In this article, you can get a brief about the famous Kohinoor diamond. It is a part of Indian history and you must be aware of the basic details about it for the UPSC exam.
- It is also spelt Koh-i-Nur. It means ‘Mountain of Light’ in Persian/Urdu.
- It is one of the largest cut diamonds in the world.
- It weighs 105.6 carats or 21.12 g.
- It was possibly mined in India’s Kollur Mine.
- It passed several hands while finally being ceded to the British after it annexed the Punjab in 1849.
- Currently, it is a part of the crown of the British monarch Queen Elizabeth.
- It is on public display in the Jewel House at the Tower of London.
- Both India and Pakistan claimed it after independence from Britain in 1947, since it was in the possession of Maharaja Ranjit Singh before passing it on the British.
- But Britain has rejected these claims since then, saying the stone was legally obtained under the terms of the Treaty of Lahore.
- It is believed that the stone was mined from Kollur Mine, on the banks of the Krishna River in Golconda (Andhra Pradesh).
- It was probably in the possession of the Kakatiyas when in the 14th century, Alauddin Khilji invaded the southern kingdoms and took possession of the diamond.
- It was passed on to Babur after the 1526 Battle of Panipat.
- Shah Jahan inherited this diamond. He placed it on the famous ornate Peacock Throne.
- In 1739, Nadir Shah invaded Delhi and looted the treasury there taking away the Kohinoor as well.
- Nadir Shah gave this stone to his grandson Ahmad Shah Durrani, who founded the Afghan Empire.
- One of Durrani’s descendants fled with the stone to Lahore, which was the capital of the Sikh Empire of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
- In 1849, the Sikh Empire was defeated by the British in the Second Anglo-Sikh War. Ranjit Singh had willed for the diamond to be given to the Jagannath Temple at Puri.
- However, after his defeat, the British did not honour the will and took possession of the diamond as per the Last Treaty of Lahore. It was ceded to the Queen of England (Victoria) according to the treaty.
Kohinoor Ownership Dispute
- The Kohinoor’s ownership is a matter of dispute between India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and the UK, with the former countries asking Britain to return the stone at various times.
- While India has made several requests for the stone to be returned to India, Britain has rejected the claims saying the diamond was a part of British heritage for 150 years.