Glorious History of Koh-I-Noor: By N. P. Sen. Published by New Book Society of
India, Post Box No. 250, . Price: 15. New Delhi
This is a biography of the most brilliant and most precious heritage of
, viz., the Kohinoor, which has been rightly called, ‘the king of diamonds’ and ‘the diamond of kings’. India
The author traces the origin of the Kohinoor to the dawn of Indian history before the times of the Mahabharata. He seems to identify it with the legendary “Shyamanthaka Mani” to which references are made in the Vishnu Purana and the Bhagavata. The author then traces the history of this diamond, through the puraniclegends, and seems to suggest that this was given by Lord Krishna to the Sun-God, who gave it to Karna, the legendary hero of the Mahabharata, from whom it passed on to Arjuna, who presented it to his brother Yudhishtira. The author suggests that this diamond then adorned the crowns of various kings and successors of the Pandavas through Parikshit, the grandson of Arjuna. From this lineage, the diamond passed on to Raja Samvardhana, who is believed to be one of Ashoka’sgrandsons and then it was with the Hindu kings. Even during the invasion of
by Mohd. Ghori, this diamond was preserved, and was smuggled to Malwa where the Parmar dynasty was in power. The last Hindu king who possessed it was Raja Ramdev.The author then proceeds to state that there is no information as to how this diamond passed on to the Sultans of Delhi. Nearly two centuries ago Nadir Shah from India Persia invaded India, in search of power and plenty, and took possession of the diamond from the kings of . Later Shah Shuja, the king of Delhi managed to get it, but had to surrender it to Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Prince Daleep Singh, his successor was forced to hand over this to the British at the treaty of Afghanistan signed in 1849. This was presented to Queen Lahore Victoria in 1850 and since then, this great diamond of is in the hands of the British Royalty. India
The purport in writing the book seems to be a very patriotic one viz., that the Kohinoor which is a great national asset of our country, should be returned back to us.
In the absence of any other corroborating evidence, historical research workers may find it difficult, at the present stage of our knowledge, to accept as historically correct, the equation of this diamond with the legendary puranik “Shyamanthaka Mani” and its further course as described by the author in this book.
–DR. N. RAMESAN