History of Kashmir
According to a legend, the great sage Kashyap drained a lake and the Brahmins then inhabited it. The place came to be known as Kashmir. A land of turbulent past and present, the missionaries of Emperor Ashoka introduced the Buddhism in the region. The religion flourished under the rule of Kushan in 2nd Century. However, Hinduism continued to be the dominant religion
of the region for many centuries. In the 7th Century, Durlabhavarrdhana founded the Karkota dynasty, which was replaced by Utpalas in 855 AD,
which were succeeded by the Tantrins, Yaskaras, Guptas abd Loharas ruled respectively.
Cuisines of Kashmir
In the olden times, almost every Kashmiri home in the plains had a professional Kashmiri cook in residence, who were the masters of their art. Pure ghee and mustard oil was used freely and every mealtime was an event in itself. Gradually and with time, the ladies of the household learnt the art under the specialized training of these culinary masters and became as proficient as their 'gurus'.
Culture of Kashmir
Distinct from the rest of the country, Jammu and Kashmir sports a multifaceted, multicolored and unique cultural blend. Not only the geographical conditions of the state are different but it can also be set apart demographically with varied ethical and social entities, diversity of religions flourishing in the area, different language and cultural forms and heritage albeit with an over-reigning harmony that blends in with the serenity and beauty of the region.
Climate of Kashmir
The state of Jammu and Kashmir stretches between 32.17o to 36.58o North and the altitude rises steeply from 305 metres to 6910 metres above sea level. There are the hot plains of the Jammu Province and coldest dry tableland of Ladakh. The area has different weather conditions at different places because of the lofty mountains like the Pirpanjal, the Zanskar and the Karakoram that check the moisture-laden from entering the valleys.In summers, the outer plains and the outer hills receive rainfall from monsoon winds while in winters, winds from the Mediterranean cause snowfall and rainfall in the Valley of Kashmir.
People of Kashmir
According to historians, the ancestors of Kashmiris are early immigrants from India proper. With the spread of Buddhism, many scholars came to Kashmir from far-off lands for research and study. The contact of Kashmiris with the Roman, Greek and Persian civilizations resulted into a fusion of cultures. Most of the people claim their descent from the Indo-Aryan stock but one can easily find people belonging to diverse and different races inhabiting Kashmir with distinct looks, dresses, food habits, customs, speech and traditions.
Handicrafts of Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir is not only home to the vast cultural and ethnic diversity but also the myriad arts and crafts that have been carefully nurtured for the centuries. A variety of motifs, techniques and crafts flourished in the land as the people from different regions flocked through this beautiful place and many of the skilled craftsmen decided to settle amidst its charming abundance of natural beauty.
Explore various facets of Jammu and Kashmir in this article.