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INDIAN KASHMIR

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Historically the term Kashmir was used to refer to the valley lying between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal range. Today Kashmir refers to a larger area that includes the Indian-administered regions of Kashmir valley, Jammu and Ladakh, the Pakistani administered regions Northern Areas and Azad Kashmir, and the Chinese administered region of Aksai Chin. This gallery are pictures of Indian held Kashmir (know as Maqbuza Kashmir-or Occupied Kashmir-in Pakistan) taken in spring of 1980.

Kashmir was originally an important centre of Hinduism and later of Buddhism. Half-way through the 12th century AD, Shah Mirza became the first Muslim ruler of Kashmir and started the line Salatin-i-Kashmir. For the next five centuries Kashmir had Muslim rulers, which included Sultan Sikandar (also known as Butshikan, or "iconoclast") who ascended the throne in 1398, Zain-ul-abidin, who became the ruler in 1420, the Mughals, whose rule lasted until 1751, and the Afghan Durranis, who ruled Kashmir from 1752 until 1820. That year, the Sikhs under Ranjit Singh, annexed Kashmir, and held it until 1846, at which time, the Dogras, starting with Gulab Singh, became the rulers of Kashmir upon the purchase of the region from the British under the Treaty of Amritsar. The Dogra Rule (under the paramountcy, or tutelage, of the British Crown) lasted until 1947, when the former princely state became a disputed territory, now administered by three countries, India, Pakistan, and China.

The Kashmir region has long been a Muslim majority region. In the 1901 Census of the British Indian Empire, Muslims constituted 74.16% of the total population of the princely state of Kashmir and Jammu, Hindus, 23.72%, and Buddhists, 1.21%. The Hindus were found mainly in Jammu, where they constituted a little less than 50% of the population. In the Kashmir Valley, Muslims constituted 93.6% of the population and Hindus 5.24%. These percentages have remained fairly stable for the last 100 years. Forty years later, in the 1941 Census of British India, Muslims accounted for 93.6% of the population of the Kashmir Valley and the Hindus for 4%. In 2003, the percentage of Muslims in the Kashmir Valley was 95% and those of Hindus 4%; the same year, in Jammu, the percentage of Hindus was 66% and those of Muslims 30%. Among well-known people of Kashmiri lineage are Muhammad Iqbal, the Urdu poet, Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India, and Nawaz Sharif, former prime minister of Pakistan.

Among the Muslims of the princely state, four divisions were recorded: "Shaikhs, Saiyids, Mughals, and Pathans. The Shaikhs, who are by far the most numerous, are the descendants of Hindus, but have retained none of the caste rules of their forefathers. They have clan names known as krams. It was recorded that these kram names included "Tantre," "Shaikh," "Mantu," "Ganai," "Dar," "Damar," "Lon" etc. The Saiyids, it was recorded "could be divided into those who follow the profession of religion and those who have taken to agriculture and other pursuits. Their kram name is "Mir." While a Saiyid retains his saintly profession Mir is a prefix; if he has taken to agriculture, Mir is an affix to his name." The Mughals who were not numerous were recorded to have kram names like "Mir" (a corruption of "Mirza"), "Beg," "Bandi," "Bach," and "Ashaye." Finally, it was recorded that the Pathans "who are more numerous than the Mughals, ... are found chiefly in the south-west of the valley, where Pathan colonies have from time to time been founded. The most interesting of these colonies is that of Kuki-Khel Afridis at Dranghaihama, who retain all the old customs and speak Pashtu."

Well, that was quiet a mouthful, but interesting (if you are happen to be interested). Now to enjoy the scenery...
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Train station waiting room - Jammu
Train station waiting room - Jammu
Kashmir valley - in route to Srinigar
Kashmir valley - in route to Srinigar
Traffic outside Srinigar
Traffic outside Srinigar
SRINIGAR GALLERY
SRINIGAR GALLERY
PAHALGAM GALLERY
PAHALGAM GALLERY
Kashmiri by association?
Kashmiri by association?
5 star hotel - Gandabal
5 star hotel - Gandabal
Hut at Gulmarg Meadows
Hut at Gulmarg Meadows
Stream in Gulmarg Meadows
Stream in Gulmarg Meadows
Hotel Sindh - Kangan
Hotel Sindh - Kangan
View from porch of Hotel Sindh
View from porch of Hotel Sindh
Kids in park - Kangan
Kids in park - Kangan
Old Gujur on road
Old Gujur on road
Roadside dwelling
Roadside dwelling
Mountains near Sonamarg
Mountains near Sonamarg
On road near Gandabal
On road near Gandabal
Rice fields
Rice fields
Rice fields
Rice fields
Roadside
Roadside
Roadside store
Roadside store
Roadside store and tonga
Roadside store and tonga
Woman carrying straw
Woman carrying straw