The Shahmir Dynasty: First Muslim sovereign of Kashmir | By Uloba Riaz

Uloba Riaz is a freelance contributor and student of Media Studies in the National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad.//

Arabs attempt to conquer Kashmir//

Many attempts were made in order to conquer Kashmir by Arabs, who had established themselves in Sindh under the leadership of Muhammad bin Qasim.But he was called back to Damascus.

Lalitaditya was a powerful ruler and the monarch of the Karkota dynasty. During his rule and in the reign of Caliph Hashim, Arabs trudged towards Kashmir under the leadership of ambitious and energetic governor Junaid.

Photo Credit: Kashmir Now (via Twitter)

Lalitaditya defeated Junaid and overran his government.
Again in the hegemony of Caliph Mansur, Arabs marched towards Kashmir under the supervision of Hashmi ibn Amr al-Taghlibi (governor of Sindh).
He could not enter or occupy the valley, though he reached as far as the southern slopes of the Himalayas, which were part of the Kashmir kingdom.

Gadnivis Threat to Kashmir Kingdom//

After the Arabs, it was the Gadnivis who tried to take over the control of Kashmir. In 1002h, Mahmud Gadnavi defeated raja Jaipal (the ruler of a place called Waihand) now in modern days it is located near Peshawar Pakistan.
During the government of Triochandpala grandson of Jaipal was threatened by the Gadnavis. Triochandpala appealed to the Kashmir kingdom for help against Gadnavis.
Sangramaraja the ruler of that era sent a heavy army but both of them were defeated badly by Gadnavis.

Gadnavis tried to enter Kashmir through the toshamaidan pass but due to heavy snowfall and bad weather, the sultan lost communication with his army. Again in Oct 1021 Sultan again sent his army towards Kashmir but due to bad weather, they failed.

The Lohara Dynasty//

Up until 1320! Kashmir remained unchanged and unaffected by the invasions that were aimed in the plains of India. It was the Lohara dynasty that ruled from (1002-1320).

LOHARA DYNASTY – Harsha – Ae Stater (1089-1101AD) Photo Credit: EBay

Just before the invasion of Zulcha Khan( a manhole), a man from swat Shah Mir came to Kashmir to find some work.

The ruler was Suhadeva and he made friendly relation with him. In the spring of 1320, a Turkistani chieftain invaded Kashmir through Jehlum valley.

Suhadeva the last ruler of lohara dynasty tried to organize resistance but failed. In that same era son of Ladakhi chief, Rinchen left his home after the murder of his father.

He was employed by Ramachandra ( prime minister of Kashmir) for the establishment of law and orders.
Taking advantage of the chaos that was created by the invasion of Zulcha Khan. He murdered Ramachandra and married her daughter (Kota Rani).
After taking the throne at the end of 1320, now he wanted the acceptance of the Kashmiri people. He went to Dewaswami and wanted to him to become Hindu Brahmin, devaswami refused his initiation into the Hindu religion.

SadruddinShah, the first Muslim ruler of Kashmir//

Afterward, on a secret meeting with Bulbul shah, he accepted Islam and changed his name to Sadruddin shah.
Thus he became the first Muslim ruler of Kashmir. Rinchen( Sadruddin shah) died in 1323.
After the death of Sadruddin shah, his wife Kota Rani took control of the government, once again for a short period of time the kingdom of Kashmir was in hands of Hindus.

The Kota Rani Rule //

Kota Rani was the last ruler of the Hindu Lohara dynasty in Kashmir. Kota Rani was very intelligent and a great thinker she saved the city of Srinagar from frequent floods by getting a wall constructed.
It is written by Victoria Schofield in her book “ Kashmir in the crossfire” that, “ After the death of Sadruddin she married to Udheynadeva; brother of Suhadeva and invited him to become king.

Shahmir remained in the background gaining support from the lords.
But when Mongols once again threatened Kashmir Udhenadeva fled to Ladakh.
Shahmir and Kota rani were remained to counter the attack. However, Udhenadeva came back to his throne and died afterward in 1339.
When Kota rani attempted to become queen in her own right, Shahmir opposed her. There is a contradiction regarding the death of Kota Rani.Many historians wrote that she took her life and some have recorded that she was murdered by Shahmir.
After the death of Kota Rani in 1339, Shahmir proclaimed himself as Sultan.
“The Shahmiri Dynasty” was created which lasted for two hundred years.

Uloba Riaz/

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