpresentstateofdecay,theycommandadmiration
bothbytheirimposingdimensions,andbythebeautyoftheirarchitecturaldesignand
decoration."
WritesSirFrancisYoungHusband:"......builtonthemostsublimesiteoccupiedbyany
buildingintheworldfinerthanthesiteofParthenon,oroftheTajMahal,orofSt.Petersor
oftheEscurialwemaytakeit,astherepresentativeorrathertheculminationofalltherest,
andbyit,wemustjudgetheKashmirpeopleattheirbest.Onaperfectlyopen,andeven
plain,gentlyslopingawayfromabackgroundofasnowymountainslookingdirectlyout,on
theentirelengthbothofthesmilingKashmirvalley,andofthesnowyrangeswhichbound
itsosituatedinfactastobeencircled,yetnotoverwhelmedbysnowymountainsstandthe
ruinsofatemplesecondonlytotheEgyptiansinmassivenessandstrength,andtothe
Greeksineleganceandgrace.....Noonewithoutaneyefornaturalbeautywouldhave
chosenthatspecialsitefortheconstructionofatemple,andnoonewithaninclinationtothe
emphemeralandtransientworldhavebuiltit,onsomassive,andenduringascale.
WritesH.Gotezi"ThetempleofMartandsetthemodelforKashmirHinduArtinallthe
followingcenturies....ThusLalitadityamustberegardedasthefoundernotonlyof
shortlivedempire,butalsoofsixcenturiesofKashmirHinduArt."

MuslimPeriod
AfterthedeathofQueenKota,ShahMirascendedthethroneunderthenameofSultan
Shamasuddin,andhisdynastyruledthestatefor222years.Thisperiodisoneofthemost
importantintheannalsofKashmir,inasmuchasIslamwasfirmlyestablishedhere.The
ShahMiridynastyhasgivenusonlytworulers,whoareworthyofmention.OneisSultan
Shihabuddin,andthesecondisthegreatSultanZainulAbdin.Theformerascendedthe
thronein1354,andcontinuedtoruletill1373.Hewasfullofenergy,andvigourandhewas
abletoestablishhisswayovertheneighbouringcountries.Hisarmymainlyconsistedof
Damras,LavansandthehilltribesofPoonch,RajapuriandKishtwar.Theimportant
http://www.koausa.org/Crown/history.html

8/16

1/10/2016

AnOutlineoftheHistoryofKashmir

commanderswhoservedunderhimwerebothHindusandMuslims,suchasChandra
Damra,LaulaDamara,Shura,SyedHassanandAbdulRaina.HistwoimportantHindu
ministerswereKotaBhatandUdyashri.Atthebeginingofhisreign,heledanarmyto
Sindhanddefeateditsruler.WhilereturninghedefeatedAfgansnearPeshawarandthenhe
conqueredKabul,Gazni,Qandhar,Pakhali,SwatandMultan.HeinvadedBadakshan,and
thenmarchedtowardsDardistanandGilgit,whichheeasilyconquered.Thenhemarched
towardsBulochistanandLadhak.TherulerofKashgar(centralAsia)camewithahugearmy
andShahudinwhosearmywasnumericallyinferior,inflictedacrushingdefeatandthe
Kashgararmywasalmostwipedout.ThisledtotheannexationofLaddhakandBultistan,
whichwereclaimedbytheKashgarruler.ItisalsosaidthattherulerorKashmirmarched
towardsDelhi,andonthewayconqueredKangra,andthenthearmyofFerozashahTughlaq
opposedhimonthebanksofSutluj.SincethebattlebetweentherulersoftheDelhiand
Kashmirwasindecisive,peacewasconcludedanditwasagreedthatalltheterritoryfrom
SirhindtoKashmirwastobelongtotheKashmirruler.Shahuddinwasnotonlyagreat
conquerorbutalsoanableadministrator,andhegovernedhiskingdomwithfirmnessand
justice.HewastolerantrulerandtreatedhisHindusubjectsgenerously.
Itisreportedthatowingtoprolongedcampaignsheneededmoney,andhisministersasked
himtolootthetemples,buthestoutlyopposedtheproposal,andtoquoteJonaraj,heis
reportedtohavesaidinanger:"Pastgenerationhavesetupimagestoobtainfame,andearn
merit,andyouproposetodemolishthem.Somehaveobtainedrenownbysettingupimages
ofgods,othersbyworshippingthem,somebymaintainingthem,andyoupropose
demolishingthem.Howgreatistheenormityofsuchadeed".Thekingfoundedanewtown
whichhecalledShihabuddinpora,knownnowasShadipur.Heisalsosaidtohaveerected
manymosquesandmonasteries.ShihabuddincanrightlybecalledtheLalitadityaof
medievalKashmir.DuringhistimeKashmirarmiesmarchedtodistantlands,andour
victoriousbannerswereunfurledonmanyfortsofforeigncountries.Thusthisgreatruler
raisedKashmirtogreateminence,andpower.
ThenextrulerwasSultanQutabuddin,andinwhosetimetheonlyimportanteventworth
mentioningisthearrivalofsaidAliHamdani,whowasthemostremarkablepersonalityof
thethenmuslimworld.Atthetimeofhisthirdvisithegotwithhimself700Syedsfrom
Hamdan,whowerebeingouttotorturebyTimur,rulerofPersia.Thesesyedsestablished
theircentresofmissoneryactivitiesindifferentpartsofthevalley.In1389,Qutabuddin
died,andhewassucceededbyhiseldestsonSultanSikandar.Itwasinthetimeofthis
Sultan,thatthepoliticalatmosphereofthestatewasvitiated.Whereasallformerrulershad
followedapolicyofreligioustoleration,thenewSultanlikeAurangazebwasamanof
puritantemperament.Hebannedallgaycelebrationsandwouldnotlistentomusiceven.He
imposedJiziauponHindusandstoppedthemtousetilakontheirforeheads.WritesM.
Hassan:"Intheirmisplacedzealfortheirfaith,SikandarandhisministerSaifuddin(who
wasoriginallyaHindu)werealsoresponsibleforthedestructionofimagesandtemples."
AlmostallthemuslimchroniclersspeakofthewholesaledestructionofHindushrines
includingthe'Martand'Temple,andforcibleconversionofHindustoIslam.Thousandsof
HindusfledtoIndiatosavetheirreligionandholybooks,andalsotoescapethewrathofthe
Sultan.ShahiKhanorSultanZainulAbidin,ascendedthethronein1420A.D.andruled
upto1470A.D.nearlyforhalfacentury.Hisaccessiontothethrone,provedtobethereturn
ofabrightandwarmdayafteracoldandachillynight.InthewordsofPanditAnandKaul:
"possessedofabroadandtolerantoutlook,withadesiretobenefitmankind,heruledwith
suchequity,andjusticeanddidsomuchtoimprovethematerialprosperityofthepeople,
thatonecannotfailtoadmirehim,hisbenevolentruledemandsspecialhomageinasmuch
ashelivedinaperiodwhenhehadnoworthyandenlightenedcontemporarytoemulate.In
http://www.koausa.org/Crown/history.html

9/16

1/10/2016

AnOutlineoftheHistoryofKashmir

theworldaroundhim,hecouldhavelittletohelphim.Hewasapotentateencouragedtobe
tyrannicalandselfishbytradition,andespeciallybytheexamplesofhisfather,Sultan
Sikander.ZainulAbidinwasdeservedlysurnamedBudshahorthegreatKing.Inspiteof5
centurieshavingrolledbysinceheruled,hisnameisstillrememberedwithgenuine
reverenceandgratitude.TakethenameofBudshahbeforeaKashmiri,andatoncewitha
happycountenancehewillrhymeitwithPadShah".WritesanothermodernhistorianM.
Hassan:"ofalltheSultanswhosatonthethroneofKashmir,Zainulabidinwas
undoubtedlythegreatest.Heusheredinaperiodofnearlyhalfacenturyofpeace,
prosperity,andbenevolentruleforhispeople.Heintroducedmanyartsandcraftsforwhich
Kashmirhasbecomefamouseversince.Hepromotedlearning,musicandpaintingand
madeKashmirthecentreofgreatculture.Hewontheloyalityandaffectionofhissubjects
whocalledhimBudshahorthegreatking,anamebywhichheisrememberedeventoday
bythepeopleofKashmir.Heacquiredahaloinpopularimaginationwhichstillsurrounds
hisnameinspiteofthelapseofnearly500years."
ZainulAbidinorganizedahugearmy,andwithitshelphereconqueredthePunjab,Western
Tibet,LadhakandBaltiregion,KuluandOhind(Hazara).TheSultanalsomaintained
cordialandfriendlyrelationswithrulersofothercountries.TheSheriffofMaccaandthe
KingsofJilanandEgyptsenthimpresents.TheMaharajaofGwalior,hearingthatthe
SultanwasinterestedinMusic,senthimvaluableworksonIndianmusic.Therewasalsoan
exchangeofembassiesandgiftsbetweenthegreatSultanandtherulersofSindh,Bengal,
Tibet,Gujrat,MalwaandDelhi.TheSultanimprovedthetoneofadministrationwhichhad
rudelybeenshaken.Heappointedtalentedpersonsinhighadministrativeposts,irrespective
ofcasteorcreed.TheSultanhadahighsenseofjusticeandnoonewhocommittedacrime
wasspared,howeverclosehewastothrone.Manygrandeeswhowerefavouritesofthe
king,wereseverlypunishedwhenfoundguilty.Thekingtookkeeninterestinagriculture
andlikeLalitadityaandAvantivarman,manycanalsweredugoutinallpartsofthe
Kingdom.JonrajandShrivahavegivendetailsofthesecanalsintheirvaluablebooks.
Owingtotheseirrigationworks,thedrainingofmarshesandreclamationoflargeareasfor
cultivation,Kashmirbecameselfsufficientinfood,andricewascheap.
Oneofthemostoutstandingfeaturesofhisadministrationwasthejustandliberaltreatment
oftheHindus,whowerenotonlyallowedcompletefreedomofworship,buttheSultan
recalledallthosewhohadfledtoIndiainthetimeofhisfather.HeallowedthoseHindus
whohadforciblybeenconverted,toreturntotheirformerreligion.TheSultanbannedcow
slaughterandpermittedtherepairandrebuildingofthetemplesatgovernmentexpenses.He
grantedlandstolearnedBrahmins,endowedtemplesandforHindupilgrimsvisitingholy
placesinthevalleyheopenedaroyalkitchenatRainawariknownevennowasJogiLanker.
JiziyawasalmostabolishedandtheSultanparticipatedinHindufestivalsandentertained
BrahminsandSadhusonauspiciousdays.SomeofhisimportantHinduministerswerethe
famousphysicianShriBhat,Tilakacharya,SimhaBhat,RuppaBhat,KaruparBhatand
Shrivara.AtthesametimeSultanwasagreatpatronofmenofletterssuchasSyed
MohammudRumi,SyedAhmadRumi,QuaziSyedAliShirazi,QaziJamalandMaulana
Kabirtomentiononlyafew.TheSultanhadalsoestablishedatranslationdepartmentwhere
importantworksweretranslatedfromSanskritintoPersianandArabic.TheSultanopened
schoolsandhostelsforthestudents.ItisforencouragementofartsandcraftsthatKashmir
willbepermanentlyindebtedtotheSultan.IntheHindutimes,thevalleywasequally
famousforitsartsandcraftsbutthesehadgreatlysufferedinthechaoswhichlastedforover
twohundredyears.TheSultaninvitedcompetantteachersfromcountriestoKashmir,sothat
theycouldtrainpeoplehere.Amongmanyindustriesintroducedbyhim,wecanmention
carpet,papermachine,papermaking,silkrearing,shawls,manufactureofgunpowderetc.
http://www.koausa.org/Crown/history.html

10/16

1/10/2016

AnOutlineoftheHistoryofKashmir

Kashmirbecamesofamousforbeautifuldesignsonsilksandshawlsthatourstateacquired
anunrivalledfameinAsia.EvenafteracenturywhenBabar'scousinMirzaHaiderDaulghat
invadedKashmir,hewroteinTarikhiReshidi:"InKashmironemeetswithalltheseartsand
cratswhichareinmostcitiesuncommon,suchasstonepolishing,stonecutting,bottle
makingwindowcutting,goldbeatingetc.InthewholeMaverulNahir(Khorasan)except
inSamarkand,andBokhara,thesearenowheretobemetwith,whileinKashmirtheyarein
abundance.ThisisallduetoZainulAbidin."TheSultanwasagreatbuilder.Hefounded
thenewcitycalledNowshedar(apartofthecitynow.)Headorneditwithsplendidhouses
forhisofficers,courtiersandlearnedmen.Hebuiltapalaceof12storeysinit,each
containing50rooms,hallsandcorridors.Itwassurmountedbyagoldendome,andits
spacioushallswerelinedwithglass.BesidesNowshader,theSultanfoundedthetownof
Zainapur,ZainakutandZainagir.SimilarlyhebuiltthefirstwoodenbridgeatSrinagar
knownevennowasZainakadal.In1470A.D.theSultandiedandforalongtimehisdeath
wasmournedbythepeople.SultanZainulAbidin'sdeathsoundedthedeathknellofShah
Miridynasty.ItmetthesamefatethattheLoharadynastyhadmetafterthedeathof
Jaisimhain1156.TheonlyimportanteventthattookplacebeforetheestablishmentofChak
dynastywastheinvasionofMirzaHaiderDughlatwhoattackedKashmirfromZogilapass
in1533.Soonhewasabletoestablishhisascendancyinthevalley.TheMoghul,like
Dulchuearlier,killed,lootedandplunderedthepeople,andmadewomenandchildrentheir
slaves.TheSultanofKashmir,NazukShah,becamealmostapuppetinhishands.Moghuls
wereappointedonhighpostseverywhere,andtheJagirsofKashmirNoblemenwere
confiscated.FormorethanadecadeMirzawasthevirtualrulerofthevalleyandhegave
peaceandorderlyGovernmenttothecountry.HeencouragedKashmirArtandCrafts,and
tradeandcommerceonceagainthrivedinthevalley.ThelastShahmiriruler,SultanHabib
Shah,aweaklingwasdeposedbyhiscommander,andnoblesraisedonthroneGaziChak,a
prominentmilitaryGeneralofthetime.HewasthedirectdescendantofLankarChakwho
hadcometoKashmirtowardsthecloseofHindurule.TheChakrulebeganinKashmirin
1561andlastedtill1587,whenAkbar,thegreatMoghulEmperorconqueredKashmir.

MoghulPeriod
TheMoghulsremainedinpowerhere,from1587to1752,andinthisperiodundoubtedlythe
peopleenjoyedpeaceandorderlyGovt.Thereweresomerapaciousofficers,butonthe
complaintofthepeopletheMoghulrulersimmediatelyremovedthem.Itwasin1579that
illuminatedMoghulemperorAkbarvisitedKashmir.AbouteightythousandKashmiriswere
entertainedbyAkbaratIdGah.DuringhisreignRajaTodarMal,thegreatFinanceand
RevenueMinister,maderevenuesettlementofthevalley,whichinitsbroadfeaturesforms
thebasisofthepresentrevenuesettlementinthevalley.Akbarbuiltanewtownnear
HariparbatandcalleditNagarMagarandbuiltthemassivewallaroundthehill.Thegreat
emperorvisitedthevalleythreetimes,andwithhim,camealargenumberofMoghul
grandees,noblemenandarmygenerals.Thefameofthevalleyspreadthroughoutthe
countryandaverylargenumberofpeoplestartedtovisitthevalley.Butactuallyitwasin
thetimeofJahangirthatthebeautyofthestateattractedthousandsofvisitorstothehappy
valley.ThegreatemperorvisitedtheStatethirteentimes.TheMoghulrulersnevercame
alone,butwerealwaysaccompaniedbyhundredsofNobles,AmirsandUmras,Princesand
ArmyGenerals.Jahangircamevirtually,underthespellofthescenicbeautyoftheplace,
andwhereverhefoundahillcomingdowngentlytoaspringoragroveofmajesticChinar
treesorabeautifullake,heutilisedtheplaceforplantingapleasuregarden.Shalimarand
NishatgardensonthebanksofDalLake,wouldkeepJahangir'slovefornaturalbeautyever
freshinourmemory.HelaidgardensatAchableandVerinag.Perhapsnootherrulerhas
http://www.koausa.org/Crown/history.html

11/16

1/10/2016

AnOutlineoftheHistoryofKashmir

everpaidsomuchtributetothebeautyofKashmirasJahangirdid.
ShahJahanalsovisitedthehappyvalleyanumberoftimesandhetoowasaccompaniedby
alargenumberofnobles.OwingtothelongpeacefulruleofthethreeMoghulKings,
hundredsofpeoplenowbegantocometoKashmirtofindmentalpeace,toregaintheir
healthorattainspiritualsalvation.ShahJahanlaidthegardenofChashmashaiandalsobuilt
aportionofShalimar.TheMoghulGovernorAliMardenKhanalsolaidoutanumberof
gardens.AurangzebvisitedKashmironlyoncein1665.Aninterestingaccountofthe
emperor'sjourneytothevalleyhasbeengivenbyaFrenchtravellerFrancisBernierwho
accompaniedtheEmperor.Thetravellergivesafavourableimpressionofthepeopleinhis
book."TheKashmirisarecelebratedforwit.Inpoetryandsciencestheyarenotinferiorto
Persians.Theyarealsoactiveandindustrious.Theworkmanship,andbeautyoftheir
Palkies,bedsteads,inkstand,axes,spoonsandvariousotherthingsarequiteremarkable,and
articlesoftheirmanufactureareinuseineverypartofIndia.Theyperfectlyunderstandthe
artofvarnishing,andareeminentlyskilfulincloselyimitatingthebeautifulveinsofa
certainwood,byinlayingwithgoldthreadssodelicatelywrought,thatneversawanything
moreelegantorperfect.ButwhatmaybeconsideredpeculiartoKashmirandthestaple
commodity,thatwhichparticularlypromotesthetradeofthecountry,andfillsitwith
wealth,istheprodigiousquantityofshawlswhichtheymanufacture,andwhichgives
occupationtoherchildren."
Aurangezeb'sreignwasasignalforrevoltsandrebellionsinseveralpartsofthecountry.In
distantpartsoftheempirecommencedaneraoflawlessness,anarchyanddisorder.Many
statesbecameindependentundertheirsubedharswhofoundednewindependentstates.A
reignofdisorderalsostartedinKashmir.TheMoghulGovernorsbegantolootandplunder
thepeople,andatthesametimeruthlesslystartedapolicyofreligiousbigotryand
fanaticism.TherewasabsolutechaosinnorthernIndiaaftertheinvasionofNadirShahof
Persia.ThepeopleofKashmircouldnolongertoleratethemisruleofMoghulsatraps,and
accordinglywhenAhmadShahAbdaliofKabulwasatLahorein1752,twoKashmir
noblemanMirMuquimKantandKhwaj'aZahirDidmari,waiteduponhimatLahore,and
disgracefullyrequestedhimtobringKashmirunderhiscontrol.

AfganRule:17521819
AhmadShah,afreehooterofNadirShahgladlyacceptedthisofferandimmediately
despatchedastrongandapowerfulAfganarmyunderthecommandofAbdullahKhanlshik
Aqasi,tooccupythevalley.TheMoghulsatrapofferedastrongresistance,butwasdefeated
andtheAfganGovernorplantedtheAfganflagontherampartsofAkbar'stownatNogar.
TheruleofMoghulsinKasmircametoanendalthoughitcontinuedtoexistinnorthern
India,nominallyupto1857.KashmirremainedadependencyofKabulrulerstill1819,
roughlyaperiodof67years.
ThePathanruleisthedarkestperiodinthehistoryofourstate.TherulersofKabulwere
greatdespots,andtheyruledallthepartsoftheirkingdomruthlesslyandwithanironhand.
Thecornerstoneoftheirpolicywasterror.AsmanyastwentyeightDurraniSubedars
governedKashmirduringthesesixtysevenyears.TheKashmirnoblemanhadexpectedthat
Abdaliwouldgivethemagoodandastablegovernment,buttheveryfirstAfgangovernor
AbdullahKhanAquasi,immediatelyafterassumingpowersstartedareignofterror.People
begantobelootedandkilledindiscriminately,andeventhepettyAfgansolidersbeganto
amasswealthbythefoulestpossiblemeans.Mostofthewelltodopeopleofthevalleywere
http://www.koausa.org/Crown/history.html

12/16

1/10/2016

AnOutlineoftheHistoryofKashmir

summonedbytheGovernortohispalace,andorderedtosurrenderalltheirwealthonpainof
death.Theirhouseswerecompleteysacked,andmanypeoplewereputtosword.Therewas
completegloomanddespaironeveryside.Alltheprosperityofthevalleywasgone,andthe
peoplecouldnotevenmoveonthestreets,forfearofbeingrobbedofeventheirscanty
clothing.EachandeverydayforaKashmiriwasadayofstruggleanduncertainty.Asill
luckwouldhaveit,onlyweakandworthlessAmirsgovernedKabul,afterthedeathof
Abdali.TheseAmirswouldeitherbequicklydeposedorassassinated.Naturallyaccessionof
everynewAmirwouldmeanappointmentofanewSubedarinKashmir.Henceevery
Governorexpectedhisrecallordismissalatanytime.Thisunertaintymadetheserapacious
governorsruthless,andtheysqueezedeverypennyfromthepeoplemercilessly.
Itistrue,thatallsectionsofpeoplesufferedhereduringtheirtime,butthechiefvicitimsof
thesefiendsweretheHindus,ShiasandBombasofJhelumvalley.
ItisstrangethatduringthisdarkperiodaHindualsobecameaGovernorhere.Hisnamewas
RajaSukhJeevanMal.ItwasonlyinhistimethatKashmirheavedasighofrelief.Hewas
afterwardsdefeatedandkilledbyAhmadShah.ThePathanrulersarenowonlyrememberd
fortheirbrutalityandcruelity,anditissaidofthemthattheythoughtnomoreofcuttingoff
headsthanpluckingaflower.

SikhRule:181946
Atlastthereignofterrorbrokethepatienceofthepeacelovingpeople,andadeputationof
KashmirisledbyPanditBirbalDhar,andhissonPanditRajakakDhar,leftforLahoreand
ferventlyrequestedMaharajaRanjitSinghtoconquerKashmir.ThreeprominentMuslims
helpedPanditBirbalDharinhisescapefromthevalley.TheywereAbdulQadoosGojwari,
MallickZulfiqarandMalikKamgar.In1819,30,000solidersofMaharajaRanjitSingh
attackedKashmir,defeatedthePathans,andthestatebecameapartofRanjitSingh'sempire.
Onreceiptofthenews,MaharajaRanjitSinghbestowedhonoursinDharfamilyandLahore
wasilluminatedforthreedays,Sikhrulelastedforonly27yearsandduringthisperiod10
Governorsadministersdthecountryoneafteranother,outofwhomthelasttwowere
Muslims.InthebeginningSikhrulealsoprovedtobeoppressive."Itmusthavebeenan
intenserelief",writesLawrence,"toallclassesinKashmirtoseethedownfalloftheevil
ruleofPathan,andtononewasthereliefgreaterthantothepeasantswhohadbeencruely
fleecedbytherapacioussardarsofKabul.IdonotmeantosuggestthattheSikhrulewas
benignorgood,butitwasatanyratebetterthatthatofthePathans."TheSikhruleover
Kashmirlastedonlyforabriefspanoftime,duringwhichtherulersatLahorewerefartoo
preoccupiedathometopayanyattentiontotheaffairsofthisoutlyingprovinceoftheirs.
Themiseryofthepeopleincreasedduetonaturalcalamitiesaswell,suchasprematuresnow
falls,whichwoulddestroyaripericecropleadingtofamines.Thesefamineswerefollowed
bydiseaseslikecholeraandplague,resultinginaheavylossoflife.Thousandsofpeople
migratedtoIndiaduringtheseharddays,andnowonderthepopulationofthevalleycame
downtotwolakhsfrom8lakhs.
Mr.RanelTaylerwhovisitedKashmirin1846writesaboutKashmir,"Thetownpresentsa
verymiserableapperance.Thehousesmadeofwoodaretumblingineverydirection.The
streetsarefilthyforwantofdrainage,noneofthebazarslookedwellfilledandprospseous
andaltogethermyridemademeveryunhappy".Moorcraftwhovisitedthevalleyin1835
writes,"Everywherethepeoplewereinmostabjectcondition,notonesixteenthofthe
cultivablelandisundercultivation,andtheinhabitantsarestarving.Theywereina
http://www.koausa.org/Crown/history.html

13/16

1/10/2016

AnOutlineoftheHistoryofKashmir

conditionofextremeweakness.Villageswerehalfdesertedandthosewholivedtherewere
thesemblanceofextremesickness.Villageswerefilthyandswarmingwithbeggars.The
ruralfolkonthewholewerehalfnakedandmiserablyemaciatedandpresentedaghastly
pictureofpovertyandstarvation".Suchwasthegeneralconditionofthestatewhen
MaharajaRanjitSinghdiedin1830.HisdeathwasasignalforthemutinyofSikhArmy
whichbecomeuncontrollable,andplungeentirePunjabintoconfusionandchaos.

DograPeriod:18461957
ThetwoAngloSikhwarsledtothefinalextinctionofSikhsoverigntyinthePunjabandby
virtueofthetreatiesofLahoreandAmritsartheBritishwhohadbynowbecomeundisputed
mastersofIndia,transferredandmadeoverinperpetuity,theindependentpositiontothe
MaharajaGulabSinghandheirsmaleofhisbody,allthehillyandmountaneouscountry
situatedtotheeastofIndus,andwestofRaviriver.Inconsiderationofthistransfer
MaharajaGulabSinghpaidtotheBritishgovernmentthesumof75lakhsofrupees.
MaharajaGulabSinghenteredSrinagaron9thNovember1848at8inthemorning.The
DograroyallinetracesitsdescentfromtheancientKshatriyasmentionedfrequentlyin
Mahabharata.TheDograrulerclaimedthattheybelongtotheSuryaVanshi(sunborn)race.
MaharajaGulabSinghwasamanofgreatvigour,foresightanddetermination.Herepressed
oppositionandcrimewithanironhandandhewasuniversalyfearedandrespected.He
crushedgangsoforganizedplunderers,andmurderersinthevalleyknownasGalwans,and
alsobrokethepowerofBombasandKhokhastheinhabitantsofJhelumvalleyregionbelow
Varamulla,whobroughthavoctoeveryhomeinthevalleybyfollowingapolicyofarson
andplunder.Largenumberoffortswerebuiltintheirterritorywhichweregarrisonedwith
troops.Itwasbecauseofhisenergeticmeasuresthattheconditionsofthepeopleimproved
andaftermanyyearssomeconfidencewasinspiredinthepermaneceofadministration.The
peoplegotaspellofpeaceandorder,aftercenturiesoflawlessness.Thegreatestserviceof
thefirstDograruleristhefoundationhelaidofthemodernJammuandKashmirState.It
wasGulabSinghwhoconqueredonebyonedifferentplacesandregionsofthestate,
Jammu,.Poonch,RamNagar,Basoli,Bhahderwah,Kishtwar,Bhimbar,Rajauri,Sikardu,
Kharmang,Kiris,Khaplu,Sheghar,AstorGilgit,Chitral,Yasin,Hunza,Nagar,andPunial.
InthewordsofK.M.Panikaranareaofmorethaneightythousandsq.milesincludingpart
ofTibet,aswellaspartofPamier,besidesthegenuinelykingdomsofJammuandKashmir
cameintoMaharajaGulabSingh'spossession.Thisareahadneverbeeneffectivelyunited
underonerulerandmuchofitwithofcourse,theexceptionofthevalleyofKashmirhad
neverknownanysettledgovt."WritesP.N.Bamzai:"MahrajaGulabSinghistheonly
Indianrulertohavecarvedoutastateduringthe19thcenturyoutofthewreckageofthe
greatkingdomofSikhs.MoreoverheistheonlyIndianrulertohaveextendedthefrontiers
ofIndiatotheirnaturalboundary."EvenDr.Softwhoisnotverykindinhiscomments
writesabouthim:"GulabSinghwasunquestionablyaremarkablefigureinthehistoryof
NorthernIndiaduringthefirsthalfofthe19thCentury.Hewasadistinguishedsoldierand
diplomatandknewthestatecraftofhisowndaysexceedinglywell."
TheMaharajadiedin1857afteraruleof11years,duringwhichperiodhelaidthe
foundationofasoundsystemofadministration.HewassucceededbyMaharajaRanbir
Singhwhoruledfrom1857to1885.Itwasinhistimethattheruleoflawcommencedinthe
state.Almostallthelaws,civilandcriminal,whichtheBritishhadintroducedinIndiawere
withsomemodificationsmadeapplicabletothestate.Thevariousstatedepartmentswere
organisedonthepatternofdepartmentsastheseexistedinBritishIndia.Aslightattempt
wasalsomadetoassesstheamountoflandrevenueatafixedamount.
http://www.koausa.org/Crown/history.html

14/16

1/10/2016

AnOutlineoftheHistoryofKashmir

In1885MaharajaSirPratapSinghascendedthethroneandheruledforaperiodof40years.
ItisinthetimeofthisMaharajathattherealmodernisationofthestatetookplaceand
severalprogressivereformswerecarriedthrough.SirWalterLawrencecarriedthefirst
assessmentoflandrevenuesysteminthestateonscientificlines.Thetwomountainroads
JhelumvalleyroadandBanihalCartroadwerebuiltlinkingthestatewiththerestofIndia.
Aschemefordrainageofthevalleyreclaimingwastelandandpreventingfloodsbydigging
floodchannelswasputintooperation.ConstructionofwaterreservioratHarwanand
establishmentofelectricgeneratingplantatMohrawasalsoundertakenduringthisperiod.
Twocollegesinthestatebesideslargenumberofeducationinstitutionswerealso
establishedbytheorderoftheMaharaja.Theadministrativemachinerywascompletely
overhauled.Therewasdevelopmentinthemeansofcommunicationandtelegraphs,
telephonesandpostofficeswereopenedinmanyplaces.TheisolationofKashmirfromthe
restofthecountrywasnowathingofthepast,andlargenumberofpeople,mostly
europeansbegantovisitthevalley.Thefameofthevalley,itsclimateandbeautyspreadin
allpartsoftheworldanditcantrulybesaidthataneraoftouristtrafficstartedinright
earnestinthestate.ManyeffortsweremadebyEnglishmentoobtaintherightofpurchasing
landhereforbuildinghouses.ThiswouldhaveturnedKashmirintoaBritishColony.The
Maharajastoutlyrefusedtoentertaintheproposal,andthisactuallyledtotheconstructionof
HouseBoats.AfterthedeathofMaharajaPratapSinghhisnephewMaharajaSirHariSingh
ascendedthethronein1925.Hecontinuedtogovernthestatetill1950.Duringthisperiod,
largenumberofIndiansandalsoforeignerscametoenjoythebracingclimateofthevalley.
GulmargbeforeindependencealmostlookedlikeanEnglishtownduringsummer.Thesame
wasthecasewithNaginLake.MaharajaHariSinghmodernisedthestateandcarriedouta
largenumberofreforms.Itwasinhistimethatthepopularelementsbegantobeassociated
withtheGoverment.Themostimportantthingthathadfarreachingconsequencesinthe
futurehistoryofthestatewasthebirthofpoliticalpartiesandthegrowthofpolitical
consciousnessinthestateduringthisperiod.Butevenmoreimportantwastheliberationof
thecountryfromtheBritishYokein1947,thatendedallthetracesofforeigndomination,
absolutismandautocracyinourcountry.Itwason26thJan.1957thattheKashmir
ConstiuentAssemblyendedthehereditaryruleoftheHindumonarchyinthestateexacly
afteronehundredandtenyearsofitsestablishment.TheliberationofIndia,facilitatedthe
establishmentofresponsiblegovernmentinJammuandKashmirState,buttheliberisation
alsobroughtthedivisionofourcountryonreligiousandcommunalconsideration.This
divisionledtodisatrousconsequencesplungingnorthernIndiaintoasortofbloodycivil
war.ThePakistanGovernmentinvadedthestate,andencouragedtheTribalpeopleandother
titanichordesofmedievalbarbarismtocarryloot,plunder,deathanddestructionintothe
hearthsandhomesofinnocentKashmirisingeneralandamongHindusinparticular.
PakistanwantedtograbKashmir,eventhoughitsrulerinthetermsofIndependanceAct,
hadaccededtoIndia,andsignedtheinstrumentofAccessionasrequiredunderthesaidAct.
ThemainburdenofPakistaninvasionhadtobebornebytheHindusofthedistrictsof
Muzzafarbad,Baramulla,Poonch,Rajuari,Mirpur,Bhimber,Kotli,Skardu,Gilgitand
Ladhak.Thousandsofpeoplebecamethevictimsandlosttheirlivesfornofaultoftheirs,
andpropertyworthcroresaccumulatedfordecadeswaslostjustwithinaweekstime.
ThiswastheresultofthemightyCongressPartywithitshostofgallantleadersbowing
disgracefullybeforefanaticism,'TwoNationTheory',anditsauthorMr.Jinah.
TheCongressleadersacceptedthepartitionofIndia,buttotallyignoredorcouldnotperhaps
realiseitsdisastrousconsequences.Inshort,theHindusherehavepaidthepenaltyrather
heavily.Kashmirwasattackedin1965and1971byPakistan.Inspiteofthesehistorical
vicissitudesthepopulargovernmenthasbeentryingitslevelbesttomitigatethesufferingof
http://www.koausa.org/Crown/history.html

15/16

1/10/2016

AnOutlineoftheHistoryofKashmir

thepeople,thankstothegenerousfinancialassistanceoftheCentralGovernment.
TheimportanceofthestateofJammuandKashmirshouldneverbelostsightof,becausethe
bordersofourcountryheretouchtheboundariesofPakistanandChinathetwostates
whicharehostiletoIndia.
Kashmiri Overseas Association

http://www.koausa.org/Crown/history.html

Back to INDEX page

16/16