Historic Kashmir Throughout The tenth Century With Ashish Kaul

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Anuradha Goyal: Ashish Kaul is the writer of a good looking guide on ‘Didda-the Warrior Queen of Kashmir.’ I’ve been studying about Kashmir, and I spotted that Didda dominated in Kashmir at my favourite time for India. The time when most likely India was at its greatest. The invasions had been but to start out. Our structure, our navy, our commerce had been at their peak. However we don’t know a lot about Historic Kashmir. So, I took this chance to ask Ashish Ji to Detours and ask him plenty of questions on Historic Kashmir.

Ashish Kaul: Thanks a lot for having me on the present. I’ve heard so much about your present. It’s such a privilege to be talking with you at this time particularly concerning the subject that’s of a lot curiosity to you and me as properly.

Sunset scene on Dal Lake in Srinagar, Kashmir
Sundown scene on Dal Lake in Srinagar. Picture courtesy Shutterstock

Historic Kashmir with Ashish Kaul

Anuradha: Our technology has heard of Kashmir solely when it comes to the conflicts that we have now seen or heard, a bit concerning the touristy a part of it. Because of Bollywood plenty of 60s & 70s movies that had been shot there. However we hardly know concerning the historical past of Kashmir. I learn so much, so I’ve learn a little bit bit about its traditions, Sharada Peeth and Abhinavgupta. So, I’m going to ask you about tenth century Kashmir and its panorama, how did it appear to be, what are panorama options outlined Kashmir, what completely different Kingdoms surrounded it, and take us bodily to that tenth century Kashmir.

Ashish: The purpose that you’ve got talked about is so pertinent that Kashmir the way in which we perceive Kashmir at this time is just from a touristic vacation spot. Which Kashmir was by no means supposed to be. Injustice has been finished to Kashmir when it comes to diluting its historical past, its political panorama, its socio-cultural significance in the precise from the Vedic occasions even pre-Vedic occasions to the fashionable occasions.

Aerial view of the mountains near Srinagar
Aerial view of the mountains close to Srinagar

It’s necessary to grasp that after we discuss undivided India, Kashmir performed an important half. It’s such a travesty of historical past that one thing which ought to be a beacon of excellence in spiritualism, in data, in studying, in politics, and in super unimaginable contributions that folks of Kashmir, particularly the ladies of Kashmir who’ve made it to the complete world, not simply India, that entire half has been eradicated by Western historians over time.

tenth Century Kashmir

Ashish: The historical past of Kashmir is sort of 10,000 years of steady historical past. The historical past of Kashmir is the one surviving piece of historical past that has repeatedly been written. It begins from the time when Pharaohs in Egypt had not even determined to make pyramids. For those who see the tenth century not simply within the Indian context, it was a second that redefined the entire world, not simply Asia, and undivided India. Once we are speaking about tenth century Kashmir, we’re speaking about undivided India, about kingdoms that even contact the borders of Iran-Iraq. Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the whole lot else was part of this nation.

Within the 10-century the middle-east was at warfare with the European nations. There was the battle for Jerusalem occurring, crusades had been occurring. Islam had established itself and it was combating with Christian dominance within the Plains of Central Asia. Kashmir was the borderline state, it was the entry to India then.

Deodar trees lined snowclad mountains near Gulmarg
Deodar timber lined snowclad mountains close to Gulmarg

On the left-hand facet of Kashmir was the good and mighty Kingdom of the Lohara dynasty. At present’s folks won’t perceive Lohara for the easy motive that, it’s now not referred to as Lohara. Such a travesty of historical past that when an excellent Kingdom which had the mighty capital referred to as Lauren, at this time is a really insignificant and small village on the Indo Pak line of management. Folks won’t be even realizing that that is the historical past of that excellent spot.

Lohara Kingdom – Historic Kashmir

Lauren was the capital of the Lohara Kingdom. It included complete West Pakistan, it included Poonch Rajouri on each side of the border. Additionally contains at this time’s Punjab and Haryana to offer you an impression that how affluent this nation within the tenth century. It shared its borders with the dominion of Kashmir. Proper in entrance had been the Central Asian kingdoms which had been dominated by the Shahi dynasty. If folks have seen the Oscar-winning movie ‘Argo’ it has a slice of that historical past. Then a transition occurred from the Shahi Kingdom to the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Shahi kingdom’s king Bhimshah was the final Hindu Shahi household king that dominated the Central Asia plains.

The kingdoms that dominated Kashmir at the moment had been among the biggest kingdoms in the entire world. From an Indian context, the Karkota dynasty dominated a serious a part of India. Lalitaditya was among the many biggest ruler that dominated India. He had Kashmir as part of his kingdom. After Lalitaditya’s demise, roughly round 200-300 years sure kingdoms had damaged away. It had come all the way down to the rule of Sang Ramdev in Kashmir. He was there within the final of the dynasty and numerous historians have documented his rule as among the many cruelest of the principles. Kashmir was introduced onto the verge of integration, the complete political panorama was struck by the civil wars.

Landscape view of the snowclad mountains, Kashmir
Panorama view of the snowclad mountains


These had been the occasions when Kings didn’t have a military the way in which we perceive the military at this time. These days the idea of the military has had a handful of guards who will defend the king and the Fort space. When the King wanted to conquer another kingdom, they might rally a power. It was the traditional occasions when the armies after the mission are over, would resort to plunder and looting, and no matter they might get that was their wages. In Kashmir, stronger armies had been what at this time we name Jaghirdar. The fertile lands and the military was managed by Jaghirdar at the moment. Sang Ramdev was the least all in favour of governance and he had unleashed king of terror throughout the valley.

Once we discuss palace politics we most likely discuss Delhi, Rajasthan. However the palace politics of Kashmir was far difficult than any Kingdom in India. So again within the tenth century what had occurred was the group of courtiers they comfort Parva Gupta who was among the many different courtiers in Sang Ramdev’s court docket that, that is the time that we’d like a shift of governance in Kashmir as a result of the King was unable to offer any significant and simply governance.

Lined up Houseboats at Dal Lake early morning
Lined up Houseboats at Dal Lake early morning

Parva Gupta

Parva Gupta was a really loyal courtier at the moment he was caught between what he was witnessing that form of terror that King Sang Ramdev had unleashed on the poor folks of Kashmir. Folks had hardly something to eat, they haven’t any cash, they’d no meals and form of extravagance the King was indulging; due to this fact, he was caught in one million {dollars} query was a loyal courtier like Parva Gupta will indulging one thing like a mutiny or not?

Finally, the Parva Gupta determined and on a kind of fateful nights a pursuit lead by his band of troopers attacked the palace and took over the complete Kashmir Palace.  Sang Ramdev was so drunk that he didn’t even know what was occurring, by the point when Sang Ramdev gathered his conscience he discovered himself on a ship in Vitasta; Now folks have no idea what Vitasta? Vitasta is the true title of the Jhelum river; he was tied to a series and the chain was in flip tie to a really large older stone.

When he involves his senses, he started arguing with Parva Gupta that how might he do that and he cursed Parva Gupta and he stated that, ‘For those who assume you’ll inherit this kingdom in peace! No that won’t occur you and your loved ones can even die by antagonizing demise’ and when he stated that he was pushed into the Vitasta by Parva Gupta and that was the tip of a Sang Ramdev he went all the way down to the underside of Vitasta. That was the primary time that revolution had occurred within the historical past of Kashmir.

New King of Kashmir

Parva Gupta, was, then topped the brand new King of Kashmir and with him, the brand new dynasty started in Kashmir. The identical morning his spouse gave delivery to the hier of the Kingdom which was named Kshama Gupta. That is the tenth century Kashmir and likewise in Lohara what was occurring was Kings Simharaja’s delivery to a good looking daughter and her title was saved Didda. These are the 2 individuals who had been born nearly throughout the identical timeline. Didda had a really completely different future. Her father and mom tried to kill her. They threw her into the water, thankfully, her basket obtained entangled with robes of the King.

Someway the King didn’t have the center to let her go. He obtained her again to the palace nut she was raised by a maid. King did so as a result of the Didda was born disabled she had deformed legs, presumably she was affected by polio.

Icy mountains seen beyond the Deodar trees lined valley
Icy mountains seen past the Deodar timber lined valley

At the moment Kashmir needed to undergo from two ailments one was polio, which was fairly rampant in Kashmir and the opposite was typhoid. Many of the deaths in Kashmir would occur moderately due to polio or due to typhoid.  These had been two ailments that had been rampant in Kashmir. Kashmir in historical occasions had confronted extreme famines. It has a low water desk Valley and through sure occasions it faces flooding. It is not uncommon data that after you have flooding you face a interval of famine as a result of the soil is rendered infertile.

At present no one will even think about that the paradise that we all know the Kashmir of at this time with nice climate filled with vegetation and fruits, how can It face famines however, the very fact is that Kashmir has confronted super famines.

Anuradha: I agree with you as I spend a few years of my life in Nowshera Rajouri. I had no inkling of its historic significance until a few years again after I examine it. You’ve got ave talked about in your guide that this was additionally the time when Abhinav Gupta lived and he performed a task of a mentor to the kingdoms which might have existed then. You additionally point out that Kashmir was an excellent studying middle. We, in fact, know that Sharada Peeth, the goddess of studying she has her Peeth in Kashmir. So, inform us a little bit concerning the non secular heritage of Kashmir.

The non secular heritage of Kashmir

Ashish: It’s one other fascinating half. An important disservice has been finished to the complete historical past of Kashmir both out of ignorance or by mandate they usually began selling it as a vacationer vacation spot. However to Sanatan Dharma to Vedic Hinduism; what Macca is to Muslims and what Jerusalem is to Christians; Kashmir is to Sanatan Dharma and Vedic Sanatan Dharma. It was by no means meant to be a vacationer vacation spot. Kashmir was the best seat of studying and spiritualism.

Kashmir is the one place on the planet that has the longest surviving repeatedly written historical past in the entire world. The primary College, the primary nice seat of studying was Sharada Vidya Peeth. It advanced at two ranges, there may be the non secular story to Sharada Vidya Peeth that how Sharada Vidya Peeth got here into being and why solely Kashmir?

Kashmir was basically referred to as Satisar. It was completely submerged. Water our bodies like Dal lake, Wular lake, and all these water our bodies are what stays of a bigger water physique that existed. Finally, it was drained and it was referred to as Varahmula, now referred to as Baramulla. The valley is barely shifted in the direction of Pakistan the water drained out from that half and exquisite Kashmir emerged. The primary King was King Neel who was the eldest son of Kashyap Rishi or in historical past is also called the sage of the Caspian.

Nilamata Purana – Historic Kashmir

Anuradha: So, does Nilamata Purana has something to do with?

Ashish: Nilamata Purana begins really from the day Kashmir was born when the land emerged when water was drained out. Kashmir comprised of two civilizations. One was the civilization that lives on the sides of Kashmir that surrounded the one’s nice water physique. Through the winter months, they might come all the way down to the Valley. At present you should be realizing that Kashmir has a tradition of Darbar transfer. The 6 months the capital goes to the winter capital Jammu and the summer season capital is Kashmir. That is so fascinating it has been proper from the time that Kashmir was born.

Individuals who reside within the higher reaches would come down within the winter as a result of the higher reaches can be utterly engulfed with snow. They might come all the way down to King Neel and cool down in Kashmir. King Neel arrived on the guidelines that 6 months you’ll come down and we’ll serve you in any other case you’ll not bother us. Kashmir continues this tradition at this time as properly.

Distinctive traditions of Kashmiri tradition

The Kashmiri tradition has sure distinctive traditions like there’s a custom of which is in Kashmir it’s referred to as Hatseyamavasya. Amavasya means the evening and Hatsey phrase that has a type of advanced from Yaksha Amavasya. Why we might name them Yakshas? As a result of for those who see the traditional scriptures how of Yakshas been discovered. They’ve small little hair flowing from their chin and almond-shaped eyes. These had been the standard futures of the civilizations which live within the higher reaches particularly alongside Kashmir like Tibetan folks or Ladakhi folks.

They’ve these very typical options that may be matched with Yakshas options within the scriptures. We’ll feed them throughout winter months when they won’t get meals so they might come down the idea of the custom was of peaceable coexistence. In that point Sharada has at all times existed, it existed even past this time. That is why you will need to perceive the true significance of Sharada.

Sagar Manthan

Everyone knows the story of Sagar Manthan. Many issues got here out of Sagar Manthan together with Amrit. It was consumed by Devtas. What occurred with the remaining Amrit? No one is aware of. At the moment, Brahma Ji instructed Vishnu Ji to please go and set up this Amrit Kalash within the land of Kashmir. Then Vishnu Ji got here to Kashmir and he establishes the Amrit Kalash on the confluence of Krishna and Ganga. At present in Muzaffarabad or Pakistan occupied Kashmir they know of it as Neelum Valley. The Amrit Kalash was established their and Brahmaji manifested Sharada on high of that Kalash. With time that grew right into a land of non secular studying.


Kashmiri pandits had been the primary ones who grew to become the servants of Maa Sharada. Even after the 18th century, we have now an incidence the place the goddess was seen out of a white Swan round that space. Even when the Turks and Muslim invasion occurred when the Muslim commander positioned dynamite contained in the temple and he blew the temple. The temple had a high of it and the unique ‘Shree Yantra’ was inscribed on this. It’s about some 300-400 meters away from the Sharda Maa’s temple and it was nonetheless there.

Ganesh Ghat – Historic Kashmir

There’s a place referred to as Ganesh Ghat. It’s a large mountain cliff with a pure type of Ganesh is Pratima on it. All of the Kings and queens together with queen Didda and Kota Rani they had been a scholar of Sharada. Gopaditya and different folks from many components of the world got here they usually study spirituality from Sharada they usually went again and began their respective cults. It is usually believed that even Jesus Christ had visited Kashmir. There was a longtime commerce rule between Central Asia and the Indian heartland which went by means of Kashmir.

So, Kashmir was a facilitator of gross sales silk spices, and all of that used to come back from Central Asia into India by means of historical Kashmir.

Anuradha: That brings me to the ultimate and wrap-up query so that you can discuss a little bit bit concerning the commerce that was enabled by Kashmir. What are the issues that had been traded out or traded in Kashmir?

Commerce-In Kashmir

Ashish: Kashmir was not a market. It was by no means conceived as one. Earlier than Turks and Afghans vandalized, Kashmir was the one Centre for Salvation. Kashmir was not a kingdom that may exist for any industrial video games. Kashmir throughout Didda’s time and even earlier than that was the facilitator of commerce to the larger India. No matter you see at this time the silk and the saffron. Kashmir is among the many third largest producers of saffron on the planet. Saffron is produced solely in Spain, in some components right here and there in Kashmir. Kashmir is taken into account to be the perfect on the planet. However all of that has come to Kashmir due to this commerce. Kashmir in itself was not buying and selling both as producer-consumer.

Oldest copy of Madbhagvad Geeta manuscripts from Sharada University, Kashmir
The oldest copy of Madbhagvad Geeta manuscripts from Sharada College. Picture courtesy Shutterstock

Individuals who lived in Kashmir had been temple keepers. Kaul Samhita is handled because the scripture that’s devoted to the Tantra Shakti that exists on the planet. We had been the custodians of that data. Our job was to repairs that custom of tantra. Likewise, all Kashmiri pandits and natives of Kashmir had been the servants of assorted locations of historic Vedic worship in Kashmir. That included locations like Tulmul which is also called Kheer Bhavani, and different facilities like Amarnath, Sharada Vidya Peeth. They had been the largest employer for Kashmiri pandits and their existence was meant for upkeeping the Vedic traditions, up protecting the non secular side of Vedic Dharma.

Sharada College – Historic Kashmir

Sharada was the primary College on the planet to supply levels, diplomas, conduct workshops, do seminars so folks from everywhere in the world can come and purchase data. Folks had been additionally coming from Europe and from the varied Central Asian Kingdom. For instance, Adi Shankaracharya and Huan Tsang got here to Kashmir. Ashoka performed his court docket in Kashmir.

Heritage structure of the Sharada University in the Neelam Valley of Ancient Kashmir
Heritage construction of the Sharada College within the Neelam Valley of Historic Kashmir. Picture courtesy Shutterstock

Buddhism was a present from historical Kashmir. How did Buddhism exit of India? It went by means of Kashmir. There have been at all times Buddhists and Kashmiris who didn’t belief one another.  Kashmiris thought that Buddhists had been spies. Individuals who had been working towards Buddhism went out of Kashmir.

Anuradha: That is so fascinating. I’ve so many extra questions and I’m positive we will do a sequence on Kashmir with you and what you instructed me at this time. I’m positive it’s not frequent data. Folks have to know this heritage of ours and the heritage of historical Kashmir which form of will get forgotten or misplaced within the current day.

Kashmiri Creators

Ashish: I can take two names Sarangdev and Sushrut who created music and medicines, do folks know that they had been from Kashmir?

Anuradha: No, I didn’t know that itself.

Ashish: I’ll wrap up with Abhinav Gupta. At present’s technology has to grasp that the Abhinav Gupta is a billion occasions extra highly effective than anyone else. He was referred to as Ajanma, any individual who was by no means born. His delivery was from Bhagvati’s yoni. He was so highly effective that he might management the 5 components with the gestures of fingers and facial expressions. Each time his facial features modified, the climate modified.

Anuradha: You could come again and discuss to us about Abhinav Gupta at some point. Thanks a lot Ashish for this glorious insightful discuss.

Ashish: Thanks a lot for having me. It was such a beautiful discuss that we had about Historic Kashmir which is part of my life, thanks a lot.

Transcribed by: Megha Vyas as a part of IndiTales Internship Program


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