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Jammu and Kashmir (princely state)

Jammu and Kashmir

1846–1952
Map of Kashmir
Map of Kashmir
StatusPrincely state
CapitalSrinagar
Jammu
Common languagesKashmiri, Dogri, Ladakhi, Balti, Shina, Pahari-Pothwari, Gujari, Kundal Shahi, Bhaderwahi, Burushaski, Brokskat, Domaaki, Khowar, Bateri, Purgi, Zangskari, Tibetan, Punjabi, Hindustani (Hindi-Urdu), Sanskrit
Religion
Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism
GovernmentPrincely state
Maharaja 
• 16 March 1846 – 30 June 1857
Gulab Singh (first)
• 23 September 1925 – 17 November 1952
Hari Singh (last)
Dewan 
• 15 October 1947 – 5 March 1948
Mehr Chand Mahajan (first)
• 5 March 1948 – 17 November 1952
Sheikh Abdullah (last)
History 
1846
• Independence from British India
15 Aug 1947
22 Oct 1947
• Accession to the Indian Union
26–27 Oct 1947
• Constitutional state of India
17 November 1952
• Disestablished
1952
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Sikh Empire
Trakhàn dynasty
British Raj
Interim Government of India
Jammu and Kashmir, India
Azad Kashmir
Gilgit-Baltistan
Today part ofJammu and Kashmir (India)
Azad Kashmir
Gilgit-Baltistan
(Pakistan)
Hotan County
Kargilik County
(China)

Jammu and Kashmir, also known as Kashmir and Jammu,[1] was a princely state during the British East India Company rule as well as the British Raj in India from 1846 to 1947. The princely state was created after the First Anglo-Sikh War, when the East India Company, which had annexed the Kashmir Valley,[2] Jammu, Ladakh, and Gilgit-Baltistan from the Sikhs as war indemnity, then sold the region to the Raja of Jammu, Gulab Singh, for rupees 75 lakh.

At the time of the partition of India and the political integration of India, Hari Singh, the ruler of the state, delayed making a decision about the future of his state. However, an uprising in the western districts of the State followed by an attack by raiders from the neighbouring Northwest Frontier Province, supported by Pakistan, forced his hand. On 26 October 1947, Hari Singh acceded to India in return for the Indian military being airlifted to Kashmir, to engage the Pakistan-supported forces.[3] The western and northern districts presently known as Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan passed to the control of Pakistan, while the remaining territory stayed under Indian control, later becoming the Indian administered state of Jammu and Kashmir.[4]

Rulers

S.no Name Reign
1. Gulab Singh 1846–1857
2. Ranbir Singh 1857–1885
3. Pratap Singh 1885–1925
4. Hari Singh 1925–1948
5. Karan Singh (Prince Regent) 1948–1952

Administration

According to the census reports of 1911, 1921 and 1931, the administration was organised as follows:[5][6]

In the 1941 census, further details of the frontier districts were given:[5]

Prime Ministers

# Name Took Office Left Office
1 Raja Hari Singh 1925 1927
2 Sir Albion Banerjee January 1927 March 1929
3 G. E. C. Wakefield 1929 1931
4 Hari Krishan Kaul[7] 1931 1932
5 Elliot James Dowell Colvin[7] 1932 1936
6 Sir Barjor J. Dalal 1936 1936
7 Sir N. Gopalaswami Ayyangar 1936 July 1943
8 Kailash Narain Haksar July 1943 February 1944
9 Sir B. N. Rau February 1944 28 June 1945
10 Ram Chandra Kak 28 June 1945 11 August 1947
11 Janak Singh 11 August 1947 15 October 1947
12 Mehr Chand Mahajan 15 October 1947 5 March 1948
13 Sheikh Abdullah 5 March 1948 17 November 1952

Geography

1909 map showing Kashmir

The area of the state extended from 32° 17' to 36° 58' N and from 73° 26' to 80° 30' E.[8] Jammu was the southernmost part of the state and was adjacent to the Punjab districts of Jhelum, Gujrat, Sialkot, and Gurdaspur. There is 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. To travel north, a range of mountains 8,000 feet (2,400 m) high must be climbed.

This is a temperate country with forests of oak, rhododendron, chestnut, and higher up, of deodar and pine, a country of 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 story, on which rests the valley of Kashmir, drained by the Jhelum river.[8]

Steeper parts of the Himalayas lead to Astore and Baltistan on the north and to Ladakh on the east, a tract drained by the river Indus. To the northwest, lies Gilgit, west and north of the Indus. The whole area is shadowed by a wall of giant mountains that run east from the Kilik or Mintaka passes of the Hindu Kush, leading to the Pamirs and the Chinese dominions past Rakaposhi (25,561 ft), along the Muztagh range past K2 (Godwin-Austen Glacier, 28,265 feet), Gasherbrum and Masherbrum (28,100 and 28,561 feet (8,705 m) respectively) to the Karakoram range which merges in the Kunlun Mountains. Westward of the northern angle above Hunza and Nagar, the 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.[8]

Transport

There used to be a route from Kohala to Leh; it was possible to travel from Rawalpindi via Kohala and over the Kohala Bridge into Kashmir. The route from Kohala to Srinagar was a cart-road 132 miles (212 km) in length. From Kohala to Baramulla the road was close to the River Jhelum. At Muzaffarabad the Kishenganga River joins the Jhelum and at this point the road from Abbottabad and Garhi Habibullah meet the Kashmir route. The road carried heavy traffic and required expensive maintenance by the authorities to repair.[9]

Flooding

In 1893, after 52 hours of continuous rain, very serious flooding took place in the Jhelum valley and much damage was done to Srinagar. The floods of 1903 were much more severe, a great disaster.[10]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Kashmir and Jammu", Imperial Gazetteer of India, Secretary of State for India in Council: Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 15: 71–, 1908
  2. ^ Panikkar, Gulab Singh 1930, p. 111–125.
  3. ^ "Q&A: Kashmir dispute - BBC News".
  4. ^ Bose, Sumantra (2003). Kashmir: Roots of Conflict, Paths to Peace. Harvard University Press. pp. 32–37. ISBN 0-674-01173-2.
  5. ^ a b Karim, Maj Gen Afsir (2013), Kashmir The Troubled Frontiers, Lancer Publishers LLC, pp. 29–32, ISBN 978-1-935501-76-3
  6. ^ Behera, Demystifying Kashmir 2007, p. 15.
  7. ^ a b Copland, Ian (1981), "Islam and Political Mobilization in Kashmir, 1931-34", Pacific Affairs, 54 (2): 228–259, JSTOR 2757363
  8. ^ a b c "Kashmir and Jammu" Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 15, p. 72.
  9. ^ "Kashmir and Jammu" Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 15, p. 79.
  10. ^ "Kashmir and Jammu" Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 15, p. 89

Bibliography

This article incorporates text from the Imperial Gazetteer of India, a publication now in the public domain.