Patriotism and young India - India Essay Example

Jammu and Kashmir

jammu and Kashmir (i/dʒɑːmuː/ & /kæʃmɪər/; Urdu: جموں و کشمیر‎; Dogri, Hindi: जम्मू और कश्मीर; Kashmiri: जोम त कशीर(Devanagari), جوم تِ کشیر (Nastaliq); Ladakhi: ཇ་མུ་དང་ཀ་ཤི་མིར།) is a state of India. It is located mostly in the Himalayan mountains and shares a border with the states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the south. Jammu and Kashmir has an international border with thePeople’s Republic of China in the north and east while Line of Control separates it from Pakistani controlled territories of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit–Baltistan in the west and northwest respectively. Formerly a part of the erstwhile Princely State of Kashmir and Jammu, which governed the larger historic region of Kashmir, thisterritory is disputed among China, India and Pakistan. Pakistan, which claims the territory as disputed,[1] refers to it alternatively as Indian-occupied Kashmir or Indian-held Kashmir, while some international agencies such as the United Nations[2] call it Indian-administered Kashmir. The regions under the control of Pakistan are referred to as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir or PoK within India, as “Azad” Jammu and Kashmir in Pakistan, and as Pakistan-administered Kashmir or Pakistan-controlled Kashmir generally.[3][4][5][6][7] Jammu and Kashmir consists of three regions: Jammu, the Kashmir valley and Ladakh. Srinagar is the summer capital, and Jammuis the winter capital. While the Kashmir valley is famous for its beautiful mountainous landscape, Jammu’s numerous shrines attract tens of thousands of Hindu pilgrims every year. Ladakh, also known as “Little Tibet”, is renowned for its remote mountain beauty and Buddhist culture. Geography and climate

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Jammu and Kashmir is home to several valleys such as the Kashmir Valley, Tawi Valley, Chenab Valley, Poonch Valley, Sind Valley and Lidder Valley. The main Kashmir valley is 100 km (62 mi) wide and 15,520.3 km2(5,992.4 sq mi) in area. The Himalayas divide the Kashmir valley from Ladakh while the Pir Panjal range, which encloses the valley from the west and the south, separates it from the Great Plains of northern India. Along the northeastern flank of the Valley runs the main range of the Himalayas. This densely settled and beautiful valley has an average height of 1,850 metres (6,070 ft) above sea-level but the surrounding Pir Panjal range has an average elevation of 5,000 metres (16,000 ft). Because of Jammu and Kashmir’s wide range of elevations, its biogeography is diverse. Northwestern thorn scrub forests and Himalayan subtropical pine forests are found in the low elevations of the far southwest. These give way to a broad band of western Himalayan broadleaf forests running from northwest-southeast across the Kashmir Valley. Rising into the mountains, the broadleaf forests grade into western Himalayan subalpine conifer forests. Above the tree line are found northwestern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows. Much of the northeast of the state is covered by the Karakoram-West Tibetan Plateau alpine steppe. Around the highest elevations, there is no vegetation, simply rock and ice. The Jhelum River is the only major Himalayan river which flows through the Kashmir valley. The Indus, Tawi, Ravi andChenab are the major rivers flowing through the state. Jammu and Kashmir is home to several Himalayan glaciers. With an average altitude of 5,753 metres (18,875 ft) above sea-level, the Siachen Glacier is 70 km (43 mi) long making it the longest Himalayan glacier.

The climate of Jammu and Kashmir varies greatly owing to its rugged topography. In the south around Jammu, the climate is typically monsoonal, though the region is sufficiently far west to average 40 to 50 mm (1.6 to 2 inches) of rain per month between January and March. In the hot season, Jammu city is very hot and can reach up to 40 °C (104 °F) whilst in July and August, very heavy though erratic rainfall occurs with monthly extremes of up to 650 millimetres (25.5 inches). In September, rainfall declines, and by October conditions are hot but extremely dry, with minimal rainfall and temperatures of around 29 °C (84 °F). Across from the Pir Panjal range, the South Asian monsoon is no longer a factor and most precipitation falls in the spring from southwest cloudbands. Because of its closeness to the Arabian Sea, Srinagar receives as much as 635 millimetres (25 in) of rain from this source, with the wettest months being March to May with around 85 millimetres (3.3 inches) per month.

Across from the main Himalaya Range, even the southwest cloudbands break up and the climate of Ladakh and Zanskar is extremely dry and cold. Annual precipitation is only around 100 mm (4 inches) per year and humidity is very low. In this region, almost all above 3,000 metres (9,750 ft) above sea level, winters are extremely cold. In Zanskar, the average January temperature is −20 °C (−4 °F) with extremes as low as −40 °C (−40 °F). All the rivers freeze over and locals make river crossings during this period because their high levels from glacier melt in summer inhibits crossing. In summer in Ladakh and Zanskar, days are typically a warm 20°C (68 °F), but with the low humidity and thin air nights can still be cold. Demographics

Jammu and Kashmir has a Muslim majority population. Though Islam is practiced by about 67% of the population of the state and by 97% of the population of the Kashmir valley,[45] the state has large communities of Buddhists, Hindus (inclusive of Megh Bhagats) and Sikhs.[46] In Jammu, Hindus constitute 65% of the population, Muslims 31% and Sikhs, 4%; In Ladakh, Buddhists constitute about 46% of the population, the remaining being Muslims. The people of Ladakh are of Indo-Tibetan origin, while the southern area of Jammu includes many communities tracing their ancestry to the nearby Indian states of Haryana and Punjab, as well as the city of Delhi. In totality, the Muslims constitute 67% of the population, the Hindus about 30%, the Buddhists 1%, and the Sikhs 2% of the population.[46] Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs and a few Christian, Jain, and Zoroastrian communities were once natives and made up a vast majority of the whole Kashmir province, as well as neighboring states, and ancient and modern northern half of what is today India and Pakistan, but because of economic changes, riots, political tension, military involvement, and foreign extremists resulted in vast majority of the followers of these religions to settle in the growing and advancing neighboring regions and major cities in India over the years, oftentimes during no present borders or records.[47][48][49][50] Hindu pandits were specifically affected in this region due to their status in the local society. [51][52][53][54] According to political scientist Alexander Evans, approximately 95% of the total population of 160,000–170,000 of Kashmiri Brahmins, also called Kashmiri Pandits, (i.e. approximately 150,000 to 160,000) left the Kashmir Valley in 1990 as militancy engulfed the state.[55]According to an estimate by the Central Intelligence Agency, about 300,000 Kashmiri Pandits from the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir have been internally displaced due to the ongoing violence.[56] In Jammu and Kashmir, the principal spoken languages are Kashmiri, Urdu, Dogri, Pahari, Balti, Ladakhi, Gojri, Shina and Pashto. However, Urdu written in the Persian script is the official language of the state. Many speakers of these languages use Hindi or English as a second language.[6 Economy

Jammu and Kashmir’s economy is predominantly dependent on agriculture and allied activities.[81] The Kashmir valley is known for its sericulture and cold-water fisheries. Wood from Kashmir is used to make high-quality cricket bats, popularly known as Kashmir Willow. Kashmiri saffron is very famous and brings the state a handsome amount of foreign exchange. Agricultural exports from Jammu and Kashmir include apples, barley, cherries, corn, millet, oranges, rice, peaches, pears, saffron, sorghum, vegetables, and wheat, while manufactured exports include handicrafts, rugs, and shawls. Culture Ladakh is famous for its unique Indo-Tibetan culture. Chanting in Sanskrit and Tibetan language forms an integral part of Ladakh’s Buddhist lifestyle. Annual masked dance festivals, weaving and archery are an important part of traditional life in Ladakh. Ladakhi food has much in common with Tibetan food, the most prominent foods being thukpa, noodle soup; and tsampa, known in Ladakhi as Ngampe, roasted barley flour. Typical garb includes gonchas of velvet, elaborately embroidered waistcoats and boots, and gonads or hats. People adorned with gold and silver ornaments and turquoise headgears throng the streets during Ladakhi festivals. The Dumhal is a famous dance in the Kashmir Valley, performed by men of the Wattal region. The women perform the Rouff, another traditional folk dance. Kashmir has been noted for its fine arts for centuries, including poetry and handicrafts. Shikaras, traditional small wooden boats, and houseboats are a common feature in lakes and rivers across the Valley. Kawa, traditional green tea with spices and almond, is consumed all through the day in the chilly winter climate of Kashmir. Most of the buildings in the Valley and Ladakh are made from softwood and are influenced by Indian, Tibetan, and Islamic architecture. Animals found in Kashmir

Fauna in the Jammu and Kashmir region include animals like the Snow Leopard, Hangul, Chiru, and the Yak. Over 100 species of birds make their home in this rugged terrain. Commonly spotted animals in the Kashmir region include the Marmot, the Himalayan Ibex, the serow, nilgai, the black bear and themusk deer. The Hangul has been declared as an endangered species. This animal is found all over the Kashmir valley. Some of the commonly sighted birds in Kashmir are the Nightingale, Hud Hud, Ranga, Bul Bul and the King Fisher. Forests in Jammu and Kashmir vary according to both altitude and climatic conditions. They range from tropical deciduous forests in the foothills to temperate forests in the middle altitudes of the Kashmir Valley. Coniferous, sub-alpine, and alpine forests spring up higher up in the higher areas of the Valley and these eventually give way to alpine grasslands and high altitude meadows. Forests in the Jammu and Kashmir region include a wide variety of species including maple that is popularly known as the chinar tree, evergreens, rose chestnut, alder, pine, laurel, sal, oak, magnolia, cedar, birch, hazel, spruce, juniper and rhododendron. The Hangul Deer The Hangul Deer or Kashmiri stag is an endangered species of red deer. The Hangul is one of the most famous animals of Jammu & Kashmir. It inhabits the thick forests of Jammu & Kashmir. In the past, Jammu & Kashmir had a large and vibrant population of Hangul Deer. But environmental pressures caused by hunting and loss of habitat from deforestation and dam projects has significantly curbed the wild population of Hangul Deer. Jammu & Kashmir does have one reserve and conservation area for Hangul Deer; the Dachigam National Park, also home to a diversity of wildlife.

Adaptations of the Polar Bear
1. Long, stiff hair between pads of bear’s feet: ollow fur – Traps air inside, thus making the bear buoyant in water – The layer of air provides insulation between their warm bodies and the cold Arctic air and water

– Insulation provided is lost when fur is covered with oil
3. Small and rounded ears
– Prevents water from entering the bear’s ears and freezing their eardrums, u see, big ears, more water!
– Helps conserve body warmth in sub-zero temperatures

4. Digging of dens several metres deep
– Shelter from winds that sweep over the ice in strong gusts,
unbroken by trees or vegetation

5. Light colour of bear’s fur provides camouflage against the ice – When hunting, bear covers black nose with its paws to hide it
6. Strong swimmers
– Polar bears can travel up to a speed of 10 kph

7. Thick layer of fat (blubber) under skin

8. Skin under fur is black
– This is to ensure that the polar bear has a better heat retention rate.

Snow leopards Snow leopards are well adapted to their high altitude homes where they may encounter deep snow and rocky terrain with little vegetation. Snow leopards have a well-developed chest that helps them draw oxygen from the thin air of the high mountains. Snow leopards also have short forelimbs with sizeable paws, long hind limbs, and a thick tail nearly a meter long. These adaptations help them balance on the rocky precipices of their home. Adaptations for cold include an enlarged nasal cavity that allows them to warm the cold air they are about to take into their lungs. Other adaptations for cold include long body hair with a dense, woolly underfur, and a thick tail that can be wrapped around the body. The snow leopards pelage enables them to blend into their surroundings. Their wide feet act like snow shoes. King fisher

Common Kingfishers are important members of ecosystems and good indicators of freshwater community health. The highest densities of breeding birds are found in habitats with clear water, which permits optimal prey visibility, and trees or shrubs on the banks. These habitats have also the highest quality of water, so the presence of this bird confirms the standard of the water.[9] Measures to improve water flow can disrupt this habitat, and in particular, the replacement of natural banks by artificial confinement greatly reduces the populations of fish, amphibians and aquatic reptiles, and waterside birds are lost.[10] It can tolerate a certain degree of urbanisation, provided the water remains clean.

This species is resident in areas where the climate is mild year-round, but must migrate after breeding from regions with prolonged freezing conditions in winter. Most birds winter within the southern parts of the breeding range, but smaller numbers cross the Mediterranean into Africa or travel over the mountains of Malaysia into Southeast Asia. Kingfishers migrate mainly at night, and some Siberian breeders must travel at least 3,000 km (1,900 mi) between the breeding sites and the wintering areas.[5]

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