The earliest mention of the mother tongue of Dogras, Dogri is found in 1317 A.D. in an enumeration of Indian languages made by Amir Khusro.
Dogri literature can be divided into two categories, i.e., folk literature and written literature.
It is imperative to add here that much before written literature, Dogri literature like all other regional works of literature existed in the oral form.
Shivanath, in the ‘History of Dogri literature’ published by Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi in 1976, writes that Dogri writing before 1940 was a lesser explored field. The early specimens of Dogri writing are to be found in rock and temple inscriptions, copper-plate inscriptions, rhapsodies in praise of kings and their genealogical tables, title deeds, samads, agreements, letters, etc. They were mostly found in Takri script in Duggar till the beginning of the 20th century.
But Takri is no more in use now however we still find it inscribed on community utensils in some remote areas. With the passage of time, this old script has almost vanished and Devanagri script was adopted by Dogri writers that gave a boost to the language to flourish.
Dogri poetry rose from the rich tradition of folk songs from the 16th to 18th centuries, owing to royal patronage. The significant poets of that period include Manakchand, Gambhir Rai, and Devi Ditta. This tradition of traditional singer-poet combination continued with Maya Das and Raghubir Das in the late 18th century.
In the early 19th century, there were poets like Ganga Ram and Lakhu whose traditions were carried forward during 20th century by Ramdhan, Sant Ram Shastri, Mehta Mathura Das, Hakam Jatt, Mulraj Mehta, Baba Kanshi Ram, Kavi Dattu and Hardutt. But it was Dinu Bhai Pant’s works published in 1944 which may be recognised as an advent of modern-day poetry.
After the abrogation of Article 370, Dogri became one of the five official languages along with English, Hindi, Urdu, and Kashmiri.
In modem times, creative writers have been contributing to Dogri literature in different genres. Whether it is novels, short stories, poetry, essays, or plays, Dogri writers have been able to cast a spell on the masses, and their translated works in other languages have taken their writings to a broader canvas.