Jammu and Kashmir

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Jammu and Kashmir
جموں اور کشمیر
जम्मू और कश्मीर
State of India
Flag of Jammu and Kashmir
Flag
Official seal of Jammu and Kashmir
Seal
Location of Jammu and Kashmir in India
Location of Jammu and Kashmir in India
Map of Jammu and Kashmir
Map of Jammu and Kashmir
Coordinates (Srinagar): 33°27′N 76°14′E / 33.45°N 76.24°E / 33.45; 76.24Coordinates: 33°27′N 76°14′E / 33.45°N 76.24°E / 33.45; 76.24
Country  India
Established 26 October 1947
Capital
Largest city Srinagar
Districts 22
Government[*]
 • Governor Narinder Nath Vohra
 • Chief Minister Omar Abdullah (NC)
 • Legislature Bicameral (89 + 36 seats)
Area
 • Total 222,236 km2 (85,806 sq mi)
Area rank 6th
Elevation 327 m (1,073 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 12,548,926
 • Rank 18th
 • Density 56/km2 (150/sq mi)
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)
ISO 3166 code IN-JK
HDI Increase 0.601 (medium)
HDI rank 17th (2005)
Literacy 66.7% (21st)
Official language English, Urdu
Other languages Dogri, Hindi, Kashmiri, Ladakhi
Website www.jammukashmir.nic.in

Jammu and Kashmir (Listeni/ɑːm/ & /kæʃmɪər/; Kashmiri: जोम त् कशीर) is a state of India.[1] It is located mostly in the Himalayan mountains and shares a border with the states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the south. Jammu and Kashmir has an international border with China in the north and east, whereas the Line of Control separates it from Pakistani-controlled territories of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit–Baltistan in the west and northwest respectively.

Formerly a part of the erstwhile Princely State of Kashmir and Jammu, which governed the larger historic region of Kashmir, this territory is disputed among China, India and Pakistan. Pakistan, which claims the territory as disputed,[2] refers to it alternatively as Indian-occupied Kashmir or Indian-held Kashmir, whereas some international agencies such as the United Nations[3] call it Indian-administered Kashmir. The regions under the control of Pakistan are referred to as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir or PoK within India, as "Azad" Jammu and Kashmir in Pakistan, and as Pakistan-administered Kashmir or Pakistan-controlled Kashmir generally.[4][5][6][7][8]

Jammu and Kashmir consists of three regions: Jammu, the Kashmir valley and Ladakh. Srinagar is the summer capital, and Jammu is the winter capital. Although the Kashmir valley is famous for its beautiful mountainous landscape, Jammu's numerous shrines attract tens of thousands of Hindu pilgrims every year. Ladakh, also known as "Little Tibet", is renowned for its remote mountain beauty and Buddhist culture.

History[edit]

Hari Singh had ascended the throne of Kashmir[9] in 1925 and was the reigning monarch at the conclusion of British rule in the subcontinent in 1947. One of the conditions of the partition of India imposed by Britain was that the rulers of princely states would have the right to opt for either Pakistan or India or remain independent. In 1947, Kashmir's population was 77% Muslim and it shared a boundary with both Dominion of Pakistan and Union of India.[citation needed] On 20 October 1947, tribesmen backed by Pakistan invaded Kashmir.[10]

The Maharaja initially fought back but appealed for assistance to the Governor-General Louis Mountbatten, who agreed on the condition that the ruler accede to India.[11] On 25 October 1947 Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession[12] on 26 October 1947 and it was accepted on 27 October 1947 by the Governor General of India.[13] Once the Instrument of Accession was signed, Indian soldiers entered Kashmir with orders to evict the raiders, but they were not able to expel everyone from the state by the time the harsh winter started.[citation needed] India took the matter to the United Nations. The UN resolution asked both India and Pakistan to vacate the areas they had occupied and hold a referendum under UN observation. The holding of this plebiscite, which India initially supported, was dismissed by India because the 1952 elected Constituent assembly of Jammu and Kashmir voted in favour of confirming the Kashmir region's accession to India.[14] The United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) was deployed to supervise the ceasefire between India and Pakistan. UNMOGIP's functions were to investigate complaints of ceasefire violations and submit findings to each party and to the U.N. secretary-general. Under the terms of the ceasefire, it was decided that both armies would withdraw and a plebiscite would be held in Kashmir to give Kashmiris the right to self-determination. The primary argument for the continuing debate over the ownership of Kashmir is that India did not hold the promised plebiscite. In fact, neither side has adhered to the U.N. resolution of 13 August 1948; while India chose not to hold the plebiscite, Pakistan failed to withdraw its troops from Kashmir as was required under the resolution. Instead,for not holding the plebiscite,India gave below reasons:

  • India cites the 1952 elected Constituent assembly of Jammu and Kashmir, which voted in favour of confirming accession to India. New Delhi says that since Kashmiris have voted in successive national elections in India, there is no need for a plebiscite.
  • The 1948–49 U.N. resolutions can no longer be applied, according to India, because of changes in the original territory, with some parts "having been handed over to China by Pakistan and demographic changes having been effected in Azad Kashmir and the Northern Areas."
  • Another reason for the abandonment of the referendum is because demographic changes after 1947 have been effected in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, as generations of Pakistani individuals non-native to the region have been allowed to take residence in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.[14][15]
  • Furthermore, India alleges that in Jammu & Kashmir state of India, the demographics of the Kashmir Valley have been altered after separatist militants coerced 250,000 Kashmiri Hindus to leave the region.[16][17]
  • Moreover, India alleges that Pakistan failed to withdraw its troops from the Kashmir region as was required under the same U.N. resolution of 13 August 1948 which discussed the plebiscite.[14]

In response Pakistan holds that:

  • The popular Kashmiri insurgency demonstrates that the Kashmiri people no longer wish to remain within India. Pakistan suggests that this means that Kashmir either wants to be with Pakistan or independent.[18]
  • According to the two-nation theory, which is one of the theories that is cited for the partition that created India and Pakistan, Kashmir should have been with Pakistan, because it has a Muslim majority.
  • India has shown disregard to the resolutions of the UN Security Council and the United Nations Commission in India and Pakistan by failing to hold a plebiscite to determine the future allegiance of the state.[19]
  • Pakistan has noted the widespread use of extrajudicial killings in Indian-administered Kashmir carried out by Indian security forces while claiming they were caught up in encounters with militants. These encounters are commonplace in Indian-administered Kashmir. The encounters go largely uninvestigated by the authorities, and the perpetrators are spared criminal prosecution.[20][21]

Human rights organisations have strongly condemned Indian troops for widespread rape and murder of innocent civilians while accusing these civilians of being militants.[22][23][24]

Diplomatic relations between India and Pakistan soured for many other reasons[11] and eventually resulted in three further wars in Kashmir the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 and the Kargil War in 1999. India has control of 60% of the area of the former Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir (Jammu, Kashmir Valley, and Ladakh); Pakistan controls 30% of the region (Gilgit–Baltistan and Azad Kashmir). China occupied 10% (Aksai Chin) of the state in 1962.

The Chenab formula was a compromise proposed in the 1960s, in which the Kashmir valley and other Muslim-dominated areas north of the Chenab river would go to Pakistan, and Jammu and other Hindu-dominated regions would go to India.[25]

The eastern region of the erstwhile princely state of Kashmir has also been beset with a boundary dispute. In the late 19th- and early 20th centuries, although some boundary agreements were signed between Great Britain, Tibet, Afghanistan and Russia over the northern borders of Kashmir, China never accepted these agreements, and the official Chinese position did not change with the communist revolution in 1949. By the mid-1950s the Chinese army had entered the northeast portion of Ladakh:[26]

By 1956–57 they had completed a military road through the Aksai Chin area to provide better communication between Xinjiang and western Tibet. India's belated discovery of this road led to border clashes between the two countries that culminated in the Sino-Indian war of October 1962.[26] China has occupied Aksai Chin since 1962 and, in addition, an adjoining region, the Trans-Karakoram Tract was ceded by Pakistan to China in 1963.

For intermittent periods between 1957, when the state approved its own Constitution,[27] and the death of Sheikh Abdullah in 1982, the state had alternating spells of stability and discontent. In the late 1980s, however, simmering discontent over the high-handed policies of the Union Government[28] and allegations of the rigging of the 1987 assembly elections[28] triggered a violent uprising which was backed by Pakistan.[29]

Since then, the region has seen a prolonged, bloody conflict between separatists and the Indian Army, both of whom have been accused of widespread human rights abuses, including abductions, massacres, rapes and lootings.[30][31][32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39] The army has officially denied these allegations.[40] However, violence in the state has been on the decline since 2004 with the peace process between India and Pakistan.[41] The situation has become increasingly tense politically in recent years.[42]

Geography and climate[edit]

Karakoram-West Tibetan Plateau alpine steppe near Ladakh, India

Jammu and Kashmir is home to several valleys such as the Kashmir Valley, Tawi Valley, Chenab Valley, Poonch Valley, Sind Valley and Lidder Valley. The main Kashmir valley is 100 km (62 mi) wide and 15,520.3 km2 (5,992.4 sq mi) in area. The Himalayas divide the Kashmir valley from Ladakh while the Pir Panjal range, which encloses the valley from the west and the south, separates it from the Great Plains of northern India. Along the northeastern flank of the Valley runs the main range of the Himalayas. This densely settled and beautiful valley has an average height of 1,850 metres (6,070 ft) above sea-level but the surrounding Pir Panjal range has an average elevation of 5,000 metres (16,000 ft).

Because of Jammu and Kashmir's wide range of elevations, its biogeography is diverse. Northwestern thorn scrub forests and Himalayan subtropical pine forests are found in the low elevations of the far southwest. These give way to a broad band of western Himalayan broadleaf forests running from northwest-southeast across the Kashmir Valley. Rising into the mountains, the broadleaf forests grade into western Himalayan subalpine conifer forests. Above the tree line are found northwestern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows. Much of the northeast of the state is covered by the Karakoram-West Tibetan Plateau alpine steppe. Around the highest elevations, there is no vegetation, simply rock and ice.

Srinagar- Yatra- Hindu holy cave
Division Area KM2 Percentage Area
Kashmir 15,948 15.73%
Jammu 26,293 25.93%
Ladakh 59,146 58.33%
India administrated Jammu and Kashmir 101387 km2 100%

The Jhelum River is the only major Himalayan river which flows through the Kashmir valley. The Indus, Tawi, Ravi and Chenab are the major rivers flowing through the state. Jammu and Kashmir is home to several Himalayan glaciers. With an average altitude of 5,753 metres (18,875 ft) above sea-level, the Siachen Glacier is 76 km (47 mi) long making it the longest Himalayan glacier.

The climate of Jammu and Kashmir varies greatly owing to its rugged topography. In the south around Jammu, the climate is typically monsoonal, though the region is sufficiently far west to average 40 to 50 mm (1.6 to 2 inches) of rain per month between January and March. In the hot season, Jammu city is very hot and can reach up to 40 °C (104 °F) whilst in July and August, very heavy though erratic rainfall occurs with monthly extremes of up to 650 millimetres (25.5 inches). In September, rainfall declines, and by October conditions are hot but extremely dry, with minimal rainfall and temperatures of around 29 °C (84 °F).

Across from the Pir Panjal range, the South Asian monsoon is no longer a factor and most precipitation falls in the spring from southwest cloudbands. Because of its closeness to the Arabian Sea, Srinagar receives as much as 635 millimetres (25 in) of rain from this source, with the wettest months being March to May with around 85 millimetres (3.3 inches) per month. Across from the main Himalaya Range, even the southwest cloudbands break up and the climate of Ladakh and Zanskar is extremely dry and cold. Annual precipitation is only around 100 mm (4 inches) per year and humidity is very low. In this region, almost all above 3,000 metres (9,750 ft) above sea level, winters are extremely cold. In Zanskar, the average January temperature is −20 °C (−4 °F) with extremes as low as −40 °C (−40 °F). All the rivers freeze over and locals make river crossings during this period because their high levels from glacier melt in summer inhibits crossing. In summer in Ladakh and Zanskar, days are typically a warm 20 °C (68 °F), but with the low humidity and thin air nights can still be cold.

Administrative divisions[edit]

Indian Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir consists of three divisions: Jammu, Kashmir Valley and Ladakh, and is further divided into 22 districts.[43] The Siachen Glacier, although under Indian military control, does not lie under the administration of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Kishtwar, Ramban, Reasi, Samba, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kulgam and Shopian are newly formed districts, and their areas are included with those of the districts from which they were formed.[43]

Region Name Headquarters Area (km²) Population
2001 Census
Population
2011 Census
Jammu Kathua District Kathua 2,651 550,084 615,711
Jammu District Jammu 3,097 1,343,756 1,526,406
Samba District Samba 245,016 318,611
Udhampur District Udhampur 4,550 475,068 555,357
Reasi District Reasi 268,441 314,714
Rajouri District Rajouri 2,630 483,284 619,266
Poonch District Poonch 1,674 372,613 476,820
Doda District Doda 11,691 320,256 409,576
Ramban District Ramban 180,830 283,313
Kishtwar District Kishtwar 190,843 231,037
Jammu Division Jammu 26,293 4,430,191 5,350,811
Kashmir Anantnag District Anantnag 3,984 734,549 1,069,749
Kulgam District Kulgam 437,885 423,181
Pulwama District Pulwama 1,398 441,275 570,060
Shopian District Shopian 211,332 265,960
Budgam District Budgam 1,371 629,309 755,331
Srinagar District Srinagar 2,228 990,548 1,250,173
Ganderbal District Ganderbal 211,899 297,003
Bandipora District Bandipora 316,436 385,099
Baramulla District Baramulla 4,588 853,344 1,015,503
Kupwara District Kupwara 2,379 650,393 875,564
Kashmir valley Division Srinagar 15,948 5,476,970 6,907,622
Ladakh Kargil District Kargil 14,036 119,307 143,388
Leh District Leh 45,110 117,232 147,104
Ladakh Division Leh 59,146 236,539 290,492
TOTAL 101,387 10,143,700 12,548,925

Major cities[edit]

Municipal Corporations: 2 Srinagar, Jammu

Municipal Councils: 9 Udhampur, Kathua, Rajauri, Poonch, Leh, Anantnag, Bandipore, Sopore, Baramulla

Municipal Boards: 21 Samba, Ranbirsinghpora, Akhnoor, Reasi, Ramban, Doda, Bhaderwah, Kishtwar, Kargil, Duru-Verinag, Bijbehara, Pulwama, Tral, Badgam, Kulgam, Shopian, Ganderbal, Pattan, Sumbal, Kupwara, Handwara

Population of major cities[edit]

Demographics[edit]

A mosque in Srinagar
Name Rank Population
2011 Census
State Region
Srinagar 1 1,192,792 Kashmir
Jammu 2 951,373 Jammu
Anantnag 3 208,505 Kashmir
Udhampur 4 182,778 Jammu
Baramulla 5 167,986 Kashmir
Kathua 6 162,988 Jammu
Sopore 7 66,963 Kashmir
Rajouri 8 41,552 Jammu
Poonch 9 40,987 Jammu
Leh 11 27,513 Ladakh
Kargil 10 29,365 Ladakh
Population growth 
Census Pop.
1951 3,254,000
1961 3,561,000 9.4%
1971 4,617,000 29.7%
1981 5,987,000 29.7%
1991 7,837,000 30.9%
2001 10,143,700 29.4%
2011 12,548,926 23.7%
Source:Census of India[44][45]
The 1991 Census could not be held
in Jammu and Kashmir, the 1991
population is interpolated.

Jammu and Kashmir has a Muslim majority population. Though Islam is practised by about 67% of the population of the state and by 97% of the population of the Kashmir valley,[46] the state has large communities of Buddhists, Hindus (inclusive of Megh Bhagats) and Sikhs.[47]

In Jammu, Hindus constitute 65% of the population, Muslims 31% and Sikhs, 4%; In Ladakh, Buddhists constitute about 46% of the population, the remaining being Muslims. The people of Ladakh are of Indo-Tibetan origin, while the southern area of Jammu includes many communities tracing their ancestry to the nearby Indian states of Haryana and Punjab, as well as the city of Delhi. In totality, the Muslims constitute 67% of the population, the Hindus about 30%, the Buddhists 1%, and the Sikhs 2% of the population.[47]

Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs and a few Christian, Jain, and Zoroastrian communities were once natives and made up a vast majority of the whole Kashmir province, as well as neighbouring states, and ancient and modern northern half of what is today India and Pakistan, but because of economic changes, riots, political tension, military involvement, and foreign extremists resulted in vast majority of the followers of these religions to settle in the growing and advancing neighbouring regions and major cities in India over the years, often during no present borders or records.[48][49][50][51] Hindu pandits were specifically affected in this region due to their status in the local society.[52][53][54][55]

Vaishno Devi temple located in the state is one of the holiest Hindu temples dedicated to Shakti.

According to political scientist Alexander Evans, approximately 95% of the total population of 160,000–170,000 of Kashmiri Brahmins, also called Kashmiri Pandits, (i.e. approximately 150,000 to 160,000) left the Kashmir Valley in 1990 as militancy engulfed the state.[56] According to an estimate by the Central Intelligence Agency, about 300,000 Kashmiri Pandits from the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir have been internally displaced due to the ongoing violence.[57]

Gujjar man from Kashmir
Division  % Area  % Population Population  % Muslim  % Hindu  % Sikh  % Buddhist and other
Kashmir 15.73% 53.9% 5,476,970 97.16% 1.84% 0.88% 0.11%
Jammu 25.93% 43.7% 4,430,191 30.69% 65.23% 3.57% 0.51%
Ladakh 58.33% 2.3% 236,539 47.40% 6.22% 45.87%
Jammu and Kashmir 100% 100% 10,143,700 66.97% 29.63% 2.03% 1.36%
Statistics calculated from the 2001 Census India District Profiles
There are roughly 1.5 million refugees from Indian Administered Kashmir in Pakistan Administered Kashmir and other parts of Pakistan.[58] An estimated 50–100,000 Kashmiri Muslims[59][60] and 150–300,000 Kashmiri Pandits have been internally displaced due to militancy.[57][61]

In Jammu and Kashmir, the principal spoken languages are Kashmiri, Urdu, Dogri, Pahari, Balti, Ladakhi, Gojri, Shina and Pashto. However, Urdu written in the Persian script is the official language of the state. Many speakers of these languages use Hindi or English as a second language.[62]

The Kashmir Valley is dominated by ethnic Kashmiris, who have largely driven the Azadi campaign. Non-Kashmiri Muslim ethnic groups (Paharis, Sheenas, Gujjars and Bakarwalas), who dominate areas along the Line of Control, have remained indifferent to the separatist campaign. Jammu province region has a 70:30 Hindu-Muslim ratio. Parts of the region were hit by militants, but violence has ebbed there, along with the Valley, after India and Pakistan started a peace process in 2004.[63]

Dogras (67%) are the single largest group in the multi-ethnic region of Jammu living with Punjabis, Paharis, Bakerwals and Gujjars. Statehood is demanded in Hindu-dominated districts. Ladakh is the largest region in the state with over 200,000 people. Its two districts are Leh (77% Buddhist) and Kargil (80% Muslim population). Union territory status has been the key demand of Leh Buddhists for many years.[63]

Politics and government[edit]

A soldier guards the roadside checkpoint outside Srinagar International Airport. Jan 2009

Jammu and Kashmir is the only state in India which enjoys special autonomy under Article 370 of the Constitution of India, according to which no law enacted by the Parliament of India, except for those in the field of defence, communication and foreign policy, will be extendable in Jammu and Kashmir unless it is ratified by the state legislature of Jammu and Kashmir. Subsequently, jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of India over Jammu and Kashmir has been extended.[64]

Jammu and Kashmir is the only Indian state that has its own official flag and constitution, and Indians from other states cannot purchase land or property in the state.[65] Designed by the then ruling National Conference, the flag of Jammu and Kashmir features a plough on a red background symbolising labour; it replaced the Maharaja's state flag. The three stripes represent the three distinct administrative divisions of the state, namely Jammu, Valley of Kashmir, and Ladakh.[66]

Since 1990, the Armed Forces Act, which gives special powers to the Indian security forces, has been enforced in Jammu and Kashmir.[67] The decision to invoke this act was criticised by the Human Rights Watch.[68]

Like all the states of India, Jammu and Kashmir has a multi-party democratic system of governance with a bicameral legislature. At the time of drafting the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, 100 seats were earmarked for direct elections from territorial constituencies. Of these, 25 seats were reserved for the areas of Jammu and Kashmir State that came under Pakistani occupation; this was reduced to 24 after the 12th amendment of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir:[69]

"The territory of the State shall comprise all the territories which on the fifteenth day of August 1947, were under the sovereignty or suzerainty of the Ruler of the State" and Section 48 therein states that, "Notwithstanding anything contained in section 47, until the area of the State under the occupations of Pakistan ceases to so occupied and the people residing in that area elect their representatives (a) twenty-five seats in the Legislative Assembly shall remain vacant and shall not be taken into account for reckoning the total member-ship of the Assembly; and the said area shall be excluded in delimiting the territorial Constituencies Under Section 47".

After a delimitation in 1988, the total number of seats increased to 111, of which 87 were within Indian-administered territory.[70] The Jammu & Kashmir Assembly is the only state in India to have a 6-year term, in contrast to the norm of a 5-year term followed in every other state's Assembly.[71] There was indication from the previous INC Government to bring parity with the other states,[72] but this does not seem to have received the required support to pass into law.

Influential political parties include the Jammu & Kashmir National Conference (NC), the Indian National Congress (INC), the Jammu and Kashmir People's Democratic Party (PDP), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and other smaller regional parties. After dominating Kashmir's politics for years, the National Conference's influence waned in 2002, when INC and PDP formed a political alliance and rose to power.[73] Under the power-sharing agreement, INC leader Ghulam Nabi Azad replaced PDP's Mufti Mohammad Sayeed as the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir in late 2005. However, in 2008, PDP withdrew its support from the government on the issue of temporary diversion of nearly 40 acres (16 ha) of land to the Sri Amarnath Shrine Board.[74] In the 2008 Kashmir Elections that were held from 17 November to 24 December, the National Conference party and the Congress party together won enough seats in the state assembly to form a ruling alliance.[75]

Some Kashmiris, especially those residing in the Kashmir Valley, demand greater autonomy, sovereignty and even independence from India. Due to the economic integration of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of India, separatist movements across the Kashmir Valley declined.[76] However, following the unrest in 2008, which included more than 500,000 protesters at a rally on 18 August, secessionist movements gained a boost.[77][78] A survey conducted by Chatham House found the majority of Kashmiri people were against independence, and support for independence was concentrated solely in the Kashmir Valley, with very little support in Jammu or Ladakh.[79]

The 2009 edition of the Freedom in the World (report) by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees rated Jammu and Kashmir as partly free,[80] while in comparison Pakistan-administered Kashmir was rated to be not free.[81]

Economy[edit]

Tourism forms an integral part of the state's economy. Shown here is the Shalimar Gardens. In a famous incident, a Persian Emperor claimed it to be a paradise on Earth.
A map of the Kashmir railway

Jammu and Kashmir's economy is predominantly dependent on agriculture and allied activities.[82] The Kashmir valley is known for its sericulture and cold-water fisheries. Wood from Kashmir is used to make high-quality cricket bats, popularly known as Kashmir Willow. Kashmiri saffron is very famous and brings the state a handsome amount of foreign exchange. Agricultural exports from Jammu and Kashmir include apples, barley, cherries, corn, millet, oranges, rice, peaches, pears, saffron, sorghum, vegetables, and wheat, while manufactured exports include handicrafts, rugs, and shawls.

Horticulture plays a vital role in the economic development of the state. With an annual turnover of over INR3 billion (US$50 million), apart from foreign exchange of over INR800 million (US$13 million), this sector is the next biggest source of income in the state's economy.[83] The region of Kashmir is known for its horticulture industry[84] and is the wealthiest region in the state.[85] Horticultural produce from the state includes apples, apricots, cherries, pears, plums, almonds and walnuts.[83]

The Doda district has deposits of high-grade sapphire.[86] Though small, the manufacturing and services sector is growing rapidly, especially in the Jammu division. In recent years, several consumer goods companies have opened manufacturing units in the region. The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) has identified several industrial sectors which can attract investment in the state, and accordingly, it is working with the union and the state government to set up industrial parks and special economic zones.[87] In the fiscal year 2005–06, exports from the state amounted to INR11.5 billion (US$190 million).[88] However, industrial development in the state faces several major constraints including extreme mountainous landscape and power shortage.[89] The Jammu & Kashmir Bank, which is listed as a S&P CNX 500 conglomerate, is based in the state. It reported a net profit of INR598 million (US$10 million) in 2008.[90]

The Government of India has been keen to economically integrate Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of India. The state is one of the largest recipients of grants from New Delhi, totalling US$812 million per year.[91] It has a mere 4% incidence of poverty, one of the lowest in the country.[91]

In an attempt to improve the infrastructure in the state, Indian Railways is constructing the ambitious Kashmir Railway project at a cost of more than US$2.5 billion.[92] Trains run on the 119 km Baramula-Qazigund section. The 17.5 km Qazigund-Banihal section through the 11 km long Pir Panjal Railway Tunnel has been constructed. Udhampur-Katra section may be ready in 2013. The Katra-Banihal section is under construction. The route crosses major earthquake zones, and is subjected to extreme temperatures of cold and heat, as well as inhospitable terrain, making it an extremely challenging engineering project. It is expected to increase tourism and travel to Kashmir. Three other railway lines, the Bilaspur–Mandi–Leh railway, Srinagar-Kargil-Leh railway and the Jammu-Poonch railway have been proposed.

Year State's Gross Domestic Product (in million INR)
1980 11,860
1985 22,560
1990 36,140
1995 80,970
2000 147,500
2006 539,850

Tourism[edit]

Skiing is popular in Gulmarg, showing cable car in a snow-clad mountain.

Before the insurgency intensified in 1989, tourism formed an important part of the Kashmiri economy. The tourism economy in the Kashmir valley was worst hit. However, the holy shrines of Jammu and the Buddhist monasteries of Ladakh continue to remain popular pilgrimage and tourism destinations. Every year, thousands of Hindu pilgrims visit holy shrines of Vaishno Devi and Amarnath, which has had significant impact on the state's economy.[93] It was estimated in 2007 that the Vaishno Devi yatra contributed INR4.75 billion (US$79 million) to the local economy annually a few years ago.[94] The contribution would be much more now as the numbers of visitors have increased considerably. Foreign tourists have been slower to return. The British government still advises against all travel to Jammu and Kashmir with the exception of the cities of Jammu and Srinagar, travel between these two cities on the Jammu-Srinagar highway, and the region of Ladakh.[95]

Besides Kashmir, Jammu region too has a lot of tourism potential. There are various place in Jammu which are worth seeing. Bhau Fort in Jammu city is the major attraction centre for the tourists visiting the city. Bage-e-Bahu is the another tourist destination. Aquarium established by the fisheries department is being visited by many these days. Jammu is being majorly visited by the tourist from across the India as a pilgrimage to Mata Vaishno Devi. Mata Vaishno Devi is located on the trikuta hills which is around 40 to 45 km away from Jammu City. Approximately 10 million Pilgrims visit this holy place every year.

Tourism in the Kashmir valley has rebounded in recent years, and in 2009, the state became one of the top tourist destinations of India.[96] Gulmarg, one of the most popular ski resort destinations in India, is also home to the world's highest green golf course.[97] However, the decrease in violence in the state has boosted the state's economy and tourism.[98] It was reported that more than a million tourists visited Kashmir in 2011.[99][100][101]

Culture[edit]

Buddhism is an integral part of Ladakh's culture. Shown here is a statue of Buddha in a monastery in Likir.

Ladakh is famous for its unique Indo-Tibetan culture. Chanting in Sanskrit and Tibetan language forms an integral part of Ladakh's Buddhist lifestyle. Annual masked dance festivals, weaving and archery are an important part of traditional life in Ladakh. Ladakhi food has much in common with Tibetan food, the most prominent foods being thukpa, noodle soup; and tsampa, known in Ladakhi as Ngampe, roasted barley flour. Typical garb includes gonchas of velvet, elaborately embroidered waistcoats and boots, and gonads or hats. People adorned with gold and silver ornaments and turquoise headgears throng the streets during Ladakhi festivals.

Shikaras are a common feature in lakes and rivers across the Kashmir valley.

The Dumhal is a famous dance in the Kashmir Valley, performed by men of the Wattal region. The women perform the Rouff, another traditional folk dance. Kashmir has been noted for its fine arts for centuries, including poetry and handicrafts. Shikaras, traditional small wooden boats, and houseboats are a common feature in lakes and rivers across the Valley.

The Constitution of India does not allow people from regions other than Jammu and Kashmir to purchase land in the state. As a consequence, houseboats became popular among those who were unable to purchase land in the Valley and has now become an integral part of the Kashmiri lifestyle.

Kawa, traditional green tea with spices and almond, is consumed all through the day in the chilly winter climate of Kashmir. Most of the buildings in the Valley and Ladakh are made from softwood and are influenced by Indian, Tibetan, and Islamic architecture.

Jammu's Dogra culture and tradition is very similar to that of neighbouring Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. Traditional Punjabi festivals such as Lohri and Vaisakhi are celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm throughout the region, along with Accession Day, an annual holiday which commemorates the accession of Jammu & Kashmir to the Dominion of India.[102] After Dogras, Gujjars form the second-largest ethnic group in Jammu. Known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle, Gujjars are also found in large numbers in the Kashmir Valley. Similar to Gujjars, Gaddis are primarily herdsmen who hail from the Chamba region in Himachal Pradesh. Gaddis are generally associated with emotive music played on the flute. The Bakkarwalas found both in Jammu and the Valley of Kashmir are wholly nomadic pastoral people who move along the Himalayan slopes in search for pastures for their huge flocks of goats and sheep.

Education[edit]

Admin Block at Old University Campus, Government College of Engineering and Technology, Jammu

In 1970, the state government of Jammu and Kashmir established its own education board and university. Education in the state is divided into primary, middle, high secondary, college and university level. Jammu and Kashmir follows the 10+2 pattern for education of children. This is handled by Jammu and Kashmir State Board of School Education (abbreviated as JKBOSE). Private and public schools are recognised by the board to impart education to students. Board examinations are conducted for students in class VIII, X and XII. In addition, there are Kendriya Vidyalayas (run by the Government of India) and Indian Army schools that impart secondary school education. These schools follow the Central Board of Secondary Education pattern.

Notable higher education or research institutes in Jammu and Kashmir include Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences Soura Srinagar,

Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, National Institute of Technology, Srinagar, Government College of Engineering and Technology, Jammu and the Government Medical College of Jammu. University-level education is provided by University of Jammu, University of Kashmir, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Jammu, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir, Islamic University of Science & Technology, Baba Ghulam Shah Badhshah University, Institution of Technicians and Engineers (Kashmir),Government Degree College Kathua and Government degree college Ramnagar.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]