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Home>>North India>>Jammu & Kashmir

Jammu & Kashmir


Since the beginning of Pakistanís low intensity proxy war in the state of Jammu & Kashmir in 1989, terrorist violence has a taken a toll of over 20,000 innocent lives. More than 300,000 Hindu and Sikh minorities from Kashmir Valley, and from the border areas have been displaced. Terror and intimidation have wrecked the peace for civillian life in the state and cross border terrorism continues to take a daily toll of innocent lives. Recently, Pakistan used the Kargil invasion to sneak in a large number of armed merecenaries into the state, who ratcheted up the violence one more notch, gravely hampering people's participation in the recent Lok Sabha elections..

Yet the issue of a plebiscite, given much currency by Pakistan and by the imperialist powers, continues to haunt many well-meaning Indians who feel that India stands on morally weak ground by insisting on the Simla Agreement and rejecting a referendum. The demand for a plebiscite in J&K is highly misunderstood. There is a myth that the demand for a plebiscite reflects the aspirations of all (or a sizable majority) of the state's population, and is the only way for the people of J&K to articulate their right to self-determination. Although seemingly well-intentioned, those who see a plebiscite as a cure-all for the problems of the people of the state are in fact, ignorant of the historic and contemporary complexities surrounding this issue.

History of Kashmir Before 1947
Kashmir, if literally translated, means land desiccated from water: "ka" (the water) and shimeera (to desiccate). Tradition says that Kashmir was originally a lake that was drained by the great saint of ancient India Kashyap. It was included in the empire of Ashoka Maurya who is credited with the foundation of the city of Srinagar around the year 250 BC.

During this period Buddhism spread in Kashmir and flourished under the Kushans. During the reign of Kanishka, the third Buddhist council took place in Kashmir which has been attested by the 7th century Chinese traveler Hien Tsang. But Hinduism held its sway in the region. The 7th Century AD witnessed the establishment of a dynasty called the Karkota whose foundation stone was laid by Durlabhavarrdhana. The most famous ruler of this dynasty was Lalitaditya Muktapid who built the world famous sun temple (Martand) in Kashmir. The Karkotas were supplanted by the Utpalas in 855 AD. The most important ruler of this dynasty was Avanti-verman. He recovered Kashmir from utter political and economic disorder into which Kashmir had fallen during the rule of his predecessors. Didda, a Gupta widowed queen, ruled Kashmir until 1003 AD when the Lohara dynasty took over. Didda was a very unscrupulous and willful lady and led a very immoral life. But in spite of these drawbacks, she ruled the valley with firm hands.

The last Hindu ruler of Kashmir was Udyan Dev. His chief Queen Kota Rani was the de facto ruler of the kingdom. She was a very brave lady, shrewd and an able ruler. With her death in 1339 the Hindu rule in Kashmir came to an end and thus was established the Muslim rule in Kashmir under Sultan Shamas-ud-din whose dynasty ruled the valley for 222 years. The greatest ruler of this dynasty was undoubtedly Sultan Zain-ul-Abdin. Under his rule Kashmir was culturally and politically at its zenith. The kingdom was annexed into the Mughal Empire in 1586 and thus was extinguished the freedom of Kashmir.

In 1757 Kashmir came under the control of Ahmed Shah Durrani, the Afghan who invaded India many times. In 1819 Kashmir was annexed by Ranjit Singh and made a part of his Sikh empire. The two Anglo-Sikh wars fought between the Sikhs and Ranjit Singh resulted in the complete extinction of the Sikh sovereignty in Kashmir. The British gave away Kashmir to Ghulab Singh for the sum of 75 lakhs of rupees under the Treaty of Amritsar. This entitled Ghulab Singh to have his complete sway over the dominion. He extended his territory by annexing Ladakh. Ghulab Singh died in 1857 and was replaced by Rambir Singh (1857-1885). Two other Marajahs, Partab Singh (1885-1925) and Hari Singh ruled in succession. Maharaja Sir Hari Singh ascended the throne in 1925. He continued to govern the state till 1950. In 1932 Kashmir's first political party - All Jammu & Kashmir Muslim Conference was formed by Sheik Abdullah The party was later renamed the National Conference in 1939 and continues to be a major political party in Kashmir today.
History of Kashmir After 1947
After Indian Independence in 1947, the ruler of the princely state of Kashmir, Maharaja Hari Singh, refused to accede to either India or Pakistan. When Pakistan invaded Kashmir in the following year, the ruler of Kashmir sought help from the Indian government and agreed to place Kashmir under the dominion of India. As a result India sent its troops to Kashmir to help the Maharaja. A UN cease-fire in 1949 saw the end of fighting and created the first Line-of-Control.

In 1956 Kashmir was, in effect, integrated into the Indian Union under a new Constitution. However, Azad Kashmir, the area which Pakistan gained during its campaign in 1948, continues to remain with Pakistan. The volatile situation was aggravated by the Chinese occupation of the Aksai Chin region, in Ladakh, in 1959. The situation came to head in 1963 when a Sino-Pak agreement defined the Chinese border with Pakistani Kashmir and ceded Indian-claimed territory to China.

India and Pakistan fought over Kashmir again in 1965. A UN cease-fire took effect in September, 1965. Prime Minister Lal Bhadur Shastri of India and President Ayub Khan of Pakistan signed the Tashkent agreement on 1st January 1966. They resolved to try to end the dispute by peaceful means.

Fighting erupted between India and Pakistan once again in the month of December 1971, after the leaders of the independence movement in East Pakistan sought India's help. Its leaders were aided by India in their struggle for independence. After the war, the province of East Pakistan emerged as an independent country called Bangladesh. A new cease-fire took effect and the Shimla Agreement was signed between the Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and the Pakistani President Z. A. Bhutto. Both the countries agreed to sort out all issues bilaterally.

Kashmir was a tourist's paradise during the 1970's and early 1980's. However tourism in Kashmir declined during the late 1980's and 1990's, due to the terror perpetrated by separatist militants and self-styled freedom fighters. Victimized by Islamic fundamentalists and mercenaries, thousands of innocent Kashmiri lives have been lost due to terrorism. Today the situation has somewhat improved with both countries agreeing to come to the negotiating table and discuss all outstanding issues with an open mind. All this augurs well for the state of Jammu and Kashmir and hopefully, peace will return to Kashmir - followed by tourists, who remember its beautiful parks, rolling meadows, spectacular mountains and scenic destinations with nostalgia.


BY AIR - The state has three major civil airports at Srinagar, Jammu, and Ladakh connected to Delhi and other places in the country. Indian Airlines and its subsidiary Alliance Air operate in the Delhi-Chandigarh-Ladakh and Delhi-Jammu-Srinagar routes.

By Rail
Jammu Tawi is an important railhead of the Norther Railways serving the Jammu and Kashmir State. The trains operating to/from Jammu are : Malwa Express, Super Fast, Jammu Mail, Jammu Express, Shalimar Express, Sealdah Express, Jhelum Exoress, Himgiri Express, Himsagar Express Lohit Express, Sarwodaya Express, Happa Express, Navyug Express, Gorakhpur Express, Barauni Express, Madras Express, Rajdhani Express and Ferozpur Express.

By Road
Jammu falls on Natinoal Highway 1-A and is connected by national highway network to all parts of the country.
Some important road distances are : Amritsar - 243 kms, Chandigarh - 436 kms , Delhi - 586 kms., Katra - 48 kms, Srinagar - 305 kms, Manali - 428 kms, Patnitop - 112 kms. Mansar - 60 kms.


More Attractions in Jammu-Kashmir  

>> chashmashahi

>> gulmarg

>> harwan

>> nasim Bagh

>> nishat Garden

>> pari Mahal

>> patnitop

>> shalimar Garden

>> siachen Glacier

>> sonamarg

>> zangla

>> zanskar


More Information About Jammu-Kashmir........

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