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Art and culture

12 Famous Poets from Jammu and Kashmir

The rich culture of Jammu and Kashmir includes a legacy of writers and poets born in this soil who rose to fame and achieved world acclaim. Their contribution to literature is noteworthy and many of them have played a crucial role in portraying Kashmir to readers around the world. Many of them have received prestigious awards and amassed popularity. Here is information about 10 famous poets from Jammu and Kashmir (enlisted in alphabetical order).

Abdur Rehman Rahi: He is a famous poet who has also worked in editing, translation and literary criticism. He has held the position of the General Secretary of the Progressive Writers’ Association and taken part in the Cultural Wing of the Communist Party of Kashmir. He won the Sahitya Academy Award in 1961, Padma Shri in 2000, and he is the first Kashmiri writer to receive the Jnanpith Award, which is India’s highest literary award.

Amin Kamil: He is a major contributor to the Kashmiri ghazal. Apart from poetry, his work in editing, translation, and literary criticism is also noteworthy. He has helped create the modern alphabet of the Kashmiri language. In 1967, he was awarded the Sahitya Academy Award, and the Padma Shri in 2005.

Gani Kashmiri: He was regarded as the greatest writer of Persian in the Mughal era. The famous Mughal poet Ghalib is said to have translated many of his couplets in Urdu. He is among the greatest poets in the Kashmir Valley, honoured for his contributions to Urdu and Persian poetry.

Ghulam Rasool Nazki: He began his professional career as a teacher and went on to be a poet, writer, and broadcaster. Apart from Kashmiri, his written works also span the Urdu, Persian, and Arabic languages. He was awarded the Sahitya Academy Award; the first Kashmiri author to write in the Republic of India after independence, and the first poet to revive the quatrain poetic form.

Habba Khatoon: Known as the Nightingale of Kashmir, she was the wife of Kashmir’s last independent emperor, Muslim Yusuf Shah Chak, and is regarded as the last independent poet queen of Kashmir. She is believed to have introduced loal (meaning lyric) to Kashmiri poetry. She composed Kashmiri songs, which mostly depicted sorrow. She was a famous Kashmiri Muslim poet and an ascetic.

Lal Ded: One of the foremost poets of Kashmir, she was known as Lalleshwari. She was a Kashmiri mystic who belonged to the school of Kashmiri Shaivism. She created a style of mystic poetry, which is known as vatsun. Verses written by her known as Lal Vakhs, are the earliest compositions in the Kashmiri language.

Naseem Shafaie: She is a poet who writes in Kashmiri on a wide range of topics that include turbulence in Kashmir. With two poetry collections in her name, she is on the list of famous poets from Jammu and Kashmir, as she is the first Kashmiri woman to receive the Sahitya Academy Award which she won in 2011.

Padma Sachdev: This poet and novelist also worked as an announcer at All India Radio. She is the first modern poet of the Dogri language and also wrote in Hindi. She is the recipient of the Sahitya Academy Award in 1971 and Padma Shri in 2001, along with some state-given awards for her contribution to poetry and literature.

Peerzada Ghulam Ahmad: He wrote poems in Kashmiri, Urdu, and Persian, using the pen name Majhoor. He introduced a new style in Kashmiri poetry and explored some new themes. He gave a new dimension to traditional forms such as nazm and ghazal.

Rasul Mir: His contribution to Kashmiri romanticism is invaluable, for which he is regarded as the epitome of romantic poetry. He is one of the pioneers of Kashmiri ghazals and widely known as the John Keats of Kashmir.

Somadeva: A great Sanskrit poet of Kashmir, he was a Kashmiri Brahmin and the court poet of King Ananta of Kashmir. He is best-known for preserving India’s ancient folklore in the form of a series of stories written in verse.

Zinda Kaul: While also working as a school teacher, he composed poems in Persian, Urdu, Hindi, and Kashmiri languages and also translated Kashmiri works into English, Hindi, and Persian. In 1956, he became the first Kashmiri poet to be honoured the Sahitya Academy Award.

This list of some of the famous poets of Jammu and Kashmir must have left you in awe of this beautiful place that is known not just for its scenic beauty but also for some iconic personalities in literature. These famed poets are surely the pride of Kashmir.

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