[Photo: Dal Lake in Srinagar]
Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Historically the term Kashmir was used to refer to the valley lying between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal range. Today Kashmir refers to a larger area that includes the Indian-administered regions of Kashmir valley, Jammu and Ladakh, the Pakistani administered regions Northern Areas and Azad Kashmir, and the Chinese administered region of Aksai Chin.
Kashmir was originally an important centre of Hinduism and later of Buddhism. In 1349 Shah Mirza became the first Muslim ruler of Kashmir and started the line Salatin-i-Kashmir. For the next five centuries Kashmir had Muslim rulers, which included Sultan Sikandar (also known as Butshikan, or "iconoclast") who ascended the throne in 1398...more >>