Dardic Languages

The Dardic languages are a sub-group of the Indo-Aryan languages natively spoken in Northern Pakistan’s Gilgit Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Northern India’s Jammu and Kashmir and Eastern Afghanistan.

Kashmiri along with Shina and Khowar spoken in the J&K region belong to Dardic group. Kashmiri is spoken in Kashmir, Chenab & Neelum valley. Shina is spoken in Gilgit,Kohistan, Gurez & Drass. Chitrali or Khowar in Chitral & GB in Pakistan. Kashmiri is the most spoken language in entire J&K with close to 9 million speakers Kashmiri is also the only Dardic language that has a status as an official language being one of the 22 scheduled languages as per Indian Constitution. Kashmiri is also the majority language in Chenab valley.

Burushaski Within the whole Kashmir region there is a unique language called Burushaski spoken in Hunza & Nagar areas of Gilgit-Baltistan, with a few hundred speakers in northern Jammu and Kashmir, India and few in Hari Parbat region in Srinagar.’

This language is a language isolate. Which means it is unrelated to any language in the world& isn’t classified. This makes it unique considering all the languages around it are part of some language family. This unique anomaly has so far no explanations .Pahari languagesPahari languages is a collective name given by outsiders to these languages, as speakers of these languages often reside in mostly hilly areas. However, Pahari languages in J&K shoul dnot be confused with languages spoken in Uttarakhand (India), Nepal, parts of Himachal Pradesh are also called Pahari as these are different .Some distinct Pahari languages are Bhaderwahi, Padri, Ponchi, Mirpuri, Parmi or Pahari(Karnah).Pahari, Dogri, Hindko, Potwari, Seraiki and Standard Punjabi form a cluster of related languages however not of identity Dogri falls into the category of western Pahari languages not to confused with Pahari-Potwarialthough it does form a dialect continuum with them Iranian languages Pashto and Wakhi (Gilgit-Baltistan) spoken in J&K are two languages that belong to Iranian language family.Wakhi is part of Pamiri languages which refers to a group of eastern Iranian languagesspoken in Central Asia.Gojri Gojri is spoken across J&K in scattered communities. It is primarily spoken by Gujjars and Bakerwals. A lot of Gujjars although identify and practice Gojri culture they don’t however all speak Gojri, rather local dominant languages.


• Balti

• Beda

• Botboto

• Brokpa, drokpa, dara, shin

• Changpa

• Garra• Mon

• Purjpa

• Gujjar

• Bakarwal

• Gaddi

• Sippi

Major Tribes are

BAKARWAL Bakarwal is a nomadic tribe based in the Pir Panjal and Himalayas. They are mainlygoatherdsand shepherds. They are called as Dhangar in rest of India.

GUJJAR Gujjars are known as the nomadic herders living on the hills of Kashmir valley. By some historians Gujjars are believed to be descendants of Rajputs of Rajasthan, who had convertedt o Islam and started dwelling atop hills and rearing cattle. The Gujjar tribes of Jammu andKashmir is better known for its skilful servant to the wild goats when walking and meandering through the narrow hilly tracts.

BROKPA They inhibit the areas adjoining Drass valley and known to be descents of the Dards of Chilasin Gilgit region. Harsh environmental conditions led their ancestors to migrate to better areas.


Dresses of Kashmir are well known for their embroidery and intricate designs. The form of clothing is designed to counter the cold climate of the region.


Pheran, a loose garment gown, is the prominent attire for Kashmiris, mostly used during winter season. They also prefer to wear typical clothing includes Gonchas of velvet,embroidered waist coats and boots and hats.


The headdress of a Kashmiri woman is a brightly coloured scarf or Taranga, that is stitched toa suspended cap and it narrows down at the back, towards the heels. The Taranga is an integral part of the wedding attire among Hindus.


Along with pehran, it is Kasaba which is a red headgear that is accompanied by Pheran. Other than Taranga, this type of turban is quite designed with a turban and has the ornaments that are pinned down along with the silver brooches.

Jammu’s Dogra culture is different from Kashmiri culture. The people of this region wear loose tunic dupatta, chudidars and salwar


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