Independence day 2020. As is the case for the past few years, WhatsApp groups got all patriotic. Lots of gif images, songs, short video clips etc. Got to see this video from 2016 about the history of Kashmir — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4fTGwURJ3E

So, went looking to see what the internet has about the history of Kashmir. Much of what the speaker says is there. I’m adding the timelines and my inferences in this post.

1148–49 AD — Kalhana writes Rajatarangini (River of Kings), a history of Kashmir that has 8,000 verses in Sanskrit. He refers to Nilamata Purana, which is dated to the 6th-8th century AD. Both Rajatarangini and Nilamata Purana (with a Preface and Introduction in English), released as a printed book version in 1923, are available in archive.org.

The Nilamata Purana refers to Janamejaya’s enquiry to Vaisampayana, about why the king of Kashmir didn’t come for the Kurukshetra war, and Vaisampayana’s detailed answer, which the speaker lucidly explains in the above YouTube video.

Vaisampayana is considered a pupil of Vyasa. While Vyasa’s original version of Mahabharata (Jaya) is supposed to have had 8,800 verses, Vaisampayana’s version (Bharata) is said to have had 24,000. As centuries passed by, Mahabharata further got expanded to 100,000 verses. Bhagavad Gita is said to have got added in these later retellings.

Coming back to the Kashmir story, Kalhana’s Rajatarangani, the latest of the history treatises on Kashmir has inconsistencies with kings’ names and the periods they ruled. So, basing Kashmir’s history on books further back — Nilamata Purana and Vaisampayana’s Bharata — as narrated by the speaker in the video, seems like a bit of a stretch.

I found one interesting thing though, as mentioned in Nilamata Purana. The valley is said to have been a lake. It would be nice if some research is done to see whether the current mountainside had been submerged beneath lake waters thousands of years ago.

References:

A mishmash of this and that.