Table of Contents

   Kashmiri Poets
   Poetry Books
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Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

Panun Kashmir


Symbol of Unity


Mystic Trends in Kashmiri Poetry

Kashmir, which is known as the 'paradise on earth', has been the abode of eminent scholars, savants, historians and poets, like Bilhan, Mamatachary, Anandavardhana, Gunaverman, Abhinavagupta, Jonaraja, Kalhana, etc. These luminaries had mastery over Sanskrit language. During the Muslim rule, Persian became the court language. Kashmiri scholars did not lag behind in acquiring mastery in this language also and produced scholars and poets like Gani Kashmiri, Munshi Bhawani Dass Kachroo, Hyder Malik Chadura, Narayan Kaul Ajiz, Muhammad Azam Didmari, etc. Besides them, there were saints and poets who preferred to use their own Kashmiri dilect for conveying their messages and thoughts. These included both men and women. Most prominent among them were Sheikh Noor-u-Din Noorani, Lal Ded, Rupa Bhawani, Habba Khatoon and Arinimaal. 

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Lal Ded
In Kashmir, some people consider her a poet, some consider her a holywoman and some consider her a sufi, a yogi, or a devotee of Shiva. Sume even consider her an avtar. But every Kashmiri considers her a wise woman. Every Kashmiri has some sayings of Lalla on the tip of his tongue. The Kashmiri language is full of her sayings.
  Habba Khatoon
Habba at the very outset of her poetic career rebelled against the prevalent standards of poetry-writing. Textbook idealism is not found in the dictionary of her pulsating emotions. She did not also try to bridge the distance between the ideal and the real. Her substantial contribution in this domain is to interpret her life as it was and not what it should be.
Rupa Bhawani
Rupa Bhawani was the second great mystic poet of 17th century. She had a great and deep experience of ups and downs of life. The worldly sufferings showed her the path of spiritual life. Her spiritual 'Guru' was her father Pandit Madhav Joo Dhar who initiated her into the mysteries and practices of yoga. She gave rich mystic poetry to Kashmiri language. In her poetry, we can find the influence of both Kashmir Shaivism and Islamic Sufism.
  Ghulam Ahmad Mahjoor
Mahjoor has a place of honor among the poets of Kashmir. He is especially noted for two things. First, he introduced a new style into Kashmiri poetry. Second, he introduced a new thought into Kashmiri poetry. Mahjoor wrote poems of freedom and progress in Kashmiri. These songs awakened the sleeping Kashmiris. He came with a new voice and a new (literary) form.
Swami Govind Kaul
His devotional lyrics reveal that he was deeply influenced by the thought-current of Mansurul-Halaj as well and he freely used the popular idiom of his own Kashmiri dialect, being a blend of Sanskrit, Persian and Arabic. His songs are rich in imagery, and the vocabulary he employs to convey his inner experiences suggests, unmistakably, how he too must have followed the same spiritual path that Lalleshwari had treaded several centuries before him.
  Krishnajoo Razdan
Razdan Sahib is proud of Kashmiri language which is the principal medium of his poetic expression. He regards it dearest to the Mother Goddess. He is convinced that salvation for Kashmiris is attainable only by singing praises of the Mother Goddess in Kashmiri language. Razdan Sahib's poetry objectifies his perpetual struggle for comprehending the mysterium tremendum enveloping man all around.
Master Zinda Kaul
Masterji built his personality brick by brick. The foundation for this was provided. by the Hindu mystic lore especially by the Kashmir Shaivism. Vedanta and the Upanishads also acted as the cementing link to make it more broad-based. Both are portrayed most eloquently in his 'Sumaran'.
  Dina Nath Nadim
His poetry has contributed to Kashmir's struggle for freedom. Nadim also wrote the first opera in the Kashmiri language, entitled, bombir ti yembirzal "The Bumblebee and the Narcissus". Nadim has greatly influenced the young Kashmiri poets of today. Kashmiri poetry is still going through the Nadim era.
Subhash Kak
Subhash Kak has been called India's leading expressionist poet. He is the author of two other books of poetry "The Conductor of the Dead and Other Poems" and "The London Bridge and Other Poems". His poems have appeared in leading journals of Hindi and English poetry in India and the West.
  Maharaj Kaul
Maharaj Kaul, who was born in the beautiful Vale of Kashmir in northern India, is an engineer by profession. He has written many articles and poems that have been published in periodicals in the U.S. and India. His main interests are in science and philosophy. He is currently engaged in writing a book on human culture and is planning a sequel to Meditation On Time.
Lalita Pandit
Lalita Pandit is a Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin -La Crosse where she teaches courses in Shakespeare, Literary Theory, International Studies in Literature, and general writing and communication courses. Her published books include, Criticism and Lacan: Essays and Dialogue on Language, Structure, and the Unconscious.
  Arti (Tiku) Kaul
Arti has been trained and groomed as a accomplished singer by her Guru Shri T. K. Jalali. Arti has performed in major Indian cities and has represented the Government of India in West Indies, Venezuela, and North America in cultural and social exchange programs.
K L Chowdhury
A deeply sensitive poet with a great reverence for nature and the culture of his people, Kundan Lal Chowdhury has lived through and witnessed the rise of militancy, the exodus of Kashmiri Hindus from the valley, the destruction of the composite culture as well as the degradation of the environment and the ecology of Kashmir.

Chandra DasiChandra Dassi's Vakhs

Chandra Dassi is daughter of Late Pandit Gwash Lal Ganjoo of Rainawari, Srinagar, Kashmir. She is born at Anantnag, Kashmir and had early education there. Her father owned a landed estate at Anantnag. She is married to Sh. Raj Nath Dassi. >>> 

Dina Nath Walli
The natural grandeur of the valley had a magic effect on young Walli's mind who was simply bewitched by the colourful phenomena pervading throughout the length and the breadth of Kashmir. Having drunk at the source he worked with a true abandon and revelled in the ecstasy of his own creative composition. >>>
Arjan Dev Majboor
Arjan Dev Majboor (real name Arjan Nath Koul) of Zainapura in Pulwama District (b.1924) saw many vicissitudes in his early life. His calm exterior, which Moti Lal Saqi has called deceptive, belies the turmoil his heart has passed through. He has had a chequered career. Orphaned very early, his life was a courageous and determined struggle against want. 
  Rahul Razdan
Rahul Razdan belongs to the family of Razdans, from the village Mahanoor. He was enjoying his childhood in the lush green meadows and snowy peaks of Kashmir, when our community was forced into exile. He and his family became refugees in our own country.
Makhan Lal Kaul Mahav
Noted poet and Journalist, started as a teacher but turned to journalism afterwards. Through the literary columns of the newspaper KHIDMAT he gave many budding writers opportunities to express themselves.  >>>
  Kashi Nath Revoo Shehjaar
A Sanskrit scholar whose command on the language could be outshined only by him preferred to maintain a low profile throughout his life. Translating English poetry into Sanskrit was his favorite past time. He wrote devotional songs in Kashmiri and Hindi. >>>
Prem Nath Premi
Pt. Prem Nath Premi, a well known writer of Kashmir, was born in Srinagar on 29th September, 1929 to a family of humble means. He had a strong urge to study which enabled him to obtain Master's degree in several subjects.  >>>
  Subhash Premi
Subhash ji writes poems in Hindi. He is known for his artistic skills of playing Kongo.  >>>

Mohan Lal Razdan
Sh. Mohan Lal Razdan was experienced personality and has authored many Kashmiri poems/bhajans/ghazals. His poems are mainly based on mysticism and belief that the world is mortal. He has followed the path of his Guru Late Swami Madsudhan Razdan. >>>

  Dr. Roshan Lal SarafDr. Roshan Saraf
A Medical Doctor by profession. Writer & Poet in Kashmiri, Urdu, Hindi, English; Singer, Musician & Anchor by passion. >>>

Prem Nath ShadPrem Nath Shad
Prem Nath Shad writes ghazals, nazms, vatsuns, bhajans, marsias, naat, poems for children, essays and translations. He is an approved poet by All India Radio (Radio Kashmir) and Doordarshan. >>>

  Jawahar Lal SaroorJawahir Lal Raina 'Saroor'
Sh. Saroor writes ghazals, nazms, vatsuns, bhajans, rubayaat, fictions, marsias, poems for children, and essays. He is an approved poet by All India Radio (Radio Kashmir/Jammu) and Doordarshan. >>>


Som Nath Bhat 'Veer'Som Nath Bhat 'Veer'   Sarojini KakSarojini Kak
Arnimal - A Leading Light
Born in the eighteenth century, nearly two hundred years after Habba Khatoon, Arnimal followed in the wake of the tradition of her predecessor and made the love lyrics adopted by Habba Khatoon more of a plaintive wail. Arnimal's lyrics are masterpieces of Kashmiri language. 
  Abdul Ahad "Azad" - The Poet of Tomorrow
'Azad' is inherently possessed of uncommon consciousness of head and heart. He has never elected to go into the shell like other Kashmiri Romanticists. Instead, he has tried to analyse Man in every sense of the word, bereft of any curves or blind alleys.
Ksemendra - The Peoples' Poet
Ksemendra did not err in his duty towards his brethren and though being a rebel did initiate a very healthy trend in the sanskrit literary tradition. He made heroes and heroines of ordinary mortals in flesh and blood - the courtesan, the clerk, the miser and many others culled from ordinary life.
He started writing poetry from a very young age and generally his poetic compositions used to be very short, crisp and meaningful. He always used a very simple language in his Urdu compositions and used to describe the complexities of life in the shortest possible sentence in plain words.
Shamas Faqir - Religious Mysticism
With the advent of Islam in India, Persian studies gained popularity among the literary sections of the society, that included the Hindus and the Muslims alike. This led to an interchange of concepts from Vedanta and Sufism between the two communities. 
  Saint-Poet Mirza Kak
After Lal Ded, Sahzanand and Roopa Bhawani, the Valley was again blessed with the birth of one more saint- poet Mirza Kak, who contined the Vakh parampara in Kashmir. Vakhs are the quintessence of spiritual and religious sayings and utterances of mystics and saints.
Mahmud Gami
Mahmud Gami (1765-1855) introduced in Kashmiri the Persian forms of the masnavi and ghazal. He is noted for his work Yusuf Zulaikha, a poem which is a major contribution to Kashmiri literature.
  Avatar Bhatt
Avatar Bhatt (15th century) was a court-poet to King Zain-ul-Abidin and a noted scholar of Sanskrit and Persian. He is known for his work Banasur Katha (The Story of the Demon Banasur).
Rasool Mir
Love, is the waft a
nd whoop, the craft and creed of Rasul Mir (He lived love, sang love, and lives for his love-ful passion). Love, the first strings of human heart that present the whole universe as an undulating poem. >>>
  Samad Mir
Samad Mir (1894-1959), known for his outstanding work Akanandun (The Only Son), continued the Sufi-mystic tradition in Kashmiri poetry in the 20th century. Samad Mir has used the folk tale of Akanandun to give expression to his own mystical ideas and present a synthesis between Tassavuf (sufism) and Trika (Shaivism).
Maqbool Shah Kralawari
Maqbool Shah Kralawari (1820-'76) was educated in Persian literature and is considered as the finest lyricist of the 19th century Kashmir. In his Malanama, he lacerated the 'mullahs' for being hand in glove with the ruthless landlords but masquerading as the defenders of virtue and the redeemers of the poor.


Mystic Trends in Kashmiri Poetry
Ours is a great country. We have had for centuries a great history, the whole of the East reflects our culture. We have to present what India taught right from the Mohenjo-Darro and Harappa times. These are the precious words of Dr S. Radhakrishnan. Kashmir is the most important part of this great country with a rich geographical, historical, cultural and literary background. It is known as a famous seat of learning. Kalhana has given us the first chronological order of the kings of Kashmir and thus Rajtarangini is the first history of Kashmir written in the 12th Century. >>>
  Four Famous Poetesses of Kashmir
Kashmir, which is known as the 'paradise on earth', has been the abode of eminent scholars, savants, historians and poets, like Bilhan, Mamatachary, Anandavardhana, Gunaverman, Abhinavagupta, Jonaraja, Kalhana, etc. These luminaries had mastery over Sanskrit language. During the Muslim rule, Persian became the court language. Kashmiri scholars did not lag behind in acquiring mastery in this language also and produced scholars and poets like Gani Kashmiri, Munshi Bhawani Dass Kachroo, Hyder Malik Chadura, Narayan Kaul Ajiz, Muhammad Azam Didmari, etc. >>>
Contribution to Poetics and Dramaturgy
External Site
  Ksemendra - A People's Poet
External Site
Poetry of Shaik-Ul-Alam
External Site
  Chakbast: The Poet of Patriotism
External Site
Articles taken from:

Bhagwaan Gopinath ji Ashram 

Glimpses of Kashmir
Shri Parmanand Research Institute
Srinagar, Kashmir

Kashmir Sabha, Calcutta

Koshur Samachar
Kashmir Bhawan 
Amar Colony, Lajpat Nagar 
New Delhi - 110 024 



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