Baharistan-i-Shahi is a Farsi manuscript history of medieval Kashmir written by an anonymous author (now identified as Muhammad Ali Kashmiri) in AH 1023 corresponding to AD 1614. A manuscript copy of the history is in the State Archives of J&K but, somehow it has remained inaccessible to researchers. The author belongs to the Shia faith. Kashmiri historians writing in Farsi have carefully avoided mentioning this work or drawing from it, leave aside giving it the importance it deserved. For four centuries, this significant chronicle of Kashmir remained unknown to or unaddressed by the students of Kashmir history though sparse references were not missing.
The main reason why this work remained relegated to oblivion is that it gives the story of the civilizational transformation of Kashmir, begun in the mid-14th century and lasting for the next two centuries, without suppressing or distorting the facts. Because the transformation was violent and unmistakeably reflected the Theo-fascist tendencies that repudiate the misleading Sufi convulsion, the book remained suppressed and even denounced. Baharistan can be considered the first and so far the only history of medieval Kashmir that reflects the dynamics of a profound social transformation of millennia-old indigenous society to a culture geographically, socially and philosophically springing from an alien origin.
A master copy was established after collating several MSS of the work particularly the two obtained from the British Museum and the India Office Library. Useful footnotes have been added.