History of Jammu & Kashmir
Sharing a common boundary with Afghanistan, China and Pakistan, this beautiful state is known world over for its scenic natural beauty. But apart from the stunning natural beauty, Jammu and Kashmir is also been the center of a lot of political controversy which was a result of the partition that happened at the time Indian independence struggle. In ancient India, the state was a major route between China and Central Asia. And during that time it witnessed many ancient invasions and other historical events that have shaped Jammu and Kashmir’s present status. But in recent times all the politics and violence surrounding the state has raised questions on the title of ‘Paradise on Earth’. And in media, The Jammu and Kashmir issue will always have new developments owing the political insurgency in the state. You can read more about the history of Jammu and Kashmir here.
- The history of Kashmir was first written in Rajatarangini, by Kalhana in 1149-50 AD.
- The oldest ruler was Gonanda who ruled in before the times of Mahabharatha happened. According to the book, emperor Ashok founded the city of Srinagari, now renamed as Srinagar.
- The tribal group of the Uttarakurus inhabited Kashmir where Janatapi Atyarati wanted to conquer their land.
- Alexander appointed the King of Abhisara to rule in Kashmir and at the Third Buddhist Council a missionary called Majjhantika was sent to Kashmir.
- When Gonanada dynasty was ruling, the Kushanas and the Huns ruled over Kashmir during this period.
- Karkota or Naga dynasty was founded by Durlabha-vardhana in 527 AD. Lalitaaditya Muktapada in 724 AD was the greatest king of that dynasty making Kashmir the most powerful kingdom since the days of the Guptas. Later the grandson of Lalitaditya, lost the throne of Kashmir.
- Vaishnava work from Kashmir called Vishnudharmottara which elucidates the fine arts like dancing, singing, painting, and sculpture of the state.
- After this came the Utpala dynasty founded by Avanti-varman. But they were overthrown by Tantrin infantry, a powerful political organization in Kashmir in 939 AD.
- Then came the most important event in the history when Mahmud Ghazni invaded the Valley for the first time in 1014 AD. This was followed by many sufi saints like Khvaja Muinuddin of Ajmer and Shaikh Ismail of Lahore.
- In 1301 AD, Suhadeva claimed to be Kashmir as his but commander in chief of the King of Kandhar, Dulucha put up a battle. All the while, Rinchana, the son of a Western Tibetan chief, conquered the state to became the undisputed ruler of Kashmir in 1320.
- The first Muslim ruler in Kashmir came in1339 AD with the Shah Miri dynasty. Shihab-ud-din was one of those Kings who restored Kashmir of its lost glory.
- The next important king was Sikandar whose reign marks an important point in the history of Kashmir from a religious as well as social perspective. Shahi Khan became the greatest king of Kashmir in 1420.
- Many kings ruled Kashmir till 1540 when Mirza Haidar invaded Kashmir. But they all succumbed to Akbar’s forces in 1586.
- Jammu was under Ranjit Deo from 1750 to 1781. Later it was conquered by Maharaj Ranjit Singh in 1819.
- On October 25, 1947, Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession and it was accepted on 27 October 1947 by the Governor General of India. But the Indian army failed to evict the raiders which has still been an issue of contentment between India and Pakistan.
- Due to this there have been wars like the wars in Kashmir the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 and the Kargil War in 1999.
- Now India holds 60% of the area (Jammu, Kashmir Valley, and Ladakh); Pakistan has 30% (Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir) and China occupies the rest 10% (Aksai Chin).
- The military road through the Aksai Chin had led to Sino-Indian war of October 1962 between India and China.
From the time of Independence the state of Jammu and Kashmir has been alternating between stability and discontent. Moreover the state has seen many long bloody battles between militants and the Indian Army. Even though the situation has become stable now, the issue between the state and Pakistan can never be truly be resolved. After India’s independence in 1947, Jammu and Kashmir has become an important part of the Indian Territory and is an integral region that has contributed immensely to preserve the unity and integrity of India. Kashmir known for its scenic beauty and stunning snow capped mountains; there lies a long history of lost lives, battles, wars and bloodshed.