"Transmission of Crafts from Central Asia to Kashmir"


Arif Ahmad Dar, Research Scholar History
Career Point University Kota Rajasthan India.


Kashmir situated on the old Silk Road, in spite of being nestled by high mountains, has been exposed to cultural influences from various lands. The famous Silk Route which began to be used from about the first century BC not only carried traders, raiders and armies but also immigrants, philosophers, thinkers and men of artistic talent acquainted with religious philosophies. This route also carried cultural influences and ideas across the borders. Kashmir occupied an important place on the cultural map of Central Asia and is up to this day famous for its richness of culture and beauty of its arts and crafts. She maintained close relations with different parts of Central Asia since ancient times. The Buddhist missionaries from Kashmir, which at that time was a great centre of Buddhism, were the first to spread the Buddhist philosophy in Central Asian territories across the Hindukush in Afghanistan, in China and Tibet as a result of which a new religion took roots in these lands. Many Buddhist scholars from these lands travelled across the deserts and mountains for their schooling in Kashmir. As a result the ancient arts of Kashmir, be it sculpture or architecture, show many similarities in designs, in iconography or in skills of production with the centres of excellence that existed outside Kashmir at that time. The exchange of ideas placed Kashmir at a very high pedestal in such productions and was known all over the region for such artistic creations. These connections were further advanced by political relations, matrimonial alliances and employment of Central Asians in Kashmir establishments.