Jammu and Kashmir is a region administered by India as a union territory and consists of the southern portion of the larger Kashmir region, which has been the subject of a dispute between India and Pakistan since 1947, and between India and China since 1962.The region of Jammu and Kashmir is separated by the Line of Control from the Pakistani-administered territories of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan in the west and north, respectively. It lies to the north of the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab and to the west of Ladakh, which is also subject to the dispute as a part of Kashmir, and administered by India as a union territory.
Provisions for the formation of the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir were contained within the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, which was passed by both houses of the Parliament of India in August 2019. The act re-constituted the former state of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, with effect from 31 October 2019.
Jammu and Kashmir is named after the two regions it encompasses – the Jammu region and the Kashmir Valley.
The Government of Pakistan and Pakistani sources refer to Jammu and Kashmir as a part of “Indian-occupied Kashmir” (“IOK”) or “Indian-held Kashmir” (IHK). The Government of India and Indian sources in turn, call the territory under Pakistan control “Pakistan-occupied Kashmir” (“POK”) or “Pakistan-held Kashmir” (“PHK”). “Indian-administered Kashmir” and “Indian-controlled Kashmir” are often used by neutral sources.
For the 1954–2019 history, see Jammu and Kashmir (state) § History.
For the pre-1954 history, see Kashmir § History.
The state of Jammu and Kashmir was accorded special status by Article 370 of the Constitution of India. In contrast to other states of India, Jammu and Kashmir had its own constitution, flag and administrative autonomy. Indian citizens from other states were not allowed to purchase land or property in Jammu and Kashmir.
Jammu and Kashmir had three distinct areas: Hindu-majority Jammu region, Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley and Buddhist-dominated Ladakh. Unrest and violence persisted in the Kashmiri Valley and, following a disputed state election in 1987, an insurgency persisted in protest over autonomy and rights.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in the 2014 Indian general election and five years later included in their 2019 election manifesto the revocation of Article 370 of the Constitution of India, in order to bring Jammu and Kashmir to equal status with other states.
A resolution to repeal Article 370 was passed by both the houses of the Parliament of India in August 2019. At the same time, a reorganisation act was also passed, which would reconstitute the state into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The reorganisation took effect from 31 October 2019.
Jammu and Kashmir is home to several valleys such as the Kashmir Valley, Tawi Valley, Chenab Valley, Poonch Valley, Sind Valley and Lidder Valley. The Kashmir valley is 100 km (62 mi) wide and 15,520.3 km2 (5,992.4 sq mi) in area. The Himalayas divide the Kashmir valley from the Tibetan plateau while the Pir Panjal range, which encloses the valley from the west and the south, separates it from the Great Plains of northern India. Along the northeastern flank of the Valley runs the main range of the Himalayas. This valley has an average height of 1,850 metres (6,070 ft) above sea-level, but the surrounding Pir Panjal range has an average elevation of 10,000 feet (3,000 m).The Jhelum River is the major Himalayan river which flows through the Kashmir valley. The Tawi, Ravi and Chenab are the other important rivers flowing through the region.
The union territory of Jammu and Kashmir consists of two divisions: Jammu Division and Kashmir Division, and is further divided into 20 districts.
|Total for division||Jammu||26,293||10,152||25,794.95||498.05|
|Total for division||Srinagar||15,948||6,158||15,226.41||721.54|
Muslims constitutes the majority of the population of Jammu and Kashmir with a significant Hindu minority.
The Kashmir Division is largely Muslim (96.41%) with a small Hindu (2.45%) and Sikh (0.81%) population. The Jammu Division is predominantly Hindu (66%) with a significant Muslim population (30%). The Muslims form a majority in the Rajouri, Poonch, Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban districts of Jammu, while the Hindus form a majority in Kathua, Samba, Jammu and Udhampur districts. Reasi district has an almost equal number of Hindus and Muslims.
Jammu and Kashmir is home to several valleys such as the Kashmir Valley, Chenab Valley, Sindh Valley and Lidder Valley. Some major tourist attractions in Jammu and Kashmir are Srinagar, the Mughal Gardens, Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Patnitop and Jammu. Every year, thousands of Hindu pilgrims visit holy shrines of Vaishno Devi and Amarnath which has had significant impact on the state’s economy.
The Kashmir valley is one of the top tourist destinations of India. Gulmarg, one of the most popular ski resort destinations in India, is also home to the world’s highest green golf course. The decrease in violence in the state has boosted the state’s economy, specifically tourism.
Jammu and Kashmir is also famous for its scenic beauty, flower gardens, apple farms and more. It attracts tourists for its unique handicrafts and the world-famous Kashmiri Shawls.