Historical Map of the Dogra Kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir
Another interesting Map of the previously E Jammu Kashmir by my talented friend Arsalan Khan who also belongs to the Riyasat. We had previously had an Article on the various Indigenous People of Jammu and Kashmir. Its not perfect, has its anomalies but it still an indicator of the diversity of the State from a Political angle. This Map shows the Dogra Kingdom at its most expansive. And i would like to point out that all these different areas were won over by the Dogras / Dogras under the Sikhs in War except Kashmir which was granted as a part of the Treaty between the British and Raja Gulab Singh on the payment of War Indemnity of 75 lakhs. It should be pertinent to mention that the Dogras also played a part in the Sikh conquest of Kashmir earlier from the Afghans. Also it suited the British in 1846, when the Sikh Kingdom still existed, to have a parallel power which they could use as counter against them and in this case it was Raja Gulab Singh and his hardy Hill Men. Here is an account of the transition of the Rulers in Kashmir From the Mughals to the Dogras giving a background of how Kashmir passed from the Mughals to the Afghans to the Sikhs and onto the Dogras.
Just an explanation on the parts :
Chitral : This is the most controversial inclusion as it always stirs up a Debate. Was Chitral at any point of time a part of the Dogra Kingdom ? Different historians had different versions on this but one thing was clear that the Chitral Kingdom did pay tribute to the Dogras. This has been verified by me personally with Members of the Chitral Royal Family. Of course later due to the Great Game Chitral was made a part of the Malakand Agency. Here is an account of the Chitral Expedition an important event in the History of Chitral
Hunza / Gilgt and around : Besides Gilgit and Hunza there were other Hill States which used to be constantly at loggerheads with each other but used to occasionally unite against foreign aggression. These were Iskoman, Nagar, Yasin, Ghizer, Punial and Darel among the more notable ones. Gilgit was an important location and one of the most forward bases of the British in the Great Game which I have described in this article titled The Gilgit Game. In addition to these there were various other smaller “Shinaki Republics” which as the name suggests were Groups of Shina speaking people in communities in the area generally named as Chilas. The Imperial Gazzette of 1908 described them as such :
“A group of small republics in the valley of the Indus, lying west of Kashmir and south of Gilgit. The territory extends from the junction of the Astor river with the Indus to Seo on the right bank and Jalkot on the left bank of the latter river. Within this area the people are grouped in communities inhabiting one or more nullahs, each community forming a separate republic. Starting from the junction at Ramghat these are, in order : on the right bank, Gor, Kinergah, and Hodar ; and on the left bank, Bunar, Thak, Butogah, Giche, and Thor. They constitute the area known as the Chilas subdivision of the Gilgit Agency, while Chilas proper includes Kinergah, Butogah, and Giche. Lower down the river are Darel, Tangir, Khilli, and Seo on the right bank, and Harban, Sazln, and Jalkot on the left bank.
After the conquest of Chilas by Kashmir in 1851, the Maharaja imposed a tribute in gold-dust, and arranged for the administration of the country as part of the Gilgit district. A British Agency was re-established at Gilgit in 1889, which included, among other terri- tory, the Chilas subdivision described above except Thor. In 1892 a British mission to Gor was attacked by the Chilasis, which led to the occupation of their country and the appointment of a Political officer at Chilas. The right of the Kashmir Darbar to construct roads and station a limited number of troops in the territory was secured, but the autonomy of the Chilasis was guaranteed. Under the revised arrangements made in 1897 the republics pay small fixed sums to the Maharaja, and in 1899 Thor was incorporated in Chilas. Darel has rendered a tribute of gold-dust to Kashmir since 1866, when the Maharaja's troops raided the country. The tribute is now paid through the Punial governor. Tangir pays a small tribute to the governor of Yasin. The remaining communities have no political relations with either Kashmir or British India, except Jalkot, which from its position dominates Thor and the head of the Kagan valley in the North- West Frontier Province.”
Then on the other side we have Baltistan and Ladakh about who most people know a bit of the History and how these were conquered by General Zorawar Singh between 1834 and 1840. This is a brief account of the conquest of Ladakh and Baltistan by the Dogras. In Ladakh also once the Royal family was removed from Leh, the Ladakhi King was granted the Village of Stok and some surrounding area as a Jagir. Thats where the Stok Palace was built. Much the same way the Raja of Zanskar was granted the Jagirdari of Zangla. Or something to that effect. This is a general note on Zanskar to help in the understanding of this one of the most remote regions of the Himalayas. And ignore the Shaksgam part as its shown beyond its size. This article gives you an insight into the Shaksgam Valley. Another important part of the State which is missed out in this map is the region between the Karakorams and the Kun Lun Mountains called the Aksai Chin.
And then of course we have the Kashmir Valley itself. It was divided into North and South Kashmir for administrative purposes. To the West of Kashmir was Muzaffarabad which was the Pahari area along the Jhelum Valley starting from Uri. This is the part I belong to close to the town of Hatiann Bala. Muzzafarabad is also the Capital of the entity referred to as “Azad Jammu Kashmir”.
Then of course we have Poonch which was a Jagir granted to the family of Raja Suchet Singh, a brother of Raja Gulab Singh. It had a history of its own and struggled for a while to be independent of their Jamwal Cousins which only resulted in the Jagirdari being terminated for a bit. Here is an account of what transpired in the Kingdom of Poonch. There was also the very small Jagirdari of Chenani, which is a small Town on the Highway and I remember that there used to be a Palace of sorts over there. More than that I remember because the erstwhile Raja of Chenani was a friend of my Grandfather’s and i have seen him at my Grand Fathers’ place when I was very young.
And then there was Rajouri which is the stronghold of the Gujjars and most of them are based here during the Winters. Next to Rajouri was Mirpur which was really a part of Punjab and the people were called as Mirpuris. Due to the building of the Mangal Dam many Mirpuris went to the UK and thats the reason you have a strong Mirpuri community in the UK.
And then we had the Duggar heartland of Jammu and Kathua which bordered Chamba with which it shares a lot of Cultural similarities. The district of Udhampur at that time included the whole of Udhampur and Ramban as well as Doda and Kishtwar. The Jagirdari of Badh or Bhaderwah was granted to the Ruler of Bhaderwah who was installed by Gulab Singh after getting the Chambyalis to give up all their claims over Bhaderwah. It used to be an integral part of the Chamba Kingdom. This is an account of Bhaderwah. It connects with Chamba over the Padri Gali.
Of course this will get many people excited and there would be counter views but the views mentioned above are my own based on what I have read and experienced. Kindly feel free to disagree. But as a request just dont start a discussion 1947 onwards as it wont get us anywhere.
This Map is available in hi-res as well. Do let me know if you want.