The Arrival and Origin of Gujjars and Bakarwals of Jammu and Kashmir State

Muzamil Ahmad Dar


The State of Jammu and Kashmir, popularly known as “paradise on earth”, “crown of the Indian union”, “the Switzerland of Asia” and by many more names is inhabited by various racial groups, foreign races and different religions that have influenced the cultural philosophy and mode of life of the inhabitants of this region. The Anthropological survey of India has studied one hundred and eleven racial communities/ groups in Jammu and Kashmir under its People of India scheme. The various racial groups of the Jammu and Kashmir State though intermingle have their areas of high concentration. For example, Kashmiris are mainly concentrated in the valley bottom; Dards occupy the valley of Gurez; Hanjis are confined to water bodies of Kashmir; Gujjars and Bakarwals are living and oscillating in the kandi areas. The Gujjars and Bakarwals is the third largest cultural group in Jammu and Kashmir. They are the state’s most crowded scheduled tribes.

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