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.
Governor: Lt Gen (retd) S K Sinha
Chief Minister: Mufti Mohammad Sayeed (PDP)