The Kollur mine, that yielded theKohinoor diamond and the village in Andhra Pradesh lie in a forested region some 100 km from Vijayawada.
The region has been home to diamond mining for centuries, reaching its zenith under the Qutub Shahi dynasty with their capital Golconda a global hub of the trade. Millions of carats of diamonds are believed to have been mined from Kollur between the 15th and the 19th century.
The Koh-i-noor was mined during 16th century and was sold in Golconda. The mines along the Kollur-Paritala belt were active till the 1830s but were gradually given up.
At present, the entire region remains submerged under 50 feet of water in most of the year.
Authors William Dalrymple and Anita Anad’s ‘Kohinoor: The Story of the World’s Most Infamous Diamond’ was published in December 2016, giving the fascinating new insights into the place where it was mined, its travel from the Mughal court to Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s durbar in Punjab to the Crown of the Queen of England.
(Adapted from The Hindu)