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About Kashmir

Kashmir commonly known as Kashmir or Cashmere in the Asia and Western world is intertwined with the history of a larger region, comprising the areas of Central Asia, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Tibet, China. Today, it denotes a larger area that includes the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir (which consists of Jammu, the Kashmir Valley, and Ladakh), the Pakistan-administered territories of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit–Baltistan, and the Chinese-administered regions of Aksai Chin and the Trans-Karakoram Tract.

In the first half of the 1st millennium, the Kashmir region became an important centre of Hinduism and later of Buddhism; later still, in the ninth century, Kashmir Shaivism arose. The Islamic conquest of Kashmir (1300AD) ended the Political identity and was a turning point in history. Islamicization in Kashmir took place during 13th to 15th century and led to the eventual decline of the Absolute monothiesm in Kashmir. However, the achievements of the previous civilizations were not lost, but were to a great extent absorbed by the new Islamic polity and culture which gave rise to Modern Kashmir Sufi Mysticism. In 13th century Kashmir fell under rule of Mongols. In 1339, Shah Mir became the first Muslim ruler of Kashmir, inaugurating the Salatin-i-Kashmir or Swati dynasty. For the next five centuries, Muslim monarchs ruled Kashmir, including the Mughals, who ruled from 1586 until 1751, and the Afghan Durrani Empire, which ruled from 1747 until 1819. That year, the Sikhs, under Ranjit Singh, annexed Kashmir. In 1846, after the Sikh defeat in the First Anglo-Sikh War, and upon the purchase of the region from the British under the Treaty of Amritsar, the Raja of Jammu, Gulab Singh, became the new ruler of Kashmir. The rule of his descendants, 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 the People’s Republic of China.

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