Name : …………………………..
Programme Code : BTS
Course Code : PTS – 4
Enrollment No : ………………..
Regional Centre : ……………………….
Study Centre Code : …………………..
Title of the Project : MONUMENTS OF KASHMIR
- OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
- SOURCES OF KASHMIR HISTORY
- MONUMENTS OF KASHMIR
- MONUMENTS IN SRINAGAR AND ITS VICINITY
KASHMIR proper is an irregularly oval valley 84 miles long from north-east to south-west by 20 to 25 miles broad. Its height above the sea level is everywhere over 5,000 feet. It is enclosed on all sides by ranges of snow-capped mountains, which vary at different points from 12,000 to 18,000 feet in height. The correctness of the local tradition regarding its lacustrine origin in remote prehistoric times has been demonstrated by the discovery of marine fossils and other characteristic features in the surrounding mountains and uplands. Politically it was, ordinarily, limited to its geographical frontiers, the mountain ramparts; but the neighbouring hill principalities of Prunts (Poonch) and Rajauri were often within its sphere of influence. The extent of that influence usually depended upon the personality of the ruler for the time being. Some of its more energetic kings extended their sway to the north and north-west of the Panjab, and one king, Lalitaditya (in the middle of the eighth century), is credited with having effected the conquest of Kanauj.
The valley itself was divided into two great territorial divisions, Madavarajya, the southern half, and Kramarajya, the northern half; Srinagar, the capital, was included in the former. Madavarajya, modern Maraz, is represented by the present-day wazarat or district of Anantnag, and Kramarajya by the wazarat of Baramula. The large lateral valleys drained by the Sindh and the Lidar formed integral parts of their respective districts. The two rural divisions were in their turn subdivided into smaller areas - known in later times as parganas - which consisted of groups of villages ranging in number from a dozen to perhaps a hundred or more. The capital, though forming part of Maraz, practically constituted an independent unit; and owing to its situation at the point of contact of the two main divisions, its compactness, the presence of the court, its large population, its organised public opinion, and the superior culture of its inhabitants, it was the most important of all. Its alliance or opposition almost always proved a decisive factor in determining the fortunes of war. Its position in the centre of a large, fertile, and populous valley, intersected by navigable rivers, canals and lakes, not only made it a point of vantage commercially, but also sufficiently accounts for the failure of all the attempts made from time to time to remove it from its present position to some other place.
The most striking features of the Kashmir landscape are its mighty mountain ramparts, its beautiful lakes and rivers, and its dry brown karewas. The former have largely determine the political fortunes of the little country they encircle. It is the inaccessibility and practical impregnability of these natural defences rather than the valour of Kashmiri troops that has so often turned the tide of invasion from the valley, when far more powerful kingdoms succumbed to it. This inaccessibility, again, enabled Kashmir to preserve and consolidate its peculiar social and economic conditions up to very recent times. While, thus, the mountains long served as effectual barriers against foreign invasion, and as a sure means of conservation of indigenous culture, they do not appear to have proved equally effectual in preventing natives of the valley from seeing something of the world which lay beyond their circumscribed horizon. Kashmir played a notable part in the propagation of Buddhism in foreign lands, especially in China and Tibet.