in India / Pakistan / China
Kashmir is one of most beautiful and popular tourist regions
has been since the time of the great Moghul emperors.
It's probably most famous for houseboats on Dal Lake, and you've
not really been to Kashmir until you've stayed on one, but there's
lots more to the Kashmir Valley than just lazing on a boat.
Around the capital of Srinagar are numerous mosques, forts and
the delightful Moghul gardens, laid out in formal patterns hundreds
of years ago and every bit as beautiful today. Kashmir, Ladakh
and Zanskar are regions of Jammu and Kashmir. Jammu is the southern
part of the state.
In practice, the Kashmir title is usually reserved for the 'Vale
of Kashmir', a large Himalayan valley in the north of the state.
is actually a region of Kashmir, and Zanskar a sub-district
of Ladakh. They are geographical neighbors but, separated
by the full height of the Himalaya's, they are worlds apart
in terms of people, culture, religion and terrain.
Most of the population is engaged in agriculture; the principal
crops are rice, maize, wheat, and oilseeds. There are orchards
of almonds, apples, apricots, peaches, pears, and walnuts. Saffron
is also produced. Buffalo, cattle, sheep, goats, and poultry
are among the livestock that are raised. Tin, turquoise, and
lapis lazuli are mined in small quantities. Kashmir is known
for its beautiful handicrafts. Silk weaving, shawls (especially
pashmina and shahtush), papier mâché, woodcarving,
brassware, and carpet weaving are major industries.The people
of the Vale of Kashmir are predominantly Muslim, and speak Urdu
and Kashmiri. Dogri, Hindi, and Punjabi are also spoken. The
sparsely inhabited northern and western region of Ladakh and
beyond is home to Buddhist Mongoloid peoples, who speak Ladakhi.
is an ancient country. It has long been disputed, due to its
strategic location. The country was originally a stronghold
of Hinduism; Buddhism was introduced about 245 BC. Beginning
in the mid-14th century AD, Muslim sultans controlled the area
for two centuries. Akbar, the Mughal emperor of Hindustan, conquered
Kashmir between 1586 and 1592, and it became a part of the Mughal
empire. Between 1756 and 1819 it was under Afghan rule. In 1819
Kashmir was conquered by Ranjit Singh, the Sikh maharaja of
the Punjab. In 1846 Kashmir was annexed to the (Hindu) Dogra
kingdom of Jammu. The Dogra dynasty continued to rule the region
until August 1947, when British India was partitioned into a
predominantly Muslim Pakistan and a predominantly Hindu India.
partition, a section of the Muslim population of Kashmir demanded
accession to Pakistan. The reigning maharaja, Sir Hari Singh,
a Hindu, resisted the pro-Pakistani movement. Pakistan invaded
the area, after which the maharaja signed the Instrument of
Accession to the Indian Union. India thereupon dispatched troops
to Kashmir and in the ensuing conflict forced the Pakistanis
to yield ground. Through mediation organised by the United Nations
(UN), a cease-fire agreement between the two nations was concluded
in January 1949.
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