Saturday 31 July 2010
David Cameron has rejected calls for the famous Koh-i-Noor (کوه نور) diamond, which has been part of the Crown Jewels for 150 years, to be returned to India. The diamond, which was mined in India, was robbed by the East India Company in 1849 and presented to Queen Victoria.
Indian politicians have long urged the 105-carat treasure’s return.
Historical evidence suggests that the Kohinoor originated in the Guntur region of Kakatiya kingdom, in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, one of the world’s earliest diamond producing regions. This region was the only known source for diamonds until 1730 when diamonds were discovered in Brazil.
The first confirmed historical mention of the Koh-i-noor by an identifiable name dates from 1526. Babur mentions in his memoirs, the Baburnama (بابرنامه), that the stone had belonged to an unnamed Rajah of Malwa in 1294. The Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (شاه جهان), famous for building the Taj Mahal (تاج محل), had the stone placed into his ornate Peacock Throne. His son, Aurangazeb (اورنگ زیب), brought it to his capital Lahore and placed it in his own personal Badshahi Mosque (مسجد بادشاهی). There it stayed until the invasion of Nader Shah (نادر شاه) in 1739. Along with the Peacock Throne (تخت طاووس), he also carried off the Koh-i-Noor to Persia in 1739.
After the assassination of Nader Shah in 1747, the stone came into the hands of Ahmed Shah Abdali (احمد شاه درانی) of Afghanistan. In 1830, Shah Shuja (شاه شجاع), the deposed ruler of Afghanistan, managed to flee with the Kohinoor diamond. He then came to Lahore where it was given to the Sikh Maharaja of Punjab, Ranjit Singh; in return for this Maharaja Ranjit Singh won back the Afghan throne for Shah Shuja.