A Chronicle of Mediaeval Kashmir
Translated by Prof. Kashi Nath Pandita
Baharistan-i-Shahi, a Persian Manuscript history of Kashmir by anonymous author and brought down to A.D. 1614, has served as an important reference work for historians from the 17th century to the present day. But it has been inaccessible to the non-Persian knowing scholars and historians. Its first English translation is made from a collated text of the two extant manuscripts preserved in the India Office Library and the British Museum. Exhaustive footnotes have been added to it to make it readable and useful.
The chronicle begins with a legendary account of the creation of Kashmir and a summary treatment of the Hindu period. It is followed by a detailed account of the Shahmiri and Chak Sultans of Kashmir taking the narrative to the year A.D. 1614. The historical work gives considerable attention to Baihaqi Sayyids, a group of Sayyids of Iranian origin who played a significant role in the affairs of the kingdom. Baharistan-i-Shahi is essentially a political history of mediaeval Kashmir, though a few aspects of Kashmiri society, such as its feudalistic character, group and factional alignments, communal tensions and recurrent internal power struggles can also be gleaned from it. The concluding portion of the book throws considerable light on relations between the ruling Chak Sultans of Kashmir and the Mughals, and the final annexation of Kashmir by Akbar in A.D. 1587 in somewhat confusing circumstances. The chronicle is also rich in topographical detail.
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This book is published with financial assistance from the Government of India, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Department of Education, vide. Sanction No. F. 4-50/86-L G-cell dated 12.2.1988
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