Kishtwari written in Takri and Urdu Script.png
Native toJammu and Kashmir
Native speakers
39,748[1][2] (2011 census)
Language codes
ISO 639-3

Kishtwari or Kashtwari is a highly divergent and conservative dialect of the Kashmiri language, with strong influences from the Pahari language, spoken in Kishtwar district in Jammu and Kashmir, India. Kishtwari has been classified as a dialect of Kashmiri by scholars such as George Abraham Grierson. It is one of the two main allegedly Kashmiri dialects that are spoken outside of the Kashmir Valley (the other being Poguli).[3][4]


Grierson, in his Linguistic Survey of India, classified Kishtwari as a highly divergent variety of Kashmiri that had been profoundly influenced by neighbouring Punjabi and Pahari languages.[5] Grierson noted that Kishtwari is more conservative in certain aspects than other Kashmiri dialects, as evidenced by the retention of subject pronoun thu, in addition to the present participle an, features that have disappeared in Standard Kashmiri. A wordlist and preliminary grammatical sketch of Kishtwari were compiled in The Languages of the Northern Himalayas.[6]

The 1911 Census of India recorded 7,464 speakers of Kishtwari.


Grierson remarks that an idiosyncratic variant of Takri is used to write the Kishtwari language; as well as observing that there does not appear to be standard spelling nor a consistent orthography.

Specimen in Kashtwari language from Grierson's LSI Vol. VIII, Pt. II, page 386
Specimen in Kashtwari language from Grierson's LSI Vol. VIII, Pt. II, page 386


  1. ^ CENSUS OF INDIA 2011. "LANGUAGE" (PDF). Government of India. p. 7.
  2. ^ "C-16 Population By Mother Tongue". Census of India 2011. Office of the Registrar General.
  3. ^ Sheikh, Aejaz Mohammed; Kuchey, Sameer Ahmad (2014). "Kishtwari". Indian linguistics. 75 (3–4): 55–66. ISSN 0378-0759.
  4. ^ Mahapatra, B. P. (1989). Constitutional languages. Presses Université Laval. p. 270. ISBN 978-2-7637-7186-1.
  5. ^ Grierson, George Abraham Grierson. Linguistic Survey of India. Vol. 8. pp. 344–383.
  6. ^ Bailey, Thomas Grahame. Languages of the Northern Himalayas. pp. 61–70.