Rajatarangini (The River of Kings), a historical account written by Kashmiri poet Kalhana, describes the Valley of Kashmir in the Himalayas as a large lake around which great sages lived. As per legend, Kashmir has its origin in the name of one of these revered sages, Kashyap Rishi. Archaeological finds indicate that civilization existed in Kashmir as early as 5000 ВСЕ. А land of unparalleled beauty, Kashmir assumed geostrategic importance several centuries later, due not only to its natural abundance, but also because of its link to the famous Silk Route that connected Central Asia with China, via Tibet, The fame of lts rich caravans attracted an army of invaders who came to conquer and plunder. As Kashmir offered access to the rich plains of Punjab and beyond, as well as to the Silk Route, it was a prize conquest. The Kushans. Huns, Tartars, Mughals, Sikhs and Dogras controlled or ruled over this paradise from the mediaeval period onwards.
The Partition of India in August 1947 was one of the greatest tragedies our country has seen, as millions of people who shared common heritage left their homes and family histories, to form separate cultural identities. When it came to Kashmir, its ruler, Maharaja Hari Singh, had been slow to make up his mind about whether to join India or Pakistan. Many attempts were made to influence the Maharaja to accede to Pakistan, but in the end he chose to remain independent.