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Jammu and Kashmir, the land of snow clad mountains that shares a common boundary with Afghanistan, China and Pakistan- is the northernmost state of the Indian Union. Known for its extravagant natural beauty, this land formed a major caravan route in the ancient times.
Trade relations through these routes between China and Central Asia made it a land in-habited by various religious and cultural groups. Kashyapa is said to have laid the foundation of Kashmir, which was referred to as 'Kashyapamar'. Owing to the severe climatic conditions during winter, people here lead a nomadic life with their cattle. The slopes were inhabitable during the summer and these areas formed permanent settlements. It was also during the reign of Kashyapa that the various wandering groups led a settled life. 

Buddhism influenced Kashmir during the rule of Ashoka and the present town of Srinagar was founded by him. This place was earlier called 'Srinagari' or Purandhisthan. The Brahmins who inhabited these areas admired and adorned Buddhism too. From the regions of Kashmir, Buddhism spread of Ladakh, Tiber, Central Asia and China. Various traditions co-existed till the advent of the Muslims. The Mughal had a deep influence on this land and introduced various reforms in the revenue industry and other areas that added to the progress of Kashmir. 

In 1820, Maharaj Gulab Singh got the Jagir of Jammu from Maharaj Ranjit Sigh. He is said to have laid the foundation of the Dogra dynasty. In 1846, Kashmir was sold to Maharaj Gulab Singh. Thus the two areas of Kashmir and Jammu were integrated into a single political unit. A few chieftains who formed part of the administration were of the Hunza, Kishtwar, Gilgit Ladakh. During the reign of the Dogra dynasty, trade improved, along with the preservation and promotion of forestry. Arts and crafts also developed through royal patronage. After independence of India in 1947, this region formed a part of the Indian territory and is an integral region that has contributed its part to preserve the unity and integrity of India.

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Last Updated on : 21 June 2014