Department of Tourism, Jammu and Kashmir

According to the most popular legend that is also recorded in Rajtarangani and Nilmat Purana, two most authoritative books, Kashmir was once a large lake and it was Kashyap Rishi who drained off the water, making it a beautiful abode. But geologists have their own theory, which says that geographical changes made way for the outflow of water by subsidence of the mountain at Khadianayar, introduced Buddhism to Kashmir in the 3rd century BC. which was later strengthened by Kanishka. Huns got the control of the valley in the early 6th century. The valley regained freedom in 530 AD but soon came under the rule of the Ujjain empire. After decline of the Vikramaditya dynasty, the valley had its own rulers. There was a synthesis of Hindu and Buddhist cultures. Lalitaditya (697-738 AD) extended his rule up to Bengal in the east, Konkan in the south, Turkistan in the northwest and Tibet in the northeast. Considered as the most famous Hindu ruler, he was known for constructing beautiful buildings. Islam came to Kashmir during 13th and 14th century AD. Zain-ul-Abedin (1420-70) was the famous Muslim ruler, who came to Kashmir when the Hindu King Sinha Dev fled before the Tatar invasion. Later Chaks overran Haider Shah son of Zain-ul-Abedin. They continued to rule till 1586 when Akbar conquered Kashmir. In 1752, Kashmir passed on from the feeble control of the Mughal emperor of the time, to Ahmed Shah Abdali of Afghanistan. The valley was ruled by the Pathans for 67 years.

Name of Jammu figures in the Mahabharata. Recent finds of Harappan remains and arteacts of Mauryan, Kushan and Gupta periods at Akhnoor have added new dimensions to its ancient character. The land of Jammu was divided into 22 principalities. Raja Maldev, one of the Dogra rulers, conquered many territories to consolidate his kingdom. Raja Ranjit Dev ruled over Jammu from 1733 to 1782. His successors were weak and thus Maharaja Ranjit Singh annexed the territory to Punjab. He later handed over Jammu to Raja Gulab Singh, a scion of the old Dogra ruling family, who had grown powerful among Ranjit Singh's governors and had annexed almost the whole Jammu region. The state was governed by Dogra rulers till 1947 when Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession in favour of the Indian Union on 26 October 1947.

Jammu and Kashmir State is situated between 32015' and 37005' north latitude and 72035' and 83020' longitude East. Geographically, the State can be divided into four zones. First, the mountainous and semi mountainous plains commonly known as Kandi belt, the second, hills including Shivalik ranges, the third mountains of Kashmir Valley and Pir Panchal range and the fourth is Tibetan tract of Ladakh and Kargil. Geographically and culturally the state has three distinct regions -- Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.

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About Jammu & Kashmir Tourism

The Department of Tourism, J&K is the main developmental, promotional and regulatory arm of the J&K Government. Its main role comprises of overall planning and execution of schemes for the development, up-gradation and improvement of the tourism infrastructure in different parts of the State.
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