Koh-I-Noor means as â€œMountain of Lightâ€ from Persian. Itâ€™s a 105 carat (21.6 grams) diamond that was once the largest known diamond in the world. The Koh-I-Noor was originated at Golconda in the Andhra Pradesh state of India. It was owned by various Sikh, Mughal and Persian rulers that fought each other from time to time. The stone was found to measure 36.00 Ã— 31.90 Ã— 13.04 mm. The gem remains the property of the British crown and is kept in HM Tower of London and itâ€™s a popular tourist attraction.
The Koh-i-Noor, meaning "Mountain of Light" in Urdu. Alternative spellings are: Koh-i-noor, Kuh-e Nur or Koh-i-Nur, is a 105.6 metric carats diamond, weighing 21.6 grammes in the most recent cut state, and once the largest known diamond. The Koh-i Nur is believed to have originated in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India together with its double, the Darya-ye Noor (the "Sea of Light"). The diamond has belonged to various Hindu, Rajput, Mughal, Iranian, Afghan, Sikh and British rulers who fought bitterly over it and seized it as a spoil of war time and time again.
In 1850, the diamond was confiscated from Duleep Singhby the British East India Company and became part of the British Crown Jewels when Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India in 1877. The diamond was traditionally known as Syamantaka-mani and later Madnayak or the "King of Jewels", before being renamed "Kuh-e nur" in the 18th century by NÄdir ShÄh after his conquest of India. The diamond is currently set into the Crown of Queen Elizabeth and is on display at the Tower of London.
Legend has it that the diamond originally belonged to the Dhruvin Chavdas. The diamond probably came from the Kollur mines, near the village in the present-day Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, India.
The first confirmed historical mention of the Koh-i Noor by an identifiable name dates from 1526. BÄbur mentions in his memoirs, the BÄbur-NÄmah, that the stone had belonged to an unnamed Raja of Gwalior, who was compelled to yield his prized possession in 1294 to 'AlÄ'uddÄ«nKhiljÄ«. It was then owned by the Tughlaq dynasty and LodÄ« dynasty, and finally came into the possession of BÄbur himself in 1526. He called the stone 'the Diamond of BÄbur' at the time, although it had been called by other names before he seized it from IbrÄhÄ«m LodÄ«.
When the Tughlaq dynasty replaced the KhiljÄ« dynasty in 1320 AD, GhiyÄth al-DÄ«n Tughluq sent his commander UlÅ«gh KhÄn in 1323 to defeat the KÄkatÄ«ya king PrÄtaparuá¸‘ra. UlÅ«gh KhÄn's raid was repulsed but he returned in a month with a larger and determined army. The unprepared army of KakÄtÄ«ya was defeated this time and the diamond was seized by the champion army of the Delhi Sultanate.
Both BÄbur and HumÄyÅ«n mention in their memoirs the origins of 'the Diamond of BÄbur'. This diamond was with the Kachhwaha rulers of Gwalior and then inherited by the Tomara line. The last of Tomaras, Man Singh Tomar, negotiated peace with Sikandar LodÄ«, Sultan of Delhi and became a vassal of the Delhi Sultanate.
HumÄyÅ«n had much bad luck throughout his life. Sher ShÄh SÅ«rÄ«, who defeated HumÄyÅ«n, died in the flames of a burst cannon. HumÄyÅ«n's son, Akbar, never kept the diamond with him and later only ShÄh JahÄn took it out of his treasury. Akbar's grandson, ShÄh JahÄn was overthrown by his own son, AurangzÄ“b.
Shah Jahan, famous for building the Taj Mahal in Agra, had the stone placed into his ornate Peacock Throne. His son, AurangazÄ“b, imprisoned his ailing father at nearby Agra Fort. Legend has it that he had the Koh-i-Noor positioned near a window so that ShÄh JahÄn could see the TÄj Mahal only by looking at its reflection in the stone. AurangazÄ“b later brought it to his capital Lahore and placed it in his own personal BÄdshÄhÄ« Mosque. There it stayed until the invasion of NÄdir ShÄh of Iran in 1739 and the sacking of Agra and Delhi. Along with the Peacock Throne, he also carried off the Koh-i Noor to Persia in 1739. It was allegedly NÄdir ShÄh who exclaimed Koh-i Noor! when he finally managed to obtain the famous stone, and this is how the stone gained its present name. There is no reference to this name before 1739.
The valuation of the Koh-i Noor is given in the legend that one of NÄdir ShÄh's consorts supposedly said, "If a strong man should take five stones, and throw one north, one south, one east, and one west, and the last straight up into the air, and the space between filled with gold and gems, that would equal the value of the Koh-i Noor."
After the assassination of NÄdir ShÄh in 1747, the stone came into the hands of his general, Ahmad ShÄh DurrÄnÄ« of Afghanistan. In 1830, ShujÄh ShÄh DurrÄnÄ«, the deposed ruler of Afghanistan, managed to flee with the diamond. He went to Lahore where RanjÄ«t Singh forced him to surrender it; in return for this, RanjÄ«t Singh won back the Afghan throne for Shah ShujÄ'.