For various years, Kashmir was ruled by the Scythian Hindu princes for various years, they were later succeeded by the Tartars. In 1588, the Mughal emperor Akbar conquered Kashmir and built the Hari Parbat Hill in Srinagar, His son Jahangir, was captivated by the beauty of the Kashmir and made it a man-made paradise by planting chinar trees and constructing pleasure gardens today known as Mughal garden.
It was attacked and annexed by the Persian ruler Nadir Shah in 1739 but in 1819 Misr Chand who served as a General in the army of Ranjit Singh took and was granted effective control over the territory by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. After the end of the first Sikh War in 1846, it was assigned to the Maharaja Gulab Singh of Jammu, who founded the dynasty of Dogra Rajputs.
During the 19th century, Kashmir became popular with the British. Before independence, Kashmir developed a distinct political base with the secular Congress party led in Kashmir by Sheikh Abdullah, the leading democratic political force in the state although the Muslim league favoured joining Pakistan.
In south west Kashmir, the Muslims rebelled and declared as Azad Kashmir and forged links with Pakistan. After much alacrity in 1948, the ceasefire was agreed with India and Pakistan. Since 1956, Jammu and Kashmir has had its own constitution with its own integrity. The Prime Minister of Pakistan and Indian Prime Minister signed the Shimla Agreement in 1956, under which both countries recognized the Line of Control between them and agreed that the disputes would be resolved through bilateral negotiations. In the late 1990, violence erupted in the Valley of Kashmir, the Indian government also blamed the violence on Pakistani sponsored terrorism. Throughout 1990, the foreign tourists were advised not to visit Kashmir. This recommendation remained in force throughout 1991. After 1991, the situation became favourable and both, foreign and Indian tourists now visit the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Culturally Jammu is dominated by Hinduism and has Dogri influence. The entire region is studded with beautiful temples, Tavi river flows across Jammu and the majestic forts talk of Dogra valor.
Kashmir is dominated by the Muslims culture, Kashmiri language is influenced by Sanskrit and belongs to the Dardic branch of the Indo-Aryan languages. Linguistically and physically, Kashmiris are similar to the tribes around Gilgit in Pakistan.
Ladakh is known as ‘Little Tibet’. It is governed in secular matters by an independent prince and in spiritual affairs it was guided by the Dalai Lama. In Ladakh, the people speak the Ladakhi language. The Ladakhi’s features reveal a mixture of Tibetan-Mongolian and Indo-Aryan elements. In Ladakh, the majority of the people are Lamaistic Buddhists.