Princely State of Kashmir and Jammu
Top: 1836-1936
Bottom: 1936-1953
Coat of Arms of Jammu and Kashmir
Coat of Arms
Map of Kashmir
Map of Kashmir
StatusPrincely state
Official languagesPersian (1846–1889)
Urdu (1889–1952)[1]
Common languagesKashmiri (Koshur), Hindustani (Hindi-Urdu), Dogri, Ladakhi, Balti, Shina, and others
Hinduism (state religion), Islam (majority), Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism
GovernmentPrincely state
• 16 March 1846 – 30 June 1857
Gulab Singh (first)
• 23 September 1925 – 17 November 1952
Hari Singh (last)
• Princely state established
22 October 1947
• Accession to the Indian Union
26–27 October 1947
• Ceasefire (cession of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan)
1 January 1949
• Constitutional state of India
17 November 1952
• Disestablished
• Total
85,885[2] sq mi (222,440 km2)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Sikh Empire
• Jammu and Kashmir
• Azad Kashmir
• Gilgit Agency
Today part ofIndia (Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh)
Pakistan (Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan)
China (Aksai Chin, Trans-Karakoram Tract)

Jammu and Kashmir, officially known as the Princely State of Kashmir and Jammu,[3] was a princely state during the British East India Company rule as well as the British Raj in India from 1846 to 1952. The princely state was created after the First Anglo-Sikh War, from the territories that had earlier been in the Sikh Empire.

At the time of the partition of India and the political integration of India, Hari Singh, the ruler of the state, delayed making a decision about the future of his state. However, an uprising in the western districts of the state followed by an attack by raiders from the neighbouring Northwest Frontier Province, supported by Pakistan, forced his hand. On 26 October 1947, Hari Singh acceded to India in return for the Indian military being airlifted to Kashmir to engage the Pakistan-supported forces, starting the Kashmir conflict.[4] The western and northern districts presently known as Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan passed to the control of Pakistan, while the remaining territory remained under Indian control as the Indian-administered union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.[5]


Portrait Name Reign Notes
Maharaja Gulab Singh of Jammu and Kashmir.jpg
16 March 1846

20 February 1856
Founder of Dogra dynasty and the first Maharaja of the Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir, one of the largest princely states under the British Raj, which was created after the defeat of the Sikh Empire in the First Anglo-Sikh War. The Treaty of Amritsar (1846) formalised the sale by the British to Gulab Singh for 7,500,000 Nanakshahee Rupees of all the lands in Jammu and Kashmir that were ceded to them by the Sikhs by the Treaty of Lahore.
Maharajah Ranbir Singh of Jammu and Kashmir.jpg
20 February 1856

12 September 1885
Ascended the throne in 1856 after Gulab Singh's abdication due to poor health. He allied with the British during the Sepoy Mutiny. He also sent his troops to help the British to besiege Delhi. He was subsequently rewarded for his behaviour during the mutiny. He went on to annex Gilgit which had previously witnessed a rebellion against the state.
Maharaja Partab Singh (1848 - 1925).jpg
12 September 1885

23 September 1925
Reigned for 40 years from 1885 to 1925, the longest of all the Dogra rulers. He established local self governing bodies, democratic processes, educational systems, health care and hygiene and infrastructure development during his reign.
Portret Nari Singh ( Maharadja van Kashmir ), Bestanddeelnr 914-0428.jpg
23 September 1925

17 November 1952
Ascended the throne following the death of his uncle, Maharaja Pratap Singh in 1925. He signed the Instrument of Accession of Jammu and Kashmir to the Dominion of India on 26 October 1947. He remained the titular Maharaja of the state until 1952, when the monarchy was abolished by Government of India.
Karan Singh
(Prince Regent)
20 June 1949

17 November 1952
Appointed as Prince Regent of Jammu and Kashmir in 1949, at age of eighteen and served till the monarchy's abolition in 1952. He was appointed 'Sadr-e-Riyasat' ('Head of State') in 1952 and Governor of the State in 1964.


1909 map of British Raj showing Kashmir
1909 map of British Raj showing Kashmir

The area of the state extended from 32° 17' to 36° 58' N and from 73° 26' to 80° 30' E.[6] Jammu was the southernmost part of the state and was adjacent to the Punjab districts of Jhelum, Gujrat, Sialkot, and Gurdaspur. There is a fringe of level land along the Punjab frontier, bordered by a plinth of low hilly country sparsely wooded, broken, and irregular. This is known as the Kandi, the home of the Dogras. To travel north, a range of mountains 8,000 feet (2,400 m) high must be climbed.

This is a temperate country with forests of oak, rhododendron, chestnut, and higher up, of deodar and pine, a country of uplands, such as Bhadarwah and Kishtwar, drained by the deep gorge of the Chenab river. The steps of the Himalayan range, known as the Pir Panjal, lead to the second story, on which rests the valley of Kashmir, drained by the Jhelum river.[6]

Steeper parts of the Himalayas lead to Astore and Baltistan on the north and to Ladakh on the east, a tract drained by the river Indus. To the northwest, lies Gilgit, west and north of the Indus. The whole area is shadowed by a wall of giant mountains that run east from the Kilik or Mintaka passes of the Hindu Kush, leading to the Pamirs and the Chinese dominions past Rakaposhi (25,561 ft), along the Muztagh range past K2 (Godwin-Austen Glacier, 28,265 feet), Gasherbrum and Masherbrum (28,100 and 28,561 feet (8,705 m) respectively) to the Karakoram range which merges in the Kunlun Mountains. Westward of the northern angle above Hunza and Nagar, the maze of mountains and glaciers trends a little south of east along the Hindu Kush range bordering Chitral and so on into the limits of Kafiristan and Afghan territory.[6]


There used to be a route from Kohala to Leh; it was possible to travel from Rawalpindi via Kohala and over the Kohala Bridge into Kashmir. The route from Kohala to Srinagar was a cart-road 132 miles (212 km) in length. From Kohala to Baramulla the road was close to the River Jhelum. At Muzaffarabad the Kishenganga River joins the Jhelum and at this point the road from Abbottabad and Garhi Habibullah meet the Kashmir route. The road carried heavy traffic and required expensive maintenance by the authorities to repair.[7]


In 1893, after 52 hours of continuous rain, very serious flooding took place in the Jhelum valley and much damage was done to Srinagar. Then later on, in 1903, much more severe floods took place.[8]


Map of Jammu and Kashmir at the end of British Raj (National Geographic, 1946)
Map of Jammu and Kashmir at the end of British Raj (National Geographic, 1946)
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (January 2018)

According to the census reports of 1911, 1921 and 1931, the administration was organised as follows:[9][10]

In the 1941 census, further details of the frontier districts were given:[9]

Prime Ministers (Jammu & Kashmir)

# Name Took Office Left Office
1 Raja Sir Daljit Singh 1917 1921
2 Raja Hari Singh 1925 1927
3 Sir Albion Banerjee January 1927 March 1929
4 G. E. C. Wakefield 1929 1931
5 Hari Krishan Kaul[11] 1931 1932
6 Elliot James Dowell Colvin[11] 1932 1936
7 Sir Barjor J. Dalal 1936 1936
8 Sir N. Gopalaswami Ayyangar 1937 July 1943
9 Kailash Narain Haksar July 1943 February 1944
10 Sir B. N. Rau February 1944 28 June 1945
11 Ram Chandra Kak 28 June 1945 11 August 1947
12 Janak Singh 11 August 1947 15 October 1947
13 Mehr Chand Mahajan 15 October 1947 5 March 1948
14 Sheikh Abdullah 5 March 1948 8 August 1953

See also


  1. ^ Rahman, Tariq (2011). From Hindi to Urdu : a social and political history. Orient Blackswan Private Ltd. p. 201. ISBN 978-81-250-4248-8. OCLC 757810159.
  2. ^ David P. Henige (2004). Princely States of India: A Guide to Chronology and Rulers. Orchid Press. p. 99. ISBN 978-974-524-049-0.
  3. ^ "Kashmir and Jammu", Imperial Gazetteer of India, Secretary of State for India in Council: Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 15: 71–, 1908
  4. ^ "Q&A: Kashmir dispute – BBC News". BBC News. 8 August 2019.
  5. ^ Bose, Sumantra (2003). Kashmir: Roots of Conflict, Paths to Peace. Harvard University Press. pp. 32–37. ISBN 0-674-01173-2.
  6. ^ a b c "Kashmir and Jammu" Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 15, p. 72.
  7. ^ "Kashmir and Jammu" Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 15, p. 79.
  8. ^ "Kashmir and Jammu" Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 15, p. 89
  9. ^ a b Karim, Maj Gen Afsir (2013), Kashmir The Troubled Frontiers, Lancer Publishers LLC, pp. 29–32, ISBN 978-1-935501-76-3
  10. ^ Behera, Demystifying Kashmir 2007, p. 15.
  11. ^ a b Copland, Ian (1981), "Islam and Political Mobilization in Kashmir, 1931–34", Pacific Affairs, 54 (2): 228–259, doi:10.2307/2757363, JSTOR 2757363


This article incorporates text from the Imperial Gazetteer of India, a publication now in the public domain.