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Kashmir's Contested PastsNarratives, Sacred Geographies, and the Historical Imagination$
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Chitralekha Zutshi

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199450671

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199450671.001.0001

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Garden of Solomon

Garden of Solomon

Landscape and Sacred Pasts in Kashmir’s Sixteenth-Century Persian Narratives

Chapter:
(p.21) 1 Garden of Solomon
Source:
Kashmir's Contested Pasts
Author(s):

Chitralekha Zutshi

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199450671.003.0002

Chapter 1 examines late-sixteenth century Persian tazkiras (Sufi biographies) and tarikhs (historical narratives) to argue that they were part of a shared narrative practice that made little distinction among facts, memories, and myths, and incorporated a variety of forms of spatiality and temporality within their narrative frameworks. They relocated regional myths of origin and settlement from earlier Sanskrit narratives into a more universal Islamic imagination as well as local sacred sites. Focused on the shaping of Kashmir’s natural and political landscapes through the activities of Sufi mystics, these narratives were critical to naturalizing Islam in Kashmir, thus rendering it into a sacred (Islamic) landscape. Even as they established Persian as the vernacular language of place-making, the narratives rendered a specifically Islamic religious sensibility a key feature of historical narration in Kashmir through the centuries.

Keywords:   tazkiras, tarikhs, Islam, Sufi mystics, place-making, sacred landscape, spatiality, temporality, Persian, vernacular

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