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History of Kashmir in Brieif
According to legend, the Kashmir Valley was once a vast lake populated by Nagas, or half-human, half serpent beings, who when the water of the lake subsided, escaped to the higher lakes in the mountains. Belief in the Nagas remained an integral part of the Kashmir's History. As the Aryans migrated up the Indus Valley to Kashmir, Aryans and Naga proests were able to develop an accord. Even the introduction of Buddhism, during the time of Ashoka in the 3rd Century BC did not undermine this relationship. The Buddhist monasteries were soon reconstructed as temples to commemorate Shiva or Vishnu, while every lake, spring and stream was sanctified by Naga priests.
The culture of Kashmir was preserved for many centuries and reached a high point during the time of the great Utpala and Karokta dynasties, when the power and influenced of Kashmir stretched far beyond the confines of the valley. During the 8th and 9th centuries huge temples, such as those of Awantipura, Parhasipura and Patan, were built to commemorate the kings. But a series of weak rulers hastened a period of cultural and political decline.
It is against this backdrop that Kashmir converted to Islam in the early part of 14 century. It was a peaceful conversion, with many of the followers of Shah Hamdan, the noted Persian leader. Among the enlightened Islamic rules was Zain-ul-Ab-ul-Din who after returning in his youth from Mughal courts of Samarkand, introduced many for handicrafts for which Kashmir is now famous including carpets weaving and papier machie.
In 15856 Kashmir came under the Mogul empire. The emperor Akbar upgraded the administration of Kashmir and instituted more equitable systems of land distribution. Akbar’s son Jahangir and grandson Shah Jehan were responsible for established the famous gardens, including those of Nishat and Shalimar on the banks of Dal Lake
Geography of Kashmir in Brieif
Kashmir or Vale of Kashmir is a deep basin lying between the Pir Panjal Range and the Central Himalayans with an average altitude of 1615 meters..
The actual valley is a large flat declivity of some 134 km long and 40 km wide. To the Northern towers the mighty Nanaga Parbat 8114 m high. Other peaks in the vicinity but not visible from the valley are K2 and mount Angram 7750 m in the Hind Kush
The river Jhelum flows from beyond Anantan at the southern end of the valley, though the vale and the northern lake Wular ,around the Pir Panjal mountain, along the Pakistan boarder past Rawalpindi to the city of Jhelum.
Population and Languages
The population of Kashmir is approaching to 5 million, the majority of which are Muslims. The main languages spoken are Kashmiri, added to which are others such as Urdu, Pahari, Punjabi, Gujri and Hindi. People visiting Kashmir can easily communicate with the local in Urdu & Hindi and English.