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Geography of Jammu and Kashmir


The state of Jammu and Kashmir is spread over an area of 222236 square kilometers. Jammu and Kashmir is bordered in north by China, east by autonomous region of Tibet, south by Indian states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab, and west by Pakistani city of Rawalpindi and Frontier Province and on North Western side by Afghanistan.

The state was bifurcated in two parts during 1947 and then again a large chunk of the land was severed during 1965 Indo-China war. The state consists of three parts Indian controlled Kashmir (IcK), Pakistan controlled Kashmir (PcK) and China controlled Kashmir (CcK). The Pakistan administration first bifurcated PcK into Azad (Free) Kashmir (AK) and Northern Areas (NA) and then again it donated a large chunk of land (Shaksam valley of 5180 sq km) to China during its border agreement of 1963. But according to the signed document, this Sino-Pak agreement ceding a part of Kashmir is provisional and that it will be renegotiated with China after the Kashmir dispute is settled.

In order of percentage, 48 per cent of the territory is under Indian occupation, 35 per cent is under Pakistan and rest 17 per cent is under control of China.

Total Area of Kashmir: 222236 square kilometers

India Controlled Kashmir: 106,567 sq.kms

Pakistan Controlled Kashmir: 78,114 (AK= 4000 sq. miles & NA = 28000 sq. miles)

China Controlled Kashmir: 37,555


13 million (approximate) 10 million in IcK and 3 million in PcK. CcK is a barren high altitude desert with an extremely small population.

Maps Of Kashmir

To depict Kashmir on the maps has always been a big headache for different countries, agencies and companies. If they go for one version either of the three countries gets angry. Recently a furore taken by India forced Microsoft to discontinue its sale of software which depicted some parts of Kashmir as not integral part of India. Currently there are five major international versions of Kashmir maps.

1. India's local version

2. India's international version

3. Pakistan's version

4. Western Version

5. United Nation’s Version

6. Central Intelligence Agency, USA’s Version

1. India's map of Kashmir.

India considers Kashmir as its integral part. Thus Indian official map clearly identifies whole of Kashmir (including those parts under control of Pakistan and China) in unison with the Indian dominion.

The map that is widely being circulated in the country as well as is taught in the schools does not mention any demarcation between the other two parts.
View this local version map used in India.

But there is another version of the map to be shown to the international community that clearly demarcates "Pakistan controlled Kashmir" (PcK) and "China controlled Kashmir" (CcK) on the map.

View this International version map at the site of Indian Embassy.

2. Pakistan's map of Kashmir.

Pakistan considers Kashmir as a disputed territory. Because of Kashmir’s majority they think it should have gone into Pakistan’s kitty during the division of India in 1947. Although they have got hold of one third of the state but in their maps they show "Pakistan controlled Kashmir" (PcK) as integral part of Pakistan, "Indian Kashmir" as disputed territory and "China controlled Kashmir" (CcK) as an integral part of China. The depiction of CcK is because of the fact they don’t want to anger their dear friend.

View this map at Pakistan government website

3. Western Map of Kashmir.

The western world fully agrees with the disputed nature of Kashmir so they usually refrain from showing the region as the dominion of any of the three countries. To be on the safe and neutral ground they whole of Kashmir as a disputed territory. This map generally shows word 'Disputed' in the Indian part of Kashmir (also used by Microsoft), Or India is shown without Jammu and Kashmir like in case of Fox News, CNN and other world media agencies. This map is one of the most circulated and widely understood maps of Kashmir in the western world. Majority of world media agencies also subscribe to this version of map. It usually irks India, Pakistan and China equally.

See this map at CNN, FOX, Microsoft and others click here

4. United Nations map of Kashmir area.

To avoid any controversy United Nations does not have separate maps of India or Pakistan. They have only South Asia and Kashmir area maps. In Kashmir map they clearly show line of control and mention a note at the bottom that "the status of Kashmir is not finalized by both the parties". To play further safe UN does not use word 'Disputed' anywhere. Some big media organisation like BBC and New York times use UN version of Kashmir map in their news. This is the least objectionable international version of Kashmir area.

View UN map (PDF)

5. Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) map of Kashmir

America’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has developed its own version of world facts. They have a "World Fact Book" providing geographic, demographic and historical data about possibly every country in the world. This fact book is regarded as a 'World Fact Book' by about 90% of the agencies around the world. Most of the world agencies refer to this fact book to publish the information. (For example yahoo takes CIA's map of India on their records) CIA's version of Kashmir map clearly shows "China controlled Kashmir" (CcK) with proper mention. They also show PcK in Pakistan as an integral part of Pakistan and IcK as disputed territory.

View CIA's India map

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