Jammu and Kashmir

Area :2,22,236 square kilometers.

Capital :Srinagar is the state's summer capital and Jammu is its winter capital.

Population :1,00,69,917

Language :Urdu,Kashmiri,Dogri,Pahari,Gujri,Dardi and Ladakhi. The official language is Urdu.

People :Jammu province is inhabited by diverse castes and sectors.Muslims make up 95% of the people in the Kashmir area,48% in Ladakh,and almost 40% in Jammu.The froup of people called Dogras inhabitate the hilly tract bounding the mountains of the southern Kashmir valley extending to the plains of the Punjab. They speak the Dogri language that is a mixture of Sanskrit,Punjabi and Persian.

The group of people called Brahmins of the Jammu province are mainly engaged in agriculture. A minority among them comprise the priest class. Other people like Chibbalis and the Sudans are the chief sectors among the Muslim Rajputs.

Khatris and Mahajans are characterized by the occupation like trade and commerce. Harijans constitute another large segment of population who are agriculturists and pursue semi-skilled professions,including those of cobblers and scavengers.

The Paharis are yet another set of inhabitants of the hilly tracts of the 'middle mountains'.They rear sheep and cultivate the sparse available tracts of land on hilly,sloppy terraces for barley,wheat and maize.

Culture traditional Kashmiri dance is the rouf that is a dance with slow movements and haunting music that reflect the slow pace of life in the Valley.

Economy :Jammu and Kashmir is predominantly a mono-cropped and rainfed economy with about 40 percent of the area in Jammu division and 60 percent in Kashmir division having assured means of irrigation. In the Kashmir region wheat,oil seeds and fodder cultivation is being introduced as a second crop and in Jammu,farmers are raising paddy as an additional crop.

Agriculture is one of the key factors and the mainstay of the state's economy. The productivity level of paddy at about 40 quintals per hectare in Kashmir valley is the highest in the country. Rice,maize,and wheat are the major crops.

Still another innovation is the introduction of mushrooms . Of the produce,90 percent is canned and exported from the state,under the guidance and supervision of the agriculture department.

Climate :Jammu and Kashmir enjoys an enchanting climate for the major part of the year. There are four distinct seasons - spring,summer,autumn,and winter. Till the end of May,the climate of Kashmir is comparable with that of Switzerland.

In spring,Jammu and Kashmir the valley wears a blanket of emerald green grass and is decked with flowers of various hues and fresh leaves. Summer sees the sleepy blue mountains with snow-capped peaks,clear streams,cool bubbling springs,noisy torrents,beautiful lakes,shady chinar groves,drooping willows,and pine forests . In autumn,the trees and forests turn into bronze and copper colours,and the foliage becomes a riot of golden yellow and green. In winter,the giant size trees wear a bare look when the landscape dons a mantle of snow.

History : Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin ( 1420-1470 ) was one of the most enlightened rulers of Kashmir. He introduced the arts of shawl embroidery,carpet making and papier mache in the state. When India became independence,Kashmir was ruled by Maharaja Hari Singh.

He dithered and the raiders led by the Pakistan army crossed into Kashmir. This was when Maharaja Hari Singh formally appealed to the Indian government for help and signed the instrument of accession on 26th October 1947. Thus Kashmir became a part of India.