The Kohinoor meaning “Mountain of Light” in Persian language was once the largest known diamond in the world at 105.6 carats. The origin of Kohinoor was in Golconda in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. The diamond has belonged to various rulers who fought bitterly over it and seized it as a spoil of war time and time again. The legend also says that it brings a bad luck or misfortune if it is worn or kept by male in contrast it brings good luck to female owners.
The exact origin and history of the Kohinoor diamond Though the history of the diamond is unclear it is said that it was found more than 4000 to 5000 years ago during the period of Pandavas and is mentioned in ancient Sanskrit writings under the name Syamantaka. Hindus believe that Krishna himself obtained the diamond from Jambavantha, whose daughter Jambavati later married Krishna. The legend says that the diamond was stolen from Krishna as he lay sleeping. Another source claims that the diamond was discovered in a river bed in 3200 B.C Historical evidence suggests that the Kohinoor originated in the Golconda kingdom, in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, one of the world’s earliest diamond producing regions. This region was the first and only known source for diamonds until 1730 when diamonds were discovered in Brazil.
Timeline of Kohinoor Diamond
A clear history of Kohinoor diamond starts from 1294.
|Year||The Path of Kohinoor Diamond|
|1294-1526||The diamond was owned from Raja of Malwa to Alauddin of the Khilji dynasty. The stone then belonged to Tughlaq dynasty, Lodi dynasty. Babur seized the diamond from Ibrahim Lodi and named the diamond as “Babur’s Diamond”.In 1320, Khilji dynasty replaced the Tughlaq dynasty.|
|1526-1739||Babur owned the diamond which then passed over to his son, Humayun. Both of them called the diamond as “Babur’s Diamond”. The diamond was owned by the Kachhwaha rulers of Gwalior and then inherited by the Tomara line. Man Singh Tomar who was the last of Tomaras, negotiated peace with Sikandar Lodi, Sultan of Delhi and became vassal of the Delhi SultanateHumayun was not so lucky to own the diamond. Sher Shah Suri defeated Humayun whose death was in the flames of a burst cannon. Humayun’s son, Akbar too never kept the diamond with him. Akbar’s grandson Shah Jahan took it out of his treasury. Shah jahan was later overthrown by his own son, Aurangazeb.
Shah Jahan, builder of Taj Mahal in Agra, placed the stone into his ornate Peacock Throne. Aurangazeb imprisoned his father at nearby Agara Fort. The diamond was positioned near a window so that Shah Jahan could see the Taj only by looking at its reflection in the stone. Later, aurangazeb brough the Kohinoor diamond to its capital Lahore and placed it in his own person Badshahi Mosque.
|1739||Kohinoor stayed until the invasion of Nader Shah of Khorasan in 1739 and the sacking of Agra and Delhi. Nader Shah took over the Peacock Throne along with Kohinoor diamond to Persia. It was Nader Shah who alleged the name Koh- i- noor to this precious and famous stone. There is no reference to this name before 1739.|
|1747||Nader Shah was assassinated in 1747 and the stone came into the hands of his general, Ahmad Shah Durrani of Afghanistan.|
|1830||Shuja Shah Durrani, ruler of Durrani Empire and the deposed ruler of Afghanistan, managed to flee with the diamond to Lahore. He was forced to surrender the diamond to Ranjit singh who in return won back Afghan throne.|
|1839||Ranjith Singh was crowned the ruler of Punjab region and willed the Kohinoor to the Jagannath Temple in Orissa from his death bed. But his will was not executed by the British administrators.|
|1849||British raised their flag on the citadel of Lahore. As a result, Punjab was formally procalimed to be part of the British Empire in India. According to the terms of the Treaty of Lahore, the legal agreement states as follows:
The gem called the Koh-i-Noor which was taken from Shah Shuja-ul-Mulk by Maharajah Ranjit Singh shall be surrendered by the Maharajah of Lahore to the Queen of England
As a result of this treaty, the diamond was owned by the British rule from 1849. Later, Lord Dalhousie, the Governor-General was responsible for the British acquiring the Koh-i- Noor. He showed great interst for the rest of his life. His was appointed to India to grab all the Indian assets. He was also criticized by his contemporaries in Britain.
|1850||Dalhousie, whose main interst is to acquire Indian assets planned that the diamond should be presented by Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s young successor, Duleep Singh to Queen Victoria. Duleep Singh who was aged 13 travelled to the United Kingdom to present the jewel. He had been placed in the guardianship of Dr. Login. Login was a surgeon in the British Army who served in West Bengal, East India and also a native from Scotland. Dr. Login, his wife Lena and the young Duleep Singh travelled to England to present the Kohinoor diamond to Queen Victoria.|