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Jammu and Kashmir, India

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Avdisha, 8th Standard, Wisdom World School, Kurukshetra, Haryana, India - 136118

Area: 2,22,236 sq. km (including 78,114 sq km under illegal occupation of Pakistan, 5,180 sq km illegally handed over by Pakistan to China and 37,555 sq km under illegal occupation of China.

Population: 1.25 crore (census 2011). The population figures exclude population of areas under unlawful occupation of Pakistan and China where census could not be taken.

Capital: Srinagar (Summer), Jammu (Winter)

Jurisdiction of High Court: Jammu, Kashmir and Ladhakh

Principle language: Urdu, Dogri, Pahari, Punjabi, Ladakhi, Balti, Gojri, Dadri

State flower: Kamal (Lotus)

State tree: Oriental plane tree

State animal: Hangul

State bird: Black necked crane

Official website: http://www.jk.gov.in

According to the most popular legend that is also recorded in Rajtarangani and Nilmat Purana, two most authoritative books, Kashmir was once a large lake and it was Kashyap Rishi who drained off the water, making it a beautiful abode. But geologists have their own theory, which says that geographical changes made way for the outflow of water by subsidence of the mountain at Khadianayar, Baramulla and thus emerged the Valley of Kashmir, the paradise on earth. Ashoka introduced Buddhism to Kashmir in the 3rd century B.C. which was later strengthened by Kanishka. Huns got the control of the valley in the early 6th century. The valley regained freedom in 530 AD but soon came under the rule of the Ujjain empire. After the decline of the Vikramaditya dynasty, the valley had its own rulers. There was a synthesis of Hindu and Buddhist cultures. Lalitaditya (697-738 AD) extended his rule up to Bengal in the east, Konkan in the south, Turkistan in the north-west and Tibet in the north-east. Considered as the most famous Hindu ruler, he was known for constructing beautiful buildings. Islam came to Kashmir during 13th and 14th centuries AD. Zain-ul-Abedin (1420-70) was the most famous Muslim ruler, who came to Kashmir when the Hindu King Sinha Dev fled before the Tatar invasion. Later Chaks over-ran Haider Shah, son of Zain-ul-Abedin. They continued to rule till 1586 when Akbar conquered Kashmir. In 1752, Kashmir passed on from the control of the Mughal emperor to Ahmed Shah Abdali of Afghanistan. The valley was ruled by the Pathans for 67 years.

Name of Jammu figures in the Mahabharata. The finds of Harappan remains and artefacts of Mauryan, Kushan and Gupta periods at Akhnoor have added new dimensions to its ancient character. The land of Jammu was divided into 22 hill principalities. Raja Maldev, one of the Dogra rulers, conquered many territories to consolidate his kingdom. Raja Ranjit Dev ruled over Jammu from 1733 to 1782. His successors were weak and thus Maharaja Ranjit Singh annexed the territory to Punjab. He later handed over Jammu to Raja Gulab Singh, a scion of the old Dogra ruling family, who had grown powerful among Ranjit Singh’s governors and had annexed almost the whole of Jammu region. The state was governed by Dogra rulers till 1947 when Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession in favour of the Indian Union on 26 October 1947.

Transport

Roads: The State is connected to the rest of the country through just one highway (NH 1A), 400 km stretch (approx.) maintained by Border Roads Organization (BRO). As railway network is still in infancy stage, this has renderedthe state totally dependent on road connectivity which provides links to the remote areas of the state. The Jammu-Srinagar National Highway (NH1A) is considered to be the most expensive road for maintenance in the world.

Railways: Because of the difficult terrain railway network has not developed as in other parts of the country. At present Jammu is the rail head of the State and the line has been extended upto District Udhampur only (53 km). The work on Udhampur-Banihal rail line is under progress and intra-rail link between Quzigund to Baramulla is complete. In July, 2014 the first Katra-Udhampur train was flagged off.

Aviation: There are three major airports in the state providing aerial transport among three regions of the state and the country. Out of the three Srinagar airport has been upgraded as international airport (named as Sheikh-ul-Alam Airport), while the facilities at Jammu and Leh airports have also been upgraded. One more airport at Kargil headquarters is connected by Dakota service.

Agriculture constitutes an important sector of the state economy as around 70 per cent of the population derive greater part of their income directly or indirectly from this sector. Economy continues to be predominantly agrarian as 49 per cent (2011) of the total working force with 42 per cent as cultivators and 7 per cent as agriculture labourers depend directly on agriculture for their livelihood. Apart from direct impact of agriculture growth on generation of rural employment and incomes, its significant secondary linkages with development of rural non-farm sectors are more crucial. Agriculture has a significant contribution in the export of rare produce like saffron, honey and basmati and remains an important source of raw material demanded by many industries.

Irrigation

Irrigation is an essential input of agriculture and is practiced in all parts of the world where rainfall does not provide enough ground moisture. In areas of irregular rainfall, irrigation is used during dry spells to ensure harvests and to increase crop yields. A major constraint to the development of agriculture is the fact that only 50 per cent of the ultimate irrigation potential of the state has been harnessed. The ultimate irrigation potential has been assessed at 1,358 thousand hectare, which includes 250 thousand hectare to be developed through major and medium irrigation and 1,108 thousand hectare through minor irrigation.

Horticulture

Jammu and Kashmir is well known for its horticulture produce both in India and abroad. The state offers good scope for cultivation of all types of horticulture crops covering a variety of temperate fruits like apple, pear, peach, plum, apricot, almonds, cherry and sub-tropical fruits like mango, guava, citrus, litchi, etc. Apart from this, well-known spices like saffron and zeera are cultivated in some parts of the state. Horticulture is emerging as a fast growing sector in the state. Its importance is visualised by its contribution to the state’s economy which is estimated to be 7-8 per cent. Almost 45 per cent economic returns in agriculture sector is accounted for by horticulture produce. 6 lakh families comprising 30 lakh people are involved in horticulture trade.

Industry

In order to achieve a self sustaining economy with continued higher levels of investment, rapid rate of increase on income and employment there is no option but to go for industrialization.

To usher in new era of industrialization comprehensive industrial policy came into being in 2004 to be lasted till 2015 under which planned incentives are being taken to raise the state which is predominantly known as consumer state for most of its requirements to a level of self sufficiency and in the near future to a producer state. The incentives provided in the policy are ahead of other states of the country.

Handloom

It is also labour intensive cottage industry having considerable potential for generation of employment opportunities. To give boost to this industry the state government is laying focus on products design and diversification, providing credit facilities, enhancing weavers’ productivity through upgradation of skills and use of efficient looms, market access to handloom products is being extended through marketing incentives and wide publicity.

Tourism

Jammu and Kashmir is an important tourist destination and has been a place of attraction for tourists since centuries. The lush green forests, sweet springs, perennial rivers, picturesque alpine scenery and pleasant climate of Kashmir valley-the paradise on earth has remained an internationally acclaimed tourist destination, whereas Jammu region-the land of temples is attracting a large number of pilgrim tourists and the important destination has been the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine. Ladakh region - the moon land has been a much sought after destination especially for the foreign tourists and is famous for adventure tourism.

Power

The estimated hydro power potential is 20,000 megawatts (MWs), of which 16,480 MWs have been identified. Out of the identified potential, only, 2457.96 MWs or 15 per cent have been exploited so far, consisting of 760.46 MWs in state sector from 21 power projects and 1680 MWs from three power projects under central sector i.e., 690 MWs (Salal Hydro Electric Project) and 480 MWs (Uri-I Hydro Electric Project) and Dulhasti 390 MWs and 120 MW (Sewa III) and 17.5 MW from two private sector projects. 450 MW of Baglihar Phase-I constructed at a cost of 5,827 crore by the J&K State Power Development Corporation.

Fairs and Festivals

The fairs and festivals are a reflection of diverse cultural and social heritage of the state. All Hindu, Muslim and Sikh fairs and festivals are celebrated with full vigour and enthusiasm regardless of the religion. Like all parts of India, Jammu and Kashmir also celebrates Diwali, Holi, Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Azha, Milad-un-Nabi.

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