According to a famous folk etymology, the name "Kashmir" literally signifies a "desiccated land" (originated from the Sanskrit word: Ka = water and shimeera = desiccate). In the Rajatarangini, which writes all about the history of Kashmir by author Kalhana during the mid-12th century, it is says that the valley of Kashmir was initially a lake.
After the First Anglo-Sikh War in the year 1846, the then ruling British Indian Government attained Kashmir from the Sikh Empire and shifted it to Gulab Singh, identifying him as the self-governing Maharaja. Even the Mughal Emperor, Jahangir once stated "Gar firdaus, ruhe zamin ast, hamin asto,hamin asto, hamin ast” while describing the beauty and serenity of the Kashmir valley, the Switzerland of India. It means nothing but as we say "if there is anywhere paradise on earth, it is here". Indeed, this valley on the lap of the magnificent Himalayas is a piece of heaven on earth.
By: Tulika Dey