Princely state of Kashmir and Jammu

Princely state of Kashmir and Jammu

:"This article is about a erstwhile princely state in northern Indian subcontinent. For the contemporary state in northern Republic of India, see Jammu and Kashmir"

Infobox Former Subdivision
native_name =
conventional_long_name = Kashmir and Jammu
common_name = Kashmir
nation = British India
status_text = Princely State
era = New Imperialism
year_start = 1846
date_start =
year_end = 1947
date_end =
event_end= Partition of India
event1 =
date_event1 =
p1 =
s1 = Pakistan
s2 = India
flag_p1 =
flag_s1 = Flag of Azad Kashmir.svg
flag_s2 = Jammu-Kashmir-flag.svg

image_map_caption = Map of Kashmir
stat_area1 =
stat_year1 =
stat_pop1 =
footnotes =

Kashmir and Jammu was an autonomous princely state adjacent to the territories of British India ruled by a Maharaja. The state was created in 1846 under the auspices of the British Indian colonial power and dissoluted in the aftermath of decolonization in 1947.Rai, Mridu (2000). [ The question of religion in Kashmir: Sovereignty, Legitimacy and Rights, c. 1846-1947] . Ph.D. Thesis, Columbia University.] The boundaries of the state were set by the Treaty of Amritsar of 1846 "situated to the eastward of the river Indus and westward of the river Ravi", and covered an area of convert|80900|mi2|km2. [īr and Jammu - Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 15, p. 72.] ] After the departure of the British in 1947 the state was split between Pakistan and India as war erupted between the neighbours. [Lamb, A. (1991). Kashmir: A Disputed Legacy, 1846-1990. Roxford Books. ISBN 0-907129-06-4.]


Prior to the creation of the princely state, Kashmir was ruled by the Durrani Empire, until it was annexed by Sikhs led by Ranjit Singh. [ [ and Jammu - Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 15, p. 93.] ] During Sikh rule, Jammu was a tributary of the Sikh Empire.

After the death of the Raja of Jammu, Kishore Singh, in 1822, his son Gulab Singh was recognised by the Sikhs as his heir. He then, initially under the Sikhs, began expanding his kingdom. [ [īr and Jammu - Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 15, p. 94.] ]

As Raja of Jammu, Gulab Singh conquered Bhadarwah after a slight resistance and then annexed Kishtwar after the minister, Wazir Lakhpat, quarrelled with the ruler and sought the assistance of Gulab Singh, the Raja of Kishtwar surrendered without fighting when Gulab Singh's forces arrived. The conquest of Kishtwar meant that Singh had now gained control of two of the roads which led into Ladakh which then led to this conquest of that territory. Although there were huge difficulties, due to the mountains and glaciers, the Dogras under Gulab Singh's officer, Zorawar Singh conquered the whole of Ladakh in two campaigns. [īr and Jammu - Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 15, p. 95.] ]

A few years later, in 1840, General 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 remained neutral until the battle of Sobraon in 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 equivalent to an indemnity of one crore rupees, the hill countries between the rivers Beas and the Indus; by the second the British made over to Gulab Singh for 75 lakh rupees 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-din, the Sikh governor, aided by the restless Bambas from the Jhelum valley, routed Gulab Singh's troops on the outskirts of Srinagar, 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 on behalf of Gulab Singh responded 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 then sent two columns, one from Astor and one from Baltistan, and after some fighting Gilgit fort was recovered. In 1852 the Dogra troops were annihilated by Gaur Rahman of Yasin, and for eight years the Indus formed the boundary of the Maharaja's territories. [īr and Jammu Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 15, p. 96.] ]

Gulab Singh died in 1857; and when his successor, Ranbir Singh, had recovered from the strain caused by the Indian Rebellion, in which he had loyally sided with the British, he was determined to recover Gilgit and to expand to the frontier. In 1860 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 held by the Maharajas of Jammu and Kashmir until 1947.

Ranbir Singh although tolerant of other creeds lacked his father's strong will and determination, 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; and in September, 1885, he was succeeded: by his eldest son, Maharaja Pratap Singh, G.C.S.I.


The area of the state extended from 32° 17′ to 36° 58′ N. and from 73° 26′ to 80° 30′ E.. Jammu was the southern most part of the state and was adjacent to 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. To travel north a range of mountains, convert|8000|ft|m 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 Bbadarwah 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 led to Astore and Baltistan on the north and to Ladakh on the east, a tract drained by the river Indus. In the back premises, faraway 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 ft), along the Muztagh range past K2 (Godwin Austen, 28,265 feet), Gasherbrum and Masherbrum (28,100 and convert|28561|ft|m respectively) to the Karakoram range which merges in the Kunlun 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.


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 from Kohala to Srinagar was a cart-road convert|132|mi|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. [ [īr and Jammu - Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 15, p. 79.] ]


In 1893 very serious floods took place in the Jhelum owing to continuous rain for 52 hours, and much damage was done to Srinagar. However the floods of 1903 was much more severe. [ [ and Jammu -Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 15, p. 89] ]

End of the princely state

In 1947 the Indian Independence Act was passed, this meant that British India would become two independent states - Pakistan and India. Furthermore each of the princely states would be free to join India or Pakistan - or remain independent. Most of the princely states acceded to either of the two nations.

However the ruler of Kashmir wanted to remain independent, neither joining Pakistan or India, this lead to war between the two neighbouring countries in which Kashmir became divided between them. [ [ Q&A: Kashmir dispute - BBC News] ] Each considering that the former princely state belongs to them in its entirety and has lead to several wars. The Kashmir conflict between the two nuclear neighbours remains one of the most intractable and longest running disputes on the United Nations Security Council's agenda. [Sultan, M. (2000). [ Globalisation, Media, and the Kashmir Dispute] . Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad.]

See also

* The Royal House of Jammu and Kashmir
*Azad Kashmir
*Jammu and Kashmir


External links

* [ Flicker for Kashmir]
* [ Flickr Pool]
* [ Kashmir set at Flickr]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Princely state — For other uses, see Principality and Other princely states. Colonial India British Indian Empire Colonial India Portuguese India …   Wikipedia

  • Princely State of Mysore — Mysore Princely State …   Wikipedia

  • Chitral (princely state) — This article is about the former State of Chitral. For other uses, see Chitral (disambiguation). This article is part of the series Former administrative units of Pakistan Original provinc …   Wikipedia

  • Kolhapur (princely state) — Princely flag of Kolhapur Kolhapur State (1707 1947) was a princely State of British India, under the Deccan Division of the Bombay Presidency, and later the Deccan States Agency. It was considered the fourth most important Mahratta… …   Wikipedia

  • Nagar (princely state) — This article is part of the series Former administrative units of Pakistan Original provinces …   Wikipedia

  • Hunza (princely state) — Infobox Former Pakistan subdivision subdivision = Hunza capital = Baltit (Karimabad) area = 10,101 languages = Burushaski,Wakhi| Shina established = 15th century abolished = 25 September 1974 footnotes = [ Northern… …   Wikipedia

  • Bahawalpur (princely state) — This article is part of the series Former administrative units of Pakistan Original provinces …   Wikipedia

  • Dholpur (princely state) — Kesarbagh palace, the mansion of the former ruler of the erstwhile Dholpur State in Dholpur, now Dholpur Military School The Dholpur State was a kingdom of eastern Rajputana, India, which was founded in AD 1806 by the Bamraulia clan Jat Rana… …   Wikipedia

  • Tonk (princely state) — This article is about the Princely State of Tonk. For the city of Tonk, see Tonk, India. For the district of Tonk, see Tonk district. Princely flag of Tonk Tonk was a Princely State of India which by treaty in 1817 accepted British suzerainty.… …   Wikipedia

  • Kashmir — This article is about the geographical region of greater Kashmir. For other meanings, see Kashmir (disambiguation), or Cashmere. Kashmir (Balti: کشمیر; Poonchi/Chibhali: کشمیر; Dogri: कश्मीर; Kashmiri: कॅशीर, کٔشِیر; Shina: کشمیر; Uyghur:… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.