Notable Personalities In Jammu And Kashmir Home > Jammu And Kashmir > Notable Personalities In Jammu And Kashmir

Notable Personalities In Jammu And Kashmir

Here’s a list of the most famous personalities of Jammu and Kashmir, in India. This list should not be viewed in the contemporary context. Perhaps their fame was transient; all that is important here is that many people knew them in their heyday.

Some Notable Personalities of J&K

Maharaja Gulab Singh (1822-1856)

Maharaja Gulab Singh’s portrait was made in 1847, a year after he signed the Treaty of Amritsar, when he bought Kashmir’s territories for Rupees 75 Lakhs (Rupees 7.5 million) from the British. Born on October 18, 1792, he was illiterate all his life and eventually died on June 30, 1857 at Srinagar.

On March 16, 1846, he negotiated and signed the Treaty of Amritsar with the British. According to it, the British would make over Jammu, Gilgit, Kashmir and Hunza but not Lahul entirely to him. Gulab Singh is known to have worked hard to enlarge his kingdom. He was later attacked by the Khalsa regiment of the Punjab army, when he appealed to the British for protection and military help. According to history, the people of the state were in a pitiable condition, besides which taxes were heavy. The farmers of this area were left with just one-third of their agricultural produce once they paid their taxes and filled the coffers with corrupt officers. Besides, Gulab Singh was a tyrannical ruler, so his subjects felt unsafe in his reign. The people complained to the British Government of Gulab Singh’s tyranny. The British government then replaced Gulab Singh by Ranbir Singh, Pratap Singh and Hari Singh, who were as corrupt as Gulab Singh, besides which the Muslims were dealt a cruel blow by the Dogra rulers who abused and humiliated them regularly. For instance, if a Muslim killed a cow, he was to be beheaded, but if the same offence was committed by a Hindu, he would be let off with a lighter sentence. Gulab Singh renounced kingship in favor of his sons on February 20, 1856.

Allah Rakha

Ustad Allah Rakha (1932–2000) was a noted sarangi player from Pakistan. Born in Muzafar village, in Punjab’s Sialkot District, in 1932, he was raised in Amritsar when his family moved there when he was still a child. His father, Ustad Lal Din, gave him an initial education in sarangi and classical music. As he grew up, he learnt the sarangi under three celebrated Sarangi players Ustad Nathu Khan, Ustad Allah Diya and Ustad Ahmadi Khan. His ability first came to light when as a teenager he participated in a competition at a wedding and won accolades for his rendition of Desi Raga. After Partition, he migrated to Pakistan, and lived in Karachi for some time, where he had the honor of playing sarangi for Mohammad Ali Jinnah.  Here, he met the musical giant, Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, and worked hard under him to be an expert sarangi accompanist. In 1948, he left Karachi for Lahore, and for the next 20 years or so, he worked as a recording artist at the Radio Station and in Pakistan’s film industry. His musical knowledge grew exponentially in Lahore under the guidance of Ustad Sardar Khan. In 1968, he moved on to Rawalpindi, where he worked as at Radio Pakistan until he retired in 1992. In 1994, in honor of his lifelong dedication to the cause of classical music, the government honored him with the award titled, Pride of Performance. In his long association with music, he has performed in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, India, China, Dubai, France, Hungary, Italy, the United Kingdom and Germany.

Omar Abdullah

Omar Abdullah (born March 10, 1970) is the scion of Kashmir’s most prominent political family, the Abdullahs. An Indian Kashmiri by birth, he is the youngest and 11th chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, after forming a coalition government with the Congress party on January 5, 2009. A member of India’s 14th Lok Sabha, he represented Srinagar constituency. Under Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s prime ministership in the NDA government, Abdullah was named the Union Minister of State for External affairs—a post he held for 18 months, from July 23, 2001 to December 23, 2002. In October 2002, he resigned from Union cabinet to work for his party. In 1998, he rejoined active politics and became a Lok Sabha member in 1998, and won three consecutive elections and became a Union minister. He also took charge of the reign of affairs of the National Conference party from his father in 2002, while losing his seat in Gander Bal constituency, in the 2002 state assembly elections; his party also lost the hustings. However, four years later, he fought the elections from Gander Bal and won the 2008 elections in Kashmir.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780 - 1839)

At the age of 12, Maharaja Ranjit Singh succeeded his father to the throne. Born in Gujranwala town of Punjab, Pakistan, he was blind in one eye. At that time, Punjab was predominantly ruled by the Sikhs and Afghans. Ranjit Singh was a citizen of the sovereign state of Punjab. His grave is situated in Lahore, Pakistan. In 1819, he attacked and captured Jammu and Kashmir. Though there are several horror stories of the oppression of Sikh rulers, yet they are known to have ruled over Kashmir with a firm hand. Ranjit Singh’s quest to establish political supremacy consisted of allotting land to the army around the Kashmir valley so that they could keep vigil over the people. He was successful in his attempts by giving land to the army and their families in the four corners of the state—Shopian, Tral, Baramulla and Rangrett. He died in 1839.

Ayaz Mughal

Village Mahra in Tehsil Surankote was the birth place of Ayaz Ahemad Mughal. District Poonch and is a journalist and social activist from India. He is known as a RTI activist and is linked with the RTI Movement in J&K. He has penned several articles on this subject and many other political matters. He was part of the movement that led to the appointment of J&K State Information Commission’s first Chief Information Commissioner. He was born in Mahra village, Poonch district. After completing his basic education in Poonch district, he moved to Doda & Jammu for higher studies. He is a post-graduate in Political Science. All his life, he has shown great interest in reading, writing and participating in social activities.

Adarsh Sein Anand

This eminent personality took birth on November 1, 1936, He is known for being the 29th Indian Chief Justice. His tenure started from October 10, 1998 and continued till October 31, 2001. With an education in Jammu, University College London and Lucknow University, he enrolled at Bar Council as an advocate on November 9, 1964. With a background of Constitutional Law, Criminal Law and Election Law in High Courts of Haryana and Punjab, he joined as Additional Judgein the high court of Jammu and Kashmir on May 26, 1975. On May 11, 1985, he was appointed Chief Justice in the high court of Jammu and Kashmir and later he was transferred to the high court of Madras on November 1, 1989. On November 18, 1991, he was elevated to a Supreme Court judgeship of India. Here, he enjoyed a long tenure after the retirement of Y. V. Chandrachud who was preceding judge of this court. On February 17, 2003, he was appointed National Human Rights Commission’s Chairperson and on April 2, 2007, Judge Rajendra Babu succeeded him. In 2010, in the month of February, he was appointed as a of a team with five-members for examining the safety related features of Kerala based Mullaperiyar Dam. On April 25, 2012, this team submitted its report.

Related Image

Notable Personalities In Jammu And Kashmir
Notable Personalities In Jammu And Kashmir
Notable Personalities In Jammu And Kashmir
Notable Personalities In Jammu And Kashmir
Notable Personalities In Jammu And Kashmir
Notable Personalities In Jammu And Kashmir

Related Topics


It is time to celebrate the divinity of the land of Jammu and Kashmir. The state is discerned in the northern most tip....

Fairs And Festivals

Jammu & Kashmir is one of the beautiful places, also known as "paradise on earth". Apart from the spectacular....

Gulmarg Trekking

Trekking is one of the most famous and...

Sonamarg Trekking

In Jammu and Kashmir, Trekking is the...