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The Kingdom of Kashmir
[[]] [[]]
Flag Roundel
Winter Capital Srinigar
Coordinates latitude: 34° 4' 60" N
longitude: 74° 49' 0" E
Summer Capital Jammu City
Coordinates latitude: 32° 43' 60" N
longitude: 74° 52' 0" E
Government constitutional monarchy
Legislature Parliament Gyelyang Tshogdu
Head of State His Royal Highness Vikramaditya Singh (2003)
Head of Government ?
Demonym Kashmiri
Foundation 596
Independence 1820
Personal Union 1921
Constitution 1959
League of Nations 1980
Himalayan Confederacy 1980
Himalayan Postal Union 1982
Area 121,586 km²
46,945 mi²
Population 6,000,000
Official Kashmiri
Other Nepali
Official Nihang Sikhism 84%
Other Shaivism 13%
Vajrayana Buddhism 3%
Currency 1 Himalayan Rupee (Rs) = 20 annaa (a) = 240 paise (p)
Time zone UTC +6:00
DST is not observed.
International Vehicle Identification Code KSH
Telephone Code 443
Organizations League of Nations
Himalayan Confederacy


  • Text in bold print indicates PoD.


  • Kashmir was one of the major centers of Sanskrit scholarship. According to the Mahabharata, the Kambojas ruled Kashmir during the epic period with a republican system of government from the capital city of Rajapura. Later, the Panchalas established their sway and their king Pravarasena II founded the city of Parvasenpur. Asoka, the great ruler of the Mauryan Empire introduced Buddhism to the region. The new religion co-existed peacefully with the dominant Hindu culture.
  • Kashmir became an important seat of Buddhist learning, dominated by the Sarvastivadan school. Monks from eastern and central Asia visited the kingdom. In the late fourth century A.D., the famous Kuchanese monk Kumarajiva, born to an Indian noble family, studied in Kashmir under the great scholar Bandhudatta. He later became a prolific translator who helped introduce Buddhism to China. Vimalaksa, a Sarvastivadan Buddhist monk, travelled from Kashmir to Kucha and there instructed Kumarajiva in the Vinayapitaka. Although Buddhism was widespread in Kashmir long before the time of Asoka, it enjoyed his patronage, as well as that not only of the Buddhist rulers but of Hindu and early Muslim rulers as well. From Kashmir, it spread to the neighboring Ladakh.

Muslim rule

  • The Abbasid Caliphate, during their stay in Persia, expanded into Afghanopakistan and northern India, but the new religion had little impact on the mass of the people and remained the religion of the ruling elite only.
  • In 1339, in the vacuum left by the fall of the Abassid Caliphate, Shams-ud-Din Shah Mir became the ruler of Kashmir and the founder of the Shah Miri dynasty. He came from Swat, a tribal territory on the eastern border of Afghanistan. Until his death in 1342, he played a notable role in the political history of the valley.
  • Shah Mir was succeeded by his eldest son Jamshid, but he was deposed by his brother Ali Sher five months later. Ali Sher ascended the throne assuming the royal name Alauddin.
  • The Muslim rulers lived in relative harmony with their Hindu and Buddhist subjects, due partly to the similarity of the Sufi way of life of the rulers to the Rishi tradition of the Kashmiri Hindus. This led to a syncretic culture in some areas where Hindus and Muslims revered the same local saints and prayed at the same shrines.
  • Most of the Kashmiri rulers, such as Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin, were tolerant of the religions of their subjects. However, several were intolerant, of whom Sultan Sikandar Butshikan (1389-1413) and his (former Brahmin) minister Saif ud-Din were the worst. Historians have recorded many of the atrocities carried out in his persecution of the Hindus and Buddhists. He even went so far as to proscribe the residence of anyone other than a Muslim in Kashmir.

Sikh/Hindu rule

  • In 1780, after the death of Ranjit Deo, the Raja of Jammu, the Kingdom of Jammu (to the south of the Kashmir Valley) was captured by the Sikhs under Ranjit Singh of Lahore and became tributary to the Sikh R.S. until 1846.
  • Ranjit Deo's grandnephew, Gulab Singh, subsequently sought service at the court of Ranjit Singh, distinguished himself in later campaigns, especially in the conquest of the Kashmir Valley in 1819, which ended a thousand years of Muslim rule. For his services, he was created the first Mahararaja of Jammu in 1820 beginning the Dogra Dynasty. With the help of his officer, Zorawar Singh, Gulab Singh soon captured Kashmir, and the Buddhist kingdoms of Ladakh and Baltistan.
  • After Gulab Singh's death in 1857, his son, Ranbir Singh, added the emirates of Astore, Hunza-Nagar, and Gilgit to the rajadom.
  • Partab Singh (1830-1885) succeeded his father in 1885.
  • Hari Singh (1895-1961), the son of Partab Singh's brother Amar, succeeded to the throne in 1925.
  • Karan Singh (1931-2003) succeeded upon the death his father in 1961. He was married to Yasho Rajya Lakshmi (1939-2009), the granddaughter of Mohan Rana, the last Rana prime minister of Nepal.
  • In 1980, Kashmir, as a part of the United Kingdom, became a partner in the Himalayan Confederacy.
  • In 1982, Kashmir and Jammu became members of the Himalayan Postal Union.
  • Karan Singh's eldest son, Vikramaditya, succeeds his father in 2003. Kashmir's rules of succession are based on male primogeniture so his older sister will not succeed.

The Dogra Rajas of Kashmir

Name Succeeds Reign Died Notes
1) Gulab Singh 1846-1857 1857
2) Ranbir Singh father 1857-1885 1885
3) Partab Singh father 1885-1925 1925
4) Hari Singh uncle 1925-1961 1961 son of Partab's brother Amar
5) Karan Singh father 1961-2003 2003
4) Vikramaditya Singh father 2003


The Nilamata Purana describes the origin of Kashmir as coming from का ka (water) + शिमिरि shimir (to desiccate). Hence, Kashmir denotes “a land desiccated from water”. An alternative etymology proposes that Kashmir is a contraction of either Kashyap-mir(a) or Kashyapmeru, denoting the “sea of Kashyapa” or the “mountain of Kashyapa”, eponyms of the sage Rishi Kashyapa, the sage being credited with having drained the primordial Satisar Lake that occupied the Kashmir Valley before he reclaimed it from the water.




Capital Area Population Prefectures
Anantnag Anantnag 3,984 km²
1,538 mi²
Baramulla Baramulla 4,588 km²
1,771 mi²
Budgam Budgam 1,371 km²
529 mi²
Kupwara Kupwara 2,379 km²
919 mi²
Pulwama Pulwama 1,370 km²
529 mi²
Srinagar Srinagar 2,228 km²
860 mi²
Muzaffarab Muzaffarab 9,738 km²
3,760 mi²
Gilgit Gilgit 39,300 km²
15,172 mi²
Astore Astore 8,657 km²
3,342 mi²
Diamir Chilas 10,936 km²
4,233 mi²
Ghizar Gakuch 9,635 km²
3,720 mi²
Ghanche Khaplu 9,400 km²
3,629 mi²
Skardu Skardu 18,000 km²
6,950 mi²
  • Thus, the total area of the kingdom is 121,586 km², slightly larger than *here's* North Korea.
  • The Kingdom of Kashmir is contiguous with *here's* Kashmir portion of the Indian state of Kashmir and Jammu, and the Pakistani states of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.


Physical Description





National symbols

Kashmiri public holidays

Date Name Notes
5 January Birthday of Guru Gobind Singh Guru Gobind Singh was born on 22 December 1669.
14 February The Queen's Birthday Mothers' Day - Her Majesty was born in 1967.
4 March 2015 Hola Mohalla Sikh Olympic events.
6 March 2015 Holi A spring festival celebrating Vishnu's defeat of Hiranyakishapu.
14 April 2015 Vaisakhi Founding of the Khalsa - a 4-day festival of which only the first day is a legal holiday.
24 May The King's Coronation His Majesty was crowned in 2003.
1 July Founding of the United Monarchy The United Monarchy was founded in 1922.
4 July The King's Birthday Fathers' Day - His Majesty was born in 1964.
1 September Consecration of the Adi Granth The Adi Granth was installed in the Golden Temple in 1604.
2nd Monday in September Election Day In the even-numbered years; local and federal alternating, e.g., local in 2010, federal in 2012.
11 November 2015 Diwali The Hindus commemorate the return of Rama from his exile and his vanquishing of Ravana; the Sikhs celebrate the release from prison of the sixth guru, Guru Hargobind.
25 November 2015 Birthday of Guru Nanak Dev Guru Nanak Dev was born on 15 April 1469.



Public Safety



Flora and Fauna