Jammu & Kashmir, 1908

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Kashmir and Jammu

This article has been extracted from



Note: National, provincial and district boundaries have changed considerably since 1908. Typically, old states, ‘divisions’ and districts have been broken into smaller units, and many tahsils upgraded to districts. Some units have since been renamed. Therefore, this article is being posted mainly for its historical value.

Physical aspects

The door is at Jammu, and the house faces south, looking out on the Punjab Districts of Jhelum, Gujrat, Sialkot, and Gurdaspur. There is just a fringe of level land along the Punjab frontier, bordered by a plinth of low hilly country sparsely wooded, broken, and irregular. This is known as the Kandi, the home of the Chibs and the Dogras. Then comes the first storey, to reach which a range of mountains, 8,000 feet high, must be climbed. This is a temperate country with forests of oak, rhododendron, and chestnut, and higher up of deodar and pine, a country of beautiful uplands, such as Bhadarwah and Kishtwar, drained by the deep gorge of the Chenab river. The steps of the Himalayan range known as the Pir Panjal lead to the second storey, on which rests the exquisite valley of Kashmir, drained by the Jhelum river. Up steeper flights of the Himalayas we pass to Astor and Baltistan on the north and to Ladakh on the east, a tract drained by the river Indus. In the back premises, far away to the north-west, lies Gilgit, west and north of the Indus, the whole area shadowed by a wall of giant mountains which run east from the Kilik or Mintaka passes of the Hindu Kush, leading to the Pamirs and the Chinese dominions past Rakaposhi (25,561 feet), along the Muztagh range past K 2 (Godwin Austen, 28,265 feet), Gasherbrum and Masherbrum (28,100 and 25,660 feet respectively) to the Karakoram range which merges in the Kuenlun mountains. Westward of the northern angle above Hunza-Nagar the mighty maze of mountains and glaciers trends a little south of east along the Hindu Kush range bordering Chitral, and so on into the limits of Kafiristan and Afghan territory.

At the Karakoram pass (18,317 feet) the wall zigzags, and to the north-east of the State is a high corner bastion of mountain plains at an elevation of over 17,000 feet, with salt lakes dotted about. Little is known of that bastion ; and the administration of Jammu and Kashmir has but scanty information about the eastern wall of the property, which is formed of mountains of an elevation of about 20,000 feet, and crosses lakes, like Pangkong, lying at a height of nearly 14,000 feet. The southern boundary repeats the same features — grand mountains running to peaks of over 20,000 feet ; but farther west, where the wall dips down more rapidly to the south, the elevation is easier, and we come to Bhadarwah (5,427 feet) and to the still easier heights of Basoli (2,170 feet) on the Ravi river. From Madhopur, the head-works of the Bari Doab Canal, the Ravi river erases tn be the boundary, and a line crossing the (Ujh river and the watershed of the low Dogra hills runs fairly straight to Jammu. A similar line, marked by a double row of trees, runs west from Jammu to the Jhelum river. From the south-west corner of the territories the Jhelum river forms an almost straight boundary on the west as far as its junction with the Kunhar river, 14 miles north of Kohala. At that point the western boundary leaves the river and clings to the moun- tains, running in a fairly regular line to the grand snow scarp of Nanga Parbat (26,182 feet). Thence it runs almost due north to the crossing of the Indus at Ramghat under the Hattu Plr, then north-west, sweep- ing in Punial, Yasln, Ghizar, and Koh, the Mehtarjaos or chiefs of which claim the Tangir and I )arel country, and linking on to the Hindu Kush and Muztagh ranges which look north to Chinese territory and south to Hunza-Nagar and Gilgit.

It is said of the first Maharaja Gulab Singh, the builder of the edifice just described, that when he surveyed his new purchase, the valley of Kashmir, he grumbled and remarked that one-third of the country was mountains, one-third water, and the remainder alienated to privileged persons. Speaking of the whole of his dominions, he might without exaggeration have described them as nothing but mountains. There are valleys, and occasional oases in the deep canons of the mighty rivers ; but mountain is the predominating feature and has strongly affected the history, habits, and agriculture of the people. Journeying along the haphazard paths which skirt the river banks, till the sheer cliff bars the way and the track is forced thousands of feet over the mountain-top, one feels like a child wandering in the narrow and tortuous alleys which surround some old cathedral in England.

It is impossible within the limit of this article to deal in detail with the nooks and corners where men live their hard lives and raise their poor crops in the face of extraordinary difficulties. There are interest- ing tracts like Padar on the southern border, surrounded by perpetual snow, where the edible pine and the deodar flourish, and where the sunshine is scanty and the snow lies long. It was in Padar that were found the valuable sapphires, pronounced by experts the finest in the world. Farther east across the glaciers lies the inaccessible country of Zaskar, said to be rich in copper, where the people and cattle live indoors for six months out of the year, where trees are scarce and food is scarcer. Zaskar has a fine breed of ponies. Farther east is the lofty Rupshu, the lowest point of which is 13,500 feet ; and even at this great height barley ripens, though it often fails in the higher places owing to early snowfall. In Rupshu live the nomad Champas, who are able to work in an air of extraordinary rarity, and complain bitterly of the heat of Leh (1 1,500 feet).

Everywhere on the mass of mountains are places worthy of mention, but the reader will gain a better idea of the country if he follows one or more of the better known routes. A typical route will be that along which the troops sometimes march from Jammu, the winter capital, past the Summer Palace at Srinagar in Kashmir to the distant outpost at Gilgit. The traveller will leave the railway terminus on the south bank of the Tawi, the picturesque river on which Jammu is built. From Jammu (1,200 feet) the road rises gently to Dansal (1,840 feet), passing through a stony country of low hills covered with acacias, then over steeper hills of grey sandstone where vegetation is very scarce, over the Laru Lari pass (8,200 feet), dropping down again to 5,150 feet and lower still to Ramban (2,535 feet), where the Chenab river is crossed, then steadily up till the Banihal pass (9,230 feet) is gained and the valley of Kashmir lies below.

So far the country has been broken, and the track devious, with interminable ridges, and for the most part, if we except the vale of the Bichlari, the pine woods of Chineni, and the slopes between Ramban and Deogol (Banihal), a mere series of flat uninteresting valleys, unrelieved by forests. It is a pleasure to pass from the scenery of the outer hills into the green fertile valley of Kashmir — the emerald set in pearls. The valley is surrounded by mountain ranges which rise to a height of 18,000 feet on the north-east, and until the end of May and sometimes by the beginning of October there is a continuous ring of snow around the oval plain. Leaving the Banihal pass — and no experienced traveller cares to linger on that uncertain home of the winds — the track rapidly descends to Vernag (6,000 feet), where a noble spring of deep-blue water issues from the base of a high scarp. This spring may be regarded as the source of Kashmir's great river and waterway, commonly known as the Jhelum, the Hydaspes of the ancients, the Vitasta in Sanskrit, and spoken of by the Kashmiris as the Veth. Fifteen miles north the river becomes navigable ; and the traveller, after a march of no miles, embarks at Khanabal in a fiat-bot- tomed boat and drops gently down to Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir.

Looking at a map of Kashmir, one sees a white footprint set in a mass of black mountains. This is the celebrated valley, perched securely among the Himalayas at an average height of 6,000 feet above the sea. It is approximately 84 miles in length and 20 to 25 miles in breadth. North, east, and west, range after range of mountains guard the valley from the outer world, while in the south it is cut off from the Punjab by rocky barriers, 50 to 75 miles in width. The mountain snows feed the river and the streams, and it is calculated that the Jhelum in its course through the valley has a catchment area of nearly 4,000 square miles. The mountains which surround Kashmir are infinitely varied in form and colour. To the north lies a veritable sea of mountains broken into white-crested waves, hastening away in wild confusion to the great promontory of Nanga Parbat (26,182 feet). To the cast stands Haramukh (16,903 feet), the grim mountain which guards the valley of the Sind. Farther south is Mahadeo, very sacred to the Hindus, which seems almost to look down upon Snnagar ; and south again are the lofty range of Gwash Brari (17,800 feet), and the peak of Amarnath (17,321 feet), the mountain of the pilgrims and very beautiful in the evening sun. On the south-west is the Panjal range with peaks of r 5,000 feet, over which the old imperial road of the Mughals passes ; farther north the great rolling downs of the Tosh Maidan (14,000 feet), over which men travel to the Punch country; and in the north-west corner rises the Kajinag (12,125 feet), the home of the mdrkhor.

On the west, and wherever the mountain-sides are sheltered from the hot breezes of the Punjab plains, which blow across the intervening mountains, there are grand forests of pines and firs. Down the tree- clad slopes dash mountain streams white with foam, passing in their course through pools of the purest cobalt. When the great dark forests cease and the brighter woodland begins, the banks of the streams are ablaze with clematis, honeysuckle, jasmine, and wild roses which remind one of azaleas. The green smooth turf of the woodland glades is like a well-kept lawn, dotted with clumps of hawthorn and other beautiful trees and bushes. It would be difficult to describe the colours that are seen on the Kashmir mountains. In early morning they are often a delicate semi-transparent violet relieved against a saffron sky, and with light vapours clinging round their crests. The rising sun deepens the shadows, and produces sharp outlines and strong passages of purple and indigo in the deep ravines. Later on it is nearly all blue and lavender, with white snow peaks and ridges under a vertical sun ; and as the afternoon wears on these become richer violet and pale bronze, gradually changing to rose and pink with yellow or orange snow, till the last rays of the sun have gone, leaving the mountains dyed a ruddy crimson, with the snows showing a pale creamy green by contrast. Looking downward from the mountains the valley in the sunshine has the hues of the opal ; the pale reds of the karezvas, the vivid light greens of the young rice, and the darker shades of the groves of trees relieved by sunlight sheets, gleams of water, and soft blue haze give a combination of tints reminding one irresistibly of the changing hues of that gem. It is impossible in the scope of this article to do justice to the beauty and grandeur of the mountains of Kashmir, or to enumerate the lovely glades and forests, visited by so few. Much has been written of the magnificent scenery of the Sind and Liddar valleys, and of the gentler charms of the Lolab, but the equal beauties of the western side of Kashmir have hardly been described. Few countries can offer anything grander than the deep-green mountain tarn, Konsanag, in the Panjal range, the waters of which make a wild entrance into the valley over the splendid cataract of Arabal, while the rolling grass mountain called Tosh Maidan, the springy downs of Raiyar looking over the Suknag river as it twines, foaming down from the mountains, the long winding park known as Yusumarg, and lower down still the little hills which remind one of Surrey, and Nilnag with its pretty lake screened by the dense forests, are worthy to be seen.

As one descends the mountains and leaves the woodland glades, cul- tivation commences immediately, and right up to the fringe of the forests maize is grown and walnut-trees abound. A little lower down, at an elevation of about 7,000 feet, rice of a hardy and stunted growth is found, and the shady plane-tree appears. Lower still superior rices are grown, and the watercourses are edged with willows. The side valleys which lead off from the vale of Kashmir, though possessing dis- tinctive charms of their own, have certain features in common. At the mouth of the valley lies the wide delta of fertile soil on which the rice with its varying colours, the plane-trees, mulberries, and willows grow luxuriantly ; a little higher up the land is terraced and rice still grows, and the slopes are ablaze with the wild indigo, till at about 6,000 feet the plane-tree gives place to the walnut, and rice to millets. On the left bank of the mountain river endless forests stretch from the bottom of the valley to the peaks ; and on the right bank, wherever a nook or corner is sheltered from the sun and the hot breezes of India, the pines and firs establish themselves. Farther up the valley, the river, already a roaring torrent, becomes a veritable waterfall dashing down between lofty cliffs, whose bases are fringed with maples and horse-chestnuts, white and pink, and millets are replaced by buckwheat and Tibetan barley. Soon after this the useful birch-tree appears, and then come grass and glaciers, the country of the shepherds.

Where the mountains cease to be steep, fan-like projections with flat arid tops and bare of trees run out towards the valley. These are known as kareivas. Sometimes they stand up isolated in the middle of the valley, but, whether isolated or attached to the mountains, the kareivas present the same sterile appearance and offer the same abrupt walls to the valley. The karewas are pierced by mountain torrents and seamed with ravines. Bearing in mind that Kashmir was once a lake, which dried up when nature afforded an outlet at Baramula, it is easy to recognize in the kareivas the shelving shores of a great inland sea, and to realize that the inhabitants of the old cities, the traces of which can be seen on high bluffs and on the slope of the mountains, had no other choice of sites, since in those days the present fertile valley was buried beneath a waste of water.

Kashmir abounds in mountain tarns, lovely lakes, and swampy lagoons. Of the lakes the Wular, the Dal, and the Manasbal are the most beautiful. It is also rich in springs, many of which are thermal. They are useful auxiliaries to the mountain streams in irrigation, and are sometimes the sole sources of water, as in the case of Achabal, Vernag, and Kokarnag on the south, and Arpal on the east. Islamabad or Anantnag, ' the place of the countless springs,' sends out numerous streams. One of these springs, the Maliknag, is sulphurous, and its water is highly prized for garden cultivation. The Kashmiris are good judges of water. They regard Kokarnag as the best source of drinking-water, while Chashma Shahi above the Dal Lake stands high in order of merit. It is time now for the traveller who has been resting in Srinagar to set out on the great northern road which leads to Gilgit. He will have admired the quaint, insanitary city lying along the banks of the Jhelum, with a length of 3 miles and an average breadth of i£ miles on either side of the river. The houses vary in size from the large and spacious brick palaces of the Pandit aristocrat and his 500 retainers, warmed in the winter by hammams, to the doll house of three storeys, where the poor shawl-weaver lives his cramped life, and shivers in the frosty weather behind lattice windows covered with paper. In the spring and summer the earthen roofs of the houses, resting on layers of birch-bark, are bright with green herbage and flowers. The canals with their curious stone bridges and shady waterway, and the great river with an average width of eighty yards, spanned by wooden bridges, crowded with boats of every description, and lined by bathing boxes, are well worth studying. The wooden bridges are cheap, effective, and pictur- esque, and their construction is ingenious, for in design they appear to have anticipated the modern cantilever principle. Old boats filled with stones were sunk at the sites chosen for pier foundations. Piles were then driven and more boats were sunk. When a height above the low- water level was reached, wooden trestles of deodar were constructed by placing rough-hewn logs at right angles. As the structure approached the requisite elevation to admit of chakivdris (house-boats) passing be- neath, deodar logs were cantilevered. This reduced the span, and huge trees were made to serve as girders to support the roadway.

The foun- dations of loose stones and piles have been protected on the upstream side by planking, and a rough but effective cut-water made. The secret of the stability of these old bridges may, perhaps, be attributed to the skeleton piers offering little or no resistance to the large volume of water brought down at flood-time. It is true that the heavy floods of 1893 swept away six out of the seven city bridges, and that the cumbrous piers tend to narrow the waterway, but it should be remembered that the old bridges had weathered many a serious flood. Not long ago two of the bridges, the Habba Kadal and the Zaina Kadal, had rows of shops on them reminding one of Old London Bridge ; but these have now been cleared away.

The distance by road from Srinagar to Gilgit is 228 miles, and the traveller can reach Bandipura at the head of the Wular Lake by boat or by land. The Gilgit road, which cost the Kashmir State, in the first instance, 15 lakhs, is a remarkable achievement, and was one of the greatest boons ever conferred on the Kashmiri subjects of the Maharaja. Previous to its construction supplies for the Gilgit garrison were carried by impressed labourers, many of whom perished on the passes, or returned crippled and maimed by frost-bite on the snow or accident on the goat paths that did duty for roads. The journey to Gilgit before 1890 has been aptly compared with the journey to Siberia. Now, sup- plies are carried on ponies and the name Gilgit is no longer a terror to the people of Kashmir.

From Bandipura a steep ascent leads to the Raj Diangan pass (1 1,800 feet), a most dreaded place in the winter months, when the cold winds mean death to man and beast. Thence through a beautifully wooded and watered country, past the lovely valley of Gurais, down which the Kishanganga flows, the traveller has no difficulties till he reaches the Burzil pass (13,500 feet), below which the summer road to Skardu across the dreary wastes of the Deosai plains branches off to the north- east. This is a very easy pass in summer, but is very dangerous in a snowstorm or high wind.

Descending from the Burzil the whole scene changes. The forests and vegetation of Kashmir are left behind, the trees are few and of a strange appearance, and the very flowers look foreign. It is a bleak and rugged country, and when Astor (7,853 feet) is left the sense of desola- tion increases. Nothing can be more dreary than the steep descent from Doian down the side of the arid Hattu Fir into the sterile waste of the Indus valley. It is cool at Doian (8,720 feet); it is stifling at Ram- ghat (3,800 feet), where one passes over the Astor river by a suspension bridge. The old construction was a veritable bridge of sighs to the Kashmir convicts who were forced across the river and left to their fate ■ — starvation or capture by the slave-hunters from Chilas. A little cultivation at Bunji relieves the eye ; but there is nothing to cheer the traveller until the Indus has been crossed by a fine bridge, and 30 miles farther the pleasant oasis of Gilgit is reached.

The Indus valley is a barren dewless country. The very river with its black water looks hot, and the great mountains are destitute of vegetation. The only thing of beauty is the view of the snowy ranges, and Nanga Parbat in the rising sun seen from the crossing of the Indus river to Gilgit sweeps into oblivion the dreadful desert of sands and rock. Gilgit (4,890 feet) itself is fertile and well watered. The moun- tains fall back from the river, and leave room for cultivation on the alluvial land bordering the right bank of the Gilgit river, a rare feature in the northern parts of the Maharaja's dominion.

Another route giving a general idea of the country runs from west to east, from Kohala on the Jhelum to Leh, about 5 miles beyond the Indus. A good road from Rawalpindi brings the traveller to Kohala, where he crosses the Jhelum by a bridge, and enters the territories of Tammu and Kashmir. The cart-road passes from Kohala to Srinagar, a distance of 132 miles, by easy gradients. As far as Baramula the road is close to the river, but for the most part at a great height above it, and the scenery is beautiful. At Muzaffarabad the Kishanganga river joins the Jhelum, and here the road from Abbottabad and Garhi Hablb-ullah connects with the Kashmir route. The road runs along the left bank of the Jhelum, through careful terraced cultivation, above which are pine forests and pastures. It carries a very heavy traffic, but owing to the formation of the country it is liable to constant breaches, and is expensive to keep in repair.

From Uri a road runs south to the country of the Raja of Punch, the chief feudatory of the Maharaja, crossing the Haji pass (8,500 feet). At Baramula the road enters the valley of Kashmir, and runs through a continuous avenue of poplars to Srinagar. In bygone days this route, known as the Jhelum valley road — now the chief means of communica- tion with India — was little used. The Bambas and Khakhas, who still hold the country, were a restless and warlike people ; and the numerous forts that command the narrow valley suggest that the neighbourhood was unsafe for the ordinary traveller. The construction of the road from Kohala to Baramula cost the State nearly 22 lakhs.

From Srinagar to Leh is 243 miles. The first part of the journey runs up the Sind valley, perhaps the most exquisite scenery in Kashmir. Fitful efforts are made from time to time to improve this important route, but it still remains a mere fair-weather track. The Sind river thunders down the valley, and the steep mountains rise on either side, the northern slopes covered with pine forest, the southern bare and treeless. At Gagangir the track climbs along the river torrent to Sonamarg (8,650 feet), the last and highest village in the Sind valley, if we except the small hamlet of Nilagrar some 2 miles higher up. Sonamarg is a beautiful mountain meadow surrounded by glaciers and forests. It is a miserable place in the winter time, but it is of great importance to encourage a resident population. The chief staples of cultivation are grim, or Tibetan barley, and buckwheat. It is good to turn loose the baggage ponies to graze on the meadow grasses ; for in a few more marches one passes into a region like the country beyond the Burzil on the road to Gilgit, a land devoid of forests and pastures, 'a desert of bare crags and granite dust, a cloudless region always burn- ing or freezing under the clear blue sky.' The Zoji La (1 1,300 feet) is the lowest depression in the great Western Himalayas which run from the Indus valley on the Chilas frontier. Over this high range the rains from the south hardly penetrate, and the cultivation, scanty and diffi- cult, depends entirely on artificial canals. The ascent to the Zoji La from Kashmir is very steep, the descent to the elevated table-land of Tibet almost imperceptible. For five marches the route follows the course of the Dras river, through a desolate country of piled up rocks and loose gravel. At Chanagund the road to Skardu crosses the Dras river by a cantilever bridge, 4 miles above the junction of the Dras and Suru rivers, and about 8 miles farther on the Indus receives their waters. But the steep cliffs of the Indus offer no path to the traveller, and the track leaves the Dras river, and turns in a southerly direction to Kargil, a delightful oasis.

Then the road abandons the valleys and ascends the bare mountains. The dreary scenery is compensated by the cloudless pale blue sky and the dry bracing air so characteristic of Ladakh. Through gorges and defiles the valley of Shergol is reached) the first Buddhist village on the road. Thenceforward the country is Buddhist, and the road runs up and down over the Namika La ( 1 3,000 feet) and over the Fotu La (13,400 feet), the highest point on the Leh road. Along the road near the villages are Buddhist monasteries, mam's (walls of praying stones) and chortens, where the ashes of the dead mixed with clay and moulded into a little idol are placed, and at Lamayaru there is a wilderness of monuments. Later, the Indus is crossed by a long cantilever bridge ; and the road runs along the right bank through the fertile oasis of Khalsi, then through the usual desert with an occasional patch of vegetation to Leh (11,500 feet), the capital of Western Tibet and of Western Buddhism, and the trade terminus for caravans from India and from Central Asia. It is a long and difficult road from Leh to Yarkand, 482 miles, over the Khardung La, the Sasser La, and the Karakoram pass of between 17,000 and 19,000 feet altitude, where the useful yak (Bos grunniens) relieves the ponies of their loads when fresh snow has fallen, or serves unladen to consolidate a path for the ponies. A brief description may be given of one more of the many routes that follow the rivers and climb the mountains — the route from Leh through Baltistan to Astor on the Gilgit road. At Khalsi, where the Srlnagar-Leh road crosses the Indus, the track keeps to the right bank of the Indus, and passing down the deep gorge of the river comes to a point where the stupendous cliffs and the roaring torrent prevent farther progress. There the traveller strikes away from the Indus and ascends the mountains to the Chorbat pass (16,700 feet), covered with snow even in July. From the pass, across the valley of the Shyok river, the great Karakoram range, some 50 miles away, comes into view. An abrupt descent carries the traveller from winter into hot summer ; and by a difficult track which in places is carried along the face of the cliff by frail scaffolding (pari), following the course of the Shyok river, smoothly flowing between white sands of granite, and passing many pleasant oases, one comes to the grateful garden of Khapallu, a paradise to the simple Baltis. Crossing the united waters of the Shyok and the Indus on a small skin raft, the traveller arrives at Skardu (7,250 feet), the old capital of Baltistan.

Here the mountains on either side of the Indus recede, and the sandy basin, about 5 miles in breadth, is partially irrigated by water from the pretty mountain lake of Satpura and care- fully cultivated. Looking across the Indus to the north, the Shigar valley, the garden of Baltistan, with its wealth of fruit trees is seen. There the cultivator adds to his resources by washing gold from the sands of the river. From Skardu the direct route to (lilgit follows the Indus, which is crossed at Rondu by a rope bridge so long as to be most trying to the nerves, but a fair-weather track over the Banak pass lands the traveller on the Gilgit road at Astor.

It is difficult to give a general idea of a country so diversified as Kashmir and Jammu. As will be seen in the section on History, a strange destiny has brought people of distinct races, languages, and religions, and countries of widely different physical characteristics, under the rule of the Maharaja.

The Kashmir territory may be divided physically into two areas : the north-eastern, comprising the area drained by the Indus with its tribu- taries ; and the south-western, including the country drained by the Jhelum with its tributary the Kishanganga, and by the Chenab. The dividing line or watershed is formed by the great central mountain range which runs from Nanga Parbat, overhanging the Indus on the north- west, in a south-easterly direction for about 240 miles till it enters British territory in Lahul.

The south-western area may, following the nomenclature of Mr. Drew, in its turn be geographically divided into three sections : the region of the outer hills, the middle mountains, and the Kashmir Valley. Approaching Kashmir from the plains of the Punjab, the boundary is not at the foot of the hills, but embraces a strip of the great plains from 5 to 15 miles wide, reaching from the Ravi to the Jhelum. As is generally the case along the foot of the Western Himalayas, this tract of flat country is somewhat arid and considerably cut up by ravines which carry off the flood-water of the monsoon. A fair amount of cul- tivation is found on the plateaux between these ravines, though, being entirely dependent on the rainfall, the yield is somewhat precarious. The height of this tract may be taken at from 1,100 to 1,200 feet above sea-level.

Passing over the plain a region of broken ground and low hills is reached, running mainly in ridges parallel to the general line of the Himalayan chain. These vary in height from 2,000 to 4,000 feet, and are largely composed of sandstone, being in fact a continuation of the Siwalik geological formation. Lying between these parallel ridges are a series of valleys or duns, fairly well populated, in the east by Dogras and in the west by Chibs. These hills are sparsely covered with low scrub bushes, the chlr (Pinus longifolia) gradually predominating as the inner hills are reached. Beyond these lower hills rise the spurs of a more mountainous district.

The scope of this region, as defined by Mr. Drew, has been some- what extended, and includes the range which forms the southern boundary of the Kashmir Valley, known as the Panjal range, and its continuation eastwards beyond the Chenab. This tract is about 1 80 miles long and varies in width from 25 to 35 miles. The portion lying between the Jhelum and Chenab is formed by the mass of moun- tainous spurs running down from the high Panjal range which forms its northern limit. The Panjal itself, extending from Muzaffarabad on the Jhelum to near Kishtwar on the Chenab, is a massive mountain range, the highest central portion to which the name is truly applied having a length of 80 miles, with peaks rising to 14,000 and 15,000 feet. From the southern side a series of spurs branch out, which break up the ground into an intricate mountain mass cut into by ravines or divided by narrow valleys.

The elevation of these middle mountains is sufficient to give a thoroughly temperate character to the vegetation. Forests of Hima- layan oak, pine, spruce, silver fir, and deodar occupy a great part of the mountain slopes ; the rest, the more sunny parts, where forest trees do not flourish, is, except where rocks jut out, well covered with herbage, with plants and flowers that resemble those of Central or Southern Europe. East of the Chenab river rises a somewhat similar mass of hills, forming the district of Bhadarwah, with peaks varying from 9,000 to 14,000 feet in height. These culminate in the high range which forms the Chamba and Ravi watershed in Chamba territory.

The third section of the south-western area bears a unique char- acter in the Himalayas, consisting of an open valley of considerable extent completely surrounded by mountains. The boundaries are formed on the north-east by the great central range which separates the Jhelum and Indus drainage, and on the south by the Panjal range already described. The eastern boundary is formed by a high spur of the main range, which branching off at about 75 30' E. runs nearly due south, its peaks maintaining an elevation of from 12,000 to 14,000 feet. This minor range forms the watershed between the Jhelum and Chenab, separating the Kashmir from the Wardwan valley. It eventually joins and blends with the Panjal range about 16 miles west of Kishtwar. On the north and west, the bounding ranges of the valley are more difficult to describe. A few miles west of the spot from which the eastern boundary spur branches near the Zoji La, another minor range is given off. This runs nearly due west for about 1oo miles at an elevation of from 12,000 to 13,000 feet, with a width of from 15 to 20 miles. It forms the watershed between the Jhelum on the south and its important tributary the Kishanganga on the north. After reaching 74 degree 15' E. the ridge gradually curves round to the south, until it reaches the Jhelum abreast of the western end of the Panjal range. The valley thus enclosed has a length, measured from ridge to ridge, of about 115 miles with a width varying from 45 to 70 miles, and is drained throughout by the Jhelum with its various tributaries. The flat portion is much restricted, owing to the spurs given off by the great central range, which run down into the plain, forming the well-known Sind and Liddar valleys. On the southern side the spurs from the Panjal range project 10 to 16 miles into the plain.

The north-eastern section is comprised between the great central chain on the south and the Karakoram range and its continuation on the north. It is drained by the Indus and its great tributaries, the Shyok, the Zaskar, the Sum, and the Gilgit rivers. The chief charac- teristic of this region, more especially of the eastern portion, is the great altitude of the valleys and plains. The junction of the Gilgit and Indus rivers is 4,300 feet above sea-level. Proceeding upstream, 80 miles farther east at the confluence of the Shyok and Indus, the level of the latter is 7,700 feet; opposite Leh, 130 miles farther up the river, its height is 10,600 feet, while near the Kashmir-Tibet boundary in the Kokzhung district the river runs at the great height of 13,800 feet above sea-level.

Between the various streams which drain the country rise ranges of mountains, those in the central portions attaining an elevation of 16,000 to 20,000 feet, while the mighty flanking masses of the Kara- koram culminate in the great peak Godwin Austen (28,265 feet)- The difference of the level in the valleys between the eastern and western tracts has its natural effect on the scenery. In the east, as in the Rupshu district of Ladakh, the lowest ground is 13,500 feet above the sea, while the mountains run very evenly to a height of 20, coo or 21,000 feet. The result is a series of long open valleys, bounded by comparatively low hills having very little of the characteristics of what is generally termed a mountainous country. To the west as the valleys deepen, while the bordering mountains keep at much the same eleva- tion, the character of the country changes, and assumes the more familiar Himalayan character of massive ridges and spurs falling steeply into the deep valleys between.

The central chain commences in the west at the great mountain mass rising directly above the Indus, of which the culminating peak is Nanga Parbat. From this point it runs in a south-easterly direction, forming the watershed between the Indus and the Kishanganga. It quickly falls to an altitude of 14,000 to 15,000 feet, at which it con- tinues for 50 or 60 miles. It is crossed by several passes, the best known of which are the Burzil on the road from Kashmir to Gilgit, and the Zoji La of 11,300 feet, over which runs the road from Srinagar to Dras and Leh. From the Zoji La the mountains rapidly rise in elevation, the peaks attaining an altitude of 18,000 to 20,000 feet, culminating in the Nun Kun peaks which rise to a height of over 23,000 feet. Owing to their altitude these mountains are under per- petual snow, and glaciers form in every valley. The range keeps this character throughout Kashmir territory for a distance of 150 miles to the Bara Lacha (pass), where it passes into Spiti.

The Karakoram range is of a far more complicated character. Broadly speaking, it is a continuation of the Hindu Kush, and forms the watershed between the Central Asian drainage and the streams flowing into the Indian Ocean. From its main ridge lofty spurs extend into Kashmir, separating the various tributaries of the Indus, the result being a stupendous mountain mass 220 miles long, with a width on the south side of the watershed of 30 to 60 miles, with peaks averaging from 21,000 to 23,000 feet, culminating on the west in the well-known Rakaposhi mountain, north of Gilgit, over 25,500 feet high, and in the mighty group of peaks round the head of the Baltoro glacier dominated by the second highest mountain in the world, Godwin Austen, whose summit is 28,265 f eet above the sea. The head of every valley is the birthplace of a glacier. Many of these are of immense size, such as the Baltoro, the Biafo, and Hispar glaciers, the two latter forming an unbroken stretch of ice over 50 miles long. This great mountain barrier is broken through at one point by the Hunza stream, a tributary of the Gilgit river, the watershed at the head of which has the com- paratively low elevation of about 15,500 feet. The next well-known pass lies 150 miles to the east, where the road from Leh to Yarkand leads over the Karakoram pass at an altitude of about 18,300 feet.

A description of this mountainous region would be incomplete with- out a reference to the vast elevated plains of Lingzhithang, which lie at the extreme north-eastern limit of Kashmir territory. These plains are geographically allied to the great Tibetan plateau. The ground- level is from 16,000 to 17,000 feet above the sea, and such rain as falls drains into a series of salt lakes. Of vegetation there is little or none, the country being a desolate expanse of earth and rock. The northern border of this plateau is formed by the Kuenlun mountains, the northern face of which slopes down into the plains of Khotan.

An account of the geology will be found in the memoir by Mr. R. Lydekker, The Geology of tlie Kashmir and Chamha Territories and the British District of Khagan. Mr. Lydekker differs from Mr. Drew, also an expert in geology, who held that some of the gravels at Baramula were of glacial origin, indicating the existence of glaciers in the valley at a level of 5,000 feet ; but he has no doubts as to their existence on the Plr Panjal range and in the neighbourhood of the various margs or mountain meadows which surround the valley. The question of the glaciation and the evidences of relative changes of level within a geologically recent period is fully discussed for the Sind valley by Mr. R. I). Oldham in Eecords, Geological Survey of India, vol. xxxii, part ii.

There is abundant evidence that igneous or volcanic agencies were actively at work, as is proved by the outpouring of vast quantities of volcanic rocks ; but these are not known to have been erupted since the eocene period. Subterraneous thermal action is, however, indicated by the prevalence of numerous hot springs. The burning fields at Soiyam, of which an account is given by Sir W. Lawrence, Valley of Kashmir , pp. 42-3, point to the same conclusion, and the frequency of earthquakes suggests subterranean instability in this area.

The following table of geological systems in descending order is given by Mr. Lydekker for the whole State: —

Kahmir and jammu.png

Under the first of these systems, Mr. Lydekker has discussed the interesting question, whether Kashmir was once covered by a great lake. In this discussion the karewas already described play an impor- tant part, and the only explanation of the upper karewas is that Kashmir was formerly occupied by a vast lake of which the existing lakes are remnants. Mr. Drew estimated that at one period this lake must have reached a level of nearly 2,000 feet above the present height of the valley, but this estimate is considered far too high by Mr. Lydekker. No very satisfactory conclusions can be drawn at present as to the barrier which dammed the old lake, or as to the relative period of its existence.

A full account of the flora of Kashmir is given by Lawrence, Valley of Kashmir, chap. iv. The valley has an enormous variety of plants, and the Kashmiri finds a use for most of them. Among condiments the most important is the zlra siyah (Canon sp.), or carraway. Under drugs, Cannabis saliva, the hemp plant, and Artemisia or telivan may be mentioned. Asafoetida is found in the Astor tahsil. Numerous plants yield dyes and tans, of which Datisca cannabina, Rubia cordifolia, and Geranium nepalense are the most familiar. Kashmir is rich in fibres, and the people make great use of them. The two best are the Abutilon Avicennae and the Cannabis saliva. Burza (Betula i/tilis), the paper birch, is a most important tree to the natives. The bark is employed for various purposes, such as roofs of houses, writing paper, and packing paper. Many of the ancient manuscripts are written on birch bark. The Kashmiri neglects nothing which can be eaten as fodder. The willow, the Indian chestnut, the cotoneaster, the hawthorn, and the poplar are always lopped to provide fodder for cattle and sheep in the winter.

Excellent grasses abound, and the swamps yield most nutritious reeds and other plants. There is an abundance of food-plants, too numerous to be enumerated here. Eitryale ferox, JVymp/iaea steliata, JV. alba, Xelumbium speciosum, the exquisite pink water-lily, Acorns Calamus, and Typha sp., the reed mace, all contribute to the Kashmiri's sustenance. Wild fruits are in profusion, and many fungi are eaten by the people. The mushroom is common, and the morel (Morchella sp.) abounds in the mountains and forms an important export to India. There are plants that are useful for hair-washes, and the herbs with medicinal properties are almost innumerable. Macrotomia Benthami is one of these peculiarly esteemed by the Kashmiris as a remedy for heart-affections. Among the scents may be noted Gogal dhup (Jurinea macrocephala), which is largely exported to India, where it is used by Hindus. The most important of the aromatic plants is the Saussurea Lappa. This grows at high elevations from 8,000 to 9,000 feet. The root has a scent like orris with a blend of violet. It is largely exported to China, where it is used as incense in the joss houses. It has many valuable properties, and is a source of considerable revenue to the State. There is a great variety of trees, but the oak, the holly, and the Himalayan rhododendron are unknown. Among the long list of trees may be noticed the deodar, the blue pine, the spruce, the silver fir, the yew, the walnut, and the Indian horse-chestnut.

In the valley itself the exquisite plane-tree, the mulberry, the apricot, and the willow are perhaps the most familiar. Kashmir offers great attraction to the sportsman, and for its size the valley and the surrounding mountains possess a large and varied animal kingdom. A full account of the animals and birds will be found in The J'li/ley of Kashmir, chap. v. Since that book was written game preservation has made great strides, and has prevented the extinction of the bdrasingha [Cervus duvauceli) and the hangal or Kashmir stag (C. cashmirianui). Among the Cervidae, the musk deer {Moschus moschiferus) is common and its pod is valuable. Of the family Ursidae, the black bear, or bomba hapat (Ursus torquatus), is very common, being a great pest to the crops and a danger to the people. The brown bear, or lal hapat ( Ursus arctus or isabellinus), is still far from rare. It is partly herbivorous and partly carnivorous. Of the family Bovidae, the markhor (Capra falconeri) and the ibex (C. sibiricd) are still to be met with. The Kashmir markhor has from one to two com- plete turns in the spirals of its horns. The tahr or jagla (Hemitragus) is found on the Plr Panjal, and the serow or rami/ {Nemorhaedus bubalinus) is fairly common. The goral (Cemas gora/) also occurs.

There is a considerable variety of birds. The blue heron {Ardea cinerea) is very common, and fine heronries exist at several places. The heron's feathers are much valued, and the right to collect the feathers is farmed out. Among game-birds may be noticed the snow partridge {Lenva lerzva), the Himalayan snow cock {Tetraogal/its himalayensis), the chikor partridge (Caccabis chukar), the large grey quail (Cofurm'x), the monal pheasant (Lophophon/s refu/gens), the Simla horned pheasant (Tragopau melanocephalum) % and the Kashmir Pucras pheasant {Pucrasin biddulphi). The large sand-grouse (Pteroc/es aren- arius) is occasionally seen. Pigeons, turtle-doves, rails, grebes, gulls, plovers, snipe, cranes, are common, and storks are sometimes seen. Geese are found in vast flocks on the Wular Lake in the winter, and there are at least thirteen kinds of duck. The goosander and smew are also found on the Wular Lake. There are six species of eagles, four of falcons, and four of owls. Kingfishers, hoopoes, bee-eaters, night-jars, swifts, cuckoos, woodpeckers, parrots, crows in great variety, choughs, starlings, orioles, finches (12 species), buntings, larks, wag- tails, creepers, tits, shrikes, warblers (14 species), thrushes (20 species), dippers, wrens, babbling thrushes, bulbuls, fly-catchers, and swallows are all familiar birds.

Among the reptiles there are two poisonous snakes, the gunas and ihe pohio; the bite of which is often fatal. Fish forms an important item in the food of the Kashmiris. Yigne noticed only six different kinds, but Lawrence enumerated thirteen. As the elevation varies from 1,200 feet at Jammu and 3,000 in the Indus valley at Bunji and Chilas to 25,000 and 26,000 feet on the highest mountain peaks, the State presents an extraordinary variety of climatic conditions. The local variations of temperature depend chiefly upon situation (i.e. whether in a valley or on the crest of a mountain range), elevation, and the amount of the winter snowfall and the period and depth of the snow accumulation. The effect of position in a valley or a mountain crest is shown by comparing the temperatures of Murree and Srinagar. The Murree observatory is about 1,200 feet higher than the Srinagar observatory. The mean maximum day temperature in January at Murree is 7 higher than at Srinagar, and the mean minimum night temperature 9 higher. On the other hand, in the hottest month (June) the maximum day temperature is i° lower at Murree than at Srinagar, while the minimum night temperatures are almost identical. The diurnal range is 2° less in January, 7 less in June, and 14 less in October at Murree than at Srinagar. The slow movement of the air from the higher elevations into valleys more or less completely shut in by mountains tends to depress temperature at valley stations both by day and night considerably below that at similar elevations on the crest of the Outer Himalayas, and to increase the diurnal range most largely in the dry clear months of October and November, when the sinking down of the air from the adjacent mountains has its greatest effect, and is supplemented by rapid radiation from the ground.

The effect of snow accumulation in valleys in reducing temperature is very marked. At Dras and Sonamarg, where the accumulation is usually large, the solar heat on clear fine days in winter is utilized in melting the snow and hence exercises no influence on the air temperature. At Leh, where the ground is only occasionally concealed under a thin covering of snow, the sun even in winter usually warms the ground surface directly and thence the air. The cooling influence of snow accumula- tion at Dras and Sonamarg is largely increased by the rapid radiation from the surface. The mean daily temperature is lowest in January and highest in June or July. At Srinagar the mean temperature of January is 33- 1°. The mean temperature of the hottest month (July) at Srinagar is 74-6°. The mean temperature in January and August ranges from 25-3° to 75 at Skardu, from 3-4° to 64-5° at Dras, from 17-7° to 61. 8° at Leh, and from 36-6° to 85° (in July) at Gilgit. The most noteworthy features of the annual variation are the very rapid increase in March or April at the end of the winter, and an equally rapid decrease in October, when the skies clear after the south-west monsoon. The diurnal range is least at Gilgit (IO-8 ) and Srinagar (22-4°) on the mean of the year, and greatest at Dras (31-4°) and Leh (26-3°).

The precipitation is received during two periods, the cold season from December to April, and the south-west monsoon period from June to September. The rainfall in October and November is small in amount, and November is usually the driest month of the year. The cold-season precipitation from December to March is chiefly due to storms which advance from Persia and Baluchistan across Northern India. These disturbances occasionally give very stormy weather in Kashmir, with violent winds on the higher elevations and much snow. The fall is large on the Pir Panjal range, being heaviest in January or February. In the valley and the mountain ranges to the north and east this is the chief precipitation of the year, and is very heavy on the first line of permanent snow, but decreases rapidly eastwards to the Karakoram range. The largest amount is received at Srinagar, Dras, and Anantnag in January. In the Karakoram region and the Tibetan plateau the winter fall is much later than on the outer ranges of the Himalayas, namely from March to May, and the maximum is received in April. The average depth of the snowfall at Srinagar in an ordinary winter is about 8 feet. The snowfall at Sonamarg in 1902 measured 13 feet and in 1903 about 30 feet. In April and May thunderstorms are of occasional occurrence in the valley and surrounding hills, giving light to moderate showers of rain. This hot-season rainfall is of con- siderable importance for cultivation in the valley. From June to November heavy rain falls on the Pir Panjal range, and in Jammu chiefly in the months of July, August, and September. The rainfall at Jammu and Punch is comparable with that of the submontane Districts of the Punjab. It is more moderate in amount in the valley, which receives a total of 9-4 inches, as compared with 35-7 inches at Punch and 26-8 inches at Domel. The precipitation is very light to the east of the first line of the snows bordering the valley on the east, and is about 2 inches in total amount at Gilgit, Skardu, Kargil, and Leh. Thus the south-west monsoon is the predominant feature in Jammu and Kishtwar, while in Ladakh, Gilgit, and the higher ranges the cold- season precipitation is more important. Tables I and II on p. 144 show the average temperature and rainfall at Srinagar and Leh for a series of years ending with 1905.

Earthquakes are not uncommon, and eleven accompanied by loss of life have been recorded since the fifteenth century. In 1885 shocks were felt from the end of May till the middle of August, and about 3,500 people were killed ; fissures opened in the earth, and landslips occurred. Floods are also frequently mentioned in the histories of the country, the greatest following the obstruction of the Jhelum by the fall of a mountain in a.d. 879. The great flood of 1841 in the Indus caused much loss of life and damage to property. In 1893 very serious floods took place in the Jhelum owing to continuous rain for 52 hours, and much damage was done to Srinagar. An inundation of a yet more serious character occurred in 1903.


The early history of Kashmir has been preserved in the celebrated Rajatanvigini, by the poet Kalhana, who began to write in 1148. He . gives a connected account of the history of the valley, which may be accepted as a trustworthy record from the middle of the ninth century onwards. Kalhana's work was con- tinued by Jonaraja, who brought the history through the troubled times of the last Hindu dynasties, and the first Muhammadan rulers, to the time of the great Zain-ul-abidin, who ascended the throne in 1420. Another Sanskrit chronicler, Srivara, carries on the narrative to the accession of Fateh Shah in i486 ; and the last of the chronicles, the Rajavalipataka, brings the record down to 1586, when the valley was conquered by Akbar.

The current legend in Kashmir relates that the valley was once covered by the waters of a mighty lake, on which the goddess Parvati sailed in a pleasure-boat from Haramukh mountain in the north to the Konsanag lake in the south. In her honour the lake was known as the Satisar, or ' lake of the virtuous woman.' The country-side was harassed by a demon popularly known as Jaldeo, a corruption of Jalodbhava. Kasyapa, the grandson of Brahma, came to the rescue, but for some time the amphibious demon eluded him, hiding under the water. Vishnu then intervened and struck the mountains at Baramula with his trident. The waters of the lake rushed out, but the demon took refuge in the low ground near where Srinagar now stands, and baffled pursuit. Then Parvati cast a mountain on him, and so de- stroyed the wicked Jaldeo. The mountain is known as Hara Parbat, and from ancient times the goddess has been worshipped on its slopes. When the demons had been routed, men visited the valley in the summer ; and as the climate became milder they remained for the winter. Little kingdoms sprang up and the little kings quarrelled among themselves, with the usual result that a bigger king was called in to rule the country.

The Rajataranginl opens with the name of the glorious king of Kashmir, Gonanda, ' worshipped by the region which Kailasa lights up, and which the tossing Ganga clothes with a soft garment.' Nothing is known of the founder of the dynasty, though the genealogists of Jammu trace a direct descent from Gonanda to the present ruler. Mention is made of the pious Asoka and of his town, Srinagar, with its ninety-six lakhs of houses resplendent with wealth. This town probably stood in the neighbourhood of the Takht-i-Sulaiman. Next come the three kings, Hushka, Jushka, and Kanishka, to be identified with Huvishka, Vasudeva, and Kanishka, the Kushan rulers of Northern India at the beginning of the Christian era. According to the chronicles, in the days of these kings Kashmir was in the possession of the Buddhists, and Buddhist tradition asserts that the third great council held by Kanishka took place in Kashmir. The Buddhist creed and the Brah- manical cult seem to have existed peaceably side by side ; but five hundred years later Hiuen Tsiang found the mass of the people Hindu, and the monasteries few and partly deserted. There is good reason to believe that the Kashmiris were, from the earliest period, chiefly Saivas.

About a.d. 528, Mihirakula, the king 'cruel as death,' ruled over Kashmir. He was the leader of the White Huns or Ephthalites. The people still point to a ridge on the Plr Panjal range, Hastlvanj, where the king, to amuse himself, drove one hundred elephants over the precipice, enjoying their cries of agony. King Gopaditya was a pleasing contrast to the cruel king, and did much to raise the Brah- mans, and to advance their interests. Pravarasena II reigned in the sixth century and, returning from his victorious campaigns abroad, built a magnificent city on the site of the present capital of Kashmir. The city was known as Pravarapura, and is mentioned by Hiuen Tsiang at the time of his visit (a.d. 631) as the ' new city.' The site chosen has many advantages, strategic and com- mercial, but it is liable to floods. Many subsequent rulers endeavoured to move the site of the capital, but their efforts failed. Among these was the celebrated Lalitaditya, who ruled in the middle of the eighth century, and received an investiture from the emperor of China. A great and victorious soldier, he subdued the kings of India and invaded Central Asia. After twelve years of successful campaigning he returned to Kashmir, enriched with spoil and accompanied by artisans from various countries, and built a magnificent city, Paraspur (Parihasapura). To give this new town pre-eminence, he burnt down Pravarapura. Lalitaditya also built the splendid temple of Martand. Before leaving for further conquests in Central Asia, from which he never returned, the king gave his subjects some excellent advice. He warns them against internal feuds, and says that if the forts are kept in repair and provisioned they need fear no foe. In a country shut in by mountains, discipline must be strict, and the cultivators must not be left with grain more than sufficient for a year's requirements. Cultivators should not be allowed to have more ploughs or cattle than are absolutely neces- sary, or they will trespass on their neighbours' fields. They should be repressed, and their style of living must be lower than that of the city people, or the latter will suffer. These words spoken some 1,200 years ago have never been forgotten ; and rulers of various races and religions have followed Lalitaditya's policy, and sternly subordinated the interests of the cultivators to the comfort of the city.

Sankara Varman (883-902) was another great conqueror; and it is stated that, though Kashmir had fallen off in population, he was able to lead out an army of 900,000 foot, 300 elephants, and 100,000 horse. Sankara Varman was avaricious and profligate. He plundered Paraspur in order to raise the fame of his own town, now known as Pattan. There were signs of decay, and the last of the strong Hindu rulers was queen Didda (950-1003). Then followed the Lohara dynasty. Central authority was weakened, the country was a prey to civil war and violence, and the Damaras, skilled in burning, plundering, and fighting, harassed the valley. The last of this line was Jaya Simha, or Simha Deva (1128); and in his reign the Tartar, Khan Dalcha, invaded Kashmir, and after great slaughter set fire to Srlnagar. He subsequently perished in the passes on his retreat from Kashmir, over- taken by snow. Ram Chand, the commander-in-chief of the Kashmir army, had meanwhile kept up some semblance of authority in the valley, and had routed the Gaddis from Kishtwar. With Ram Chand were two soldiers of fortune, Rainchan Shah from Tibet and Shah Mirza from Swat.

Rainchan Shah quarrelled with Ram Chand, and with the assistance of the Ladakhis attacked and killed him. He married Kuta Rani, the daughter of Ram Chand, and embracing Islam became the first Muhammadan king of Kashmir, but died after a short reign of two and a half years. At this juncture Udayanadeva appeared, who was the brother of Raja Simha Deva and had fled to Kishtwar. He married the widow, Kuta Rani, and reigned for fifteen years. On his death Kuta Rani assumed power for a short time, and committed suicide rather than marry Shah Mirza, who now declared himself king. He was the first of the line known as Salatln-i- Kashmir, and took the name of Shams-ud-dln. In 1394 Sultan Sikandar, known for his fierce zeal as Butshikan or ' iconoclast,' was king of Kashmir. He was a gloomy fanatic, and destroyed nearly all the grand buildings and temples of his Hindu predecessors. To the people he offered death, conversion, or exile. Many fled ; many were converted to Islam ; many were killed, and it is said that Sikandar burnt seven maunds of sacred threads worn by the murdered Brahmans. By the end of his reign all Hindu inhabitants of the valley, except the Brahmans, had probably adopted Islam.

In 1420 Zain-ul-abidln succeeded. He was wise, virtuous, and frugal, and very tolerant to the Brahmans. He remitted the poll-tax on Hindus, encouraged the Brahmans to learn Persian, repaired some of the Hindu temples, and revived Hindu learning. Hitherto in Kashmir Sanskrit had been written in Sarada, an older sister of the Devanagarl character. The introduction of Persian, as the official language, divided the Brahmans into three subdivisions : the Karkuns, who entered official life ; the Bachabatts, who discharged the function of the priesthood ; and the Pandits, who devoted themselves to Sanskrit learning. Towards the end of this good and useful reign the Chakks sprang into mischievous prominence. Zain-ul-abidln drove them out of the valley, but in the time of his weak successors they returned and eventually seized the government of Kashmir. Turbulent and brave, the Chakks were not fitted for administration. Yakub Khan, the last of the line, offered a stubborn resistance to Akbar, and with the help of the Bambas and Khakhas routed the Mughal on his first attempt on the valley (1582). But later, not without difficulty and some reverses, Kashmir was finally conquered (1586) 1 .

Akbar visited the valley three times. He built a strong fort on the slopes of the Hara Parbat, paying high wages, and dispensing with forced labour. His revenue minister, Todar Mai, made a very summary record of the fiscal conditions of the valley. Jahanglr was greatly attached to Kashmir. He laid out lovely pleasure-gardens ; around the Dal Lake were 777 gardens, yielding a revenue of 1 lakh from roses and bed musk. Much depended on the character of the governors. All Mardan Khan, the best of these, built a splendid series of sarais on the Plr Panjal route to India, and grappled with a famine with energy and success. Aurangzeb visited the valley only once ; but in that brief time he showed his zeal against the unbelievers, and his name is still execrated by the Brahmans. Then followed the disorder of decay, and in 1751 the Subak of Kashmir was practically independent of Delhi.

From the following year the unfortunate Kashmiris experienced the cruel oppression of Afghan rule, the short but evil period of the Durranis. Governors from Kabul plundered and tortured the people indiscriminately, but reserved their worst cruelties for the Brahmans, the Shiahs, and the Bambas of the Jhelum valley. In their agony the people of Kashmir turned with hope to the rising power of Ranjlt Singh of Lahore. In 18 14 a Sikh army advanced by the Plr Panjal, Ranjlt Singh watching the operations from Punch. This expedition miscarried ; but in 18 19 Misr Dlwan Chand, Ranjlt Singh's great general, accompanied by Gulab Singh of Jammu, overcame Muhammad Azlm Khan, and entered Shupiyan. In comparison with the Afghans, the Sikhs came as a relief to the unfortunate Kashmiris, but their rule was harsh and oppressive.

Sher Singh, the reputed son of Ranjlt Singh, was a weak governor, and his name is remembered in connexion with the terrible famine which visited the valley. The best of the Sikh governors was Colonel Mian Singh (1833), wno 1S s ^ spoken of with gratitude, and did his best to repair the ravages of the famine. He was murdered by

1 Kashmir had been attacked from the side of Ladakh by Mirza Haidar (the author of the Tarikh-URashidi) in 1532, and again invaded from the south in 1540, and ruled by him (nominally on behalf of the emperor Humayiin) until his death eleven years later. mutinous soldiers, and was succeeded by Shaikh Ghulam Muhl-ud-din in 1842. During his government the Bambas, under Sher Ahmad, inflicted great losses on the Sikhs. In 1845 Imam-ud-din succeeded his father as governor.

The history of the State, as at present constituted, is practically the history of one man, a Dogra Rajput, Gulab Singh of Jammu. Lying off the high roads of India, and away from the fertile plains of the Punjab, the barren hills of the Dogras had not attracted the notice of the Mughal invaders of India. Here lived a number of petty Rajas, and it appears that from very early times the little kingdom of Jammu was locally of some importance, Towards the end of the eighteenth century the power of the Jammu ruler had extended east as far as the Ravi, and west to the Chenab ; but the power waned and waxed according to the fortunes of petty and chronic warfare. To the east, at Basoli and Kishtwar, were independent Rajput chiefs, while to the north-west were the Muhammadan rulers of Bhimbar and Rajaori, descendants of Hindu Rajputs. These two states lay on the Mughal route to Kashmir, and so came under the influence of Delhi. Up the Jhelum valley, the country was held by small independent Muham- madan chiefs, whose title of Raja suggests their Hindu origin.

About the middle of the eighteenth century Raja Ranjlt Deo was the ruler of Jammu. He was a man of some mark, and his capital flourished ; but at his death about 1780, his three sons quarrelled. The Sikhs were invoked, and Jammu was plundered. From Ranjlt Deo's death to 1846, the Dogra country became tributary to the Sikh power. Gulab Singh, Dhyan Singh, and Suchet Singh were the great- grandsons of Surat Singh, youngest brother of Ranjlt Deo. They were soldiers of fortune, and as young men sought service at the court of Ranjlt Singh of Lahore. They rapidly distinguished themselves ; and Gulab Singh, for his service in capturing the Raja of Rajaori, who was fighting the Sikhs, was created Raja of Jammu in 1820. Dhyan Singh obtained the principality of Punch, a hilly country between the Jhelum and the Plr Panjal range, north of Rajaori ; while Suchet Singh received Ramnagar, west-by-north of Jammu.

Ranjlt Singh had found that the control of the Dogra country was a difficult task, and his policy of enlisting the services of able Dogras was at once obvious and prudent. The country was disturbed, each man plundered his neighbour, and Gulab Singh's energies were taxed to the utmost in restoring order. He was a man of extraordinary power, and very quickly asserted his authority. His methods were often cruel and unscrupulous, but allowances must be made. He believed in object-lessons, and his penal system was at any rate successful in ridding the country of crime. He kept a sharp eye on his officials, and a close hand on his revenues. Rapidly absorbing the power and possessions of the feudal chiefs around him, after ten years of laborious and consistent effort he and his two brothers became masters of nearly all the country between Kashmir and the Punjab, save Rajaori. Bhadarwah fell easily into the hands of Gulab Singh after a slight resistance. In Kishtwar, the minister, Wazir Lakhpat, quarrelled with the Raja and sought the assistance of Gulab Singh, who at once moved up with a force, and the Raja surrendered his country without fighting.

His easy successes in Kishtwar, which commanded two of the roads into Ladakh, probably suggested the ambitious idea of the conquest of that unknown land. The difficulties of access offered by mountains and glaciers were enormous ; but the brave Dogras under Gulab Singh's officer, Zorawar Singh, never hesitated, and in two campaigns the whole of Ladakh passed into the hands of the Jammu State. It is interesting to notice that the Dogras did not pillage the rich monastery of Himis, which saved itself by allowing the army in ignorance of its locality to pass the gorge leading to the Himis valley, and then sending a deputation with an offer of free rations while in Ladakh territory. The agreement made was respected by both parties.

A few years later, in 1840, Zorawar Singh invaded Baltistan, captured the Raja of Skardu, who had sided with the Ladakhis, and annexed his country. The following year (1841) Zorawar Singh while invading Tibet was overtaken by winter, and, being attacked when his troops were disabled by cold, perished with nearly all his army. Whether it was policy or whether it was accident, by 1840 Gulab Singh had encircled Kashmir.

In the winter of 1845 war broke out between the British and the Sikhs. Gulab Singh contrived to hold himself aloof till the battle of Sobraon (1846), when he appeared as a useful mediator and the trusted adviser of Sir Henry Lawrence. Two treaties were concluded. By the first the State of Lahore handed over to the British, as equiva- lent for one crore of indemnity, the hill countries between the rivers Beas and the Indus ; by the second the British made over to Gulab Singh for 75 lakhs all the hilly or mountainous country situated to the east of the Indus and west of the Ravi. Kashmir did not, however, come into the Maharaja's hands without fighting. Imam-ud-dm, the Sikh governor, aided by the restless Bambas from the Jhelum valley, routed Gulab Singh's troops on the outskirts of Srlnagar, killing Wazir Lakhpat. Owing, however, to the mediation of Sir Henry Lawrence, Imam-ud-din desisted from opposition and Kashmir passed without further disturbances to the new ruler. At Astor and Gilgit the Dogra troops relieved the Sikhs, Nathu Shah, the Sikh commander, taking service under Gulab Singh. Not long afterwards the Hunza Raja attacked Gilgit territory. Nathu Shah retorted by leading a force to attack the Hunza valley ; he and his force were destroyed, and Gilgit fort fell into the hands of the Hunza Raja, along with Punial, Yasin, and Darel. The Maharaja sent two columns, one from Astor and one from Baltistan, and after some fighting Gilgit fort was recovered. In 1852, partly by strategy, partly by treachery, the Dogra troops were annihilated by the bloodthirsty Gaur Rahman of Yasin, and for eight years the Indus formed the boundary of the Maharaja's territories.

Gulab Singh died in 1857: and when his successor, Ranblr Singh, had recovered from the strain caused by the Mutiny, in which he had loyally sided with the British, he determined to recover Gilgit, and to rehabilitate the reputation of the Dogras on the frontier. In i860 a force under Devi Singh crossed the Indus, and advanced on Gaur Rahman's strong fort at Gilgit. Gaur Rahman had died just before the arrival of the Dogras. The fort was taken ; and since then the Maharajas of Jammu and Kashmir have held it, to their heavy cost and somewhat doubtful advantage.

Ranblr Singh was a model Hindu : devoted to his religion and to Sanskrit learning, but tolerant of other creeds. He was in many ways an enlightened man, but he lacked his father's strong will and deter- mination, and his control over the State officials was weak. The latter part of his life was darkened by the dreadful famine in Kashmir, 1877-9; an d in September, 1885, he was succeeded by his eldest son, the present Maharaja Pratap Singh, G. C.S.I. He bears the hereditary title of Maharaja, and receives a salute of 19 guns, increased to 21 in his own territory.

Through all these vicissitudes of government and changes in religion the Kashmiri has remained unaltered. Mughal, Afghan, Sikh, and Dogra have left no impression on the national character ; and at heart the people of the valley are Hindus, as they were before the time of Sikandar Shah. The isolation from the outer world accounts for this stable unchanging nationality, and passages in the Rajatarangi?il show that the main features of the national character were the same in the early period of Hindu rule as they are now.

The valley of Kashmir is holy land, and everywhere one finds remains of ancient temples and buildings called by the present inhabi- tants, though without historical foundation, Pandavlari, ' the houses of the Pandavas.' These ancient buildings, though more or less injured by iconoclasts, vandal builders, earthquakes, and, as Cunningham thinks, by gunpowder, are composed of a blue limestone capable of taking the highest polish, and of great solidity. They defy weather and time, while the later works of the Mughals, the mosques of Aurangzeb and the pleasure-places of Sallm and Nur Mahal, are crumbling away and possess little or none of their pristine beauty.

The Hindu buildings of Kashmir have been described by Sir Alexander Cunningham and Mr. F. S. Growse 1 . They exhibit traces of the influence of Grecian art, and are distinguished by the graceful elegance of their outlines, by the massive boldness of their parts, and by the happy propriety of their decorations. Characteristic features are the lofty pyramidal roofs, trefoiled doorways covered by pyramidal pediments, and the great width of the space between columns. Among the numerous temples two may be noticed — Martand and Payech — the first for its grandeur, and the second for its excellent preservation. Martand, the Temple of the Sun, stands on a sloping karewa, about 3 miles east of Islamabad, overlooking the finest view in Kashmir. The great structure was built by Lalitaditya in the eighth century. Kalasa came here at the approach of death and expired at the feet of the sacred image (1089). In the time of Kalhana the chronicler, the great quadrangular courtyard was used as a fortification, and the sacred image is said to have been destroyed by Sikandar, the iconoclast.

The building consists of one lofty central edifice, with a small detached wing on each side of the entrance, the whole standing in a large quadrangle surrounded by a colonnade of eighty-four pillars with intervening trefoil-headed recesses. The length of the outer side of the wall, which is blank, is about 90 yards ; that of the front is about 56 yards. The central building is 63 feet in length by 36 feet in width, and, alone of all the temples of Kashmir, possesses, in addition to the cella or sanctuary, a choir and nave, termed in Sanskrit the autarala and arddhaniaiulapa ; the nave is 18 feet square. The sanctuary alone is left entirely bare, the two other compartments being lined with rich panellings and sculptured niches. As the main build- ing is at present entirely uncovered, the original form of the roof can be determined only by a reference to other temples and to the general form and character of the various parts of the Martand temple itself. It has been conjectured that the roof was pyramidal, and that the entrance chamber and wings were similarly covered. There would thus have been four distinct pyramids, of which that over the inner chamber must have been the loftiest, the height of its pinnacle above the ground being about 75 feet.

The interior must have been as imposing as the exterior. On ascending the flight of steps, now covered by ruins, the votary entered a highly decorated chamber, with a doorway on each side covered by a pediment, with a trefoil-headed niche containing a bust of the Hindu triad, and on the flanks of the main entrance, as well as on those of the side doorways, were pointed and trefoil niches, each of which held a statue of a Hindu deity. The interior decorations of the roof can only be determined conjecturally, as there do not appear to be any 1 Calcutta Review, No. CVII. ornamented stones that could with certainty be assigned to it. Baron Hiigel doubts whether Martand ever had a roof ; but as the walls of the temple are still standing, the numerous heaps of large stones that are scattered about on all sides suggest the idea that these belonged to the roof. Fergusson, however, thought that the roof was of wood. Payech lies about 19 miles from Srlnagar under the Naunagri karewa, about 6 miles from the left bank of the Jhelum river. On the south side of the village, situated in a small green space near the bank of the stream surrounded by a few walnut and willow trees, stands an ancient temple, which in intrinsic beauty and elegance of outline is superior to all the existing remains in Kashmir of similar dimensions. Its excellent preservation may probably be explained by its retired situation at the foot of the high table-land, which separates it by an interval of 5 or 6 miles from the bank of the Jhelum, and by the mar- vellous solidity of its construction.

The cella, which is 8 feet square, and has an open doorway on each of the four sides, is composed of only ten stones, the four corners being each a single stone, the sculptured tympanums over the doorways four others, while two more compose the pyramid roof, the lower of these being an enormous mass, 8 feet square by 4 feet in height. It has been ascribed by Sir Alexander Cunningham, on grounds which, in the absence of any positive authority either way, may be taken as adequate, to Narendraditya, who reigned from 483 to 490. Fergusson, however, considered that the temple belongs to the thirteenth century. The sculptures over the doorways are coarsely executed in comparison with the artistic finish of the purely architectural details, and are much defaced, but apparently represent Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, and the goddess Durga. The building is said to be dedicated to Vishnu as Surya or the Sun- god. Inside the cupola is rayed, so as to represent the sun ; and at each corner of the square the space intervening between the angle and the line of the circle is filled up with a. jinn or attendant, who seems to be sporting at the edge of its rays. The roof has been partly displaced; which is said to have been the result of an attempt made to take it down and remove it to the city. The interior is still occupied by a large stone lingam.


Table III at the end of this article (p. 145) shows the distribution of population in 1901. An estimate of the number of inhabitants was made in 1873, but the first regular Census was taken in 1891. In that year the population was 2,543,952, and it rose to 2,905,578 in 1901, or by 14 per cent. To a considerable extent the increase was due to improved enumeration, as for example in Gilgit, where the number recorded rose from 16,769 to 60,885. The increase amounted to 22 per cent, in the Kashmir province, compared with only 6 per cent, in Jammu. The density of population in the whole State is 36 persons per square mile. Details of the area of sub- divisions are not available, but the density per square mile of land under cultivation varies from 64 in Muzaffarabad district to 1,295 m Gilgit, where cultivable land is scarce. There are only two towns of any size, Jammu (36,130) and Srinagar (122,618) ; but the State con- tains 8,946 villages. Nearly half the total population live in villages with a population of less than 500 each. Formerly, considerable num- bers of Kashmiris emigrated to the Punjab, but the census results in that Province show that only 83,240 persons born in Kashmir were enumerated there in 1901, compared with 111,775 m J 88i. Statistics of age are, as usual, unreliable, and need not be referred to in detail. In the whole State there are 884 females to 1,000 males, the pro- portion being highest in the frontier tracts (933) and lowest in Kashmir province (876).

These results point to defective enumeration of females. Marriage is comparatively late, and less than 1 per cent, of the males under fifteen years, and about 2 per cent, of the females of the same age, are married. Taking the whole population, 53 per cent, of males and 39 per cent, of females are married. Polyandry is prevalent in Ladakh. About 34 per cent, of the population speak Kashmiri, and 15 per cent. Dogrl, while Punjabi is the tongue of nearly 30 per cent. A great variety of languages are used, in various parts of the State, by comparatively small numbers. Agriculture sup- ports 54 per cent, of the total, and weaving and allied arts 2 per cent.

The total population includes 2,154,695 Muhammadans, 689,073 Hindus, 25,828 Sikhs, and 35,047 Buddhists. The Hindus are found chiefly in the Jammu province, where they form rather less than half the total. In the Kashmir province they represent only 524 in every 10,000 of population, and in the frontier wazdrats of Ladakh and Gilgit only 97 out of every 10,000 persons.

Among the Hindus of the Jammu province, who number 626,177, the most important castes are the Brahmans (186,000), the Rajputs (167,000), the Khattris (48,000), and the Thakkars (93,000). Each caste is subdivided into many sub-castes ; but for practical purposes the Dogra Rajputs do not regard the finer divisions of the ethnologist, but draw a broad distinction between the Mian Rajputs who engage in neither trade nor agriculture, and the other Rajputs who have con- descended to work for their living. The Mians will marry the daughters of the latter class, but will not give their own daughters in marriage to them. They have territorial names, such as Jamwal and Jasrotia, signifying that the family is connected with Jammu and Jasrota. They mostly hold land on pepper-corn rents, cultivated by others, who take a share of the crops. The Mian Rajput gladly serves as a soldier, by choice in the cavalry, and if there is not room for him in the Maharaja's forces, he will enlist in the Indian army. In the Hunza-Nagar campaign and at Chitral the Dogra Rajput worthily maintained his ancient repu- tation. As a soldier he is admirable, but as a landowner evil days are in store for him. The agriculture of the Dogra country is uncertain, and not over-profitable ; and in the course of years the proud, gallant, and thriftless Rajput will be ousted by the sturdy Thakkars and Jats (Musalman, 123,000; Hindu, 25,000). The Rajputs are a handsome race, wiry and active. They observe caste rules very strictly. Female infanticide was the common rule in the memory of men still middle- aged, and the sail of Raja Suchet Singh's ladies is still remembered by the old men. The Khattrls are an important people, keen and clever. They are the financiers and officials of the State, and some of the best servants of the Maharaja have been Dogra Khattrls.

The origin of the word ' Dogra ' is commonly stated by the people themselves to have arisen from the fact that the cradle of the Dogra race lies between the two holy lakes, Saroin Sar and Man Sar, not far from Jammu. Drigartdesh, or the 'country of the two hollows,' was corrupted into Dugar, and Dugra became Dogra. From Jammu stretching east along the plains of the Punjab the country is Dogra ; and all who live in that tract, whether they be Hindus, Musalmans, or Sikhs, whether high-born Rajputs or low-born menials, are known as Dogras, and have certain national characteristics and a common tongue, which differentiate them from any of the other peoples of India. Some authorities doubt this derivation, and say that Dogra is a cor- ruption of the RajasthanI word for ' hills ' (du/igar), and that when the Rajputs forced their way up north they gave this name to the hilly country.

The Dogras hold the tract of lowland country along the British border, and the outer ranges of hills from the Manawar or Malikani Tawi on the west to the Ravi river on the south-east, which is bounded towards the higher mountains by a line drawn along the hills to the south of the Budil ilaka through Batoti and thence to the Ravi river north-east of Basoli. From the Manawar Tawi to the Jhelum is the country known as Chibhal, the home of the Chibs. The Chibs are mostly Musalman, but there are Hindu Chibs as well. Both trace their origin to a Rajput chief, named Jassu. Dharam Chand, a descendant of Jassu, was versed in medicine, and was summoned to Delhi to attend Jahanglr. The fee in case of success was the emperor's daughter. Dharam Chand was successful ; he married the Mughal princess, and was known henceforth as Shadi Khan. But he longed for his country and left his bride, and the next year the Mughals invaded his country and slew Shadi Khan.

The Hindu Chibs are descended from Shadi Khan by his Hindu wife, while the Muhammadan Chibs are the progeny of his family subsequent to their acceptance of Islam. Both Hindu and Musal- man Chibs repair annually to the tomb of Shadi Khan at a place in the Kali Dhar hills in the Naoshera tahsil. Like the Dogra Rajputs, the Chibs look upon service as the sole career for a man, but both Hindus and Musalmans till the soil. They are a fighting people, and the spirit of adventure takes them out of their own country. They follow the caste rules of the Hindu Rajputs, but are perhaps stronger and more muscular than the Dogras to the east. Besides the Chibs, there are Musalman Rajputs to the west of the Chenab — the Jarals, the Bhaos (unfavourably known in Akhnur), the Gakhars, and many others. It should be noticed that the Hindu Chibs give their daughters in marriage to the ruling family of Jammu and Kashmir.

Drew, in his book Jammu and Kashmir Territories, suggests that the Bambas and Khakhas of the Jhelum valley might be classed under the head Chibhali. Very little is known as to when these people migrated into Muzaffarabad and Uri districts, or whence they came ; but it is generally admitted that they had a foreign origin. It is probable that the Khakhas have occupied the country on the left bank of the Jhelum for 300 years or more, and that the Bambas, who live on the right bank of the river, came in yet earlier. The Khakhas, who enjoy the proud title of Raja, are, like the Chibs, Musalman Rajputs, and trace their descent to Raja. Mai Rathor. They regard themselves as belonging to the Janjuah tribe. The Bambas, who are styled Sultans, deprecate a Hindu origin. They claim to belong to the Kureshi tribe, and say that the name Bamba. is a corruption of Banl-Hashim, and that they are descended from All, the son-in-law of Muhammad. The Khakhas and Bambas have a privileged status in the Jhelum valley, and their power has varied according to the weakness or strength of the central authority. Under the Afghans, the Khakhas and Bambas paid little to their overlord, and were practically independent. The Sikhs tight- ened their hold over the Jhelum valley, but the Khakhas and Bambas retained certain privileges.

Numerically the Gujars are of some importance, both in Jammu, where they number 151,700, and in Kashmir, where they are returned at 125,650. Some of them have settled down to agriculture; but the great majority are herdsmen, and in the summer months move up to the splendid grazing-grounds above the forests with their buffaloes and goats. They are Musalmans by religion, and many of the Gujar tribes speak a dialect of their own known as Parimu. They are a fine tall race of men, with rather stupid faces and large prominent teeth. They sacrifice every consideration for their buffaloes, and even in their culti- vation, chiefly maize, their first thought is for these animals. They are ignorant, inoffensive, and simple, and their good faith is proverbial. Kashmir and its mountains have especial attractions for the Gujars : but as forest conservancy extends, these born enemies of the forest will find Kashmir less attractive.

Another pastoral semi-nomad people are the Gaddis (5,927) of Kishtwar. They graze large flocks of sheep and goats, moving up the mountains as the summer draws on, and returning to the low country when the first snow falls. Their homes are in the high pastures, but they are for most part of the year roving, though in some places there are regular settled villages of Gaddis. They are Hindus. They wear duffel clothes and a very peculiar hat of stiff cloth. All speak well of the Gaddis, and they are a popular people, welcome everywhere.

In the Kashmir province, out of a total population of 1,157,394, Muhammadans number 1,083,766, Hindus 60,682, and Sikhs 12,637. The Census, however, was taken in the winter, when many of the resident population were away working in the Punjab. The Kashmiri is unchanged, in spite of the splendid Mughal, the brutal Afghan, and the bully Sikh. Warriors and statesmen came and went ; but there was no egress, and no wish on the part of the Kash- miris in normal times to leave their home. The outside world was far, and from all accounts inferior to the pleasant valley, and at each of the gates of the valley were soldiers who demanded fees. So the Kashmiris lived their self-centred life, conceited, clever, and conservative.

Islam came in on a strong wave, on which rode a fanatical king and a missionary saint, and history records that the Kashmiris became Musalmans. But close observers of the country see that the so-called Musalmans are still Hindus at heart. Their shrines are on the exact spots where the old Hindu sthans stood, and these receive an attention which is not vouchsafed to the squalid mosques and the mean mullas. The Kashmiris do not flock to Mecca, and religious men from Arabia have spoken in strong terms of the apathy of these tepid Musalmans. There are many shrines, shrines of the Rishis, the Babas, and the Makhdum Sahib Plrzadas, known as the Wami or ' national,' as distinguished from the Saiyids and Saiyid Plrzadas who are foreigners. And as in religion, so in social evolution, there has been little change up to recent times in the people of Kashmir. Peculiarities noticed in the Rajataranginl still mark the national character. Witchcraft and sorcery are rampant now as they were in the times of the Hindu kings.

The Musalmans of Kashmir may be divided into four divisions : Shaikhs, Saiyids, Mughals, and Pathans. The Shaikhs, who are by far the most numerous, are the descendants of Hindus, but have retained none of the caste rules of their forefathers. They have clan names known as kram ; but a man of the Tantre kram may marry a girl of the same kram, or a maiden of some other kram, provided she be one of the agricultural families. The only line drawn is that a man of the Shaikh kram may not marry a Saiyid girl, nor must he demean himself by an alliance with the daughter of a market-gardener or a menial. Some hold that the krams known as Pandit, Kol, Bat, Aitu, Rishi, Mantu, and Ganai are descended from the Brahmans, and that the Magres, Tantres, Dars, Dangars, Rainas, Rathors, Thakurs, and Naiks are sprung from a Kshattriya origin. The Lon kram is assigned a Vaisya descent, and the Damars are connected with Sudras. There may be some foundation for these theories ; but the krams are now mixed, and confusion is increasing owing to the fashion of the lower castes who arrogate the krams of the respectable families. Thus the Dums, the gardeners, and the butchers have begun to call themselves Ganais, much to the annoyance of the true Ganais. And the boatmen, a most disreputable community, have appropriated the kram name of Dar. The social system is very plastic, and prosperity and a very little wealth soon obliterate a humble origin.

The Saiyids may be divided into those who follow the profession of religion and those who have taken to agriculture and other pursuits. In appearance, manners, and language there is nothing to distinguish them from other Kashmiri Musalmans. Their kram name is Mir. While a Saiyid retains his saintly profession Mir is a prefix ; if he has taken to agriculture, Mir is an affix to his name. The Saiyid Makar fraternity are fraudulent fakirs who pretend to be Saiyids and wander about Kashmir and India, cheating the public. Many have now taken to trade. They intermarry among themselves.

The Mughals are not numerous. Their kram names are Mir (a cor- ruption of Mirza), Beg, Bandi, Bach, and Ashaye. The Pathans are more numerous than the Mughals, and are found chiefly in the south-west of the valley, where Pathan colonies have from time to time been founded. The most interesting of these colonies is that of the Kuki-Khel Afrldis at Dranghaihama, who retain all the old customs and speak Pashtu. They wear a picturesque dress, and carry swords and shields. They pride themselves on their bravery, and in the absence of the nobler foe engage the bear on foot with the sword or spear him from their plucky little ponies. The Afrldis and the Machipurias who belong to the Yusufzai tribe are liable to military service, in return for which they hold certain villages free of revenue. The Pathans chiefly came in under the Durranis, but many were brought by Maharaja Gulab Singh for service on the frontier. They are rapidly adopting Kashmiri habits.

Several villages are held by fakirs or professional beggars. They work as agriculturists in the summer, and beg in the winter. They are proud of their profession and are liked by the people. They intermarry with other beggar families or Bechanwols. These various tribes are scat- tered broadcast over the valley and possess no marked distinctive features.

The dividing line in society is between the zamlndars or agricultural families and the taifaddrs, that is, the market-gardeners, herdsmen, shepherds, boatmen, minstrels, leather-workers, and the menial servants of the villagers. No zamlndar would intermarry with a taifaddr. For the most part it is difficult to trace any difference in physiognomy between the two classes, though there is often a difference in dress. But the Dum, the Galawan, and the Batal or Watal are easy to dis- tinguish from other tribes. They have a darker skin, and the Dum has the restless, furtive eye so characteristic of the thief.

The Dums are a very important people in Kashmir, for they are the watchmen of the villages and formerly used to look after the State share of the crops. As a private citizen the Dum is not an admirable person, and he loses no opportunity of annoying the villagers, by whom he is feared and disliked. But as officials they are trustworthy, and have never been known to steal the State treasure which passes through their hands. The Dums claim descent from a Hindu king, who from fear of his numerous sons scattered them over the valley, but some say that they are descendants of the Chakks, mentioned under History.

The Galawans or horse-keepers are also credited with a descent from the Chakks, and their violent restless character may be hereditary. Originally they earned their living by grazing ponies, but found it more lucrative to steal them. At last they became an established criminal tribe, and during Sikh rule were a terror to the country. Khaira Galawan, the hero of many a legend, was killed by the Sikh governor Mian Singh. Gulab Singh hunted down the tribe, and their end was transportation to Bunji.

The Batals or Watals have been called the gipsies of Kashmir, and are a peculiar people with a patois of their own. They may be divided into two classes. Those who abstain from eating carrion and are admitted to the mosque and to the Musalman religion form the first class ; those who eat the flesh of dead animals and are excluded from the mosque form the second. They are wanderers, and though they sometimes settle in wattled huts on the outskirts of a village, they soon move on. Their chief occupation is the manufacture of leather. The first class make boots and sandals : the second class make winnowing trays of leather and straw, and do scavenger's work. They also rear poultry and rob hen-roosts. Their women are of fine stature and hand- some, and they often drift into the city, where they become singers and dancers. Once a year the Batals from all parts of the valley flock to Lala Bab's shrine near the Dal Lake, and many matters affecting the tribe are then settled.

The Bhands or minstrels are a peculiar people. They combine the profession of singing and acting with that of begging ; and they travel great distances, often visiting the Punjab, where they perform to Kashmiri audiences. They are excellent actors, clever at improvi- sation and fearless as to its results. They are a very pleasant people, and their mirth and good humour form an agreeable contrast to the chronic gloom of the Kashmiri peasant

The Hanz or boatmen claim a Yaisya origin, and even now when blaming one of the crew for his bad paddling the captain will say : ' You are a Siidra.' They always claim Noah as their ancestor ; but some accounts point to a gipsy origin. The father of the family is an autocrat, and his discipline on board is often of a violent character. There are many sections of the tribe. First rank the half-amphibious paddlers of the Dal Lake (Demb Hanz), who are really vegetable gardeners, and the boatmen of the Wular Lake, who gather the singhara nut (Gari Hanz). Next in status come the men of the large barges known as bahats and war, in which cargoes of 800 maunds of grain or wood are carried. Then the Dunga Hanz, who paddle the passenger boats, not a respectable class, for they prostitute their females ; next the Gad Hanz, who net fish, and are said to surpass even the Dunga Hanz in their power of invective ; and last the Hak Hanz, who collect drift-wood in the rivers. The Hanz or Hanjis are a hardy muscular people, but are quarrelsome and mendacious. Half the stories to the discredit of Kashmir and its inhabitants are due to the fertile imagina- tion of the Hanji, who after the manner of the Irish car-driver tells travellers quaint scandals of the valley and its rulers. The Hanji ashore is a great rascal, and European travellers would be wise to leave him in his boat. The chief krd/n names of the Hanjis are Dangar, Dar, and Mai.

The menial servants (Nangar) of the villages are carpenters, black- smiths, potters, weavers, butchers, washermen, barbers, tailors, bakers, goldsmiths, carriers, oil-pressers, dyers, milkmen, cotton-cleaners, and snuff-makers. Many of the Nangars have taken to agriculture, and most of them are extremely independent of their so-called masters. The only class of menials who apparently cannot take to agriculture are the weavers. Their soft hands and weak knees make field-work an impossibility. The Hindus are with few exceptions Brahmans, and are commonly known as Pandits. They fall into three classes : astrologers (Jyotish'i), priests {Guru or Bachabatt), writers and clerks {Karkun). The priest class do not intermarry with the others, but the Jyotish'i and Karkun classes intermarry.

The astrologers are learned in the shastras and expound them, and they draw up the calendars in which prophecies are made as to the events of the coming year. The priests perform the rites and cere- monies of the Hindu religion. But the vast majority of the Brahmans belong to the Karkun class. Formerly they obtained employment from the State, but recently they have taken to business, and some work as cooks, bakers, confectioners, and tailors. The only occupa- tions forbidden to a Pandit are those of the cobbler, potter, corn-frier, porter, boatman, carpenter, mason, and fruit-seller. Many Pandits have taken to agriculture ; but the city Brahmans look down on any profession save that of writing, and they would never think of marrying a daughter to a Pandit cultivator. They have no real aptitude for business, or they might have found great openings in trade at Srlnagar under the new regime. They cling to the city, and if they obtain employment outside they leave their wives and families behind them. They are a handsome race of men, with fine well-cut features, small hands and feet, and graceful figures. Their women are fair and good- looking, more refined than the Musalmans. The children are extremely pretty.

The Pandits are broken up into numerous gotras ; but though the Pandit repeats the name of his gotra seven times as he performs his ablutions, the outside world knows him only by his kram. Marriage within the gotra is forbidden, and the Kashmiri Pandits do not inter- marry with the Brahmans of India. Among the leading krams may be mentioned the following : Tiku, Razdan, Kak, Munshi, Mathu, Kachru Pandit, Sapru, Bhan, Zitshu, Raina, Dar, Fotadar, Madan, Thusu, Wangnu, Mujju, Hokhu, and Dulu. The descendants of the Brahmans, said to be only eleven families, who survived the persecutions of Sikandar Shah and remained in the valley, are known as Malmas. The others, descended from returned fugitives, are called Banamas. There are a few Khattrls, known as Bohras in Srlnagar, engaged in trade and shop-keeping. They enjoy no caste fellowship with the Pandits, though in old days instances are known of a Khattrl being admitted to caste by the Brahmans. The Sikhs of Kashmir were probably Punjabi Brahmans who embraced Sikhism when the valley passed into the hands of Ranjit Singh, but the Sikhs of Trahal declare that their ancestors came to Kashmir in the time of Afghan rule. They are not in a flourishing condition. They look to service as their chief means of livelihood, and are not good cultivators. They are ignorant and troublesome, and quarrel with the Musalman Kashmiris and very often among themselves.

In 1901 the State contained 202 native Christians, but, although converts are so few, important work has been done by various missions. Chief among these is the Church Missionary Society at Srinagar, established in 1865, which maintains an excellent hospital. Owing to its example, the first State dispensary and school were opened. Other missions have been founded by the Moravians and the Roman Catholics at Leh.

The beautiful turf and greensward of Kashmir are so suggestive of splendid playgrounds that one naturally expects to find some national game in the valley, and the legendary feast of roses conjures up a vision of a happy laughing people who were skilled in the battle of flowers long before modern Europe dreamed of such carnivals. But in reality there is no game and no pastime in Kashmir proper. Baltistan, Gilgit, and Astor are the homes of polo, and Ladakh has its devil-dance : but Kashmir has nothing distinctive save its actors, the Bhands or Bhagats, already referred to. Sometimes we find in the villages a wandering minstrel (Shair), who sings to the accompaniment of a guitar, or recites verses, often extempore, full of local allusions and usually full of flattery, if an official or person of influence be present. Like most Orientals, the Kashmiris regard amusement as passive rather than active. They are glad to look on at a race or a game, but it is extremely difficult to induce them, athletic and powerful as they are, to take a part in any sport. They are not altogether to blame. In former days pastime was at a discount, and small mercy would have been shown to the serf who suggested that life should not be all labour. Even in the pampered city of Srlnagar the effervescence of youth was checked by Gulab Singh, who sternly repressed the old ward fights with slings and stones. The professional shikaris are often keen sportsmen ; and the boatmen of Kashmir will, when challenged, paddle till they drop rather than be beaten by a rival crew.

Share of Hindus and Muslims, 1961-2011

Proportions of Muslims and Hindus in the population of Jammu and Kashmir, 1941-2011; Graphic courtesy: The Indian Express, December 30, 2016
Change in distribution of population, Hindus and Muslims, district-wise, 2001-11; Graphic courtesy: The Indian Express, December 30, 2016

The Indian Express

Share of Muslims and Hindus in J&K population same in 1961, 2011 Censuses

Written by ZEESHAN SHAIKH | Updated: December 30, 2016

As another agitation looms over Jammu and Kashmir over the alleged government-induced demographic change — through the issuance of identity certificates to the mostly Hindu West Pakistan refugees — Census figures show the overall religious make-up of the state remains almost exactly similar to what it was 50 years ago. In 1961, Muslims, with a population of 24.32 lakh, constituted 68.31% of the state’s population of 35.60 lakh, while Hindus, numbering 10.13 lakh, made up 28.45%.

Half a century later, the Census of 2011 recorded the Muslim population at 85.67 lakh — again 68.31% of the total population of 125.41 lakh (1.25 crore) — and the Hindu population at 35.66 lakh (28.43% of the total).

The changes in demography are a contentious issue in Jammu and Kashmir. The separatists and the government have often engaged in divisive debates on J&K’s demographic profile, drawing sections of the population into agitations and street protests, and fanning fears that the state’s unique position under the Constitution is under threat.

The pre-Independence Census of 1941 recorded Muslims as constituting 72.41% of the population, and Hindus 25.01%. Thereafter, the proportion of Muslims in the state’s population fell gradually until 1981, when it bottomed at 64.19%, even as the Hindu population peaked at 32.24%.

After 1981, the proportion of Muslims in the population started to rise, touching 66.97% in 2001 and 68.31% in the following count in 2011. Jammu and Kashmir originally had 14 districts — 6 each in the Kashmir and Jammu divisions, and 2 in Ladakh. Ten of these districts were Muslim-majority — 6 in Kashmir, 3 in Jammu and 1 in Ladakh. Three districts had a Hindu majority and 1 had a Buddhist majority.

In 2006, 8 new districts were created, taking the total number of districts to 22. Of these, 17 have a Muslim majority — 10 in Kashmir, 1 in Ladakh, 6 in Jammu. Hindus are the majority community in 4 districts of the Jammu division; Buddhists are the majority in Leh.


As already explained, the Jammu province consists of a fringe of level land bordering on the Punjab Districts of Jhelum, Sialkot, and Gurdaspur, gradually rising by a succession of ranges . . ,, of hills to the high uplands bounded by the moun- tains of the Himalayan range, beyond which lie Kashmir, Baltistan, and Ladakh. The variations of climate are great, and the staples cultivated naturally vary to some extent with the climate. Thus the lower tracts yield all the usual crops of the Punjab, while in the higher tracts saffron, buckwheat, and mountain barley are grown. In the warmer parts the mango and shisham are found in large quantities ; but these give place to apple and pear-trees, to the picturesque deodar and shady Oriental plane (chindr) in the colder parts.

The province may be roughly divided into three main divisions. The plains and kandi hills consist of the tahsils of Kathua, Jasmirgarh, Samba, Ranbirsinghpura, Jammu, Akhniir, Manawar, and Mirpur. In the hot moist tracts, such as those irrigated from the Ravi and Ujh in the Jasrota district to the south-west, malaria is so rampant that the resident population is too small for the cultivation of the soil, which is chiefly tilled by udarach cultivators — men from the low hills who descend to the plain for short periods to sow, tend, and reap crops, and return again to their healthier homes. North of this lie the thirsty lowlands, sheltered by the hills from the cooler inland breezes, seamed with many channels (kadhs), which carry off the drainage of the uplands and become roaring torrents for a few hours after heavy rainfall, but at other times are broad stretches of burning sand. This tract depends for a full harvest on timely and well-distributed rainfall.

The parched kandi hills are composed of a red loam, thickly strewn with round stones and covered with stunted growth of garna sanatan and bahaikar bushes, broad-leaved species of trees, acacias, and in parts bamboos. The tor (Euphorbia) is used to hedge the fields and cobble-paved paths, and to keep the nilgai from damaging the crops. The soil is thirsty and dries quickly, as the land slopes and drainage is rapid. Frequent rainfall is necessary to ripen the crops, chiefly wheat, barley, and sarshaf (rape) in the spring, and millet and maize (on manured land) in the autumn ; but rain washes away the soft earth and leaves the surface of the soil a mass of stones.

Where the kandi hills end, and before the first limestone ridge is crossed, there is a narrow belt of cool land lying in the valleys traversed by the clear streams which carry the drainage of the middle hills on the lower side. When the depth of soil is sufficient, excellent crops are raised and much of the land is irrigated ; but on the slopes where the depth of earth is small, and the limestone crops up to the surface (prat), cultivation is precarious. Too much rain causes the soil to become waterlogged, as percolation is stopped by the rock bed ; and during a continued spell of hot weather the rock surface becomes so heated as to burn the roots of the crops, which wither.

In this portion of the province wells are few, owing to their cost. Except in the lowland bordering on the streams deep boring is neces- sary, and it is common to find that the water is from 70 to 100 feet below the surface. The cultivators are not as a rule sufficiently well-to- do to undertake the expenditure necessary to sink such wells, and risk the failure of finding water. Since the introduction of the regular settlement, the Darbar has done much to encourage the sinking of wells by the grant of advances on easy terms.

In this tract, however, are found the only considerable areas pro- tected by irrigation. The natural difficulties to be overcome are great, as the lie of the land makes projects costly and difficult to execute. The lines of irrigation have to cross the drainage of the country, and it is not easy to secure the channels against damage from the kadhs when in flood. Owing to this difficulty, the more ambitious projects of former days — the Kashmir canal taking off from the Ravi above the Madhopur weir, the Shahi Nahr taking off from the left bank of the Chenab opposite Akhnur, and the Katobandi or Dalpat Nahr taking off from the Chenab on the right bank — failed to render permanent help to the country. Something has recently been done to remedy the apathy displayed in the past. Two old irrigation works taking off from the Tawi in the Jammu tahsil — the Jogi Darwaza canal irrigating the land immediately below Jammu city, and the Satwari canal irrigating the villages round Satwari cantonment — have been realigned and put in order ; and the Dalpat canal, taking off from the right bank of the Chenab and irrigating a large portion of the Akhnur tahsil immediately north of the Bhajwath Andar, has been reconstructed.

Under agreement with the Government of the Punjab the right of the State to take water from the Ravi, above the Madhopur weir, for the irrigation of spring crops in the Kathua tahsil has been surrendered in consideration of an annual payment of Rs. 5,000. The restoration of the old Kashmir canal, which takes off above the weir, is thus not financially attractive. Probably the low-lying portion of the Mirpur tahsil, known as the Khari ilaka, could be irrigated from the Jhelum ; but this source of irrigation has not been tapped.

There are many drawbacks to agriculture. The administration in the past was bad and shortsighted. There are practically no roads, and in the kandi tract even drinking-water is obtained with difficulty. Much damage is done by nilgai, hog, and monkeys, the first-named animal, though an antelope, being regarded as sacred like the cow. Cattle turned loose, either as likely to die and of no further use, or devoted to the deity, have become quite wild and do much damage to crops.

Above the first limestone range lies a country of wide valleys and high hills, consisting of Basoli, Ramnagar, Udhampur, Naoshera, and part of Riasi. This has a more temperate climate than the tract just described. The supply of water from perennial streams is constant, but the stream beds are deep and irrigation is not easily effected. Being nearer the Himalayan range, rainfall is usually heavy and fairly regular, so that the people do not trouble themselves much about irri- gation, except where this can be contrived at little expense. The crops are much the same as in the plains, but bajra gives way to maize, and sugar-cane and turmeric disappear. The seasons are shorter. The areas of prati land, where the limestone bed penetrates or approaches the surface of the soil, are considerable. Communications are back- ward and prices generally rule low. Trade is carried on by Telis, who keep droves of pack-bullocks or ponies. Grazing is good and the tract is frequented by Gujars, goatherds, and shepherds. A considerable export of ghi takes place. Wild hog and monkeys do damage, but no antelope are found. Autumnal fevers are very rare.

The higher uplands, including Bhadrawar, Kishtwar, Ramban, part of Riasi, and Rampur Rajaori, have a really cold climate, and in the winter snow falls. The cultivators are a different class from those in the plains and lower hills, and Kashmiri settlers are found. Here the mango-tree gives place to the apple ; and the pear, the Oriental plane {chindr), and the deodar are found. The climate approximates to that of the valley of Kashmir, and cultivation is on much the same lines. The specialities are saffron in Kishtwar, and poppy in Dodar, Kishtwar, and Bhadrawar. This tract is healthy, and only in the more shut-in valleys do fevers trouble the people. Irrigation is general and the rainfall heavy. Grazing lands are plentiful and Gujars numerous. Early snowfall and cold winds from the mountains affect the crops in the parts adjoining the Himalayan range, and prevent these coming to maturity in certain years. Bears, hog, and monkeys do some damage.

Owing to its system of rivers, Kashmir proper possesses a large area of alluvial soil, which may be divided into two classes : the new alluvium, found in the bays and deltas of the mountain rivers ; and the old allu- vium, lying above the banks of the Jhelum and extending as far as the karewas. The first is of great fertility, and every year is renewed and enriched by silt from the mountain streams. Up to the present, in spite of the lax system of forest conservancy, the silt of the mountain streams is rich and of dark colour ; but the Sind river brings down an increasing amount of sandy deposit, which is partly due to the reckless felling of trees in its valley.

The Kashmiris, so far, have considered no crop worthy of attention save rice ; by irrigation and manuring an artificial mould has been ob- tained for the rice-fields, and it is rare to hear anything said about the original soil. But they recognize four classes which require peculiar treatment when under rice cultivation. These are known as grittfi, bahil, sekil, and dazanlad. Grutu soil contains a large proportion of clay. It holds water, and in years of scanty rainfall is the safest land for rice. But if the rains be heavy, the soil cakes and the out-turn of rice is poor. Bahil is a rich loam of great natural strength ; and there is always a danger that by over-manuring the soil will be too strong, and the plant will run to blade. Sekil is a light loam with a sandy subsoil ; and if there be sufficient irrigation and good rains, the out-turn of rice is always large. Dazanlad soil is chiefly found in low-lying ground near the swamps, but it sometimes occurs in the higher villages. Special precautions are taken to run off irrigation water when the rice plant shows signs of a too rapid growth ; and if these are taken in time, the out-turn in dazanlad land is sometimes very heavy. A peculiarity of this soil is that the irrigation water turns red in colour. Near the banks of the Jhelum, and in the vicinity of the Wular Lake, is found a rich, peaty soil (nambal), which in years of fair rainfall yields enormous crops of rapeseed and maize. This will not pro- duce rice and requires no manure. It is, however, the custom to burn standing weeds and the stubble of the last year's crop before ploughing.

The curious plateaux known as karewas, which form so striking a feature in the scenery, are for the most part of grutu soil, with varieties distinguished by colour. The most fertile is the dark blackish soil known as surhzamhi, the red grutu is the next best, while yellow soil is considered the worst of all. Other classes are recognized, and there are many local names.

The Kashmiris are fortunate in possessing ample manure for their fields, and are not compelled, like the natives of India, to use the greater part of the cattle-dung for fuel. The rule is that all dung, whether of sheep, cattle, or horses, dropped in the winter, when the animals are in the houses, is reserved for agriculture, while the summer dung is dried, and after being mixed with chinar leaves and willow twigs is kept for fuel. But the ashes are carefully stored and the fires are chiefly fed with wood, the dung aiding and regulating combustion. The dung-heaps which one sees in early spring show that the Kashmiri wastes nothing that is useful in agriculture ; but he has other resources. When the flocks commence to move towards the mountains, the sheep are folded on the fields, and the Kashmiri considers turf clods to be a far more effectual renovator of rice-fields than farmyard manure. These are cut from the sides of watercourses and are rich in silt ; and a dressing of clods will strengthen a field for three years, whereas farm- yard manure must be applied every year. The strongest farmyard manure is that of poultry, and this is reserved for onions. The next best is the manure of sheep, which is always kept for the rice nurseries. Next comes cattle-dung, and last of all horse-dung. The value of night- soil is thoroughly understood. Near Srlnagar and the larger villages the garden cultivation is excellent, and the only manure used is pou- drette, or night-soil mixed with the dust of the city alleys and pulverized by the action of the sun.

Agriculture in the valley practically depends on irrigation. Thanks to the formation of the country, this is easy and in ordinary years abun- dant. If normal snows fall in the winter and the great mountains are well covered, the water-supply for the rice will be sufficient. The snows melt into various mountain streams, which rush down to the Jhelum. From both sides of the river the country rises to the mountains in bold terraces, and the water passes quickly from one village to another in years of good snowfall. At convenient points on the mountain streams temporary weirs or projecting spurs are constructed ; and the water is taken off in main channels, which pass into a network of small ducts and eventually empty themselves into the Jhelum, or into the large swamps which lie along its banks. Lower down, where the streams flow gently, dams are erected. All villages which depend for their irrigation on a certain weir are obliged to assist in its construction and repair. The weir consists of wooden stakes and stones, with grasses and willow branches twisted in between the stakes, the best grass for this purpose being the fikal. The channel often has to be taken over ravines and around the edges of the karewa cliffs, and irrigation then becomes very difficult. In former days, when the State took a share of the crop, it was to the interest of the Darbar to look after irrigation and to assist in repairs. But since 1880, when an attempt was made to introduce a fixed assessment, the villagers have had to attend to repairs themselves, and where the channel passes through difficult ground the irrigation has become very uncertain.

If a ravine has to be crossed, a flat-bottomed boat, similar to those in ordinary use, is erected on high trestles, and the water flows over in a quaint-looking aqueduct. When a karewa has to be passed or skirted, a tunnel will sometimes be made ; but as a rule the channel is cut along the face of the cliff, and great loss is caused by the frequent breaches. In old clays over every main channel there was a mlrab — one of the villagers — whose duty was to see to repairs and to call out labour. The mirabs had not received pay for years, and the channels had fallen into great disorder ; but the office has now been revived. The system of distribution is rough and simple ; but it has the advantage that quar- rels between villages rarely arise, and disputes between cultivators of the same village are unknown. Besides the irrigation derived from the mountain streams, an important auxiliary supply is obtained from nume- rous springs. Some of these afford excellent irrigation, but they have two drawbacks. Spring water is always cold, and it does not carry with it the fertilizing silt brought down by the mountain streams, but bears a scum which is considered bad for rice. The Jhelum in its long, gentle course through the valley gives no irrigation at present, but as the population increases water will probably be lifted by the Persian wheel. The only lift-irrigation at present takes the form of the simple and inexpensive pot and lever {d/ienkli), and in Srlnagar and the small towns some splendid garden cultivation depends wholly on this system. On some of the karewas the spring-level is not very deep; and when all the land commanded by flow-irrigation has been taken up, it is hoped that wells may be sunk. The bucket and rope will be found more suitable than the Persian wheel, as the spring-level is more than 18 feet in depth. In the north-west of the valley there are a few tanks, and tank-irrigation might be introduced into many parts.

The agricultural implements are few and simple. The plough is of necessity light, as the cattle are small, and is made of various woods, the mulberry, the ash, and the apple being perhaps the most suitable materials. The ploughshare is tipped with iron. For clod-breaking a wooden mallet is used and the work is done in gangs. Sometimes a log of wood is drawn over the furrows by bullocks, the driver standing on the log. But as a rule, frost, snow, water, and the process known as khushaba are considered a sufficient agency for the disintegration of clods. The spade is made of wood, has a narrow face, and is tipped with iron. It is chiefly employed by the cultivator for digging out turf clods and for arranging his fields for irrigation. For maize and cotton, a small hand hoe is used to extract weeds and to loosen the soil. The pestle and mortar for husking rice and pounding maize must also be mentioned. The mortar is made of a hollowed-out bole of wood. The pestle is of light, hard wood, and the best and hardest of woods for the purpose is the hawthorn.

Agricultural operations are carefully timed so as to fall within a certain period before or after the nauroz, the spring day of the Musalmans, and the mezan, or commencement of autumn. If the period is exceeded there will be a certain failure in the crop, which is calculated in a most precise manner. The circumstance which interferes with punctuality in ploughing and sowing is the absence of irrigation water at the right time ; and in the spring there is great excitement among the villages if water is stopped by some natural cause, such as the late melting of snow, or by other reasons, such as the greediness of some privileged person who defies the local official and takes more than his just share of water. Up to recent times, the cultivator was often seized for forced labour and could not plough or sow at the proper time. And though there is no doubt that rice ought to be sown within forty days after the nauroz, sowing often continues up to the middle of June.

In March the rice-fields, which have remained undisturbed since the last crop was cut, are hard and stiff. The soil has perhaps been worked by the frosts and snow ; but if, as is sometimes the case, no snow has fallen, it will be difficult work for the plough-bullocks, thin and poor after the long winter, to break up the soil. If rain does not fall, a special watering must be given and ploughing then commences. In certain villages the soil is so damp that ploughing has to be done perforce while the soil is wet, and the out-turn is always poorer than from fields where the soil is ploughed in a dry condition. All the litter of the village and the farmyard manure is carried out to the fields by women and ploughed in, or is heaped in a place through which the irrigation duct passes and so reaches the fields as liquid manure. Sometimes manure is placed in heaps on the fields, and when the field is covered with water it is scattered about by hand. Later on in April, as the weather opens, turf clods are cut from the banks of streams and irri- gation channels, and flung broadcast over the wet fields. When four ploughings have been given and the clods have been crumbled with mallets, the soil is watered and sowing can commence in April. The rice seed, which has been carefully selected at threshing-time and has been stored away in grass bags, is again examined and tested by win- nowing. It is then put back into the grass bags and immersed in water until germination commences. Sometimes the seed is placed in earthen vessels through which water is passed.

Rice is grown up to an altitude of 7,000 feet ; and in the higher villages it is convenient to sow earlier than in the lower villages, as the cold season comes on quicker and it is essential to harvest the crop before snow falls. In certain lower villages also, where it is the custom to sow rice earlier than ordinary, the out-turn is always heavy. The ploughing for maize and the autumn millets is not so careful as for rice, and two or three ploughings are considered ample. A watering is sometimes given to maize-fields to start the seed, but no manure is put in. Cotton alone receives manure in the form of ashes mixed with the seed. All Kash- miris recognize that the greater the number of ploughings the greater will be the out-turn of the crop, but holdings are large and the cattle are small and weak.

In June and July barley and wheat are cut and threshed. The ears are trodden out by cattle or sometimes beaten by sticks, and when there is no wind a blanket is flapped to winnow the grain. Anything is good enough for the spring crops, which are regarded by the Kash- miris as a kind of lottery in which they generally lose their stakes. At the same time comes the real labour of rice weeding, the khushaba, a word for which there is no English equivalent. It involves putting the rice plants in their right places, and pressing the soft mud gently around the green seedling. No novice can do the work, as only an expert can detect the counterfeit grasses which pretend to be rice, and k/u/shaba must be learnt young. The operation is best performed by hand, but it may be done by the feet (/at), or, in a fashion, by cattle splashing up and down the wet fields of mud (gufian nind). Sometimes when the rice is two feet high the whole crop is ploughed up (se/e). When rice has bloomed and the grain has begun to form, the water is run off the fields, and a short time before harvest a final watering is given which swells the ears. Often, while the rice is standing, rapeseed is cast into the water. No ploughing is given, and a crop of rape is thus easily obtained. • Before the harvest of the autumn crops com- mences, about the first half of September, rain may fall and it is very beneficial. It improves the rice crop, and it also enables the cultivator to plough and sow for the spring crops. Such rain is known as kambar kd, and there is great rejoicing when these timely showers occur.

Before September, if rain has fallen, a large area of land will be ploughed up and sown with rapeseed; and both this and the early sowings for barley and wheat are of importance, as they come at a time when the culti- vator and his cattle have some leisure, for then the khushaba is over and harvest has not commenced. There are no carts in the valley, save in the flat plain around the Wular Lake, where a primitive trolly is used ; and as the Kashmiris will not use plough-bullocks for carriage, the sheaves of rice and of other crops are slowly and laboriously carried by men to the threshing-floor. When the ricks are thoroughly dry, threshing commences. Seizing a bundle of rice plants in his two hands, the cultivator beats them over a log of wood and detaches the ears from the stalk. The straw is carefully stored, as it is considered the best fodder and the best thatching straw of all.

When the weather is favourable, from October to December, the cultivator is busy ploughing ' dry ' land for wheat and barley ; but by the end of December ploughing must cease, and the Kashmiris occupy themselves with threshing and husking the rice and other crops and with domestic work, such as the tending of sheep and cattle and the weaving of blankets. It is difficult in mid-winter to tempt a Kash- miri out of his reeking house. The ploughings for wheat and barley are very few and very slovenly. For wheat three at the most, for barley two, are considered sufficient. No labour is spent in weeding or manuring, and the standing crops of wheat and barley would shock a Punjabi farmer. The fields are choked with weeds, and it is wonder- ful that there should be any crop at all. Two years of barley or wheat would ruin any land, and the Kashmiris have the sense to follow a spring crop by an autumn crop. Some day more attention may be paid to their barley and wheat, but two facts prevent either of these crops being largely produced in the valley. The rainfall is scanty and very uncertain, and if irrigation were attempted the water in the spring- time would prove too cold for plant growth.

The principal crops are rice, maize, cotton, saffron, tobacco, hops, millets, amaranth, buckwheat, pulses, and sesamum in the autumn ; and wheat, barley, poppy, rape, flax, peas, and beans in the spring. The most important staple is rice, and the cultivator devotes all his energy to this crop. The soil is porous, and water must be kept running over the fields from sowing time almost to harvest ; for if once the land becomes hard and caked, the stalks are pinched and the plant suffers, while the work of khushaba is rendered impossible. It is dangerous to leave the fields dry for more than seven days, and the cultivator should always be present to watch the water. The growth of weeds is very rapid : and once they get ahead of the rice, it is extremely difficult to repair the injury caused and to eradicate the grasses, which none but an expert can distinguish from the rice. There are two systems of cultivation. Under the first the rice is sown broad- cast ; under the second it is first sown in a nursery and then planted out. The broadcast system gives the best out-turn per acre, but the labour entailed is far heavier than that required in the nursery system.

Two khushdbas are sufficient for the latter, while four khushdbas are essential in broadcast sowings. Provided the soil is good and irrigation is fairly abundant, the cultivator will choose the broadcast system, but in certain circumstances he will adopt the nursery method. If water comes late, rice can be kept alive in the nursery plots, and the young seedling need not be planted out till forty days after sowing. Just as there are two methods of sowing the rice, so there are two methods of preparing the soil. The one is known as tao, the other as kenalu. An old proverb says that for rice cultivation the land should be absolutely wet or absolutely dry. In tao cultivation the soil is ploughed dry ; and when the clods are perfectly free from moisture and do not lose weight when placed over the fireplace at night, irriga- tion is given and the seed is sown. In kenalu cultivation the soil is ploughed wet ; and when three ploughings are made and the soil is half water and half mud, the out-turn of kenalu is sometimes equal to that of tao. But as a rule the tao system gives the better results and kenalu involves the heavier labour.

The rices are infinite in variety. In one tahsil fifty-three varieties have been counted. They may be roughly divided into two classes, the white and the red. As a food the white rice is the more esteemed, and the best of the white rices are bdsmati and kanyun. These germi- nate very quickly and ripen more rapidly than any other. But they are very delicate plants and cannot stand exposure to cold winds. They give a small crop and require very careful husking. The white rice, though esteemed as a food, is from a cultivator's point of view less popular than the red rice, which is more hardy, gives a larger out-turn, can be grown at higher elevations, and is less liable to damage from wild animals.

For a good rice harvest the following conditions are necessary : heavy snows on the mountains in the winter to fill the streams in the summer ; good rains in March and the beginning of April ; clear, bright, warm days and cool nights in May, June, July, and August, with an occasional shower and fine cold weather in September. All Kashmiris assert that sirddna, or full grains, depend on cold dew penetrating the outer husk and swelling and hardening the forming grain. Next in importance comes maize. The best soil is reclaimed swamp, and enormous crops are raised in good years from the black peaty land which lies under the banks of the Jhelum. In the high villages occupied by the Gujar graziers very fine crops of maize are grown, and the out-turn is due to the heavy manuring given to the field by buffaloes and cattle. But with this exception maize receives no manure, and the system of harvesting renders it unnecessary. A large part of the stalk is left on the fields, and in the winter the stalks rot with the snow and rain into the soil. Ordinarily two to three plough- ings are given, and a final ploughing covers over the seeds. A month after sowing, when the maize is about a foot high, women weed the fields with a small hand hoe and loosen the soil about the roots. As a rule, maize is grown on 'dry' land, and it is rare to find it irrigated. For a really good crop of maize fortnightly rains are required, but in the swamp-lands the natural moisture of the soil produces fair crops even if the rains are delayed.

Kangni or shot {Setaria italicd) is an extremely useful plant ; and when it is apparent from the look of the mountains that snow water will be scarce, a large area of rice land is at once sown with it. The land, if a good crop is hoped for, must be carefully ploughed about four times, and the seed is sown in April and May about the same time as rice. Some weeding is done, but as a rule the crop is left until it ripens in September. China or ping {Panicum miliaceum) is very like rice in appearance, but is grown on 'dry' land. The field is ploughed three times, and after sowing cattle are turned on to the land to tread the soil down. The seed is sown in June, and the crop is harvested in September. It is occasionally weeded ; but like kangni, with which it is always associated as a cheap food-stuff, china does not receive much attention.

The most beautiful of all the crops is the ganhar, or amaranth, with its gold, coral, and crimson stalks and flowers. It is frequently sown in rows among the cotton-fields or on the borders of maize plots, and the sulphur blooms of the cotton and the coral of the ganhar form a delightful combination of colour. Ganhar is sown in May after two or three ploughings. No manure or irrigation is given, and with timely rains a large out-turn is harvested in September. The minute grain is first parched, then ground and eaten with milk or water. It is con- sidered a heating food by the people, and Hindus eat it on their fast- days. The stalks are used by washermen, who extract an alkaline substance from the burnt ashes.

Trumba, or buckwheat {Fagopyrum esculentutn), is a most useful plant, as it can be sown late in almost any soil, and when the cultivator sees no hope of water coming to his rice-fields he will at once sow the sweet trumba. There are two varieties. The sweet trumba, which has white, pinkish flowers, is often grown as a substitute for rice when water is not forthcoming ; it can be sown up to the middle of July, and with good rains it gives a fair crop. The bitter trumba, which has yellow flowers, is not a mere makeshift, but in the higher villages often forms the only food-grain of the people. The unhusked grain is black in colour, and is either ground in mills and made into bread or is eaten as porridge. The sweet trumba is said to be a good food for horses and for poultry.

Pulses are not considered of much importance by the people, and Punjabis do not regard the Kashmir dal in a favourable light. Gram is unknown, and the best pulse is mting (Phaseolus Mitngo). The land is ploughed three times and the seed is sown in May. No irriga- tion is given, and mung is often sown in rice lands which require a rest. The roots run deep and air the soil. The other pulses are ?nah {Phaseolus radiafus) and mothi (P. aconitifolius).

The oilseeds of Kashmir are of some importance, and now that Kashmir is linked with the outer world they are assuming a greater value as a trade staple. The Kashmiris do not use ghl (clarified butter) in their food, but they require vegetable oils ; and at present they use these for lighting as well as for cooking, owing to the expense of mineral oil.

The chief oilseed is rape, of which there are three varieties. The first is tilgoglu, which is sown in September and October on ' dry ' lands, and especially on the soft reclaimed swamp land. As a rule there is no weeding, except where the wild hemp is very vigorous. Timely rains from February to May are required, and the crop is harvested in May and June. The second variety is known as taruz or sarshaf, and is sown in the spring. It ripens at the same time as the tilgoglu, but gives a smaller amount of oil from its seed. Three maunds of seed per acre would be an average yield for tilgoglu. The other varieties of rape give less. The third kind is known as satidiji, and is sown in the standing rice when the last watering is being given. It yields a small crop, but as no labour is expended the cultivator counts even the small crop as gain.

Linseed is cultivated all over the valley, but the best fields are on the lower slopes of the mountains. The land is ploughed twice, and a third ploughing is given when the seed is sown in April. The crop is harvested towards the end of July. Timely rains are required in May or the plant withers. The crop is said to exhaust the land. An average yield would be i^ to 2 maunds of linseed per acre, but with proper cultivation the produce could be increased. No manure is given and the fields are not weeded, and as a rule the linseed crop has a very dirty and slovenly appearance. As one ascends the slopes of the mountains the plant has a longer stem, and some time ago a fitful attempt was made to grow flax for fibre. Like other excellent schemes for introducing new staples and industries into Kashmir, the expe


Powerboats on Jhelum, Srinagar

Peerzada Ashiq, A cruise that showcases Srinagar’s heritage, July 23, 2017: The Hindu

Officials take a ride on the water taxi in the Jhelum in Srinagar.; Peerzada Ashiq, A cruise that showcases Srinagar’s heritage, July 23, 2017: The Hindu

Powerboats on the Jhelum are more than just a ferry - they offer a different view of old structures, shrines

A major trial is on in Kashmir to see if the Jhelum could be restored to being the pre-1947 Venice-like waterway linking cities and allowing a peep into the old city in Srinagar that houses heritage structures, shrines and temples.

The month-long trial, started in the first week of July, will assess the feasibility. Two motorboats of Jammu & Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation and one motor-driven shikara (small boat), ferrying 18 passengers, are navigating on a daily basis from Lal Chowk, the heart of Srinagar, to the interiors up to Habba Kadal bridge. The trial comes after Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said that she saw water transport as an “alternative to ease vehicular pressure on roads of the Valley.”

The 725-km long river connects south Kashmir’s Anantnag district with Srinagar before entering north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

Vision for future

“There is a futuristic vision to develop water transport for which two water channels were earmarked, the Jhelum and the Dal Lake. An action plan is being prepared as per water transport standards found in European countries, especially Italy,” said Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan. Jammu & Kashmir’s Irrigation and Flood Control department, which is part of the trial, has been tasked with monitoring daily traffic.

“The move will boost tourism too,” said Mr. Khan.

An official said water transport will also turn the spotlight on heritage structures, shrines and temples on the river banks, which otherwise remain out of bounds due to the volatile situation.

The motor-driven traditional shikara, compared to the hand-powered ones, is also new to Kashmir and is allowed to cross through all the famous seven bridges across the Jhelum in the city.

The National Highway

Chenani- Nashri tunnel

Saleem Pandit, The Times of India, Mar 31, 2017

See graphic.

Chenani- Nashri tunnel, some facts; April 3, 2017: The Times of India
India's longest tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir, some facts; The Times of India, Mar 31, 2017

Piercing through the inner Himalayas, the 9.2 km, Rs 3,720cr, two-lane Chenani- Nashri tunnel is Asia's longest, cutting down the Srinagar-Jammu distance from 294 km to around 250km and shortening the driving time between Jammu and Srinagar by two hours

The construction, which began on May 23, 2011, involved nearly 1,500 engineers, geologists and labourers, be sides skilled workers. It was supposed to be completed within five years but unhelpful weather on the thoroughfare and local disputes between labourers and contractors delayed the project by two years, officials said.

The National Highway Au thority of India has spent Rs 3,720 crore on the project which has two tubes: the main tunnel and the escape tunnel. These two are internally connected through 29 cross-passages, with each located 300 metres apart.

“This state-of-the-art tunnel will also have parking spots in case of vehicle breakdowns,“ deputy commissioner of Ramban, Aijaz Asad, said.Work on four-laning of Udhampur-Chenani and Nashri-Ramban stretches of the highway started is still underway.

However, since the tunnel will bypass three major highway passenger stops, Kud, Patnitop and Batote, residents and businesses of these areas are upset that the tunnel will deprive them of their livelihood.Taking their objections into account, Asad said the J&K government was planning to rehabilitate small-time businessmen of the three stations.

There are 124 CCTV cameras for surveillance inside the tunnel. In case of traffic violation, the control room will inform the traffic police deployed outside the tunnel, who will fine the errant drivers. The suffocation levels created by excessive carbon-dioxide inside the tunnel will be checked by exhausts along the way .

10 facts about the tunnel

Chenani-Nashri, Jammu and Kashmir's new lifeline: 10 interesting features of this new road tunnel, April 2, 2017: The Times of India

1. The two-lane Chenani-Nashri tunnel will be Asia's longest, which will cut the distance between Jammu and Srinagar to around 250km from the current 350km.

2. The tunnel, which took seven years to build, will act as an all-weather alternative to the existing Jammu-Srinagar highway. It will link Chenani in Udhampur district with Nashri in Ramban district.

3. Thanks to the tunnel, the distance between Chenani and Nashri will be reduced to 9.2km from 41km. It will also bypass 44 avalanche - and landslide-prone spots on the highway.

4. Because it is an all-weather tunnel, it will enable an increase in trade and therefore boost revenue in the state. It will help boost tourism too.

5. As many as 1,500 engineers, geologists, skilled workers and labourers constructed this tunnel.

6. The National Highways Authority of India spent Rs 3,720 crore on the project.

7. The tunnel comprises two tubes, if you will - the 'main tunnel' and the 'escape tunnel'. The two are internally connected through 29 cross-passages; each is located 300 metres apart.

8. There are 124 closed-circuit TV cameras for surveillance inside the tunnel. In case of a traffic violation, the control room will inform the traffic police deployed outside the tunnel, who will fine the violators on the spot.

9. Such a long tunnel could present the problem of a lack of oxygen. To ensure there is no excessive carbon-dioxide build up inside the tunnel, there are several exhaust meters that will check the air all through the length of the tunnel.

10. This state-of-the-art tunnel will also have parking spots in case a vehicle breaks down.

Engineering Marvel

Nishikant Khajuria , Engineering Marvel "Daily Excelsior" 2/4/2017

Chenani-Nashri Tunnel

With its formal inauguration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 2, the Chenani-Nashri tunnel is being thrown open ( from April 3 morning) for the commuters, who are eagerly waiting for a rendezvous with this world class state of art engineering marvel, a fully automatic smart system control tunnel with no human intervention for the technical operation.

Driving through this 9.2 km long world class tunnel gives a feeling of being part of developed world to which India is stepping in with its technical know how and skilled manpower. The work on the twin-tube tunnel, which is part of National Highway Authority of India’s (NHAI’s) 286-km-long Jammu-Srinagar National Highway NH-44 (Old NH1A) four-lanning project, started on May 23, 2011 and its ninety percent work was completed by Indian construction companies despite initial start by foreign multi-national Leighton Contractors Pvt Ltd. The Project Developer IL&FS Transport Network Pvt Ltd has been assigned the task to look after maintenance of this tunnel for the next 15 years.

This is Asia’s first and longest bi-directional highway tunnel, which is located at an altitude of 1,200 meters (nearly 4,000 feet) in difficult Himalayan terrain. It took more than five years for the different construction companies to complete it. In total 19 km long excavation was done for main tunnel, escape tunnel and cross passage while 65 lakh cement bags and 12 lakh ton steel was used in the construction work, for which approximately 1200 persons remained engaged in each shift daily

Bypassing snow and landslide prone Kud, Patnitop and Batote, this tunnel shortens the road distance from Chenani to Nashri by 30 kms thus reducing the travel time on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway by about 2 hours besides saving fuel worth Rs 27 lakh per day.

Smart features like Integrated Traffic Control System (ITCS), Video surveillance through 140 CCTVs, wireless communication and FM broadcast system, Entrance Detection Control, Electrical Fire signalling, Active Fire Fighting, Tunnel Ventilation, Evacuative Broadcast system and SOS call boxes make it most intelligent tunnel of the world.

Protected with a world class security set up, the tunnel has unprecedented safety features, particularly the escape tube that runs parallel to main traffic tube. The main traffic tunnel has 9.35 meters carriageway and 5 meters vertical clearance with 1.30 m walkway on either side while the parallel escape tunnel has 5 m carriageway and 2.5 m vertical clearance. Both the tunnels are connected by 29 cross passages at every 300 meters along the entire length of the tunnel. These cross passages, 7 m wide and 2.5 m vertical clearance, will be used to evacuate a user who might be in distress, or to tow away a vehicle that might have broken down. CCTV cameras and a linear heat detection system inside the tunnel will alert an Integrated Tunnel Control Room (ITCR) located outside to monitor and intervene, if necessary. With the help of cross passages and through public address system, the evacuation of humans in case of any incident inside the main tunnel will be done by the Route Patrolling Officers within 90 seconds while in the second phase, the situation will be diffused in the next 90 seconds thus finishing the entire operation within three-four minutes and confining the incident within 100 meters.

SOS call boxes, installed at every 150 m inside the main traffic tunnel, act as emergency hotlines for commuters in distress. To connect to the ITCR to seek help, one would only need to open the door of the SOS cabin and say ‘Hello’. These SOS boxes are also equipped with first-aid facility and some essential medicines. In case of breathlessness or other discomfort, or in case of breakdown of a vehicle, the commuter is expected to enter the SOS cabin and inform the ITCR, which will immediately rush an ambulance or crane through the parallel escape tunnel from the nearest crossway for necessary action.

With inlets every 8 meters bringing fresh air into the main tube, and exhaust outlets every 100 meter, the fully transverse ventilation system of the tunnel is first of its kind in India. In case of increased Carbon Mono-oxide and opacity level inside the tunnel, the sensors automatically restore the ventilation system by opening fresh air and exhaust windows in the particular area. In case of fire incident, sensors detect heat and a safety protocol activates which allows only exhaust to function and stops fresh air. Exhaust fans will push the smoke upward while ambulances carrying foam will rush through the escape tunnel to evacuate victims and fight the fire.

In the tunnel, the commuters will also be able to use their mobile phones with BSNL, Airtel and Idea connections. Besides, FM Rebroadcast system guides the commuters and also warns against throwing anything inside the tunnel.

Another excellent aspect of this engineering marvel is that despite having been excavated in a difficult Himalayan region, both the tunnels (Main as well as Escape) are 100 percent waterproof. There is e no seepage of water from the ceilings or any of the walls of the tunnels.

Even as the vehicles will have to pay for passing through this tunnel, the commuters will not be at economic loss vis-a vis the gains of fuel and time saving. Cars will have to pay a toll of Rs 55 for one- way journey, Rs 85 for to-and-fro and Rs 1,870 for a monthly pass, while bigger vehicles like pick-up and small buses will have to pay Rs 90 for one-way and Rs 135 for to-and-fro. Buses and trucks will be charged Rs 190 for a single journey and Rs 285 for return. However, on the other hand, only one fourth of the fuel will be used now for covering the distance from Chenani to Nashri and vice-versa.

Further, the tunnel is all set to have multiple economic gains as better connectivity with the remote area in erstwhile Doda district will help transform the life of this neglected region. Besides, ecology and environment, this tunnel is also going to boost tourism of the region. Reduction in traffic on bypassed 41 km stretch of the old road will encourage tourists to visit Patnitop and its adjoining picturesque areas. Moreover, this state of art world class tunnel is itself a major attraction for the local tourists, who will surely love to have voyage through it for a pleasure.

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