The Mystery Behind Kohinoor Diamond
History of Kohinoor Diamond goes back in history to more than four thousand years ago. Once known as Pride of India, Kohinoor Diamond every now and then keeps coming in the lime light. Persian name is Koh-I-Noor which means Mountain of Light.
Whatever may be the reason, the priceless diamond attracts the attention of the world time and again. Earlier it was in news when the government made a writ petition in the Supreme Court of India that India now has no claim on Kohinoor.
The plea for it is that neither it has been looted in the battle, nor was it stolen from the country. One of the most fascinating and talked about diamonds is in the world, Kohinoor Diamond was actually gifted by India and now is part of the palace of Britain. It was Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s son Dilip Singh who had gifted it to the then Queen Victoria of England. This is the reason why India now has no right on it.
It is true that now this Kohinoor Diamond cannot be brought back to India. But it is a fact that it originally belonged to India and is therefore a matter of pride for every Indian. Kohinoor Diamond is part of our great history.
This diamond has witnessed the kings and the queens and the changed times. It has seen the rise of so many empires and also witnessed the downfall of some regimes. Some people got involved in a fierce war to have it, while some people put their lives at stake for its safety.
Naturally we can say that it has travelled a zig-zag journey over the centuries. Let us try to dig its interesting past.
From the Place it was Found
There are different opinions with regard to its origin. There are so many assumptions. One is that it had been found in the Golconda mines of Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh. But no one was witness to the digging of the mind and its discovery. But concrete information is available in this regard. Though so many other costly diamonds have been found from these mines like Dariyaayi Noor , Noor un Ain, Great Mughal, Orelov, Agra Diamond, Ahmedabad Diamond, Brolity of India etc. But surprisingly the History of Kohinoor Diamond is not recorded.
There are variety of diamonds which are even more equally compared to Kohinoor Diamond. They are in different countries including Russia, France, America and Bangladesh. That is the reason that seeing these precious diamonds, it has been considered that Kohinoor may have been found in Golconda mines. There goes a story that about 3200 years ago, someone found it at the bottom of a river. He then presented it to a King in South India. According to another tale, 5000 years ago the Syamantaka diamond was with Satrajeet, King of Malwa.
In Mahabharata period this was called Syamantaka Mani. Satrajeet was maternal uncle of Lord Sri Krishna’s wife Satyabhama. He married her niece to Sri Krishna and gave it as a gift in dowry. But Sri Krishna did not accept it. Instead he returned it with honour to Satrajeet.
Up to 1323, this diamond was with the kings of Kakatiya Dynasty. Nobody knows from where they acquired the precious and fascinating diamond. The kings of this dynasty ruled from the year 1083. In Delhi Sultanate, by the end of Khalji Dynasty , Gyasuddin Tuglak took over the regime.
He sent his son Ulag khan to invade Pratap Rudra of Kakatiya Dynasty. The fierce battle was fought at Warangal, where Pratap Rudra was defeated. Ulag khan continued looting the kingdom for months altogether.
Then he returned to Delhi with all the allot which include precious gold, diamonds, jewels etc. An important item of this loot was the Kohinoor diamond. Snatched from the South Indian king the famous diamond now came to Delhi.
The second story behind it is that that the Kohinoor Diamond had come to khilji Dynasty in 1320. This was gifted to Alauddin Khalji by his Senapati Malik Kafoor after looting it from the temple of Warangal.
In its long journey Kohinoor Diamond has stayed for a long period with the Mughal Dynasty. The diamond was pride of the Mughal Dynasty from 1526 to 1730. After the downfall of Kakatiya Dynasty it remained with Mohd. Tuglaq from 1325 to 1351. After 1351 there is no authentic information about it.
In 1460 the diamond came in the hands of King of Gwalior, Naresh Dogrendra as he got it from a Turk king Hoshangshah who gifted it for releasing him from death sentence. After that this diamond remained for years with Kings of Gwalior. Lastly it was found with Raja Vikramaditya last Tomar King.
Ibrahim Lodhi invaded Vikramaditya in 1526 and he looted it from his treasury. Later in that same year in 1526 Babar, the Founder of Mughal empire acquired the Kohinoor diamond. This authentic information is found in Babarnama, which is the autobiography of Babar. It is written that up to 1294, this precious stone was with the king of Malwa. This precious gift came to Mughal Empire after centuries.
Babar got this precious stone in 1526 after the victory of first war of Panipat, from the huge property of Ibrahim Lodhi who ruled Delhi. After defeating Ibrahim he came back to Delhi and founded the Mughal Dynasty.
At that time the weight of Kohinoor diamond was 186 carat and it was called Babar Heera. Some Historians say that Babar did not get this from Ibrahim Lodhi, but from the Tomar King Vikramaditya. After the defeat of Ibrahim Lodhi, Vikramaditya offered it to Babar For being allowd to get free from the prison.
Nadir Shah Named the Diamond Koh-I-Noor
After Babar, Humayun took over as the Mughal emperor in 1530. But in 1540 Sher Shah Suri captured Delhi by defeating Humayun. In his period there is no mention of Kohinoor. Later in 1553, Hamayun again took over the regime of Delhi. After that this the diamond come in news again during the Mughal Empire of Shahjahan. He got it fitted in his Peacock throne Takht –a – Taus. Later Aurangzeb took it safely considering it a very valuable jewel. In 1707 after the death of Aurangzeb, the downfall of Mughal Empire started.
In 1739 Nadir Shah invaded and the Mughal empire ended. Nadir Shah looted the whole of Delhi for months. In this loot he first saw this precious stone, and was astonished. He murmured KOHEE-EE-NOOR which means Mountain of Light. Thus he only gave this precious stone the name Kohinoor . He took the throne Takht – A -Taus with him to Pharas which is known as Iran today.
When Nadir Shah took it to Iran, there also conspiracies were hatched . As part of one of the conspiracies, Nadir Shah was also murdered. The Kohinoor diamond now fell in the hands of king of Afghanistan, Ahmadshah Abdali. But conditions there started worsening. In 1772 Abdali was also murdered by men of his armed forces.
Then power came in the hands of grandson of Abdali. He was the son of Tamur Shah. But in the meantime his two brothers Jaman Shah and Mahmood Shah also started quarreling for power. During this fight some districts came under the control of Jaman Shah. Mahmud Shah killed his brother and took over power. He also forced Shah Shuja to run away.
In 1812, Shah Shuja managed to escape from Afghanistan with his family and march to Lahore.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh
Maharaja Ranjit Singh was the king of the Sikh empire in Punjab. He expanded his kingdom till Lahore. When Shah Shuja was marching towards Lahore, he was captured and prisoned by Atah Mohammad, the Subedar of Kashmir. Kohinoor was with the queen of Shah Shuja. Shah Shuja luckily managed to escape and went to Maharaja Ranjit Singh. She explained the situation and about the pity condition of Shah Shuja. She requested Maharaja Ranjit Singh for help.
In return she promised to give him the Kohinoor diamond.At that time Maharaja Ranjit Singh was thinking of conquering Kashmir. The new development worked in his favour. He invaded Kashmir with a great army. Atah Mohammad ran away to save his life. Maharaja Ranjit Singh got Shah Shuja freed in 1813 from the captivity of Atah Mohd. As a matter of gratitude, Shah Shuja gifted the Kohinoor diamond to Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Thus this diamond became the pride of Ranjit Singh’s regime from 1813 onwards.
Under the British Empire
Maharaja Ranjit Singh died in the year 1839. Soon after his death, East India Company started attacking Punjab. In addition to Punjab. Soon the battle started. After the Anglo- Sikh war, on March 30, 1849, Punjab was annexed and added to British Empire. The entire empire and property of Maharaja Ranjit Singh was captured by the British. Kohinoor diamond was also a part of the properties taken over.
In 1850, Lord Dalhousie brought the diamond from Lahore to Mumbai. On April 6, 1850 it was sent to London from Mumbai. On July 3 the great diamond was presented to the queen of England, Queen Victoria in Buckingham Palace. It was the last part of the diamond’s journey.
At that time Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s son Dalip Singh, aged 13 was also present there. When it was presented to the Queen the diamond weighed 176 carat. But when it was carved and chiseled, according to Queen’s wish, it remained a mere 105 carat. Thus s much was 71 carat was lost in the process of the beautification of the Kohinoor diamond.
Never Bought or Sold – Kohinoor Diamond
Kohinoor diamond is one of the oldest known diamonds in the world. This was dug out from the Golkonda mine, which happens to be the oldest in the world. Interestingly, up to the year 1730, no other diamond mine existed in the world. After 1730 diamond mines were discovered in Brazil. Kohinoor was considered to be the most precious diamond in the world and this is the reason that everyone was eager to have it in their possession by hook or by crook. It was simply priceless. It’s price was never fixed because it was never bought or sold.
It was always stolen, bartered or gifted. But in the period of Babar and Nadir Shah its price was valued. It was actually 787 carat originally but when Babar got it was just 186 carat. While explaining about its value Babar said that with the cost of this diamond alone the whole world can be fed for two days.
When it came into the hands of Nadir Shah of Iran , his queen explained that this precious stone has value of the hill structure that may come up by throwing five stones from all four directions by a strong man and the space thus created is filled with gold and stones. Everyone valued it as per their assumptions
Weight and Cost of Kohinoor Diamond
At present the Weight of Kohinoor Diamond is about 105 carat (21.600 gm) and this diamond is the part of the crown of Queen Elizabeth II and its cost is around 150 thousand crores rupees. Exact value of the diamond was never known. In the 16th century it was considered that the Kohinoor diamond’s worth was equal to about half the world’s production cost in a day.
With the diamond being so beautiful and unique, it was difficult to put a price on it. At present there are costlier diamonds available in the world, but none of the diamonds has got such a bewildering, fascinating and a romantic history attached to it as the Kohinoor.