History Archive Icon

History Archive

Kashmir

Kashmir Collection

History Archive - Kashmir Collection

Kashmir, or Cashmere, a native state of India, including much of the Himalayan mountain system to the north of the Punjab.

It has been fabled in song for its beauty (e.g. in Moore’s Lalla Rookh), and is the chief health resort for Europeans in India, while politically it is important as guarding one of the approaches to India on the north-west frontier. The proper name of the state is Jammu and Kashmir

Kashmir is bounded on the north by some petty hills chiefships and by the Karakoram mountains; on the east by Tibet; and on the south and west by the Punjab and North-West Frontier provinces. The remainder of the state consists of uninhabited mountains, and its only really important possessions are the districts of Jammu and Kashmir.

Its territories in the early 20th century comprised the provinces of Jammu (including the jagir of Punch), Kashmir, Ladakh, Baltistan and Gilgit; the Shin states of Yaghistan, of which the most important are Chilas, Darel and Tangir, are nominally subordinate to it, and the two former paid a tribute of gold dust.

Jammu

Jammu, or Jummoo, the capital of the state of Jammu and Kashmir in Northern India, on the river Tavi (Ta-wi), a tributary of the Chenab. Pop. (1901), 36,130. The town and palace stand upon the right bank of the river; the fort overhangs the left bank at an elevation of 150 ft. above the stream. The lofty whitened walls of the palace and citadel present a striking appearance from the surrounding country.

Extensive pleasure grounds and ruins of great size attest the former prosperity of the city when it was the seat of a Rajput dynasty whose dominions extended into the plains and included the modern district of Sialkot. It was afterwards conquered by the Sikhs, and formed part of Ranjit Singh’s dominions. After his death it was acquired by Gulab Singh as the nucleus of his dominions, to which the British added Kashmir in 1846. It is connected with Sialkot in the Punjab by a railway 16 m. long. In 1898 the town was devastated by a fire, which destroyed most of the public offices.

The state of Jammu proper, as opposed to Kashmir, consists of a submontane tract, forming the upper basin of the Chenab. Pop. (1901), 1,521,307, showing an increase of 5% in the decade. A land settlement has recently been introduced under British supervision.

History

In the time of Asoka, about 245 B.C., one of the Indian Buddhist missions was sent to Kashmir and Gandhara. After his death Brahmanism revived. Then in the time of the three Kushan princes, Huvish?a, Jushka and Kanishka, who ruled over Kashmir about the beginning of the Christian era, Buddhism was to a great extent restored, though for several centuries the two religions existed together in Kashmir, Hinduism predominating. Yet Kashmir, when Buddhism was gradually losing its hold, continued to send Buddhist teachers to other lands. In this Hindu-Buddhist period, and chiefly between the 5th and 10th centuries of the Christian era, were erected the Hindu temples in Kashmir.

In the 6th and 7th centuries Kashmir was visited by some of the Chinese Buddhist pilgrims to India. The country is called Shie-mi in the narrative of To Yeng and Sung Yun (578). One of the Chinese travellers of the next century was for a time an elephant-tamer to the king of Kashmir. Hsüan Tsang spent two years (631-633) in Kashmir (Kia-chí-mí-lo). He entered by Baramula and left by the Pir Panjal pass. He describes the hill-girt valley, and the abundance of flowers and fruits, and he mentions the tradition about the lake. He found in Kashmir many Buddhists as well as Hindus. In the following century the kings of Kashmir appear to have paid homage and tribute to China, though this is not alluded to in the Kashmir chronicle. Hindu kings continued to reign till about 1294, when Udiana Deva was put to death by his Mahommedan vizier, Amir Shah, who ascended the throne under the name of Shams-ud-din.

Of the Mahommedan rulers mentioned in the Sanskrit chronicles, one, who reigned about the close of the 14th century, has made his name prominent by his active opposition to the Hindu religion, and his destruction of temples. This was Sikandar, known as But-shikan, or the "idol-breaker." It was in his time that India was invaded by Timur, to whom Sikandar made submission and paid tribute. The country fell into the hands of the Moguls in 1588. In the time of Alamgir it passed to Ahmad Shah Durani, on his third invasion of India (1756); and from that time it remained in the hands of Afghans till it was wrested from them by Ranjit Singh, the Sikh monarch of the Punjab, in 1819. Eight Hindu and Sikh governors under Ranjit Singh and his successors were followed by two Mahommedans similarly appointed, the second of whom, Shekh Imam-ud-din, was in charge when the battles of the first Sikh war 1846 brought about new relations between the British Government and the Sikhs.

Gulab Singh, a Dogra Rajput, had from a humble position been raised to high office by Ranjit Singh, who conferred on him the small principality of Jammu. On the final defeat of the Sikhs at Sobraon (February 1846), Gulab Singh was called to take a leading part in arranging conditions of peace. The treaty of Lahore (March 9, 1846) sets forth that, the British Government having demanded, in addition to a certain assignment of territory, a payment of a crore and a half of rupees (1, 1/2 millions sterling), and the Sikh government being unable to pay the whole, the maharaja (Dhulip Singh) cedes, as equivalent for one crore, the hill country belonging to the Punjab between the Beas and the Indus, including Kashmir and Hazara. The governor-general, Sir Henry Hardinge, considered it expedient to make over Kashmir to the Jammu chief, securing his friendship while the British government was administering the Punjab on behalf of the young maharaja.

Gulab Singh was well prepared to make up the payment in default of which Kashmir was ceded to the British; and so, in consideration of his services in restoring peace, his independent sovereignty of the country made over to him was recognized, and he was admitted to a separate treaty. Gulab Singh had already, after several extensions of territory east and west of Jammu, conquered Ladakh (a Buddhist country, and till then subject to Lhasa), and had then annexed Skardo, which was under independent Mahommedan rulers. He had thus by degrees half encircled Kashmir, and by this last addition his possessions attained nearly their present form and extent. Gulab Singh died in 1857, and was succeeded by his son, Ranbir Singh, who died in 1885. The next ruler, Maharaja Partab Singh, G.C.S.I. (b. 1850), immediately on his accession inaugurated the settlement reforms already described. His rule was remarkable for the reassertion of the Kashmir sovereignty over Gilgit (q.v.). Kashmir imperial service troops participated in the Black Mountain expedition of 1891, the Hunza Nagar operations of 1891, and the Tirah campaign of 1897–1898. The total revenue of the state is about £666,000.

See Drew, Jammu and Kashmir (1875); M. A. Stein, Kalhana’s Rajatarangini (1900); W. R. Lawrence, The Valley of Kashmir (1895); Colonel A. Durand, The Making of a Frontier (1899); R. Lydekker, “The Geology of the Kashmir and Chamba Territories,” Records of the Geological Survey of India, vol. xxii. (1883); J. Duke, Kashmir Handbook (1903).

References:

Thomas Hungerford Holdich, Kashmir, 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica, Volume 15. pgs. 686-689.

Jammu, 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica, Volume 15. pg. 149.

Available Books

Images

Image Name
Cane Suspension Bridge Over the Temshang River in the Khassia Hills
View in Sirinugger
The Salt Lake Kiuk Kiol in the Karakash Valley Turkistan
Above Lidarwat, Lidar Valley
A Srinagar Bazaar
The Frozen Lake, Gangabal
The Tannin Glen, Lidar Valley
Evening on the Dal Lake
Monastery of Hemis
The Salt Lake Tsomoriri in Rupchu Western Tibet
Temple Decoration, Himalayas
A Mountain Farm-House
The Valley of the Yarkand River Downwards from Dera Bullu in Turkistan
Central Assam and the Brahmaputra Jungles from Ogri Hill near Tezpur
he Bias Between Amritsar and Jalander Panjab
The Buddhist Monastery Himis near Leh in Ladak
Fort and Lines of Udelguri in the Province of Darrang Assam
A Mountain Glen, before the Melting of the Snows
A Terrace of the Nishat Bagh
Lamieroo
The Peaks and Glaciers of the Sasser Pass in Nuba Tibet [I]
Mount Kolahoi, Lidar Valley
In the Sind Valley
Thibetian Monuments and Wall of Inscribed Stones, Road to Egnemo
Leh the Capital of Ladak in Western Tibet
Interior of the Buddhistic Temple of the Monastery Mangnang in Gnari Khorsum
Pandreton
Mountain Mists
The Residency and Club, Srinagar
Sunset on the Wular Lake
Kotwal from the Forest above Kangan, Sind Valley
Near the Kolahoi Glacier, Lidar Valley
The Summit of Kanchinjinga in the Himalaya of Sikkim
A Wayside Shrine
The Salt Lake Tsomognalari in Pangkong Western Tibet
The Lull before the Storm, Dal Lake
Alluvial Deposits in the Brahmaputra Above Rakusni Hill Assam
Colored Wrapper Front Cover
The Ruins of Martand
Sketch Map of Kashmir
The Summit of Parisnath in Bahar
Sketch of the Panorama from the Takht-i-Sulaiman
A Boatman and his Family
Part III Colored Wrapper
Mouth of the Sind Valley
A Ladaki in Summer Costume
Ruined Palace and Mosque at Bidar
Lake Shisha Nag at Sunset
Magnetic Survey of India and High Asia [III]
Facsimile of a Bhutia Map
The Chuhair Minar Gate of Hyderabad
The Peaks and Glaciers of the Sasser Pass in Nuba Tibet [II]
Looking down the Gurais Valley, from Dudhgai Village
The Salt Lake Tso Mitbal in Pangkong Tibet
The Dominions of the Nizam of Haidarabad including Berar
Exterior of a Buddhist Temple at Penyangchi
The Flats of the Hiron Valley from the Barer Plateau near Kattingi Central India
Sunset on the Jhelum, above Srinagar
Part II Colored Wrapper
Going to the Wedding, Upper Indus Valley
Interior of a Buddhist Temple at Penyangchi
Ruins of Martand near Islamabad
Shalhnar Gardens
In the Mar Canal, Srinagar
Magnetic Survey of India and High Asia [II]
Panorama Profiles [III]
Ruins of Temples, Wangat, Sind Valley
A Hindu Temple, Srinagar
Lalla Rookh's Tomb, Hassan Abdal
Gate of the Outer Wall, Hari Parbat Fort, Srinagar
Illustrations of the Meterology of India and High Asia [III]
The Takht-i-Suliman, from the Residency Garden
Gorge of the Sind Valley at Guggangir
Index Map of Routes
Sketch of the Panorama from the Takht-i-Sulaiman (East-South-West)
The Jhilum or Behut in the Panjab
In the Forest
Panorama Profiles [I] the Himalaya of Bhutan Sikkim and Nepal
Gunesh
The Satlej Valley and the Environs of Rampur in the Western Himalaya
Martund
Front Cover
The Valley of Gurais
Above the Fifth Bridge, Srinagar
Seventh Bridge, Sirinugger
Panorama Profiles [V]
The Drift Sands in the Interior of the Sindh Sager Duab Panjab
Sketch of the Panorama from the Takht-i-Sulaiman (West-North-East)
Panorama Profiles [II]
Sketch Map to Illustrate the Diaries in Nepal and Sikkim
Palm Grove and Singhalese Habitations near Galle Ceylon
Back Cover
Ruined Gateway of Martand
Title Page
Birth of Krishsna
Kadal Bridge Over the Jhelam at Bijbihara

Maps

Map Name
Journals Kept in Hyderabad, Kashmir, Sikkim, and Nepal Vol. 2 - Sketch Map to Illustrate the Diaries in Nepal and Sikkim (1887)
Journals Kept in Hyderabad, Kashmir, Sikkim, and Nepal Vol. 1 - City and Environs of Srinagar in Kashmir (1887)
Journals Kept in Hyderabad, Kashmir, Sikkim, and Nepal Vol. 2 - Map of Kashmir to Illustrate Routes (1887)
Journals Kept in Hyderabad, Kashmir, Sikkim, and Nepal Vol. 1 - Map of India (1887)
Journals Kept in Hyderabad, Kashmir, Sikkim, and Nepal Vol. 2 - Sketch Map Showing the Mountain and River Systems of Sikkim (1887)
Journals Kept in Hyderabad, Kashmir, Sikkim, and Nepal Vol. 1 - The Dominions of the Nizam of Haidarabad including Berar (1887)
Kashmir, Painted and Described - Sketch Map of Kashmir (1911)
Journals Kept in Hyderabad, Kashmir, Sikkim, and Nepal Vol. 1 - The Territories of the Maharaja of Jummoo and Kashmir (1887)

Regions

View All Regions
History of Humanity - History Archive Logo
History of Humanity - History Mysteries Logo
History of Humanity - Ancient Mesopotamia Logo
History of Humanity - Egypt History Logo
History of Humanity - Persian Empire Logo
History of Humanity - Greek History Logo
History of Humanity - Alexander the Great Logo
History of Humanity - Roman History Logo
History of Humanity - Punic Wars Logo
History of Humanity - Golden Age of Piracy Logo
History of Humanity - Revolutionary War Logo
History of Humanity - Mafia History Logo