No Events Found In This Domain


The Mughal Imperial Road: Jammu and Kashmir Section

Upon the annexation of Kashmir by Emperor Akbar in 1586 CE, efforts were made by the Mughal Empire to strengthen communication and better integrate the Valley with the rest of their Indian sub-continental empire. During the Mughal reign, of the three routes that connected Kashmir to the plains—the Northern Road following the course of the Jhelum River entering Kashmir from Rawalpindi via Baramulla on a waterway, the Southern Road from Jammu via Banihal, and the Middle Road from Lahore across the Peer ki Gali mountain pass traversing the Pir Panjal range—the last emerged as the most favoured route, having been infrastructurally strengthened through improved road systems and construction of a chain of halting stations for the royal entourage’s comfort. What was once a humble pedestrian track known as the Namak Road, used primarily for the import of salt from Punjab to Kashmir, witnessed Emperor Akbar travelling down it twice, Emperor Jahangir at least eight times by his own accounts, and Emperors Shah Jahan and Aurungzeb once each, in the period of its peak glory between 1586 CE and 1664 CE as the Mughal Imperial Road. Even as the Indian-segment Mughal Road was resurrected in 2014, albeit not in absolute alignment with the historic road, much of the public memory surrounding this cultural route had by then been eroded, as it was kept alive in the interim period of more than 300 years by only the Gujjar and Bakkarwal herders via their practice of biannual migration between the hills of Kashmir to the plains of Jammu. The historicity and former glory of this road can now be established only through records from the Mughal and Early Colonial Era, oral histories collected from contiguous communities, and the heritage assets that exist primarily in the form of caravanserai remains lining the route in varying degrees of obsolescence. This module seeks to achieve exactly this.