Kashmiri Literature

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kashmiri Literature


For centuries the principal language of Kashmir’s literature and culture was Sanskrit. Literary figures who lived in Kashmir from the seventh through the 12th century included the writers Kshemendra, Somadeva, and Kalhana; the philosophers Somananda, Utpala Charya, and Bhaskara; and the authors of well-known works on poetry— Bhamaha, Anandavardhana, and Abhinavagupta. Adaptations in Kashmiri of stories drawn from the Vedas and Puranas, such as The Tale of the Victory Over the Demon Bana (15th century) by Bhattavatara and The Radiance of Siva (16th–17th centuries) by Shitikantha, began to appear in the 13th century. The creative work of the folk poet Lalla Devi and, to some extent, that of Sheikh Nuruddin, was characterized by a blend of Hindu and Sufi mysticism and a criticism of orthodox religion.

From the 16th through the 18th century there was intensive development of poetry written in Persian: Sheikh Yakub Zarfi (1522–94) and Hodja Habibullah (1555–1617). In poetry written in Kashmiri the genre of the love song (lal-gita), which had been borrowed from folklore, became widespread: Haba Khatun (16th century) and Arnimal (18th century). The Hindu poets of the 18th and 19th centuries Prakash Ram, Paramananda, and Krishna Razdan revived the tradition of poetic adaptations of ancient Indian legends; the Muslim poets used traditional Persian and Tadzhik subjects and genre forms: Mahmud Garni, Makbul Shah Kralawari, Rasul Mir, Abdul Wahab Pare, Hazrat Hussain, and Halil Gah.

Ideas of the Enlightenment began to become widespread in Kashmir in the late 19th century, and a modern literature took shape: the satirical poems of Kiralavari and the poetry of Ghulam Ahmad Mahjur (1885–1952) were permeated with antifeudal moods. Abdul Ahad Azad (1902–48) opposed religious fanaticism. The theme of labor and the life of the common people resounds in the poetry of Roshan, Premi, Rahi, and Kamil. The traditions of Sivaite lyricism were continued by Zinda Kaul. New genre forms and varieties of verse penetrated into poetry.

The first prose works in Kashmiri appeared during the 1950’s: Akhtar Mohiuddin, Umesh, Kaul, Kamil, D. Nadim (born 1916), Roshan, Bansi, Nirodo, and Shankar Raina. The literature of the Dogri people began to emerge in the late 1940’s: the poets Dinubhan, Pant, K. Madhukar, and Padma Sachdev, and the prose writers Bhagvan Prasad Sathe, Ramnath Shastri, and Narendar Khajuria. Some contemporary writers in Kashmir also write in Urdu and Hindi.


Pushp, P. N. “Kashmiri Literature.” In Contemporary Indian Literature. New Delhi [1957].

B. A. ZAKHAR’IN and I. S. RABINOVICH [11—1663–3]

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Kashmiri Pandit writers have used the same script all along, except one or two of them, such as Zinda Koul, who used the other one in his Sumran, and an edition of Parmanad's poetry (Source: A History of Kashmiri Literature by Triloki Nath Raina).
That does not mean that we should jeopardize the existing treasure of Kashmiri literature. Such a move will be seen as a threat to the culture and identity of Kashmir, and will become an emotional matter.
" It is aimed at demolishing our cultural identity as the existing script has been in vogue for over the past five centuries and the entire Kashmiri literature is available in this script.
The beginnings of Kashmiri literature are often debated by scholars, but it is usually emphasized that Kashmiri dialect (or Kashur in their native tongue) owes its revival to Lal Ded17 and that she has unique contribution as the maker of modern Kashmiri language18.
She holds a special position in the cultural history of Kashmir as mystical poetess and the founder of the contemporary Kashmiri literature and important contributor to the new spiritual tradition of Kashmir.
Zafar Hussain Zafar (From Kashmiri Literature) will present their articles on the subject of the conference.
One of his followers, Baba Moosa, is considered to be a famous poet in Kashmiri literature. In his verses, he has beautifully described the tranquility of the valley.
She then turns to dialogues between Kashmiri literature, paintings of Kashmir by Indian artist Nilima Sheikh, and Hindu and Muslim rival visions of the Valley's spirituality in order to "theorize the possible transcendence of territorial desire for the Valley through the reconciliatory and redemptive power of artwork."
The recorded poems and paradigmatic sayings of Lalla-Ded and of Sheikh Noor-ud-Din Wali enrich Kashmiri literature and add layer upon layer to the culture (Kaul, 1999; Murphy, 1999; Parimoo, 1987; Sufi, 1974).
(1999) Gems of Kashmiri Literature and Kashmiriyat, the Trio of Saint Poets.
" Many people asked me why mainstream Kashmiri literature is not on the website.