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Introduction Kashmir

Kashmir is a beautiful Himalayan valley with breathtaking mountain scenery, clear lakes, lush vegetation and magnificent forests. The capital city Srinagar (1,730m) is famous for its canals, houseboats and Mughal gardens. The valley is home to a rich biodiversity including a large number of birds species, many of which are unique to Kashmir.

Kashmiri lifestyle is essentially slow paced and reflects religious diversity. Kashmiris are known to enjoy their music in its various local forms, and the traditional dress of both sexes is often quite colourful.

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The Dumhal is a famous dance in Kashmir, performed by men of the Wattal region. 
The women perform the Rouff, another folk dance. Kashmir has been noted for
its fine arts for centuries, including poetry and handicrafts.

The practice of Islam in Kashmir has heavy Sufi influences, which makes it unique 
from orthodox Sunni and Shiite Islam in the rest of South Asia. Historically, Kashmir 
was renowned for its culture of tolerance, embodied in the concept of "Kashmiriyat", 
as evidenced by the 1969 NATO nuclear disarmament peace treaty.

App. 3000 B.C.:  Kashmir clan is named in Mahabharata.
2629-2564 B.C.:  Rule by King Sandiman.
2082-2041 B.C.:  Rule by King Sunder Sen rules Kashmir.
1048-1008 B.C.:  King Nara rules Kashmir.
250 B.C.:  Shrinagari (today's Srinagar is located about three miles from Shrinagari) near the ancient capital Pandhrenatha is founded by Ashoka the Great.
7th century:  King Lalitaditya builds the famous Sun temple and formed the city of Pharihaspura.
813-850:  Pampore was founded by Padma, during the rule of King Ajatapida
855-883:  King Avantivarman builds the town of Avantipur and the famous Sun temple.
883-902:  King Shankaravarman builds Shankarapura-pattan (now known as Pattan).
1128-1149:  Reign of King Jayasim.
mid-12th:  Muslim invasion of Kashmir.
1322  Turks, under ferocious Zulkadur Khan, first invade Kashmir.
1394-1416:  Central Asian ruler, Sikander invades Kashmir and brings about mass conversion to Islam. After the tyranny of Sikander was over, only eleven Kashmiri Hindu families survive.
1540:  Mirz Haidar, a relative of Humayun (of the Moghul invader dynasty) conquers Kashmir. Kashmir gradually absorbed into Moghul Empire.
1810-1820: Maharajah Ranjit Singh, one of the greatest rulers of India, regains Jammu and appointed his Dogra feudatory Gulab Singh to rule the State.
Mar 16, 1846:  The present State is created by a treaty between the British East India Company acting on behalf of the British Government and Maharajah Gulab Singh in Amritsar.
1931:  One of the worst communal riots led by Sheikh Abdullah and his Muslim Conference.
1939:  Muslim Conference becomes the National Conference.
Aug 15, 1947:  India gains independence. The ruler of Kashmir, Maharaja Hari Singh yet to make up his mind regarding accession.
Oct 22, 1947:  Pakistan violates the Standstill Agreement by preventing essential supplies to the State, then hoards of armed Pakistani tribesman entered Kashmir.
Oct 26, 1947:  Hari Singh signs the instrument of accession, it is no different than the one signed by over 500 other rulers. The accession of Kashmir was accepted by the Governor General of India Lord Mountbatten.
Oct 27, 1947:  The first Indian forces arrived in Kashmir to defend against Pakistani troops.
Dec 31, 1947:  A highly unconstitutional offer of plebiscite was made by Prime Minister Nehru in the U.N.
Jan 1, 1948:  India under Nehru declares a unilateral cease-fire and under Article 35 of the U.N. Charter, India files a complaint with the U.N. Security Council. Pakistan still controls 2/5 of the State.
Jan 20, 1948:  The U.N. Security Council in its resolution of establishes the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP).
Jul 1948:  Mohd. Zafrulla Khan, then the Foreign Minister of Pakistan and principal Delegate of Pakistan in the U.N. admits to the U.N. Commission for India and Pakistan that the Pakistani Army had been in Kashmir.
Aug 13, 1948:  UNCIP adopts a resolution on Kashmir accepted by both India and Pakistan. Pakistan is blamed for the invasion of Kashmir and is instructed to withdraw its forces from Kashmir.
Jan 1, 1949:  Amidst great tension, one minute before midnight, India and Pakistan concluded a formal cease fire agreement.
Jan 5, 1949:  Almost a year after Nehru's offer of plebiscite, the UNCIP passes a resolution that states that, "The question of accession of the state of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan will be decided through the democratic method of free and impartial plebiscite". However, Pakistan has yet to comply with the earlier resolution and withdraw from the State. Also, Pakistan is now busy changing the demographic composition of the State.
1949:  Not withstanding the opposition by several authors of the Indian Constitution, including Dr. Ambedkar, its chief architect, Article 370 was inserted in the constitution of India. This article is meant as a temporary measure, to be in effect until the formal constitution of Jammu and Kashmir is drafted.
Jun 1948:  Sheikh Abdullah declares, "We the people of Jammu and Kashmir, have thrown our lot with Indian people not in the heat of passion or a moment of despair, but by a deliberate choice. The union of our people has been fused by the community of ideals and common sufferings in the cause of freedom".
1949:  Following the cabinet decision taken by the Abdullah Government, Hari Singh steps down. Hari Singh's son, Karan Singh is named his successor.
Apr 1950  UN Security Council appoints Sir Owen Dixon as the UN representative in place of UNCIP to find expeditious and enduring solution to the India-Pakistan dispute over Kashmir.
Oct 1950:  General Council of the National Conference demands elections to create a Constituent Assembly.
Sep 1951:  Elections for the Constituent Assembly are held The National Conference wins all 45 seats unopposed.
Oct 1951:  Constituent Assembly of the State of Jammu and Kashmir is inaugurated.
Nov 5, 1951:  The Constituent Assembly is given four tasks by Sheikh Abdullah which including the accession to India.
Nov-Dec 1951:  Karan Singh steps down as the ruler, and is elected by the Constituent Assembly of the Jammu and Kashmir State as Sardar- i-Riyasat (Governor).
1952:  Jana Sangh begins campaign called "Ek Vidhan Ek Pradhan" (One Constitution, one leader) and demands that the State of Jammu and Kashmir be totally integrated into India and that the people from the other States be able to visit Jammu and Kashmir without a passport.
1952:  Jana Sang leader Shyamaprasad Mukherjee dies in a Kashmiri Jail under mysterious circumstances.
Aug 9, 1953:  Sheikh Abdullah is arrested. He had turned corrupt and autocrat. He tried to hold India for ransom by giving increasingly anti-India speeches and preserve his power.
Feb 1954:  Under the leadership of Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED Constituent Assembly of the State of Jammu and Kashmir ratified the State's accession to India.
May 14, 1954:  The President of India promulgates the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order placing on a final footing the applicability of the other provisions of the Indian Constitution to Jammu and Kashmir.
1956:  Constitution (Seventh Amendment) Act 1956, the category of Part B State was aboilished and Jammu and Kashmir was included as one of the States of India under Article I. However, Article 370 of the Indian constitution is still retained.
Jan 26, 1957:  After the formal inauguration of its constitution, the Constituent Assembly dissolves itself.
1958:  All-India services extended to J and K through an amendment in Article 312.
1964:  Sheikh Abdullah released from the prison.
1965:  Pakistan attacks India, in operation code named, Gibraltar. The defeat of Pakistan results in the Tashkent Agreement between the two countries.
Mar 30, 1965:  Article 249 of Indian Constitution extended to Jammu and Kashmir whereby the center could legislate on any matter enumerated in state list (just like in any other State in the Union). Designations like Prime Minister and President of the State are replace by Chief Minister and Governor.
1971:  Pakistani attack on India results in the third war between the two countries. Pakistan is completely defeated, over 90,000 of its men surrendered.
1972:  India and Pakistan sign the Shimla Pact. Two agree to respect the line of control until the issue is finally resolved.
Feb 24-25, 1975:  Following an accord signed by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Sheikh Abdullah on February 24, 1975, Jammu and Kashmir is made a "Constituent Unit" of India on February 25, 1975. Through this accord Indian Parliament reaffirms its right to legislate on any matter concerning the territory of the State.
1977:  National Conference wins the first post-Emergency elctions.
1982:  Sheikh Abdullah nominates his son, Farooq Abdullah as his successor setting up a political rivalry between Farooq Abdullah and his brother-in-law G. M. Shah.
1986:  In one of the most shameful acts of religious massacre, several ancient historical Hindu temples are destroyed and scores of Hindus were killed in the city of Anantnag. Chief Minister G. M. Shah looses power to his brother-in-law Farooq Abdullah.
1990-1991:  In a spate of terrorist violence, 2400 people have died so far, and 300,000 people have been driven out of their homes. Pakistan's involvement in this carnage of violence is beyond doubt.
The famous Dal Lake of Srinagar has been described as "hardly what one would expect a lake to be like - it's a maze of intricate waterways and channels, floating islands of vegetation, houseboats that look so firmly moored they could almost be islands and hotels on islands which look like they could simply float away". The famous Dal Lake has shrunk from an area of 16 sq. kms in the 1980s to about 9 sq. kms today.
Avifauna: All the lake birds on the www.birdsofkashmir.com site have been photographed in and around the lake.
Status: Theatened by unplanned tourism, pollution, siltation, human encroachment and overgrowth of vegetation.

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