Visiting Pahalgam, Kashmir: Compilation of good books on Kashmir

Read about Kashmir's history, social values, beliefs, politics, people, etc. before you actually land in Kashmir...

A compilation of some good books on Kashmir

Visiting Pahalgam, Kashmir: Compilation of good books on Kashmir - Read about Kashmir's history, social values, beliefs, politics, people, etc. before you actually land in Kashmir...

K a s h m i r A note on History of Kashmir
Tradition has it that Kashmir was originally a lake that was drained by Kashyap and then inhabited by the Brahmins. Buddhism was introduced by the missionaries of Ashoka and flourished under the rule of Kushan in 2nd Century AD. However, Hinduism continued to be the dominant religion. In the 7th Century AD, the Karkota dynasty was founded by Durlabhavarrdhana. In 855 AD the Utpalas replaced the Karkotas. Later, the Tantrins, Yaskaras and Parva Gupta ruled in succession. Didda, a Gupta widowed queen, ruled Kashmir until 1003 AD when the Lohara dynasty took over. In 1346 AD the last Hindu king, Udiana Deva, was replaced by Shams-ud-Din. His family ruled until 1586 when the Moghul emperor Akbar conquered and annexed Kashmir to his vast empire. In 1757 it was conquered by Ahmed Shah Durrani and became part of Afghanistan. In 1819 Ranjit Singh conquered Kashmir and made it part of his Sikh empire. In 1846, when the British defeated the Sikhs and annexed Punjab, they sold Kashmir to Ghulab Singh of Jammu for Rs. 7.5 million under the Treaty of Amritsar. Ghulab Singh, who entitled himself the Mahrajah, signed a separate treaty with the British which, in effect, gave him the status of an independent princely ruler of Kashmir. He added to his dominion by conquering Ladakh. Ghulab Singh died in 1857 and was replaced by Rambir Singh (1857-1885). Two other Marajahs, Partab Singh (1885-1925) and Hari Singh (1925-1949) ruled in succession.

Kashmir : Roots of Conflict, Paths to Peace (Hardcover)

by Sumantra Bose

Amazon.com Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

A beautiful Himalayan landscape extolled in memoir and travel literature (e.g., Sudha Koul's Tiger Ladies: A Memoir of Kashmir [2002]), Jammu and Kashmir have been punished by a complicated terrorist war for the past decade. Bose, a professor of politics, compares the area to Northern Ireland because both regions' inhabitants are exasperated with militancy and yearn for peace. Their unhappy dilemma is that their lives are embroiled in the competing nationalisms of Pakistan and India, each locked into an adamantine narrative of accusation against the perfidious opponent. Though Bose summarizes how Kashmir became a bone of contention in the blood-wracked partition of British India in 1947-48, he restrains himself from adjudicating the grievances in favor of exploring an exit from the impasse. His basic idea, as in Northern Ireland, is to put into abeyance the parties' most radical demands in the hope they will ameliorate under the influence of newly created negotiating institutions. Knowledgeable about Kashmir's religio-ethnic complexities, Bose can be profitably consulted by serious students of the conflict. Trygve Thoreson

Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

Strobe Talbott, Brookings Institution : Sumantra Bose both captures the complexity of the Kashmir issue and explains it in ways nonspecialists can understand. It is essential that as many people as possible do understand this dispute, since it is surely one of the most dangerous on earth. Bose performs the additional service of providing guidelines for a bold, imaginative, yet feasible approach to resolving the problem of Kashmir based on lessons learned in other regional and sectarian conflicts.

Andrew Bacevich, author of American Empire : Today more than ever the powder keg that is Kashmir demands attention. In this balanced, deeply informed, and compelling study, Sumantra Bose unravels the tangled strands that have made the dispute over Kashmir so daunting. Demonstrating conclusively that neither plebiscite nor partition will resolve this seemingly unresolvable conflict, he offers a bold and innovative framework for meaningful negotiations. Statesmen in Islamabad, New Delhi, and Washington should take heed.

Kashmir in Conflict: India, Pakistan and the Unending War (Paperback)

by Victoria Schofield

Amazon.com Editorial Reviews

Review

"...the dense information presented here cannot but be helpful to the interested observer." --Asian Voice

"...provides excellent context for understanding the continuing terrorist violence perpetuated by militants..." -- Foreign Affairs

Book Description

Why has the valley of Kashmir, famed for its beauty and tranquility, become a major flashpoint, threatening the stability of a region of great strategic importance to pose a nuclear threat for the entire world? This book examines the Kashmir conflict in its historical context, from the period when the valley was an independent kingdom right up to the struggles of the present day. Drawing upon research in India and Pakistan, as well as historical sources, this book traces the origins of the state in the 19th century, the controversial "sale" by the British of the predominantly Muslim valley to a Hindu Maharaja in 1846 and the 20th century clashes between Muslim and Hindu interests now culminating in the threat of a major war.

Jesus, Last King of Kashmir : Life After the Crucifixion (Paperback)

by Suzanne Olsson

Amazon.com Editorial Reviews

Noah Books, December 10, 2005

She's now the world expert on Jesus in India. I delighted in every new discovery by this brave, dedicated woman.

Jason Axlerod, Author House

"A thought-provoking book about the ancient history of Christianity, and her own travels through the east. Troubling yet thrilling."

Book Description

Includes 37 original maps, prints, and photos: 17 are in full color

From the Publisher

This edition includes 37 original maps, photos, and pictures. 17 are in full color.

Excerpted from Jesus, Last King of Kashmir : Life After the Crucifixion by Suzanne Olsson. Copyright 2005. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

We tend to carry in our minds very stereotypical images of the Biblical patriarchs. They are usually clad in white robes and wear sandals. But when we allow ourselves to step outside Hollywood stereotypes, we realize these men and women traveled great distances through all kinds of terrain, and often under difficult and hostile circumstances. They impacted on cultures across vast distances stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to the Himalayas, where records of their visits still exist today. I think of them more as super action heros, supreme leaders, CEO's of the Board, captains of the Star Fleet. They faced constant dangers and traveled where none had gone before. These were our great prophets and teachers and uriahs, who brought us messages from the gods, who fought wars and rode fast horses, who carried swords and mighty scepters of authority, who traversed vast distances across lands and seas, and some would even say to the very stars beyond. Searching through the Bible, through ancient texts in far-off Himalayan monastaries, and even through their ancient DNA, we can follow their trails in ways never before imagined. If DNA is obtained, this can be matched with the Shroud of Turin, with known ancient relatives, and even with you or me.

Also read this: Jesus and Kashmir

The Doctrine of Vibration: An Analysis of the Doctrines and Practices of Kashmir Shaivism (Suny Series in the Shaiva Traditions of Kashmir) (Paperback)

Reader Reviews from Amazon.com

Ancient Kashmir was a source for both Buddhist and Hindu spirituality and learning. Many of the metaphors of the nondual awareness school were handed down to our present day through generations of mystics and scholars and provide an extraordinarily rich source for meditative expansion and stabilization. The root guru of Adi Da Samraj was Swami Muktananda, who in turn was a product of the Kashmir Shaivist school of nondual awareness. The richness of the terminology, derived from the ancient Sanskrit, is remarkable for both it's clarity and depth. These teachings are readily accessible in meditative absorption, and are a wonderful adjunct in the development, expansion, and assimilation of transcendental awareness.

Demystifying Kashmir (Hardcover)

by Navnita Chadha Behera

Hardcover: 240 pages

Publisher: Brookings Institution Press (June 2006)

Language: English

Kashmir: Behind the Vale (Paperback)

by M.J. Akbar

Amazon.com Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Kashmir lies at the edge of India?s borders and at the heart of India?s consciousness. It is not geography that is the issue; Kashmir also guards the frontiers of ideology. If there was a glow of hope in the deepening shadows of a bitter partition, then it was Kashmir, whose people consciously rejected the false patriotism of fundamentalism and made common cause with secular India instead of theocratic Pakistan. Kashmir was, as Sheikh Abdullah said and Jawaharlal Nehru believed, a stabilising force for India. Why has that harmony disintegrated? Why has the promise been stained by the blood of rebellion? M.J. Akbar, the celebrated author of India: The Siege Within, Nehru: The Making of India, Riot After Riot and The Shade of Swords: Jihad and the Conflict between Islam and Christianity delves deep into the past for the roots of Kashmiriyat, the identity and culture that has blossomed within the ring of mountains for thousands of years. He records Kashmir?s struggle in the century to first free itself from feudal oppression and then enter the world of modern India in 1947. Placing the mistakes and triumphs of those early, formative years in the perspective of history, the author goes on to explain how the 1980s have opened the way for Kashmir?s hitherto marginalised secessionists. Both victory and defeat have their lessons; to forget either is to destablise the future. Kashmir and the mother country are inextricably linked. India cannot afford to be defeated in her Kashmir.

About the Author

M J AKBAR, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of India?s first global newspaper, The Asian Age, a multi-edition daily, he revolutionized Indian journalism in the 70's and the 80's by successfully launching and establishing the weekly magazine Sunday and the daily newspaper, The Telegraph. He took a brief detour into politics with his election to the Indian Parliament in Nov 1989 but returned to his first passion, writing and editing, in 1993.He acknowledges elsewhere his Kashmiri Brahmin roots of centuries ago, though he is now descended from Kashmiri Muslims.