The Bloody History of the Koh-I-Noor

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Why is the Koh-I-Noor one of the most valuable jewels on the planet? Were the British the first to take it out of India? Think it’s just a simple diamond? Think again!


1. The Koh-I-Noor was almost left by a river!

When Humayun was toppled from his throne and he travelled to the Persian court to seek refuge, he almost lost a bag of jewels by a river, and it is suspected that the Koh-I-Noor was among them! He left them there when he went in for a wash!

2. Had the Koh-i-Noor left India before the Britishers took it?

More than once! Nader Shah took over Delhi and slaughtered over 30000 people before the governor begged him to stop. Nader demanded 100 crore rupees. When he received it as gems, gold and silver – the Koh-i-Noor was among them and it accompanied him back to Persia.
3. The Curse of the Koh-I-Noor

While it was in the position of the Durranis, the Koh-I-Noor came to be known as cursed. Ahmad Shah Durrani died at 50 from a tumour. His son was poisoned almost as soon as he began to reign. His grandson was thrown into prison by a local chieftain!

empire4. A Lost King, A Diamond Found

When Shah Shuja travelled to India seeking refuge, he received it from Ranjit Singh, the Lion of Punjab. He left his family there and then travelled back to gain back his territory but soon found himself imprisoned by his own former chieftains. Ranjit Singh agreed to rescue Shuja if he received the diamond in return. When Shuja returned, he had to be put under house arrest and threatened heavily before he agreed to follow through on his promise!

The Koh-I-Noor has a tragic history. And an epic one. Anita Anand and William Dalrymple take you on a brilliant journey of the world’s most fascinating jewel. Listen to their podcast on Spotify about it, or read any one of their books (The Adventures of the Kohinoor & Kohinoor – The Story of the World’s Most Infamous Diamond.)


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