It was in the year 1877 that on behalf of Maharaja Ranbir Singh of the princely state of Jammu & Kashmir, the Indian Telegraph Department supplied the first telegraph line between Srinagar and Gilgit. Telegraph line between Jammu and Srinagar was completed in May 1878. At 4pm, 1878, Maharaja Ranbir Singh personally had visited the Jammu Telegraph office. Telegraph line from Srinagar to Gilgit was completed & opened in 1894.

                                     THE TELEGRAPH TREATIES

{ Source of Treaties : Kashmirstamps.ca }

I.  The Treaty of 1878.

Agreement entered into between the British Government and the Cashmere State in regard to the Construction of Telegraph Lines from Jummoo to Srinuggur and from Srinuggur to Gilgit—1878. Whereas His Highness the Maharaja of Cashmere is desirous of obtaining the assistance of the British Government towards the construction of lines of telegraph from Jummoo to Srinuggur and from Srinuggur to Gilgit, the following terms are agreed upon by Major Philip Durham Henderson, C.S.I., Officer on special duty in Cashmere, on the part of the British Government, duly empowered by the Viceroy and Governor-General in Council on that behalf, and by Baboo Nilumber Mookerjee, M.A., B.L., Judge of the Sadr Adalut of Cashmere, duly empowered by His Highness the Maharaja on that behalf:

1.  The British Government agrees to construct for the Cashmere State two lines of telegraph, each consisting of one wire, to be carried on such suitable supports as are procurable in the vicinity, the one to be erected between Jummoo and Srinuggur at a cost of Rs. 21,600 more or less, and the other between Srinuggur and Gilgit at a cost of Rs. 31,900 more or less, provided in each case the following conditions are observed:—

   (a)  That the transport of all telegraph materials from Sealkote to the Cashmere frontier and within the limits of the Cashmere State shall be directly arranged and paid for by some duly authorised officer of the Cashmere State.

   (b)  That all labourers, whom the officer in charge of the construction of the line shall require to employ, shall be engaged and paid by a duly authorised officer of the Cashmere State.

   (c)  That on due notice being given by the officer in charge of the construction of the line, the Cashmere Government shall, to the utmost of its power, comply with requisitions for transport or labour.

   (d)  That sound seasoned deodar posts, where these are procurable, suitable for telegraph supports, shall be provided by the Cashmere State and distributed along the route to be taken by the telegraph lines, in such manner as the officer in charge of the work may direct.

   (e)  That no bracket or insulators be used in the construction of the lines, as their cost has not been provided in the estimated amounts stated above.

2.  The British Government guarantees that all telegraph materials, including the wire supplied by it, shall be of the best quality used for its own lines, and that the lines shall be handed over the Cashmere Government in full working order.

3.  His Highness the Maharaja agrees to pay to the British Government, as the money may be required, the actual cost incurred by it in the construction and establishment of the lines, such cost being inclusive of:—

(a)  The salaries and allowances of all members of the Indian Telegraph establishment for the whole period they may be detained on duty in Cashmere; and

   (b)  The cost of insulating the line, or of any other charges in the original scheme that may be made hereafter with the concurrence, or at the request of the Cashmere State.

4.  The salaries and allowances of all members of the Indian Telegraph establishment will be paid to them by the Government of India through the Officer on special duty, and the amounts of such payments will be recovered subsequently from the Cashmere State.

5.  On the application in writing of the Cashmere State, the Telegraph Department will supply at cost price all telegraph instruments and material required from time to time for the maintenance and working of the telegraph lines and offices about to be established.

6.  On the application in writing of the Cashmere State, the Telegraph Department will afford such advice and instruction as may be required and desired by the Cashmere State for the maintenance and working of such telegraph lines and offices.

7.  On the application in writing of the Cashmere State, the Telegraph Department will lend the services of any Native signallers, who may volunteer for the duty, and whose services can be spared, for such specified periods as may be sufficient to enable the Cashmere State to train its own signallers.

8. The foregoing provisions are accepted by the British Government as a mark of friendship and good-will towards His Highness the Maharaja; but it is to be understood that after the lines are delivered over [to] the Cashmere Government, no responsibility whatever attached to the British Government in respect of their subsequent maintenance and working. (Sd.) P.D. Henderson, Major. Officer on special duty in Cashmere. (Sd.) Nilumber Mookerjee. Judge of the Sadr Adalut of Cashmere. The 9th March, 1878.

II. The Treaty of 1890.

In 1890 a further agreement was entered into by the two Governments for the maintenance and working of a third line of telegraph along the State Railway from Suchet Carh to Jammu. It was signed at Gulmarg on 3rd July, 1890, by R. Parry Nisbet—British Resident in Kashmir, and by Raja Amar Singh—Prime Minister and President of the Jammu-Kashmir State Council, being further approved and confirmed at Simla some three weeks later. 

Following is an 1897 newspaper page of New York NY Tribune pertaining to the Srinagar-Gilgit Telegraph line titled ‘PERILS OF ASIATIC TELEGRAPHING’ :New York NY Tribune 1897 Perils of Asiatic Telegraphing - New York NY Tribune ReportPerils of Asiatic Telegraphing - New York NY Tribune Report

Ancient Buddhist Site situated at Harwan in Kashmir

At Harwan in Srinagar, a very important Buddhist site having stupas was discovered by R.C. Kak in 1925 on a slope of a mountain. Sir Aurl Stein identifies ‘Harwan’ with Shadarhadvana (grove of six saints), a locality mentioned in Rajatarangini.

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As we see in the pictures, the walls were constructed in what has been called “diaper rubble style,” wherein a number of large undressed boulders are placed in one row with intervening spaces filled with smaller stones.