History & Culture in Jammu and Kashmir

The history of Kashmir is interwoven with the Indian Subcontinent history that includes the surrounding regions of South Asia, Central Asia, and East Asia. Kashmir Valley represents a bigger area including the Indian-administered Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, the territories administered by Pakistan, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, and the regions under the administration of China such as Aksai Chin and the Trans-Karakoram Tract. 

During the First Half of the 1st millennium, the region of Kashmir became a vital center of Buddhism and Hinduism. 

During the years 1339 to 1342, Shams-ud-Din Shah Mir was the founder of the Shah Mir Dynasty and the first Muslim ruler of Kashmir. He converted Kashmiri to Islam Persian. Later during the year 1585, Mughal emperor, Akbar conquered Kashmir and ended the indigenous Kashmiri Muslim rule. Kashmir became the center ground for summertime pleasures. During his reign, Persian water gardens, elegant terraces, fountains, were built, along with rows of jasmine, and chinar trees. 

Later during the year 1751 till the year 1820, the Durrani Empire under the leadership of Afghan Durrani ruled Kashmir. In the year 1819, the controls of the valley passed from the Durrani Empire to the Sikhs under the leadership of Ranjit Singh of Punjab. This ended the Muslim rule of 4 centuries in Kashmir. The Sikhs enforced numerous anti-Muslim laws such as closing down Jamia Masjid, banning the adhan, and death sentences for cow slaughter. 

According to the treaty or sale deed, the princely state of Kashmir and Jammu was formed during the years 1820 to 1858. In 1857, during the Indian Rebellion year, Kashmir took side with the British Crown. Lots of people migrated from Kashmir to the Punjab of British India. 

Hari Singh ascended the throne of Kashmir; this was during the year 1925 till 1947. In 1948, a ceasefire was ordered by the UN, but the relations between Pakistan and India got worse and during the years of 1965 and 1999, lead to wars over the Kashmir issue. 

Later in August 2019, Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir were rendered as two different Union Territories. 

Culture of Kashmir
Jammu Kashmir has a diverse blend of many cultures. It has a composite culture created by people from different religions such as Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, and Buddhist. This composite culture of Kashmir is also known as Kashmiriyat. 

The cultural significance of this place is great. The people of J& K have made huge contributions towards the world culture in the form of their crafts, written words, oral histories, science, and philosophy. Most of the tourists travel to Kashmir to experience the tradition and culture of J&K. 

Languages of Kashmir
The most common languages of Kashmir are Urdu, Hindi, Ladakhi, Purig, Tibetan, English, Kashmiri, and Dogri. The foremost language of Kashmir is Kashmiri. Hindi is mostly used by Gujjar and Kashmiri Pandits.  Dogri also known at times as the Pahari language, this is mostly used by people known as Dogras from the Duggar region. Urdu is mostly used by the Muslims in the region. English is the world language that is mostly used by businessmen, shopkeepers, guides, and the locals for easier communication with the tourists. As per the recent language bill passed by the Lok Sabha, the official languages of Kashmir are Dogri, Kashmiri, Urdu, English, and Hindi. 

Costumes of Jammu and Kashmir: 
The costumes of Kashmir are world-renowned for their intricate style and embroidery that showcases the culture of this region. The costumes of Kashmiri people are quite attractive and colorful. The traditional dress of Kashmir is generally made up of wool, cotton, and silk designed with embroideries. The dresses are designed according to the weather of the region. 

The Pheran is the traditional dress of the Kashmiri people. It is a type of overcoat worn by people during winters. The Pheran is decorated with embroidery work and colorful patches. Most of the women wear headgear and men wear a skullcap. 

Cuisines in Jammu Kashmir
Kashmiri cuisine is a classic combination of Mughal, Muslims, and Kashmiri Pandits styles. Kashmiri food is generally meat-based, cooked slowly for a long time with numerous spices. Alcoholic drinks are detested in Kashmir. Kahva, the traditional green tea with almonds and spices is generally consumed during winters. Other popular dishes of the region are Kashmiri Pulao, Karam Sag, Dum Aloo, and Phirni. 

Music and Dances of Jammu Kashmir
Kashmir has its unique style of music and dance performances. Dance and Music is an inseparable part of all festivals and fair in this region. Mask Dance is one of the famous dance forms in Kashmir wherein the dancer’s wear brocade robes and face mask and is mostly performed during the Hemis festival. Dumhal is another famous dance form in the valley, generally performed by men and women perform Rouff. The other popular dance forms are Ladishah, Ruf Dance, Chakri, Roul, and Dogri. The popular musical instruments are Dukra, Sitar, and Nagara. 

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