Table of Contents
  Index
  An Outline of the History
  Buddhism in Kashmir
  Kashmir's Contribution 
  Fountainhead of Indian Culture
  Some Marvels of Kashmir
  Cultural Mosaic of India
  Kashmir School of Painting
  Saivism in Prospect ...
  Swami Ashokananda As I Knew
  Nagadandi - Some ...
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Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

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Kashmir: The Crown of India

Kashmir occupies a special place in India, because of its geographic location, its scenic splendour, and its great contributions to the arts and culture of India. In the history of our Republic is written another chapter on the unique issue of Kashmir. Its strategic position adds one more dimension to the overall security of this sub-continent.

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Geographically and climatically Kashmir is the child of the mighty Himalayas receiving in abundance the paternal grace in the form of captivating scenic beauty, lush green pastures and lofty glistening snow covered mountain peaks which capture the changing hues of the brilliant sun, in a hundred thousand ways, the ever gurgling rivers and rivulets and the great lakes of mythological fame. In her valleys grow the rarest of trees and herbs, including the most precious of all flowers - the Kesar (Saffron). In her forest are found the best pines and deodars. From her orchards come apples, apricots, pears, walnuts and cherries of different kinds. On her green meadows graze the lambs bearing the most exquisite wool fit to drape the Gods. Her Dal lake and her house boats, Gulmarg and her glaciers have made her an international tourist spot. What to talk of her temples, the dream of every devout Hindu - the Holy Amarnath where thousands and thousands trek to every year, regardless of inclement weather and a host of other dangers; the Shiva temple, the Kshir Bhawani, all with their lofty associations with great masterminds and the impeccable Shaivite philosophy. Surely the name of Kashmir should conjure up a thrill in all Indians.

Through the following web pages, we invite the attention of the readers, not only to the beauty and grandeur of this land but also the significant contributions made by it to the fine arts and culture of India.

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Swami Ashokananda as I Knew
He was born in a poor Mukherjee Brahmin family in a small village in Jessore district now in Bangla Desh. When he was of three years age, hisfather died and he was left alone with his elder brother aged 12 and widowed mother. Being poor, they had to live a hard life on the earnings of the lady and her first son.
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Nagadandi: Some Reminiscences
Foremost among Kashmiri Saints was the great mystic "seer", Lalleshwari, popularly known as Lal Ded (Mother Lalla), who profoundly influenced the thought and life of her contemporaries and whose sayings still touch the Kashmiri's ear, as well as the chords of his heart, and are freely quoted by him as maxims on appropriate occasions.
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Buddhism in Kashmir
'Nilmata Purana' (the Purana of Kashmir) refers to the gaity with which the Vaishakha Purnima-the day on which Buddha was born, attained 'Bodhi' and 'Mahanirvana' - used to be celebrated in the picturesome vale of Kashmir. Buddhist Chaityas - Stupas' used to be decorated with flowersand paintings. Lord Buddha's statues used to be decorated with Aushdhis and Ratan. This tradition continued almost to the eleventh century A. D. Kshemendra (10th-11th A. D.) started the writing of his famous treatise 'Avdhankalaplataon' on this auspicious day. >>>

 

Kashmir's Contribution to Indian Culture
Some scholars in the Centre of Central Asian Studies of Kashmir University are probing in the direction of establishing the thesis that First man appeared in the Kashmir Valley. This has reference also to the Burzahom excavation and the remains of the so called pit-dwellers found there. All scientists agree that the earliest Homo Erectus named as Ramapithecus Panjabicus appeared in the Northern parts of India situated just south of Kashmir. >>>

 

Kashmir: The Fountainhead of Indian Culture
From the time of the beginning of the formation of the present Asian continent, Kashmir has remained an unseparable part of Indian Peninsula. This unchallengeable geographical truth has been expressed by Kalidasa in the first verse in Kumara Sambhava giving the description of the northern boundary of India thus >>>

 

An Outline of the History of Kashmir
Kashmir is perhaps, to possess an authentic account of its history from the very earliest period. This past account of the valley, its culture and traditions, rise and fall of various Kingdoms, victory and defeats of the people have been noted carefully, yet critically by the sons of its soil. True it is, that the Kashmiriat literature is very rich in information about Kashmir.  >>>

Some Marvels of Kashmir
The happy valley of Kashmir is well known throughout the world for its Natural beauty. Here nature has been prodigal enough in crowning this ancient land with all its splendour and glory. Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Mughal gardens attract visitors from all over the world. Its lakes, green meadows, dancing and foaming streams, majestic forests full of fir and pine, snow-capped peaks are common attractions to the outsider as well as to the native.  >>>

 

Kashmir's Place in the Cultural Mosaic of India
Kashmir suddenly flashed into the world news when Pakistani marauders came over the mountains to annex Kashmir by force. Although repeated attempts to annex Kashmir on the flimsy ground of majority Muslim population, have been frustrated in the recent past, grim clouds of a more organized attempt, backed by modern arms and armoury that are being supplied to Pakistan, are again gathering in meancing proportions. >>>

Kashmir School of Painting
The Kashmir school of painting is an obscure topic in the otherwise scholarly field of Indian art history, although much has been written about the ancient Kashmiri architecture and sculpture in recent times. It is true that Kashmir yields no archaeological remains of paintings nor do we know anything regarding the painting to reorganise the chronological history of painting in Kashmir. This paucity of archaeological material, of course, poses a severe lacuna in reorganisation and interpretation of the history of painting of Kashmiri people in early days but nevertheless it means that painting was an unknown or omitted discipline of fine arts to the Kashmiri society.  >>>

 

Saivism in Prospect and Retrospect
The circuitous upper valley of Vitasta, is the famous Kashmir in the Himalayan region. There are Harimukh (Haramukta) and Amarnath mounts, branches off from the great Himalayas a little further east, proceeds due south and encircling the sources of Vitasta, turns north west, where it is called Pir Pantsal or Panchaldhara now Banihal range). These lesser mountains of the Himalayas surround the valley of Kashmir on all sides; leaving only a narrow outlet for the Vitasta at Baramulla. Kashmir valley is thus surrounded by the Himalayas and Vitasta has been the life and source for the socio-economic welfare of Kashmir.  >>>

 

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