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Modern Jammu & Kashmir

Jammu & Kasmir Police


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THE JAMMU AND KASHMIR STATE COMPRISES THREE DISTINCT WELL MAR-ked regions namely the Province of Jammu, the Valley of Kashmir and the frontier region of Gilgit, Baltistan and Ladakh. The state is bounded by Tadzhikistan, China, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Before its consolidation into one single kingdom the territory was under the rule of many chieftains and only Jammu was ruled by a Dogra ruler. As the area was inaccessible due to high mountains and lack of easy communications, it escaped the invaders from Central Asia. Yet when Timur the Lame and Mohd Tuglaq found their way to Jammu, they were succesfully resisted and the armies of the latter were annihilated by Raja Maldev, Ruler of Jammu.


Jammu en Kashmir  were united at the instigation of the British by Treaty of Amritsar of 16 March 1846. The first maharaja became Gulab Singh a descendant of Raja Ranjit Deo, ruler of Jammu in the middle of the 18th century. In 1857  Gulab Singh was succeeded by his son Ranbir Singh who was allowed to appoint his successors by adoption because of his loyalty to the British at the Mutiny of 1857. In 1952 the hereditary monarchy was abolished. The last maharaja became head of state.

After the partition of British India in 1947 Jammu and Kashmir was contested by India and Pakistan. In the autumn of that year Pakistani troops occupied the west of the state. This part still belongs to Pakistan with the name of Azad Jammu & Kashmir. In 1957 Jammu & Kasmir nevertheless became a state of India. The status quo was accepted by Pakistan in 1975. In 1999 new unrest was caused by Pakistani infiltrators.


Maharaja’s of Jammu & Kashmir

Gulab Singh


Ranbir Singh


Pratab Singh


Hari Singh


Yuvaraj Karan Singh

Regent 1949-1952

Sadar-i-Riyasat (President) 1952-1965





From the time of the British Raj about five different achievements of Jammu and Kashmir are known. The oldest probably dates from the time of Gulab Singh (1846-1857). It shows a sun in splendour rising behind a four topped mountainridge between four devanagiri letters. Above the shield is a crown between two striped flags in saltire. The shield is supported by two soldiers of the royal guard with the royal badge, being a faced sunin splendour, on their breast. Below is the motto p[xrta rrgverta (Prasamsta Ranavirata (= Glory and Courage in Contest))



After the fall of the Mughal Empire in 1858 and the banishment of Bahadur Shah, a new achievement appears in which the sun, formerly the emblem of the Mughal Empire, had a more prominent place. Also a katar (Indian dagger) and a sabre were added and crown and motto were changed.

The new achievement was:



Arms: A shield of wickerwork Argent, a sun radiant within a bordure with a garland of roses (Or).

Crest: A sword per fess and a katar per pale, crowned with the Kashmir royal crown.

Supporters: Two man of the Guard of the Maharaja, each supporting the royal standard being red with narrow yellow borders at top and bottom and charged in the middle with the sun of the arms.

Motto: .j/mae  rv*k*ladXae [1]


The sun radiant as a badge was not only displayed on the uniforms of the guard and on the royal flag but also on stamps issued in about 1860 (when a postal service was founded) and on paper money printed in 1877.


à It is not known if these crowns actually existed or were merely heraldic crowns. There are no official portraits of the maharaja’s of Jammu and Kashmir bearing such crowns as they always wear a turban.

As can be seen, the crown of Gulab Singh has the form a a Persian and Mughal tiara. The crown of  Ranbir Singh is of a more Chinese design.



Kashmir stamp with sun badge, 1860 ca. [2]


Kashmir paper money with sun badge, 1877ca


At the occasion of the proclamation of the Indian Empire at the Durbar of Delhi on 1 January 1877 new coats of arms were granted to the princes present. The achievement of Ranbir Singh was not continued but changed for a new one in which the sun radiant, which occurred also in the new badge of the Empire, on the flag of the Viceroy and as the badge of the Order of the Star of India (founded 1861), was reduced to the crest of the achievement. The new achievement was:

Arms: Purpure, three barrulets indented Argent, between the upper pair three white roses, barbed and seeded proper.

Crest: A sun in splendour.

Supporters: Two man of the Guard of the Maharaja (bearing red pennants).

Motto: for god, my country and my friends. [3]


à The red pennants are of the national flag of Kashmir 1846 -1936.



A version of this achievement from the time of Pratab Singh (1885-1925) shows some little differences in that the barrulets appear to be wavy instead of indented and in that the number of roses is nine (3, 3 and 3, placed above the barrulets). The crest in this version is of the charge of the arms of Gulab Singh: a sun in splendour rising from a ridge of four mountains. [4]


The next step was set by Maharaja Hari Singh (1925-1949). He seems to have restored the achievement of Ranbir Singh as illustrated above.


This achievement was completely restyled and slightly changed by Yuvaraj Karan Singh (*1931). The blasoning of the achievement nevertheless remained the same, the motto of Gulab Singh however was restored. [5]


Modern Jammu & Kashmir


The emblems of the State of Jammu and Kashmir and of West Jammu and Kashmir are as follows:




Arms: Azure, three barrulets Argent, a chief wavy Argent, a lotus-flower issuant proper and two traditional plows per bordure, handles in chief, Or.

Garland: Ears of wheat Or.

Motto: JAMMU & KASHMIR in white lettering on a ribbon Gules.


This emblem was adopted when Jammu & Kashmir became a republic on 17 November 1952 but was abolished when it became a state of the Indian Federation in 1957.

In the emblem the plows symbolize agriculture, the ears of rice the main crop and the three barrulets the three districts of the state.



The present logo of Jammu & Kashmir consists of the title of the state and a hibiscus leaf.




Arms: Tierced per pall reversed: 1. Vert, a decrescent and a mullet Argent; 2. Argent, a maple leaf Gules; 3. Parted per fess wavy in chief a mountainridge Azure with white summits under a blue sky, the base barruly wavy of eight pieces Argent and Vert.



In this emblem the crescent is for Pakistan and the muslim population, the leaf is for the minorities and the mountains and waves for the country itself.  [6]


ð See illustrations in the head of this essay


Jammu & Kashmir Police


The emblem of the Jammu & Kasmir Police shows a sun rising over a mountainridge, charged with a flying eagle. In base is a ribbon with the title of the service.



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© Hubert de Vries 2009-06-22

[1] Picture from: royalsplendour.blogspot.com/

[2] Picture from:  www.rpsl.org.uk/kashmir/index.html . The trilingual inscriptions, in Devanagari, Dogri and Persian, respectively, read "Urgent Letter" (Khat Zaruri).

[3] Taylor, Robert M.A. Cantab Bengal Civil Service.: The Princely Armory. Being a display of the arms of the ruling chiefs of India prepared for the Imperial Assembly held at Delhi on the 1st day of January 1877. Printed for the Government of India at the Government Central Printing Office, 8 Hastings Street, Calcutta 1902. n° 19

[4] This is on the Great War Medal of Kashmir dated 1919. Described and illustrated by Christopher Buyers:  http://www.royalark.net/India/kashmir.htm.

[5] Jaipur, H.H. the Maharadja of:  A History of the Indian State Forces. Bombay/Cal­cutta/Madras/New Delhi, 1967

[6] Hesmer, K.-H.: Flaggen und Wappen der Welt. Gütersloh, 1992. Pp. 182-183.


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