Bhārata and her Kāśmīra

Part I of the Constitution of India begins with the words “India that is Bharat”. Which is the oldest surviving attestation of the string Bhārata? Are there historical textual descriptions of Bhārata, which, when plotted on a map, encompass the entire mainland territory of today’s India, and of which Kashmir was described to be a part? Deriving its genesis from these questions, the purpose of the Sanskrit album Bhārata and her Kāśmīra was to simply set to tune:

a) some of the oldest, if not the oldest, historical, textual attestations of the term Bhārata (that is, India) and Kāśmīra (that is, Kashmir) and
b) textual attestations that clearly establish that Kashmir was described to be a part of Bhārata.

The texts that are the sources for the lyrics of the six songs in this research-based album are ऋग्वेद (ṛgveda), विष्णु पुराण (viṣṇu purāṇa), महाभारत (mahābhārata), पाणिनि अष्टाध्यायी (pāṇini aṣṭādhyāyī), भरत मुनि नाट्यशास्त्र (bharata muni nāṭyaśāstra) and कल्हण राजतरंगिणी (kalhaṇa rājataraṃgiṇī). This research-based album owes its inspiration primarily to the Oxford-published book The Making of Early Kashmir (2018) by the renowned cultural and intellectual historian Dr Shonaleeka Kaul.

Sanskrit Audio Tracks on Kashmir


About the researcher-composer Megh Kalyanasundaram

Megh Kalyanasundaram is an Indian citizen with close to nine years of lived experience in China, an alumnus of ISB and is currently Director of Special Projects at Indica. His post-graduate specialization in Strategy, Leadership and Marketing included a study of research methods. His professional experience includes stints as a Market Leader at a Global Fortune 40 firm, as Head of Business Development at a leading Indian talent development multinational and he has served a term on the Board of a Shanghai-based not-for-profit. His academic research interests and 20+ papers span some aspects of ancient Indian chronology, Indian Knowledge Systems, Landscape in Indic texts, Ancient Indian Jurisprudence, Ideas of India and Philosophy. For his creative contribution to the first edition of the International Day of Yoga, he was invited by the Permanent Mission of India in the United Nations to attend the inaugural event at the UN. Other professional pursuits have included building differentiated digital platforms for Indic texts targeted at specific learning and research needs (see for a news report) and music. He was invited in early 2022 by the National Museum of India to present the research that underpins this album Bhārata and her Kāśmīra as part of a conference to generate content for a new museum on Jammu and Kashmir.

In addition to the 4 songs related to Kashmir above, 8 more (subsequently released) research-based Sanskrit songs, with lines from the Nīlamata Purāṇa, Padma Purāṇa, Kathāsaritsāgara, Śrīharṣa̍’s Naiṣadhīyacarita, Kalhaṇa Rājataraṃgiṇī and the Vedāṅga Jyotiṣa can be accessed from here: