excavations at Burzahom near Srinagar show that
there was habitation in the Valley around 2000
BC. The earliest inhabitants lived in pits and
buried their dead along with the pet animals
in their compounds. Their identity has not so
far been established.
The Nagas were the
earliest known inhabitants. The Khasas, Dars,
Bhuttas, Damars, Nishadas, Tantrings etc.
appeared later. The Indo-Aryans came after the
water flowed out of the Satisar.
The first known king
of Kashmir was Gonanda. His successors were weak and
insignificant. The more known rulers after Gonanda-II
extended control over Kashmir. He encouraged
(Kanishka, Huska, Juska etc.) Abhimanyu,
Vibhisana I, Indrajit, Ravana, Vibhisana II.
(Founder Durlabhavandhana) (Chinese
Traveller Hiuen Tsang visited Kashmir around
regent for Abhimanyu II and later as ruler)
Buddhist turned Muslim)
||Sultan Sikander (But-Shikan)
Dughlat ( A Mughal general)
(Ghazi Chak, Yousuf Shah etc.)
Singh (Dogra rule)
Kashmir was from the
earliest period, a seat of learning as we find from
the writings of famous Chinese travellers
‘Hieun-Tsang’ & ‘Ou-Kong’. No scholar
could be considered well accomplished unless
and untill he had associated himself with the
illustrious learned men in Kashmir for several years
and taken lessons from them. Kashmir was a
grand arena of science and arts. Innumerable names
of illustrious persons who have attained the
loftiest pitch of glory in the literary world,
can be cited. Kashmir produced scientists like
Charaka, whose books on medicine are a marvel
to the modern medical and surgical world. Men of
culture and letters from distant countries
came here and sat reverentially at the feet of
the great masters of learning and drank deep at the
fountains of abstruse knowledge and arts. From
here, went forth teachers to distant countries with
the torch of learning and dispelled the
darkness of ignorance from there. Throughout
India, Kashi and Kashmir were, from ancient times
famous as the seats of learning but Kashmir
(which was also known as Sharda Peeth) excelled even
Kashi. The learned men of Kashi had to come to
Kashmir to complete their education. Even to
this day, the people of Kashi make their boys walk
seven paces towards
Kashmir during the
perf.mp3ance of the ceremony of their investiture
with the sacred thread as a token of their
having gone to and returned from Kashmir after
completing their education.
Sharda was a famous
seat of ancient learning and pilgrimage. This was
considered a university where scholars would come
from far and near. The famous Kashmiri script
SHARDA was developed here. It is presently in
Pakistan-held part of Kashmir.
of Kashmir history
Kashmir has the
uniqueness of having almost unbroken historical
record from the hoary past to the present day.
It is chiefly because of:
Purana , the earliest known extant history of
Kashmir giving legends about the origin of the
valley. It also gives details of rites, worship of
Nagas, details of Tirthas etc.
Rajatarangini is the most important extant
history of Kashmir written in Sanskrit verse
in 1148-50. Based on extensive research, referring
to Puranas (Kashmir is not mentioned in the
Vedic literature); Nilamata Purana, ancient
account of 51 Tirthas, foreign travellers’
accounts, legends and anecdotes, Kalhana has
built dynastic lists of 54 reigns, covering an
aggregate period of 3050 years. He has given a
connected account with dates from AD 813 onwards.
His work gives a picture of the social, political,
economical and religious condition of the
period. The book has been translated into many
languages. M.A.Stein’s translation and
commentary is a valuable source. It (Rajatarangini)
comprises eight cantos of Sanskrit verse, the
history of various daynasties which ruled
Kashmir from the earliest period down to the time of
the author, who began to write this book in AD 1148,
in the reign of Jai Simha. The Rajatarangini has
become the most direct source of Information on the
history of ancient Kashmir. Allowing for the
legendry character of much that is related in the
first three cantos, it can be accepted as a
reliable record from the seventh century. [WRL
indicated, atleast generally, the material which he
had used for his narration. The more prominent
of them are:
a) Nilamata Purana.
b) Suvrata’s Hand
Book containing condensed contents of previous
historians, whose works were not available to
c) Eleven works of
scholars containing chronicles of kings.
d) Kshemendra’s list
e) Padmamihira, giving
eight royal names starting from Lava.
f) Pillar inscriptions
and copper plates connected with consecration, grant
etc of temples giving dates enabling him to
build connected record and coins.
g) Information from
popular traditions, legends and anecdotes.
h) First hand
Information furnished by his father for the period
before Kalhana’s birth.
i) Kalhana’s personal
observation and recorded facts. [MAS Vol:1. pp
has been updated from time to time, even under
Muslim rule. Jonaraja (in Sanskrit) brought it
ending 1459, Shrivara - ending 1487, Prajya
Bhatta (under Akbar’s orders) ending 1513-14.
Shuka updated it upto 1586. Various historians
under Mughals brought the narration ending 1746.
Abul Fazal’s Ain-a- Akbari is notable
4. Accounts of
foreign travellers are a reliable source. They
include Chinese Heiun Tsang (613 AD), Ou Kong
(750 AD), Alberuni (996-1031 AD) and some Europeon
notably Forester (1783 AD), Bernier (Aurangzeb’s
time), Lawrence & Cunningham (during
and Political History
by P.N.K. Bamzai. P.N.Bazaz and host of
others have also recorded stories of their times.
Kashmir by Munshi Mohd. Din Foq, Khwarik Al-Salikeen
by Mulla Ahmad ( Persian during
Zain-Ul-Abidin’s period), Kashmir by Dr.
G.M.Sofi (Urdu) etc. are also available.
Baharistan-e-Shahi (Writer not known)
1. First king
mentioned by Kalhana is Gonanda (2448 BC - date
disputed). He was a relative of Jarasanda of
Mahabharta fame. He fought against Sri Krishna and
was killed. Lord Krishna had Yasovati, the king’s
pregnant widow installed on the throne. This
unusual procedure, Krishna is made to explain by a
reference to the spiritual importance of
Kashmir land as an incarnation of Parvati. In due
course, a son was born to her. He was named Gonanda
II and crowned as a king. Affairs of the state
were run in his name. The Mahabharata war broke out
when he was an infant. So there was no
participation of Kashmir king in the war.
2. Ashoka made his
capital at Pandrethan and built 96000 dwellings
stretching from Harwan / Nishat upto
Pandrethan (near Badami Bagh). Parvarsena II (580
AD) founded the present Srinagar.
Muktapida (724-761 AD), the grandson of
Durlabavardhana (625-661 AD) and the founder
of Karkota dynasty was the most illustrious of Hindu
rulers. He conquered large parts of the mainland
namely Punjab, Kannauj (even upto present
Bengal), Tibet, Badakhshan and nearby territories.
Alberuni says “Second Chaitra was celebrated
every year as a victory day over Turks”.
of his rule:
a) Hinduism and
Budhism received equal patronage.
b) Patronised scholars
c) Built Martand Temple
and Parihaspura (near Shaadipur) as his
capital. Founder of Hindu school of
d) Got silt and
boulders removed from the Jhelum at Baramulla to
quicken the flow of water of Jhelum - an
(855-883 AD) founder of Utpala dynasty, known for:
a) Patronising great scholars and
philosophers; b) Got silt and boulders removed from
Jhelum by his engineer Suya, because of whom Sopore
(Suyapur) got its name. He also changed the
course of Jhelum through Wular, the biggest fresh
water lake of Asia. He founded the city of
Awantipora near Srinagar - ruins still existing.
5. Didda, daughter
of the chief of Lohara and wife of Kshemagupta
(950-958 AD) was the first known woman ruler
of Kashmir. First as regent of her son (958-972
AD) and later as a ruler (981-1003 AD). She was an
able and courageous administrator.
6. Islam entered
Kashmir through the preachings of some Muslim
saints. By 1301 AD, a few had embraced Islam.
700 Sayyids under the leadership of Shah Hamdan
fled from the persecution of Taimur Lung and came to
7. The End of
Hindu Rule: A stirring drama of intrigue,
rebellion and war for 20 years (1318-1338 AD) was
enacted and finally Muslim rule was established in
Kashmir. The dominating personality during all
these years was Queen Kota - a women with an
unbounded lust for power.
ascended the throne in 1301 (By then, some people
had embraced Islam). He had an able and kind
hearted prime minister and commander-in-chief
by the name of Rama Chandra. His intelligent and
beautiful daughter Kota, who had married
Suhadeva, helped her father in managing the affairs
of the state.
Two foreigners who
were destined to play momentous roles in the history
of Kashmir, were taken by the king in service
to strengthen his hands against unruly
war-lords. First, a fugitive prince supposedly from
Tibet, Rinchana, a Budhist came to Kashmir. [PNK
pp 173 & WRL pp 189] There was a civil war in
Tibet and the Kalmanya Bhuteas had killed the
ruler of the Western Tibet (Ladakh ?).
Rinchana, who was a
prince of royal line, entered the valley through
Zojila pass with several hundred .mp3ed men.
Ramchandra took him in his service. Second, a
Muslim adventurer from Swat, Shah Mir also joined
Rama Chandra. In 1319, Kashmir was attacked by
Dulacha, a Tartar chief from Central Asia. Suhadeva
fled to Kishtwar, his brother Udyanadeva also
fled Kashmir. Rama Chandra, with the help of
his daughter Kota Rani, Rinchana and Shah Mir
managed the affairs of the state for the
period Dulacha stayed in valley, impoverishing and
ravaging it. After eight months, Dulacha, on
his way back home, perished in a snow st.mp3
alongwith thousands accompanying him. That very
time, Gaddis of Kishtwar raided Kashmir but
they were beaten back by the forces sent by
Rama Chandra, who declared himself the king.
Rinchana, who had gained considerable popularity,
rose in revolt, driving Rama Chandra and his
daughter Kota Rani to the fort of Lahra (Lar),
where the f.mp3er was killed by the men of Richana,
who entered the fort in disguise. Kota Rani
married Rinchana, who was declared the king. He
tried in vain to be a Hindu, as none of the
castes would admit him to their brotherhood. He
embraced Islam with the help of Bulbul Shah and took
the name of Sadrudin. Thus he became the first
Muslim king of the valley, though for a short time
of three years. With the help of his wife,
Rinchana ruled wisely and justly. He was
faithfully served by his minister Shah Mir.
In 1323, Rinchana
succumbed to a head injury which he had received
during a strong rebellion organised by
Udyanandeva under the guidance of a powerful baron
Tukka. Rinchana entrusted his son and queen to the
care of Shah Mir. Udyanandeva suddenly
appeared and advanced towards Kashmir with a strong
face. The shrewd Kota Rani offered the throne
as well as her person to him. Udyanandeva ascended
the throne and married Kota Rani with much pomp.
Soon Kota Rani took a f.mp3 hold of the
administration. She ruled wisely, justly but f.mp3ly.
Shah Mir continued to be faithful to the
A Turki, Achala
(Lawrence -Urwan) invaded Kashmir. The King fled
Kashmir like his brother. His wife Kota Rani
sent a well organised .mp3y under Shah Mir
against the foe. Achala was defeated and Udyanandeva
returned. He was received by his victorious
queen and resumed his rule. He ruled for 15 years
till his death in 1338. Kota Rani assumed
power but within 5 months, Shah Mir revolted, seized
power and proposed marriage to Kota Rani, who
ultimately stabbed herself to death. Thus
ended the Hindu royalty in 1339.
Shah Mir assumed the
name of Shamas-Ud-Din (1339-1342) and laid the
foundation of Sultan dynasty which ruled for
222 years ushering in about 500 years of
Shamas-Ud-Din was a
just and an enlightened king. He established peace
and endeared himself to his subjects. His
grandson Shahib-Ud-Din (1354-1373), an
accomplished general, has been called Lalitaditya of
medieval India. He sent his .mp3y on expedition
to Tibet and Afghanistan. He was succeeded by his
brother Qutub-Ud-Din (1373-1389) . He too was
a just and tolerant king.
Qutub-Ud-Din’s younger son Sultan Sikandar, called
Sikandar But-Shikan (idol breaker), the
iconoclast ruled from 1389 to 1430. He was a cruel,
fanatic zealot. He persecuted Kashmiri Hindus,
killed them by thousands and converted them.
Most of the Kashmiri Hindus migrated to the plains.
This was the first mass migration. He
destroyed hundreds of temples and built mosques in
their place and with their material. During
his time, the great Martand temple was
destroyed. Curiously his minister, Saif-Ud-Din was a
recent convert (Brahmin, named Suha Bhatt).
Sultan Sikandar, however was the first Indian
ruler to abolish the practice of Sati.
9. Sikandar’s son
Zain-Ul-Abdin succeeded to the throne in 1420 AD. He
is popularly called Budshah (great king).
Shribhat, a physician, who cured the king of
an otherwise fatal disease, is stated to have
influenced the king in turning a kinder face
to the Hindus. He remitted Jazia imposed on Hindus
by earlier kings. He repaired some temples. He
threw open government services to Hindus. He
taught them Persian. He gave them land grants. He
established his reputation as a kind, just,
benevolent and progressive king. He succeeded in
getting back the Hindus who had migrated
earlier. Zain-Ul-Abidin was virtuous in his private
life, self controlled and frugal, paying all the
expenses of his establishment from the income
from the copper mines which he had discovered. He
built a 12 storeys high magnificient building,
each storey having 50 rooms and in each room, 500
men could sit. This was called Zaena Dab. He helped
agriculturists and promoted
horticulture. He invited art manufacturers from
foreign lands and taught the locals, useful
arts and crafts. He was truely a progressive king
wedded to the welfare and happiness of his
10. a) After
Zain-ul-Abdin, Kashmir, under Sultans witnessed
unrest, disorder, misrule, intrigues and Shia-Sunni
conflicts, fuelled and ignited by Shia-Chaks,
a Dard warrior tribe, till Kazi Chak captured the
throne in 1561. He ruled for 3 years. His
successors resisted the attempts of Babar and
Humayun to annexe Kashmir. The last of the
Chaks, Yusuf Shah Chak, who had married poetess
Habba Khatoon, and who succumbed to the
strategy more than the superior forces of
Akbar’s generals, was lured to visit the Mughal
darbar only to die in a Bihar prison in 1586.
After meeting a meek resitance from Yusuf Shah’s
son, the victorious Mughals entered the Valley
on 14th October, 1586 AD.
b) Mughals, except
Aurangzeb gave a peaceful time. They were builders
Akbar - Hari Parbat Fort.
Jehangir - Shalimar, Nishat (1619 AD), Verinaag
Noor Jehan - Achhabal
Shahjehan - Cheshma Shahi
Dara Shikoh - Pari Mahal
useful administrative ref.mp3s and implemented many
welfare schemes to ameliorate the economic
condition of the people, though in feudal set up.
11. Afghan rule
(1752-1819 AD) was the darkest period. They
persecuted Kashmiri Hindus, who again
migrated, but were mostly killed or forcibly
converted. Only eleven families of them are
stated to have survived death, conversion and
migration. Shias were also persecuted.
12. Tired of
persecution by Afghans, Mirza Pandit Dhar and his
son Birbal Dhar secretly persuaded Maharaja
Ranjit Singh to annexe Kashmir. In 1819,
Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s forces under Misser Diwan
Chand, Raja Gulab Singh of Jammu and Hari
Singh Nalwa, defeated the last Afghan governor Jabar
Khan at Shopian [WRL Pp 198 & PNK]. Misser
Diwan Chand was the first Sikh Governor. He
remained for a short time. Moti Ram was the
second. (Lawrence says he was the first). He
held the office twice. He was gentle and
sympathetic. He is known for having banned
killing of cows. The third Governor Kirpa Ram was
very popular He carried out many improvement
works. He loved dance, music and nature and was in
h.mp3ony with the Kashmiri ethos. He spent much
time in a pleasure-boat in Dal Lake and earned
the nickname of ‘Kirpa Shronya’.
13. Under the Treaty
of Amritsar (16 March 1846) the British made over
the hilly mountainous country (East of Indus
to West of Ravi) to Gulab Singh against a
payment of 75 lakhs of rupees, the amount which
Sikhs owed to British as war indemnity. Gulab
Singh annexed Chilas, Ladakh & Skardu and Ranbir
Singh annexed Gilgit.
14. Hari Singh
ascended the throne in 1926. He declared very
progressive welfare measures. Important events
of his rule are:
i) On 13 July 1931,
muslims demonstrated under Sheikh Abdullah’s
leadership outside the Srinagar Central Jail.
A riot resulted. Some Kashmiri pandits were
killed and some homes and shops looted. Muslim
Conference was founded. Sheikh Abdullah became
its leader. In 1935, Gilgit was leased out to
British government as a colony for 60 years.
ii) In 1938, Muslim
Conference was changed to National Conference. While
some pandits, P.N.Bazaz, Kashyap Bhandu and
others joined it, some muslims Moulvi Yusuf
Shah, Chowdhary Abbas (Mirpur), Mian Ahmed Yar (Muzafarabad)
and others continued with Muslim Conference.
Conference launched Quit Kashmir Movement in 1946.
Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah and many others were
iv) Jawahar Lal
Nehru was arrested at Kohala (now in Pak occupied
Kashmir) while on his way to Srinagar to meet
Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah in jail. R.C.Kak was the
v) Mahatma Gandhi
visited Kashmir in July 1947. R.C.Kak was removed
and made to hand over his charge temporarily
to Thakur Janak Singh. After two months, Mehar
Chand Mahajan was appointed as prime minister.
vi) Kashmir was
raided by tribesmen backed by Pak .mp3y.
Kashmir acceded to India.
of events leading to Kashmir’s accession to India
a) 3rd. June 1947.
India’s partition announced.
b) 17 June 1947.
Govt. of India Act passed by British Parliament.
India would be free on 15th August 1947.
c) Indian states
could accede to either India or Pakistan, keeping
contiguity in view, upto 15th August 1947.
d) Indian states
could enter into stand still agreement with either
or both after 15th August 1947 when British
suzerainty would lapse and the rulers would be
e) Maharaja Hari
Singh entered into stand still agreement with India
and Pakistan. But Pakistan broke it, slammed
economic strangulation, stopping supplies and
suspending transport via Kohala.
organised a massive tribal raid with active
participation of its .mp3ed forces and entered
the State on 22nd. Oct. 1947.
g) Maharaja Hari
Singh signed Instrument of Accession on 26th
October, 1947. Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah signed it
on behalf of the people of Jammu & Kashmir
and Mehr Chand Mahajan signed it on behalf of
Maharaja Hari Singh. It was accepted by
Lord Mountbatten, the Governor General of India, who
also wished that the question of State’s
accession should be settled by a reference to the
people, as soon as the law and order is
h) Indian forces
landed in Kashmir on 27th October 1947.
i) The UN Commission
on India & Pakistan’s resolution of
August 13, 1948, has three parts. Part I
relates to cease fire. Part II made it incumbent
upon Pakistan to withdraw all its forces
regular and irregular. The Part III says, “The
Government of India and the Government of Pakistan
reaff.mp3 their wish that the future status of Jammu
& Kashmir shall be det.mp3ined in accordance with
the will of the people and to that end, upon
acceptance of the Truce Agreement, both
Governments agree to enter into consultation with
the Commission to det.mp3ine fair and equitable
conditions whereby such free expression of the will
j) The subsequent
stand of the Government of India was that the
question of taking up of Part III would arise
after provisions of Part I and Part II were carried
k) India agreed to
cease fire with effect from 1st Jan: 1949 after some
assurances were given to it during the course of
discussions and correspondence with the UN
Commission for India and Pakistan. One of the
assurance given was that “the plebiscite
proposal shall not be binding upon India if Pakistan
does not implement Part I and Part II of the
resolution of August 13, 1948.”
l) On July 27, 1949,
the Karachi Agreement was drawn up on the basis of
which the cease-fire line was delineated and
ancillary points settled.
m) Jammu &
Kashmir elected a Constituent Assembly in 1951,
which abolished the institution of the
hereditary monarchy by a resolution passed on August
21, 1952 and ratified the accession on
February 6, 1954. The new Constitution drawn up
by the Constituent Assembly came into force on
January 28, 1957.
n) Consequent upon
the Government of India and Pakistan entering into
an agreement at Shimla in 1972, the Cease fire
Line with some modifications emerged as the
Line of Control.