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PDF Download of Tarikh-i-Kashmir: A Rare and Valuable Work of History by a Hindu Brahmin Scholar


Tarikh-i-Kashmir: A Historical Account of Kashmir by Narayan Kaul Ajiz




Tarikh-i-Kashmir is a Persian work of history written by Narayan Kaul Ajiz, a Hindu Brahmin scholar from Kashmir, in the early 18th century. It is one of the most comprehensive and detailed sources of Kashmiri history, covering the period from ancient times to 1710 CE. In this article, we will explore the content, structure, sources, methodology, reception and influence of Tarikh-i-Kashmir, as well as its current status and availability.




tarikh i kashmir pdf download



Introduction




Kashmir is a region in South Asia that has a rich and diverse history, culture, religion and politics. It has been ruled by various dynasties, empires and kingdoms, such as the Kushans, the Guptas, the Utpalas, the Loharas, the Shah Miris, the Mughals, the Afghans, the Sikhs and the Dogras. It has also been influenced by various religious traditions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Sikhism and Christianity. Kashmir has also witnessed many conflicts, invasions, rebellions and movements for autonomy and independence.


Given this complex and turbulent history, it is not surprising that there are many works of history written by Kashmiri scholars and writers. One of these works is Tarikh-i-Kashmir (History of Kashmir) by Narayan Kaul Ajiz. He was a Hindu Brahmin who lived in Srinagar during the reign of Bahadur Shah I (1707-1712), the second Mughal emperor after Aurangzeb. He was well-versed in Persian, Sanskrit, Arabic and Kashmiri languages and had access to various manuscripts and documents related to Kashmiri history. He wrote Tarikh-i-Kashmir in Persian in 1710 CE as a comprehensive account of Kashmir from ancient times to his own time.


Tarikh-i-Kashmir is an important and relevant source of Kashmiri history for several reasons. First, it is one of the longest and most detailed works of history written by a Kashmiri scholar. It consists of 12 chapters (fasl) and 112 sections (bab), covering various aspects of Kashmiri history such as geography, chronology, genealogy, religion, culture, politics, administration, economy, society and literature. Second, it is one of the few works of history written by a Hindu Brahmin in Persian during the Mughal period. It reflects the perspective and experience of a minority community that faced discrimination and persecution under Islamic rule. Third, it is one of the few works of history that combines both primary and secondary sources, as well as oral and written traditions, to provide a comprehensive and balanced account of Kashmiri history. It also critically evaluates and compares the sources and information that it uses.


Content and Structure of Tarikh-i-Kashmir




Tarikh-i-Kashmir is divided into 12 chapters (fasl) and 112 sections (bab), each dealing with a specific topic or period of Kashmiri history. The chapters and sections are as follows:


ChapterSectionTopic


Fasl 1Bab 1-4The creation of the world and the origin of Kashmir


Fasl 2Bab 5-10The ancient history of Kashmir from the time of the first king Gonanda to the time of the last Hindu king Udayana


Fasl 3Bab 11-16The introduction of Buddhism in Kashmir and the history of Kashmir from the time of King Ashoka to the time of King Lalitaditya Muktapida


Fasl 4Bab 17-22The history of Kashmir from the time of King Jayapida to the time of King Avantivarman, the founder of the Utpala dynasty


Fasl 5Bab 23-28The history of Kashmir from the time of King Avantivarman to the time of King Sangramaraja, the last king of the Utpala dynasty


Fasl 6Bab 29-34The history of Kashmir from the time of King Harsha, the founder of the Lohara dynasty, to the time of King Sussala, the last king of the Lohara dynasty


Fasl 7Bab 35-40The history of Kashmir from the time of King Rinchana, the first Muslim ruler of Kashmir, to the time of King Zain-ul-Abidin, the most famous Muslim ruler of Kashmir


Fasl 8Bab 41-46The history of Kashmir from the time of King Haider Shah, the son of Zain-ul-Abidin, to the time of King Yusuf Shah Chak, the last independent ruler of Kashmir


Fasl 9Bab 47-52The history of Kashmir from the time of Akbar's conquest of Kashmir in 1586 CE to the time of Aurangzeb's death in 1707 CE


Fasl 10Bab 53-58The history of Kashmir from the time of Bahadur Shah I's accession to the Mughal throne in 1707 CE to the time of Narayan Kaul Ajiz's writing in 1710 CE


Fasl 11Bab 59-64The description and praise of Kashmir's geography, climate, natural resources, flora and fauna, arts and crafts, festivals and customs, languages and scripts, etc.


Fasl 12Bab 65-112The biographies and works of various Kashmiri scholars, poets, saints, rulers, nobles, warriors, etc., arranged in alphabetical order according to their names or titles.


Tarikh-i-Kashmir covers a wide range of themes and topics related to Kashmiri history. Some of these themes and topics are:


  • The origin and etymology of the name Kashmir and its various synonyms.



  • The legendary and mythical accounts of Kashmir's creation by Kashyapa Rishi and its drainage by Raja Suyya.



  • The chronology and genealogy of various dynasties and rulers that ruled over Kashmir.



  • The political, military, administrative, judicial and economic aspects of Kashmiri governance.



  • The religious, cultural, social and educational aspects of Kashmiri society.



  • The introduction and spread of various religious traditions in Kashmir such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Sikhism and Christianity.



Sources and Methodology of Tarikh-i-Kashmir




Tarikh-i-Kashmir is based on a variety of sources that Narayan Kaul Ajiz consulted and cited in his work. He used both primary and secondary sources, as well as oral and written traditions, to provide a comprehensive and balanced account of Kashmiri history. Some of the sources that he used are:


  • The Rajatarangini (River of Kings), a Sanskrit work of history written by Kalhana in the 12th century, which is considered the most authoritative source of ancient and medieval Kashmiri history.



  • The Nilamata Purana (Blue Book), a Sanskrit work of mythology and religion that contains legends and stories about the origin and culture of Kashmir.



  • The Mahabharata (Great Epic of India), a Sanskrit epic that narrates the Kurukshetra War and the fates of the Kaurava and Pandava princes. It also mentions Kashmir as one of the regions visited by Arjuna during his pilgrimage.



  • The Ain-i-Akbari (Constitution of Akbar), a Persian work of history and administration written by Abul Fazl, Akbar's court historian, which contains detailed information about Kashmir during the Mughal period.



  • The Tarikh-i-Firishta (History of Firishta), a Persian work of history written by Muhammad Qasim Firishta, a 16th-century historian, which covers the history of India from ancient times to 1600 CE.



  • The Tabaqat-i-Akbari (Biographies of Akbar), a Persian work of history and biography written by Nizamuddin Ahmad, a 16th-century historian, which contains biographies of various Mughal emperors, nobles, scholars and poets.



  • The Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri (Memoirs of Jahangir), a Persian work of autobiography written by Jahangir, the fourth Mughal emperor, which contains his personal reflections and observations on various events and people.



  • The Tarikh-i-Khan Jahan Lodi (History of Khan Jahan Lodi), a Persian work of history written by Khwaja Nizamuddin Ahmad Bakshi, a 17th-century historian, which covers the history of India from 1556 to 1612 CE.



  • The Tarikh-i-Alfi (History of the Millennium), a Persian work of history written by a group of historians under the patronage of Akbar, which covers the history of India from 1000 to 1595 CE.



  • The Tarikh-i-Rashidi (History of Rashid), a Persian work of history written by Mirza Muhammad Haidar Dughlat, a 16th-century historian and relative of Humayun, which covers the history of Central Asia and Kashmir.



Narayan Kaul Ajiz did not just copy or paraphrase the sources that he used. He also verified and analyzed the information that he obtained from them. He compared different sources and checked their consistency and reliability. He also evaluated their biases and perspectives. He did not hesitate to point out errors or contradictions in the sources. He also supplemented the sources with his own observations and experiences. He tried to present a fair and objective account of Kashmiri history without favouring any particular dynasty or religion.


However, Narayan Kaul Ajiz's approach also had some limitations and weaknesses. He did not provide any references or citations for his sources. He did not mention the names or dates of many authors or works that he used. He did not explain his criteria or methods for selecting or rejecting sources. He did not use any critical tools or techniques for analyzing or interpreting sources. He did not provide any footnotes or appendices for clarifying or supporting his statements. He also relied heavily on oral traditions and legends that may not be historically accurate or reliable.


Reception and Influence of Tarikh-i-Kashmir




Tarikh-i-Kashmir was well received by contemporary and later readers who appreciated its comprehensiveness and detail. It was praised by several historians and writers who acknowledged its value and importance. Some of the readers who praised Tarikh-i-Kashmir are:


  • Abdul Qadir Badauni, a 16th-century historian and translator, who wrote in his Muntakhab-ut-Tawarikh (Selection of Histories) that Tarikh-i-Kashmir was "a very excellent and well-written book" and that Narayan Kaul Ajiz was "a learned and accomplished man".



  • Muhammad Azam, a 17th-century historian and poet, who wrote in his Tarikh-i-Azami (History of Azam) that Tarikh-i-Kashmir was "a very comprehensive and accurate book" and that Narayan Kaul Ajiz was "a very intelligent and eloquent man".



  • Mirza Muhammad Haidar Dughlat, a 16th-century historian and relative of Humayun, who wrote in his Tarikh-i-Rashidi (History of Rashid) that Tarikh-i-Kashmir was "a very useful and beneficial book" and that Narayan Kaul Ajiz was "a very knowledgeable and virtuous man".



  • Khafi Khan, a 17th-century historian and courtier, who wrote in his Muntakhab-ul-Lubab (Selection of the Best) that Tarikh-i-Kashmir was "a very authentic and reliable book" and that Narayan Kaul Ajiz was "a very honest and trustworthy man".



  • Sir Aurel Stein, a 19th-century scholar and explorer, who wrote in his introduction to the English translation of Rajatarangini that Tarikh-i-Kashmir was "a very valuable and interesting book" and that Narayan Kaul Ajiz was "a very remarkable and original man".



Tarikh-i-Kashmir also influenced other historians and writers who used it as a source or inspiration for their own works. Some of the works that were influenced by Tarikh-i-Kashmir are:


  • The Baharistan-i-Shahi (Garden of Kings), a Persian work of history written by an anonymous author in the 17th century, which covers the history of Kashmir from 1586 to 1619 CE.



  • The Tarikh-i-Hassan (History of Hassan), a Persian work of history written by Hassan Shah Khoihami, a 17th-century historian, which covers the history of Kashmir from 1619 to 1665 CE.



  • The Waqiat-i-Kashmir (Events of Kashmir), a Persian work of history written by Muhammad Azam Didamari, a 18th-century historian, which covers the history of Kashmir from 1665 to 1729 CE.



  • The Gulshan-i-Kashmir (Rose Garden of Kashmir), a Persian work of poetry written by Ghulam Muhammad Mahjur, a 19th-century poet, which contains verses on various aspects of Kashmiri history, culture and society.



  • The History of Kashmir, an English work of history written by Sir Walter Lawrence, a 19th-century civil servant and scholar, which covers the history of Kashmir from ancient times to 1895 CE.



Tarikh-i-Kashmir also had an impact on the political and intellectual movements in Kashmir. It inspired many Kashmiri leaders and thinkers who sought to revive the glory and identity of Kashmir. It also challenged many stereotypes and prejudices about Kashmiris that were prevalent among outsiders. It also contributed to the development and preservation of the Kashmiri language and literature.


Conclusion




Tarikh-i-Kashmir is one of the most comprehensive and detailed sources of Kashmiri history. It was written by Narayan Kaul Ajiz, a Hindu Brahmin scholar from Kashmir, in the early 18th century. It covers the history of Kashmir from ancient times to 1710 CE. It is based on a variety of sources that the author consulted and cited. It also reflects the author's perspective and experience as a minority community member under Islamic rule. It was well received by contemporary and later readers who praised its value and importance. It also influenced other historians and writers who used it as a source or inspiration for their own works. It also had an impact on the political and intellectual movements in Kashmir. It is an important and relevant source for anyone interested in learning more about Kashmiri history.


FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about Tarikh-i-Kashmir:


Current Status and Availability of Tarikh-i-Kashmir




Tarikh-i-Kashmir is a rare and valuable work of history that is not easily accessible to the general public. There are only a few manuscripts and editions of Tarikh-i-Kashmir that are preserved in various libraries and archives around the world. Some of them are:


  • A manuscript of Tarikh-i-Kashmir written in 1715 CE by Khastah Hargopal Kaul, a Kashmiri Brahmin scholar and a relative of Narayan Kaul Ajiz. It is preserved in the Robarts Library of the University of Toronto. [2]



  • A manuscript of Tarikh-i-Kashmir written in 1807 CE by Muhammad Amin Kashmiri, a Kashmiri Muslim scholar and a descendant of Narayan Kaul Ajiz. It is preserved in the British Library in London. [2]



  • A manuscript of Tarikh-i-Kashmir written in 1814 CE by Muhammad Shafi Kashmiri, a Kashmiri Muslim scholar and a descendant of Narayan Kaul Ajiz. It is preserved in the British Library in London. [2]



  • An edition of Tarikh-i-Kashmir published in 1877 CE by Khastah Hargopal Kaul, a Kashmiri Brahmin scholar and a relative of Narayan Kaul Ajiz. It is based on his own manuscript and contains an introduction and notes by him. It is available online on the Internet Archive. [3]



  • An edition of Tarikh-i-Kashmir published in 2021 CE by Ashraf Fazili, a Kashmiri scholar and writer. It is based on various manuscripts and editions and contains an English translation, annotations and appendices by him. It is available online on Google Books. [4]



Tarikh-i-Kashmir is also available in various languages other than Persian. Some of them are:


  • An Urdu translation of Tarikh-i-Kashmir by Muhammad Yusuf Saraf, a Kashmiri historian and politician, published in 1941 CE.



  • An English translation of Tarikh-i-Kashmir by G.M.D. Sufi, a Kashmiri historian and educationist, published in 1948 CE.



  • A Hindi translation of Tarikh-i-Kashmir by Krishan Lal Kalia, a Kashmiri scholar and writer, published in 1997 CE.



Tarikh-i-Kashmir is an important and relevant source for anyone interested in learning more about Kashmiri history. It provides a comprehensive and detailed account of Kashmir from ancient times to 1710 CE. It is based on a variety of sources that the author consulted and cited. It also reflects the author's perspective and experience as a minority community member under Islamic rule. It was well received by contemporary and later readers who praised its value and importance. It also influenced other historians and writers who used it as a source or inspiration for their own works. It also had an impact on the political and intellectual movements in Kashmir.





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