Centre for Research in Pahari, Gojri, and Kashmiri Languages

Kashmiri or Koshur is a language from the Dardic subgroup of Indo-Aryan languages and is spoken primarily in the Kashmir Valley and Chenab Valley of Jammu and Kashmir. It is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India, and part of the eighth Schedule in the constitution of the Jammu and Kashmir. Most Kashmiri speakers use Urdu or English as a second language. There are over 6 million Kashmiri speakers in Jammu and Kashmir and among the Kashmiri diaspora in other states of India, and about 130,000 in the Neelam Valley and Leepa Valley of POK and, Pakistan. Since November 2008, the Kashmiri language has been made a compulsory subject in all government schools in the Valley up to secondary level.

George Abraham Grierson wrote that “Kashmiri is the only one of the Dardic languages that has a literature”. Kashmiri literature dates back to over 750 years, this is, more-or-less, the age of many a modern literature including modern English.

Kashmiri first appeared in writing during the 8th century AD in the Sharda alphabet, which is still used in religious ceremonies by Kashmiri Pandits. After the arrival of Islam in Kashmir during the 15th century, the Arabic script was adapted to write Kashmiri. Today Kashmiri Muslims write their language with the Arabic script, and Kashmiri Hindus used the Devanagari alphabet. It is one of the official languages of India and is taught in all schools in the Kashmir valley.