Mountain of light by Indu Sunderesan

This is the recent one that I have read and I enjoyed learning so much about the history.

Kohinoor diamond has got quite a long history and this one mixes facts and fiction about the way it has changed hands. I didn’t like this as much as I liked the Taj Trilogy of hers, but the book kept me hooked, making me switch between browsing over the net for some actual facts and myths and legends, and reading the book. I learnt quite a few interesting things in this process.

Some snippets of what I learnt :

  • There are some legends which tell that Samantaka mani which is referred to in the stories of Sri Krishna and Kohinoor are one and the same.
  • Nadir Shah, an adventurer from Persia, invaded India in search of power and plenty and took possession of this diamond from the King of Delhi by cunningly exchanging turbans. It is now known in history as the Turban Trick’.
  • Ranjit Singh was called Lion of Punjab and he held the Kohinoor with him for a very long period.
  • Ranjit Singh married Jindan Kaur, the daughter of a bishti, and she used to wear the kohinoor on her arm
  • Bombay was given on lease to East India Company
  • Dalip Singh, son of Ranjit Singh, held the Kohinoor for a short period, got separated from his mother, went into the custody of a British couple, accepted Christianity and later converted back into a Sikh, tried and failed to re-enter India and finally died in Paris
  • Colonel Mackenson and Captain Ramsay, nephew of Lord Dalhousie carried the Kohinoor to England
  • There have been numerous fights, plots, wars and schemes to get hold of the Kohinoor and so many lives were lost in the process.
  • It is said that the Kohinoor diamond is cursed, unless worn by a woman…

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