Jammu and Kashmir may be the sixth greatest state in India for example the location occupied by Pakistan and China. The crown of India lies inside the severe north within the nation and it is bounded on 3 sides by China, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The whole state is practically mountainous, damaged by stretches of valley and dotted with mountain lakes. The state is studded having a selection of hill stations, which are refreshing awesome in summer time. They provide for the travelers a leisurely or adventurous vacation amidst breath-taking environment.
Strategically situated Jammu and Kashmir State constitutes the northern most extremity of India. Massive components of it have, nevertheless, been annexed by China and Pakistan. But, a couple of with the most majestic elements of this state remain in India. The State is bounded by Pakistan, Afghanistan and China from the West in direction of the East.
A main part of Jammu & Kashmir State consists with the western Himalayas, which besides a lot of lofty mountain ranges with varying heights of 3000 to 6000 meters and above, also abound in rivers, lakes, passes, glaciers, plateaus and plains. The number of streams, brooks, hill torrents and rivers is also fairly big. Essentially essentially the most important rivers are the Indus, Chenab, Jehlum and Ravi.
The state of Jammu and Kashmir which had earlier been under Hindu rulers and Muslim Sultans, became component from the Mughal Empire under Akbar. After a period of Afghan rule from 1756, it was annexed to the for the Sikh kingdom within the Punjab in 1819. In 1846 the Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh entrusted the principality of Jammu and adjacent areas to Gulab Singh, his Dogra General. Gulab Singh brought significant areas which includes Ladakh, Zanskar, Gilgit and Baltistan under his control. Jammu and Kashmir came into being as a single political and geographical entity following the Treaty of Amristar between the British Government and Gulab singh signed on March 16, 1846. The Treaty handed over the control from the Kashmir State toward the Dogra ruler of Jammu who had earlier annexed Ladakh. Thus a new State comprising 3 distinct religions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh was formed with Maharaja Gulab Singh as its founder ruler.
Jammu & Kashmir within the year 1947 was an independent nation for all practical purposes. The Maharaja who ruled the State had signed agreements with both Pakistan and India to remain neutral and not be component of either nation. India honoured that agreement but Pakistan did not. Pakistani raiders and soldiers attacked the state in 1947 forcing the Maharaja to flee to India. The Maharaja asked India to help his people who were being killed and looted by the Pakistani raiders. He also agreed to make Jammu &; Kashmir part of India. The Indian ruler at that time was Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. He accepted Jammu &; Kashmir's accession to India and agreed to rescue his people within the Pakistani attackers. Indian troops were flown into the Kashmir Valley and they managed to drive away most with the Pakistani raiders in the state. But a big area of the state remained under the control of Pakistani soldiers. These areas were difficult to reach because they were surrounded by tall mountain ranges. Heavy fighting took location in 1947-48 between the Indian and Pakistani forces over Kashmir. On January 1, 1948 India took up the issue of Pak aggression in Jammu and Kashmir in UNO under Article 35 of its charter. After long debates, cease-fire came into operation on the midnight of January 1, 1949 which created the first Line-of-Control. While the people in the state continue to march ahead for socio-economic emancipation as per the Naya Kashmir charter for better quality of life, Pakistan continued with her plans to grab Kashmir through force. Pakistan waged two wars in 1965 and 1971 to annex Kashmir but the people gave her befitting reply and repulsed her attacks with all the help of army like they did in 1947-48. Failing to match India?s military power, it launched a low intensity war through militancy in 1990 which took a toll of 20,000 human lives besides destroying private and public property.
The high point with the movement was July 13, 1931 when 22 protesters were martyred. The event strengthened the movement and contrary in direction of the expectations from the then rulers, the peopled emerged more determined in their resolution to seek an end to autocratic rule. By the time the rulers could realise the futility of breaking the will together with the people with all the might using the State, the National Conference, headed by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, had become a mass movement and a force to reckon with. It broke the barriers of area and religion and became a popular and secular voice in the people in the State whose collective yearning was freedom from autocracy and the establishment of a popular rule.
The feudal dispensation inside the State, nonetheless, was too harsh for the people to live under and toward the end of a hundred years of this rule when their Indian brethren were fighting for independence in the British under the inspiring leadership of Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, the Kashmiris led by a towering personality, the Sher-I-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, rose against the autocracy. The autocratic rule came down heavily on the people?s freedom movement. Even so, the people laid their lives inside the cause of freedom and to uphold the ideals of secularism, equality, democracy and brotherhood.
The state has a very rich history and a distinct culture where people of all faiths live in perfect harmony. Jammu and Kashmir has 3 distinct elements - Hindu majority Jammu, Buddhist dominated Ladakh inside of the North and predominantly Muslim populated Valley, besides what is under Pakistan occupation. The state also have a unique feature of getting a few in the most sacred Temples, Mosques, Monasteries, and Caves. A visit to this paradise, resplendent in nature's glory, will linger long within the memory together with the visitor.
The state of Jammu & Kashmir is a region of widely varying people and geography. Inside the south, Jammu is a transition zone inside the Indian plains towards the Himalaya. Nature has lavishly endowed Kashmir with certain distinctive favours which hardly find a parallel in any alpine land in the world. Correctly, the rest with the state is Kashmir but in practice this title is reserved for your beautiful valley of Kashmir, a large Himalayan valley in the north together with the state. A spell on a houseboat on Dal Lake has always been one of India's real treats and Kashmir also offers some delightful trekking opportunities and unsurpassed scenery. Set within the womb with the Himalayas and gifted with beautiful and inspiring natural environment, it emerged as a highly advanced seat of learning from very early times, using its place along together with the famous Universities of Taxila and Nalanda. It has also been embracing point of advent of Islam bringing in its fold finest traditions of Persian civilization, tolerance, brotherhood and sacrifice. Ramparts of high mountains and seclusion from the land helped her top reserve the life and conditions of early times which is rather difficult to resuscitate in regard to other this kind of mountainous regions. The cultural heritage of Kashmir is, therefore, very rich and derives its inspiration and strength both from her natural environs and the rich literature and literary traditions alike.
Jammu on the other hand has been the seat of Rajas and Maharajas which have cemented and enriched the cultural, historical and social bonds of all these diverse ethnic and linguistic divisions in the state. The ancient archeological monuments and remnants speak volume from the district cultural traditions with the state. Jammu the land from the Dogras, offer you an entirely different fare of dances and music. Over the centuries long spell of separation from their soldier, husbands and brothers have led the hardy but graceful women from the Duggar to evolve many diverting dances and songs to keep themselves in cheer in their free moments. The songs of separation, the ever increasing yearning for reunion with all the beloved, the hard life on the mountain slopes and various other themes connected with their day-to-day life find their echo in folk songs and dances.
Jammu celebrates Lohri and Baisakhi in February. Every year a 3-day Jammu Crafts Mela is also organised during Baisakhi at the picturesque Mansar Lake, 60-km from Jammu. Bahu Mela, a significant festival of Jammu region is held at the Kali temple in Bahu Fort, twice a year during March-April and September-October. In Srinagar, besides Id other important muslim festivals are Urs at Khaneka in downtown Srinagar and Urs at Chrar-e-Sharif. The annual Ladakh festival is held in September; the Hemis Festival features dance performed by the monks dressed in colourful robes wearing different forms of masks.
FLORA & FAUNA
The State is rich in flora and fauna. Kashmir abounds in rich flora. One of the most magnificent inside the Kashmir trees could be the Chinar found throughout the valley. Mountain ranges within the Valley have dense deodar, pine and fir. Walnut, willow, almond and cider also add towards the rich flora of Kashmir. The dense forests of Kashmir are a delight in direction of the sport-lovers and adventures for whom there are Ibex, Snow Leopard, Musk deer, wolf, Markhor, Red bear, Black bear and Leopard. The winged game include ducks, goose, partridge, chakor, pheasant, wagtails, herons, water pigeons, warblers, and doves. In the hilly regions of Doda, Udhampur, Poonch and Rajouri there is a significant and varied fauna including leopard, cheetah and deer, wild sheep, bear, brown musk shrew, musk rat. Varieties of snakes, bats, lizards and frogs are also found within the region. The game birds in Jammu include chakor, snow partridge, pheasants, peacock.
In Jammu, the flora ranges in the thorn bush type within the arid plain towards the temperate and alpine flora with the higher altitudes. With the broad leaf trees there are maple, horse chest nuts, silver fir etc. At the higher altitudes there are birch, rhododendron, Berbers and a big selection of herbal plants.
In otherwise arid desert of Ladakh some 240 species of local and migratory birds have been identified which includes black-necked crane. The Ladakh fauna consists of yak, Himalayan Ibex, Tibetan antelope, snow leopard, wild ass, red bear and gazelle.