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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 15, p. 93.


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HISTOR Y
93
Chakks sprang into mischievous prominence. Zain-ul-ąbidin drove
them out of the valley, but in the time of his weak successors they
returned and eventually seized the government of Kashmir. Turbulent
and brave, the Chakks were not fitted for administration. Yąkab
Khān, the last of the line, offered a stubborn resistance to Akbar, and
with the help of the Bambās and Khakhas routed the Mughal on his
first attempt on the valley (1582). But later, not without difficulty
and some reverses, Kashmir was finally conquered (1586)'.
Akbar visited the valley three times. He built a strong fort on the
slopes of the Hara Parbat, paying high wages, and dispensing with
forced labour. His revenue minister, Todar Mal, made a very summary
record of the fiscal conditions of the valley. Jahangir was greatly
attached to Kashmir. He laid out lovely pleasure-gardens; around
the Dal Lake were 777 gardens, yielding a revenue of i lakh from roses
and bed musk. Much depended on the character of the governors.
Ali Mardān Khān, the best of these, built a splendid series of sarais
on the Pir Panjdl route to India, and grappled with a famine with
energy and success. Aurangzeb visited the valley only once; but in
that brief time he showed his zeal against the unbelievers, and his name
is still execrated by the Brāhmans. Then followed the disorder of
decay, and in rg51 the Sūbah of Kashmir was practically independent
of Delhi.
From the following year the unfortunate Kashmiris experienced the
cruel oppression of Afgh5n rule, the short but evil period of the
Durrānis. Governors from Kābul plundered and tortured the people
indiscriminately, but reserved their worst cruelties for the Brāhmans,
the Shiahs, and the Bambās of the Jhelum valley. In their agony the
people of Kashmir turned with hope to the rising power of Ranjit
Singh of Lahore. In r8r4 a Sikh army advanced by the Pir Panjül,
Ranjit Singh watching the operations from Punch. This expedition
miscarried; but in r81g Misr Diwan Chand, Ranjit Singh's great
general, accompanied by Gulāb Singh of Jammu, overcame Muhammad
Azim Khan, and entered Shupiyan. In comparison with the Afghāns,
the Sikhs came as a relief to the unfortunate Kashmiris, but their rule
was harsh and oppressive.
Sher Singh, the reputed son of Ranjit Singh, was a weak governor,
and his name is remembered in connexion with the terrible famine
which visited the valley. The best of the Sikh governors was Colonel
Miān Singh (1833), who is still spoken of with gratitude, and did his
best to repair the ravages of the famine. He was murdered by
' Kashmir had been attacked from the side of Ladākh by Mirzā Haidar (the author
of the Tirikh-i-Rashrdi) in 1532, and again invaded from the south in ;54o, and
ruled by,him (nominally on behalf of the emperor Humüy~7n) until his death eleven.
years later.
G2
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