Kashmir Introduction
  Introduction :
  Kashmir Geography:
 

Kashmir History:

  Kashmir Conflict :
  UN Resolution:
  The Brink of War 2001:
     
Kargil Conflict 1999:
  Kashmir Insurgency 1989:
  Kashmir War 1947-1948:
  Independent Kashmir:
  Kashmir Future?:
  A Smaller Indep. Kashmir:

Kashmir Geography

 

China (Sinkiang Province and Tibet) borders Jammu & Kashmir to the North and east, to the west,  Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province to the west and the India states of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to the south.  The whole region of Kashmir has an area 228,800 square km with a population of about 11.8 million, but Pakistan controls 87,950 square km of the Gilgit and Hunza areas of Kashmir to the northwest while China has grabbed a further slice of the area in the east.  Due to these border disputes there is a large Indian military presence in the state and following the Chinese activities in Ladakh, two roads were built to Leh and the airport there was completed.

Jammu is the southern part of the state and forms a transitional area between the India plains and the ranges, which make up the Himalayan region.  The northern part of the state is Kashmir but this name usually refers just to the Vale of Kashmir, a large valley in the Northwest.  The eastern part of the state is Ladakh, within which lies Zansker.  The Himalaya's separate the Vale of Kashmir from the Zanskar Valley and in turn the Zanskar Range separates Zanskar from Ladakh.  The Himalaya's not only marks changes in climate and geography, but as you move from Kashmir to Ladakh there are also great differences in race, customs and religion.  The Kashmir Valley is bounded by two mountain ranges.  The lower Pir Panjal Range curls around the valley from the Southeast, through the south and around to the Northwest.  The eastern side of the valley is closed off by the Great Himalaya, which runs almost straight from Southeast to Northwest.  At one time Kashmir was a lake, which, like the Kathmandu Valley, was drained eons ago.

Climate
The climactic differences in the state of Jammu and Kashmir are probably the most varied in all of India.  In Jammu in the hot season the temperatures can be consistently above 40oC while at Kargil in mid-winter the temperature has been known to drop to minus 40oC.  Similarly, during the monsoon Jammu can have rain every day while in Ladakh whole years may pass with no rainfall at all.  Following is a brief outline of the weather you can expect in the various regions.  Jammu situated at a height of only 300 metres, Jammu has three-season weather typical of India and Pakistan Pelains.  The best time of the year is the cool season from early October to about February-March.  In October, immediately after the monsoon finishes, the weather will be cool and fresh, the skies clear and dust-free.  Later in the cool season (December and January in particular) it can get quite crisp with temperatures as low as 5oC at night.
Kashmir is an altitude of more than 1,000 metres and the Kashmir Valley is much cooler than Jammu but is most popular during May and June.  At this time the daily temperatures are around 20oC, a delightfully cool contrast to the 40oC temperatures common on the plaThe Kashmir tourist season ends in October as minimum temperatures drop below 10oC.  From November to February night temperatures often fall below freezing in Srinagar, snow falls and during cold years Dal Lake can freeze over.  In winter Gulmarg becomes Kashmir premier ski resort.  The spring thaws in February-March.  Rainfall in Kashmir's is  fairly even year round. 
Ladakh & Zanskar winter at the high altitudes of Ladakh and Zanskar can be spectacularly cold although snow fall is generally not heavy since the Himalaya's act as a barrier to rain clouds from the south.  Parts of Ladakh have no recordable rainfall for years, yet in others may be deep and persistent snow.   Temperatures are consistently below freezing for six months of the year in Leh and the snowbound pass into Kashmir isolates Ladakh from October to June.  Drass is reputed to be one of the coldest places in Asia during winter.  The Zanskaris bring their sheep, cattle and goats into the house in winter and from December to March they themselves retreat into the central room of the house and wait for spring.  The Zanskar River usually disappears under ice and snow along much of its length.  The Ladakhis too spend much of winter indoors. In summer the day temperatures are pleasantly warm with maximums around 20 to 25oC, but night temperatures are always crisp.  Even at the height of summer the temperature will immediately plummet when a cloud obscures the sun.
Population   The State of Jammu & Kashmir and Azaz Kashmir have a population of about 11.7 million.  Ladakh, which is just less than 100,000 square km in size, comprises nearly half of the whole Kashmir region, making it the largest district in Jammu & Kashmir.  However its population of just more than 100,000 also makes it the most lightly populated region of the country.  Ladakh has 112 villages and one town, the capital of Leh.
Language  Although English is widely understood in Kashmir (but not so much in Ladakh) In the State of Jammu and Kashmir these include Kashmiri, Urdu, Hindi and regional languages like Dogri, Dardi, and Pahari.ins to the south.

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