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Information Digest
Volume 1
Reprint Edition March 2001

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Lalla-Ded Educational Trust
Project Zaan
Information Digest - Vol. 1



Recent 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 were:

273-232 B.C. Ashoka extended control over Kashmir. He encouraged Budhism. 
Around 100 A.D Kushan dynasty (Kanishka, Huska, Juska etc.) Abhimanyu, Vibhisana I, Indrajit, Ravana, Vibhisana II. 
515-550 A.D. Mihira-Kula, A Hun General. 
631 A.D. Karkota Dynasty (Founder Durlabhavandhana)  (Chinese Traveller Hiuen Tsang visited Kashmir around this time)
724-761 A.D. Lalitaditya (Karkota Dynasty) 
855-883 A.D Avantiv.mp3an (Uptala Dynasty) 
Upto 939 A.D. Uptala dynasty 
939-949 A.D. Vyasaskaradeva (Brahmin Dynasty) 
949 A.D.  Parva Gupta (Gupta Dynasty) 
950-958 A.D. Ksema Gupta 
958-1003 A.D. Didda (As regent for Abhimanyu II and later as ruler) 
1003-1028 A.D. Samgramaraja
1028-1063 A.D. Ananta
1063-1089 A.D. Kalsa
1089-1101 A.D. Harsa
1101-1111 A.D. Uccale
1128-1155 A.D. Jaya Simha 
1171-1286 A.D Bopadeva 
1286-1320 A.D. Damra dynasty 
1320-1323 A.D. Rinchana (A Buddhist turned Muslim) 
1339-1342 A.D. Shah Mir
1354-1373 A.D. Shihab-ud-Din
1373-1389 A.D. Qutub-ud-Din 
1389-1413 A.D. Sultan Sikander (But-Shikan) 
1420-1470 A.D. Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin  (Badshah) 
1541-1551 A.D. Mirza Haider Dughlat ( A Mughal general) 
1561-1586 A.D. Chak dynasty (Ghazi Chak, Yousuf Shah etc.) 
1586-1753 A.D. Mughal rule through governors 
1753-1819 A.D. Afghan rule through governors 
1819-1846 A.D. Sikh rule through governors
1846-1857 A.D. Maharaja Gulab Singh (Dogra rule) 
1857-1885 A.D Maharaja Ranbir Singh 
1885-1925 A.D. Maharaja Partap Singh 
1925-1947 A.D. Maharaja Hari Singh 
1947   A.D. Accession with India

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.

Sources 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:

1. Nilamata 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.

2. Kalhana’s 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 pp 180]

Kalhana has 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 Kalhana.
c) Eleven works of scholars containing chronicles of kings.
d) Kshemendra’s list of kings.
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 6-25]

3. Rajatarangini  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 amongst them.

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 Dogras’ time)

5.  Cultural and Political History by P.N.K. Bamzai.  P.N.Bazaz and host of  others have also recorded stories of their times.

6.Tareekh-e-Aqwam-e- 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.

7. Baharistan-e-Shahi (Writer not known)

Some interesting facts

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.

3. Lalitaditya 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”.

Features of his rule:

a) Hinduism and Budhism received equal patronage.
b) Patronised scholars of Sanskrit.
c) Built Martand Temple and  Parihaspura (near Shaadipur) as his capital.  Founder of Hindu school of architecture.
d) Got silt and boulders removed from the Jhelum at Baramulla to quicken the  flow of water of Jhelum - an anti-flood measure.

4. Awantiv.mp3an (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 Kashmir.

 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.

Sahadeva (Damra) 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 throne.

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  Muslim rule.

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.

 8. 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 subjects.

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 known  for:

        Akbar - Hari Parbat Fort.
        Jehangir - Shalimar, Nishat (1619 AD), Verinaag (1620)
        Noor Jehan - Achhabal
        Shahjehan - Cheshma Shahi
        Dara Shikoh - Pari Mahal

They initiated 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.

iii) National Conference launched Quit Kashmir Movement in 1946. Sheikh Mohd.  Abdullah and many others were arrested.

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 Prime Minister.

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.

Sequence 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  sovereign.

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.

f) Pakistan 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 restored.

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 be  assured.”

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 out.

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.

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