Kashmir, J&K, India, Apr 2017
During ancient and medieval period, Kashmir has been an important centre for the development of a Hindu-Buddhist syncretism, in which Madhyamaka and Yogacara were blended with Saivism and Advaita Vedanta. The Buddhist Mauryan emperor Ashoka is often credited with having founded the old capital of Kashmir, Shrinagari, now ruins on the outskirts of modern Srinagar. Kashmir was long to be a stronghold of Buddhism. According to tradition, Adi Shankara visited the pre-existing Sarvajñapīṭha (Sharada Peeth) in Kashmir in the late 8th century or early 9th century CE. The Madhaviya Shankaravijayam states this temple had four doors for scholars from the four cardinal directions. Shams-ud-Din Shah Mir (reigned 1339–42) founder of the Shah Mir Dynasty, was the first Muslim ruler of Kashmir. Shah Mir was from Swat, and his ancestors were Kshatriya, who converted to Islam. Later years, Mughal emperor Akbar conquered Kashmir, taking advantage of Kashmir's internal Sunni-Shia divisions, and thus ended indigenous Kashmiri Muslim rule. Today Kashmir, is an integral part of democratic India although its westernly neighbour Pakistan constantly ferments trouble in the region and has even forcefully occupied a part of Kashmir.
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