What languages ​​are spoken in Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir (Kashmiri: जम्मू-ओ-कश्मीर جموں و کشمیر jammū-o-kaśmīr) is the northernmost of the 29 Indian states. It is part of the historical region of Kashmir, whose territory is claimed by the People's Republic of China, India and Pakistan. The capital and seat of government is Srinagar (approx. 1,193,000 inhabitants) in summer and Jammu (approx. 502,000 inhabitants) in winter. The official language of Jammu and Kashmir is Urdu.

The state Jammu and Kashmir is divided into three major regions: Kashmir in the west, Jammu in the south and Ladakh in the east. The center of the predominantly Muslim region of Kashmir is Srinagar. Jammu is the center of the region of the same name with a predominantly Hindu population. Leh is the center of the Ladakh region, which is shaped by the Tibetan Buddhist culture.


The Indian state Jammu and Kashmir emerged from the principality of the same name, which existed from 1846 to 1952. At the time of Indian independence in 1947, Maharaja Hari Singh, the Hindu head of the principality, which was dominated by a Muslim majority, initially wanted independence Jammu and Kashmirs from the two newly founded states India and Pakistan.

However, the intrusion of Pakistani irregulars prompted Hari Singh to ask the Indian government for troop aid. On the advice of the former Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten, declared Jammu and Kashmir in this context his accession to India, which became legally effective on October 27, 1947.

In the course of the military clashes between Indian troops and Pakistani irregulars, part of Kashmir came under Pakistani control. Stopped until 1952 Jammu and Kashmir an autonomous principality within the Indian Union until it was administratively transformed into an Indian federal state with the abolition of all monarchical structures.

Area and population

The Indian state Jammu and Kashmir occupies an area of ​​around 101,390 km² and in 2011 had around 12.5 million inhabitants.


Kashmiri, which is spoken by approximately 54 percent of the population, is the most important language in Jammu and Kashmir. It is included in the group of Dardic languages, which are a subgroup of the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages, which also includes Hindi, Marathi and Punjabi. Kashmiri is mainly spoken in the Kashmir Valley.

Dogri, which is mainly spoken in the Jammu region and is spoken by around 22 percent of the population, is also one of the Indo-Aryan languages. According to statistics, Hindi follows with 19 percent speakers, although these are not actually native Hindi speakers, but speakers of different dialects, which are referred to as Pahari languages, which are more closely related to Nepali. Just under two percent of the population of Jammu and Kashmir speak Punjabi.

In the Ladakh region, the Sino-Tibetan language Ladakh predominates, but due to the very low population density of Ladakh, it only accounts for about 1 percent of the total number of speakers. The Balti, which is also related to Tibetan, is spoken by around 0.2 percent of the population.

Although the official language of Urdu is Jammu and Kashmir has no actual native speakers, most Muslims understand it as a second language or lingua franca. English is also used as a communication and educational language.


With around 68 percent Muslim, most of whom live in the Kashmir region and to a lesser extent in Ladakh Jammu and Kashmir the only Indian state with a Muslim majority. About 28 percent are Hindus, who mainly live in the Jammu region. The religious minorities include the Sikhs with around two percent and the Buddhists living in the Ladakh region, who make up around one percent of the total population.

See also