Jammu & Kashmir is decorated as a crown for India with the amazing beauty of the high Himalayas. Kashmir is located in the magnificent Himalayan valley with the spectacular mountain scenery, lush green vegetation, crystal clear lakes and dense forest all around. Srinagar, the state capital is well known for the houseboats, canals and Mughal Gardens. The valleys are well known for the rich biodiversity that includes varied range of species of birds and animals, many of the birds are found only in Kashmir.
Jammu & Kashmir is located in between 32.17 degree and 36.58 degree north latitude and 37.26 degree and 80.30 degree east longitude. The actual area covered by Kashmir is around 222,236 square kilometers. Countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan and China is covering it from west to east regions. The state is linked with all the other states of India and is well mannered with roadways, railways and airways. There are private airlines and Indian airlines operated from Srinagar, Jammu and Leh. National Highway 1-A connects Srinagar and Jammu to the other states of country.
Kashmir is a state that has its evidence in the great epic Mahabharata. During the period of 250 BC, the well known Maurya king known as Ashoka in the well established city, Pandrethan had constructed many chaityas and vihras. They talk about the importance given to this place and the events that were held in this region. Few sources also revealed that Buddha had visited this region but unfortunately there is no evidence for this saying. Kushana King Kaniksha had announced the Third Buddhist Council in Harwan nearby Srinagar around 1st century AD.
The Chronology of the Kashmir Kings is scripted by Kalhana Eulogises splendor of Kashmir. This beauty is refereed as the “Kashmir Parvati Paroksh”, Tat swami ch Maheshwara. This means that the Kashmir is very beautiful just like Goddess Parvati and the the owner of the Himalayas, Lord Shiva. Mughal Emperor had exclaimed that “Gar- ru - e - Zaminn Ast, Hamin Ast Hamin Asto, Hamin Ast. All this means that if there lies a heaven on earth, this is that heaven. Jammu & Kashmir has a varied and multifaceted and very unique cultural mix.
Kashmir is very different from the rest of the states in India as it has varied climatic conditions. Jammu & Kashmir is multicolored, multifaceted and completely unique in its cultural blend. The geographical reason is not the not thing that separates Jammu & Kashmir apart but also the demography of Kashmir with the distinct social and the ethical blend, huge diversity is nourishing in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. Apart from this there are different languages, rich heritage and cultural forms that bind together with harmony and peace.
You get amazed by the scenic beauty, sheer diversity, richness that lies in its art, beautifully structured architecture, festivals and fairs, rituals and rites, sagas and seers, mountains and languages. All this features that belongs to Kashmir makes it unique in its own way.
Kashmir since ancient ages, is a very popular destination as the centre of Persian and Sanskrit as Indo - Aryanic civilization has been originated and very well flourished in this region. It is also known as the advent for Islam apart from the virtues that belong to Persian civilization that has the tolerance and sacrifice. Kashmir can be described as nature’s splendid finale of beauty. Kashmir can be considered as the masterpiece from earth’s creation and the performances of the folk dance of amazing Kashmir are very deeply engaged in the movements and the moods of the season.
Jammu & Kashmir is the land for the Dogras. They have special music and dance that has its origin in their laps and are flourished and well developed in the graceful and the hardy women of Duggar family to divert their mind as they are most of the time separated from their brothers and husband for the wars. Apart from this reason of getting cheer up to their life in their free time, fold music and the dances are also performed that can reflect their inside story of being separated and increasing yearning with the closed person for reunion, the difficult life of the mountains and many other themes are linked with the day to day lives.
Kud is another form of dance which is performed and dedicated to Lok Devatas generally during the night. It is one of the spontaneous dance that is performed by the people of all ages irrespective of gender which is joined by the musical instruments are Chhaina, Narahingha, drums and the flute. Heren is form of the theatre which is performed during the festival of Lohri and it is generally performed in the region of Kashmir. The ladies of this region perform Jagarana and the Fumenie on the evening when their groom gets departed to the house of in laws and are sung in group amongst Jammu and Kashmir. The ancient form of dance shows the emotions and the feelings of the women faction. Bakh is very popular and is known by various names by Kark, Gwarti and Masade. They sing it in chorus which is sung in the group of 10 people that too without any musical instruments. The other tradition known as Gawatri, in which the singers are allowed to make text of their own and then to sing the song and then it is endorsed by the dancers belonging to Gawatri. Karak, another form of story telling that is performed by the communities from Jogi. They narrate the entire story in the form of a popular folk while performing the dance form. There are 3 members from the group with instruments famous known as Rabab. The chorus forms of singing is the tradition to be followed since ages and are performed by the Bakerwals and Gujjars are called as Benthe, where around 5 to 7 members perform the dance.
Music of Kashmir has its own flavor and it is the one of the most important part of Kashmiri Culture that attracts many of the visitors. Bhand Pather is the theatre performances that includes the combination of dance and play in a beautiful style that has the theme of the social tradition, depictions of evils and are shown in front of the different cultural and the social functions. Bhand Jashan is presented in the 10 to 15 members in group that seems similar to that of the Chakra that belongs to Uttar Pradesh. It was escorted with the Garaha, Rabab, Sarangai and the Rabab were the musical instruments but the things are not same today. Today, harmonium has a major role in the performances. Sufiana music has been migrated from the region of Iran to Kashmir in the 15th century. After this period, the music has very well flourished in its classical form. It has the blend of many of the Hafiz Naga and the Indian ragas in its music. While performing, Hafiz Nagma, there is a female dancer where as the accompanists that occupies the numerous instruments are male. The instruments that are connected to this form are Sitar, Santoor, Kashmiri Saz, Tabala or Wasool. In today’s generation, there are a very few families who participate in this form of culture in Kashmir.