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Koh-i-Noor


The biography of the Koh-i-Noor is the history of India and this unique diamond is perhaps as dear to India as Shakespeare is to England. The name Koh-i-Noor dates back to the Persian invader, Nadir Shah who was so dazzled of the beauty, lustre and brilliance of the diamond that he exclaimed in wonder Koh-i-Noor which means 'Mountain of Light'. The original name of this diamond is 'Samantik Mani'.

At one time the diamond was thought to be the most brilliant and the most precious diamond in the world. Its history of being in so many rulers hands has led to its being called 'The King of diamonds and the diamond of Kings'. Its entire history is linked with the royal families of various countries and of various ages. It was many a time the cause of the murder of Kings, dishonour of queens and fearful intrigues at royal courts.

India is famous for its diamonds, gems and jewels. Often her precious stones made history. Even the court descriptions in the Ramayana and in the Mahabharata are replete with accounts of the various jewels that were in use. Presents of jewels were made from one potentate to another. In fact, they thus passed from one ruler to another either as presents or as booty. Muslim invaders who settled in India came under the influence of the Hindu civilization and adopted some of the customs and ways of the people of India; therefore, they too evinced great interest in diamonds.

According to the Hindu lore of precious stones, every stone does not suit all possessors. This perhaps explains why Koh-i-Noor, one of the biggest and the brightest diamond known to history, brought victory and prosperity to some and ruin and destruction to others.

The Legends of India's Great Jewel

This wonder diamond of India had a chequered history running into thousands of years. Legend has it that the first important possessor of this great diamond was Lord Krishna. He not only got the diamond as a dowry but also got the hand of Jamavant's daughter who was renowned for her beauty and charm of manners, in marriage. Lord Krishna did not deem it fit to keep it with him and gave it back to sun-god who in turn bestowed it on Raja Karna, whose crown the diamond adorned. In the great war between Kauravas and Pandwas fought on the plains of Kurukshetra, Karna, who was the commander-in-chief of Kauravas was killed by Arjuna and the diamond passed into Arjuna's possession. After the war, when Raja Yudhestra was crowned, Arjuna presented the diamond to him as a token of his affection. We have no record of the career of this precious stone since the age of Mahabharata down to the time of Asoka the Great, in the third century B.C. We find the stone with Raja Samprati, a grandson of Asoka.

Koh-i-Noor in Written History

On the death of Asoka his empire was split up into small principalities and one of his grandsons Raja Samprati made Ujjain his capital and the diamond passed to him as a valuable possession. In the course of time, Ujjain passed hands many times and the break-up of one empire after another deprived the people of any kind of stable and continued government. The rulers frittered away their energies in fratricidal warfare and when Sultan Mahmood found that Hindustan was a house divided against itself, he invaded the country seventeen times and returned laden with gold and jewels of all sorts. He was immediately followed by Mohammed Ghauri who vanquished both Prithvi Raj and Jai Chand, but nothing was heard of this priceless jewel and it is stated that it was smuggled out to Malwa where the Parmar dynasty was ruling. The last Hindu prince to possess it was Raja Ram Dev.

Towards the close of the thirteenth century Ala-ud-din Khilji ascended the throne of India. In the year 1386 he attacked Malwa and all of its accumulated wealth fell into his hands. It is said that Raja Rai Ladha Deo, the ruler, sent through his ambassador, all that he had. Among them was 'the jewel unparalleled in worth in the whole world'.

From this stage up to the time of Babar, the history of this great diamond is once more lost in obscurity. This much alone can be said, that it remained in the possession of the Sultans of Delhi.

Koh-i-Noor Passes into the Possession of the Mughals

Ibrahim Lodhi who succeeded his father Sikandar Lodi was very unpopular, being vain, stubborn, suspicious and of a cruel disposition. His courtiers being tired of him sent an invitation to Babar, King of Kabul to invade India. The armies of Babar and Ibrahim Lodhi met at Panipat in 1526. A fierce battle ensued in which Ibrahim Lodhi and his Hindu, Rajput ally Raja Vikramaditya of Gwalior were slain on the battlefield.

In distant Agra's fortress, under seige by Humayun and his Mughal forces, while trying to escape from the fort the family members of the late Raja Vikramaditya, were captured by the Mughals. They were treated with respect by Humayun and told they would be released. The family of the late Raja of Gwalior expressed their gratitude by making a voluntary offering of a treasure of jewels which included the Koh-i-Noor which was handed to the Prince in a box in which it was wrapped in many layers of velvet. The Raja's family was reinstated as the rulers of Gwalior under Babur's and soon his son Humayun's patronage.

In Babur’s memoirs the Babarnama his diary of everyday events and autobiography, the value of the diamond was estimated by the Emperor to be - "Two-and- a -half days food of the entire world".

In 1530, Humayun fell dangerously ill. No amount of medical aid was of any avail. It was suggested to Babar that his dearest possession should be sacrificed to save the life of the Prince. He sacrificed his own life to save that of his son and so the diamond came into the hands of Humayun who soon found himself fighting for his life as well as his Kingdom.

The historical accounts of the stone now known as the Koh-i-noor started in 1526 with its coming into the possesion of the Moghuls. History is silent as to how this gem fell into the hands of the Rajas of Gwalior after the rule of Ala-ud-din Khilji.

Hamayun's Cherished Possession

From the time this unique diamond came into the possession of Hamayun, it emerged from obscurity and came into the limelight forever. Hamayun never parted with it even in his darkest days. Abul Fazal in his Akbarnama relates an interesting story about it. Sher Shah Suri who had established a strong kingdom of his own, wanted to extend his empire, defeated Humayun in the battle of the Ganges near Kanauj on May 17, 1540. Humayun fled to Multan first, and then wandered from place to place seeking refuge. He entered the domain of Raja Maldev who refused to give any aid to his former ruler, but the Raja sent one of his courtiers under the garb of a diamond merchant to purchase the diamond. Hamayun was enraged and retorted: "Such precious gems cannot be obtained by purchases", either they fall to one by the arbitrament of the flashing sword, which is an expression of Divine Will, or else they come through the grace of mighty monarchs." Giving birth to the stone reputation as the Stone of Kings and the King of Stones.

Having lost all hope he left the country along with the diamond which for the first time in its history left the soil of India.

Hamayun finally reached Persia where he was received very cordially by Shah Tehmasp who extended his royal hospitality to the former Mughal ruler for some fourteen years. As a token of gratitude Humayun presented him a number of jewels including the gem yet to be called Koh-i-noor. It is said that the hospitality came with the condition that Humayun - a Sunni had to become a Shia.

The Badshah of Persia was a Shia who was regarded as their head by the rulers of Ahmednagar, Bijapur and Golcunda so much so that ambassadors and presents were exchanged between them. In 1547, the Shah sent his ambassador to Ahmednagar and through him it is believed that this diamond again came back to India, the land of its origin.

Back into the Mughal Hands

Mir Jumia, a diamond dealer of Persia, came to India in connection with his business. He was a man of parts and soon rose to be Prime Minister of Golconda. In addition, he was in sole charge of the working of Golkanda mines so much so that people looked up to him rather than the King for favours. The king conspired to blind him but the wily minister escaped. Aurangzeb, the governor of Deccan, tried to win him over and held high hopes of great rise in the Mughal Court. He was appointed Prime Minister by Emperor Shah Jahan and he offered this diamond as well as other jewels as a Peshkash to Shah Jahan which was consigned to the Royal treasury. Aurangzeb who succeeded his father was not fond of pomp and so this diamond of unrivalled beauty and splendour remained locked in the coffers of the Mughal treasury except when Travarnier had an opportunity to see it. He says, 'Ali Khan, chief of the treasury, placed this diamond in my hands, it weighed 907 rathis and is of the same form as of one half an egg cut through the middle'. Aurangzeb's throne descended, in due course, to Mohammad Shah 'Rangila' so called on account of his gay manners.

Nadir Shah takes Possession of the Gem

At that time Nadir Shah, a shepherd of Persia, gathered strength and after snatching the throne of Persia, crossed the border of Afghanistan. Losing no time he entered Hindustan with Peshawar falling to him like a ripe fruit. When the news of the capture of Lahore reached Mohammed Shah he said, "So Nadir Shah has reached Lahore! Nothing to worry about. Delhi is yet far off!" Nadir Shah reached near Delhi in January, 1739. He entered Delhi without much resistance and was conveyed to the Imperial Palace. Mohammed Shah Rangila feasted the conqueror on a lavish scale. A few days later some Persian soldiers were killed in a skirmish with the Mughal army. When Nadir Shah came out to enquire into the incident a few stones were thrown at him. This aroused the ire of Nadir and he gave orders for a general slaughter.

Innocent men, women and children were slaughtered in the thousands and the gutters of Delhi flowed with blood. Mohammed Shah with tears trickling down his cheeks and on bended knees pacified the wrath of the mighty monarch and soon Nadir Shah put back his sword in the sheath. Mohammed Shah presented Nadir Shah jewels, gold and countless objects of great value. All the treasuries were emptied but the great diamond was not surrendered. It is related that Mohammed Shah had concealed the diamond in his turban. Apparently there are several stories of who told the Padshah the location of the diamond--a Nauch girl or, perhaps a disloyal eunuch. The secret was passed to Nadir Shah who was a very clever man.

He declared that being pleased with the generosity of the emperor he had decided to give back his empire to him and ordered public rejoicings. A Darbar was held. When the two kings retired and were alone, Nadir affectionately embraced Mohammed Shah and said that they had become brothers, as a token of which he desired to exchange turbans. Without a moment's delay, Nadir took Mohammed Shah's turban off and placed it on his own head and gave his own to the Emperor. Nadir hastened to his room, searched the turban and then he saw it -- its brilliance was such that he is said to have exclaimed "Koh-i-Noor" (Mountain of Light). And as such the diamond has been known ever since.

Nadir Shah did not live long to enjoy the fruits of his fabulous loot from India. He was assassinated by his nephew Ali Kuli Khan, who proclaimed himself king and became the proud possessor of the diamond.

Koh-i-Noor Passes to Abdali

By this time Ahmad Shah Abdali had established himself in Afghanistan and had no difficulty in overthrowing the forces of Shah Rukh Mirza, the grandson of Nadir Shah, who presented the Koh-i-Noor to Ahmad Shah Abdali.

Events were moving fast in Afghanistan. Abdali died and his son Jamna, an unworthy successor to the great fighter, ascended the throne. He clung to the Koh-i-Noor with great tenacity till his death in May, 1793. After changing hands among Jamna's sons, Koh-i-Noor fell into the hands of Zaman Shah when he was fleeing for his life. He hid the jewel in a crevice in one of the walls of his prison cell. His younger brother Shuja Mirza entered Kabul victoriously and proclaimed himself king as Shah Shuja. He released the blinded Zaman Shah from his prison cell in recognition of which the later presented to him all his jewels including the Koh-i-Noor. Shah Shuja had little respite and made strenuous efforts to retain the throne but failed and was made a prisoner by the Governor of Attack. But before being captured he managed to send his family to the Punjab where they surrendered themselves to Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji.

On hearing the dreadful news of his capture, Wafa Begun, wife of Shah Shuja, sent reliable messengers to Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji to convey to the Maharaja that if by his benevolent efforts, Shah Shuja, was released and brought to Lahore and openly welcomed in the city, a priceless diamond would be presented to him for the favours. The Shah was released from Kashmir through the help of Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji and he decided to walk into his parlour. In March 1813, he reached Lahore and was received on behalf of the Maharaja by his son Kharak Singh with great honour and distinction.

Shah Shuja Presents Gem to Ranjit Singh Ji

The Maharaja lost no time in demanding the promised Koh-i-Noor. The Shah tried to evade the demand and put several conflicting excuses. The Shah said that he had lost it along with jewels and again he said that he mortgaged it for rupees six Kror at Kandhar. All stratagems, promises, persuasions, arguments and threats were used. At last to save himself from the indignities which were offered to him and he produced a large Topaz (Pukhraj) and gave it to messengers to give to Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji. Ranjit Singh at once sent for the jewellers who stated that it was not the Koh-i-Noor. The Shah was put under arrest.

Ranjit Singh Ji was very angry with the Shah for withholding the Koh-i-Noor which he thought he was fully entitled to in view of the promise made by the Begum. Shah Shuja was told that Ranjit Singh was prepared even to buy it and an advance of Rs. 50,000/ was sent. Shah Shuja fell into the trap and gave an indication to sell the diamond. This confirmed the fact that Koh-i-Noor was with him. The Afghan King was offered a cashprice of Rs. 3,000,000/ and the grant of Jagir of Rs. 50,000/ per anum. Shah Shuja agreed and said that the Maharaja should personally take delivery of it. The exalted Maharaja on hearing this came out of the fort riding a horse and was received by Shah Shuja with great respect and honour, who bended his knees to him out of courtesy, while all the other dignitaries remained standing with folded hands. After a pause of an hour Ranjit Singh Ji's patience was exhausted and he whispered into the ears of one of the attendants as to what the purpose of the meeting was. Shah Shuja made a signal to one of his servants who after a while brought in a small roll which he placed on the carpet at an equal distance between the two. When the Koh-i-Noor was presented to the Maharaja he asked for its price and was told that is price was the sword. As soon as he got the diamond he put it into his pocket and returned forthwith to gloat over his new possession. He held a grand Durbar in honour of this unique event and the city was 'magnificently decorated and illuminated'. It was kept in safe custody and was worn only on state occasions for a short while. The Maharaja first used it as an armlet and then on his turban.

Mr. Osborne says: "The diamond is about an inch and a half in length and upwards of an inch width, is in the shape of an egg, is valued at about three million sterling, is very brilliant and without a flaw of any kind".

The diamond remained with Ranjit Singh Ji till his death in 1839. During the last days of his illness prayers were offered and offerings were sent to the different shrines for his recovery and His Highness bestowed in charity money, jewels and other property worth fifty lakhs. The ailing Maharaja directed that the well -known Koh-i-Noor be sent to the temple of Jagannath. Muttering at the same time the great truth that 'no one carried with him his worldly wealth', and that such a bequest would perpetuate his name. But Misar Meli Ram, in charge of Toshakhana, objected to its being 'State Property'.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji was fond of great pomp and show. His Durbars were imposing and he loved his valuable possessions, especially the Koh-i-Noor of which he was both fond and proud. The history of this diamond would have been different but for the faithful and loyal officer Dewan Beli Ram who saved it for the royal successors of Ranjit Singh Ji. Maharaja Kharak Singh Ji, who succeeded his father, was imprisoned and died while in custody and Naunihal Singh, his son, was killed by the collapse of a door of the Hazari Bagh while returning from the cremation of his father in 1840.

In January, 1841, Sher Singh, the second son of Maharaja Ranit Singh Ji, became king. He was a man of high ideals but ease-loving. One fine morning when Maharaja Sher Singh Ji was enjoying the sight of fountains emitting rosewater, Sanhawalia Sardars rushed into the fort, killed the Prime Minister Raja Dhayan Singh Ji and after that with one stroke of the sword they cut the head of the unsuspecting king. Raja Hira Singh, son of Raja Dhayan Singh, inflicted a crushing defeat to Sandhawalias. The fearless Sardars were beheaded and Maharaja Dalip Singh Ji, the infant son of Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji, was installed on the throne with Raja Hira Singh Ji as his Prime Minister. Koh-i-Noor was presented to Maharaja Sher Singh Ji at the time of his coronation and after his assassination it came into the possession of the infant Maharaja Dalip Singh Ji.

In the British Hands

With a young and inexperienced king at the head of state, the Sikh nobles and Sardars, instead of rallying round their monarch and coming to the rescue of their tottering kingdom which Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji had built up with his might and wisdom, began to grind their own axes. Everyone of them was anxious for power and endeavoured by hook or crook to establish his own over-lordship. The result was that the mighty Sikh Empire which had struck terror into the hearts of Afghan warriors across the Indus came down with a crash. Jealousies within the ranks of Sikh nobility and treacherous British diplomacy led to the two Anglo-Sikh wars, the last of which resulted in the annexation of Punjab to the British Indian Empire. The treaty with which the second Anglo-Sikh war ended was that the gem Koh-i-Noor should be surrendered by the Maharaja of Lahore to the Queen of England.

John Lawrence Loses Gem

Koh-i-Noor was brought out from the Toshakhana by Dr. Login who was placed in charge of the minor Maharaja. It was later handed over formally to the Punjab government in the custody of John Lawrence. John Lawrence was very careless. He wrapped it up in numerous folds of cloth, put it in an insignificant little box and thrust it into his waistcoat pocket. He went working as hard as usual and thought no more of the precious jewel. He put his waistcoat aside, quite forgetful of the box and its fabulous content.

About six weeks afterwards a message came from Lord Dalhousie saying that the Queen had ordered that the jewel be transmitted to her. Lawrence was deeply distressed and he profoundly regretted his carelessness. He soon found an opportunity to slip away to his private room and asked his bearer if he knew anything about the small box which was lying in his waistcoat. The bearer went to a broken tin box and produced the little box from it. 'Open it', said John Lawrence, 'and see what is inside'. The bearer unfolded it but seemed unconscious of the treasure which he had in his keeping. 'There is nothing here Sahib', he said, 'but a bit of glass'. Never before, whether flashing in the diadem of Turk and Mughal or in the uplifted sword of a Persian, Afghan or the Sikh conqueror, did the gem run a greater risk of being lost forever, than when it lay forgotten in the waistcoat pocket of John Lawrence or in the broken tin box of his aged bearer. Its journey from Lahore to Bombay was full of perils and is described by Col. Etherton in an article 'Diamond that Dazzled the World'. In those days the road from Lahore to Bombay swarmed with robbers, dacoits and thugs. The thugs were the gangsters of their day and their instrument of destruction was a silk handkerchief with which, by a dexterous movement, they strangled their victims. Strangling was a religious cult with them and considered to be an honourable profession.

From Lahore to Bombay

Anyway, a trustworthy officer was chosen who carried the gem and his ride became a legend. The thugs had got the scent of the mission and the officer who was disguised as a Muslim merchant, had to contend with the most formidable confederation of thieves and murderers. The carrier was a brave man and he rode on Koh-i-Noor safe in his pocket. Every stranger was suspected, for, death had many disguises. But he trusted no one and slept as little as his strength would permit until at last he pulled into Bombay.

Koh-i-Noor Sails to London

When the diamond reached Bombay it was handed over to Lt.Col. Mackenson and Capt. Ramsay for taking it most carefully to London. The two officers sailed with their precious trust forthwith. On the 3rd, July, 1850, this unique jewel was personally presented to Her Majesty Queen Victoria. In 1851 it was exhibited in the great Hyde Park Exhibition. The exhibitors prepared a glass imitation of the historical Koh-i-Noor which is still preserved in the archives of the Lahore Museum. The year following, i.e. 1852, the diamond was subjected to an unfortunate cutting operation which cost 8,000 pounds.

Hitherto, since the arrival of the Maharaja Daleep Singh Ji in England, no one had talked to him about Koh-i-Noor. They knew that to him Koh-i-Noor meant something beyond a jewel of fabulous value. One day when Lady Login was riding with him in Rickmand Park she put the question in a casual manner, 'would you like to see the Koh-i-Noor again?' 'Yes', was his answer. 'I would give a great deal to hold it again in my hand.' 'I was only a child when I surrendered it to Her Majesty by the Treaty, but now I am old enough to understand.' This feeling was repeated to Her Majesty by Lady Login the next day. Unknown to the Maharaja, who was engaged with the painter at the further end of the room, Her Majesty at once gave orders for the Koh-i-Noor to be sent for from the Tower. After a short interval there was a slight bustle near the door: the arrival of the jewel and its escort was announced and it was brought in and presented to Queen Victoria.

Daleep Singh Overwhelmed by Emotion

Taking the diamond in her hand, Her Majesty then advanced to the dais, on which the Maharaja was posed for this portrait and before the astounded young man realized what was passing, he found himself once more with the Koh-i-Noor in his hand, while the Queen was asking him if 'he thought it had improved', and whether he would have 'recognized it again'. At first sight, indeed, he would hardly have done so, the cutting and European setting had so altered its character, yet in spirit of these it remained still the 'Mountain of Light' and it was with some emotion and eagerness that he walked to the window and minutely examined it, making remarks on its diminished size and greater brilliancy, whilst the spectators could not but keep watching his movements with some anxiety. It was a nervous quarter of an hour for Lady Login. But when at length he had finished his inspection, Daleep Singh Ji walked across the room and, with a low obeisance, present the Koh-i-Noor to this sovereign, expressing in a few graceful words the pleasure it afforded him to have this opportunity of himself placing it in her hands. Whereupon he quietly resumed his place on the dais and the artist continued his work.

One cannot say whether the description given above of Daleep Singh Ji's self-possession and resignation must be wonderful. After the recutting, the Koh-i-Noor was placed in the Royal Crown worn by the Queen of England. Why should the Koh-i-Noor adorn the crown of Queens and not the ruling monarchs or is it so by purpose? Since it had brought misfortune to so many rulers, it was perhaps thought safer to fix it in the crown of King's consort, rather than in that of the King himself. And so now this historical diamond embellishes the Royal Crown of Queen Elizabeth. The whole history of this ill-omened diamond is full of contradictory versions and of efforts to possess it. Kings were blinded, murdered and overthrown. In fact, it would not be an exaggeration to say that Koh-i-Noor played a very important part in three countries, India, Persia and Afghanistan before it reached the shores of England to adorn the Crown of Queen of the England.


IN BRIEF

The early history of this Jewel is not known. However, . Many believe that it was presented to Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan by the Amir Jamla, who was one time a Jeweller and afterward formed the diamond mines in the Deccan, and this Koh-i-Noor had a great influence in making him a wazir. Some are of the view that it was found at the Golconda mines about the year 1550 and when rough it said to have weighed 900 carats. The French traveller, Tavernier, who saw the Koh-i-Noor in the possession of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, ornamenting his small throne gives its weight as 420 carats. He further says that the largest diamond in Europe is in the crown of Russia, and weighs 194 carats only. (One carat is equal to the 150th part of an ounce troy).


This history of Koh-i-Noor that how it came in the possession of Nadir Shah, the King of Persia, then to the possession of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and untimately to the possession of Queen Victoria of England, is quite interesting. Nadir Shah had heard about the fabulous wealth of India and his greed was excited. He invaded India and after winning battles on the way reached Delhi in March 1739. During his two months stay in Delhi looted countless booty including Koh-i-Noor diamond and then carried it to Persia, where it became the property of Ahmad Shah Abdali, when Nadir Shah’s test was plundered after his murder. Ahmad Shah Abdali died in 1773 and at that time Punjab formed a part of the Afghan dominion. The successors of Abdali weakened themselves in their internal conflicts and greatly facilitated the rapid growth of Ranjit Singh’s dominion. Shah Shuja, the grand son of Ahmed Shah Abdali, occupied the throne of Kabul in 1800 but was finally ousted from power. In his efforts to recover the throne of Kabul, Shah Shuja solicited Ranjit Singh’s help and came to Lahore in 1813.


Maharaja Ranjit Singh had his only eye on the precious stone Kohi-i-Noor and offered a Jagir to Shah Shuja is lieu but his begum declared that the said stone had been pledged to a saraf for a loan of money. Ranjit Singh was intelligent enough not to be imposed upon this shallow pretext and to prevent the jewel being sent away ordered strict guard around the Shah’s house and resorted to harsh measures to bring the unlucky Shah to confession. On seeing the Shah not detected by such means Ranjit forwarded some letters purported to have been written by Shah to Fateh Khan in Kabul inviting him to invade Punjab to liberate him. In consequence to this Shah was informed that he was to be taken to Gobindgarh as state prisoner. On this Shah demanded two months time to redeem the jewel from the saraf which Ranjit granted to him. Shah fearing death invited Maharaja Ranjit Singh on the last day of the two months to come and receive the diamond. . Shah handed over the jewel to Maharaja.


In 1814 the Shah succeeded in sending his brother and Begums to Ludhiana in disguise and then soon after made his escape and joined them where the East India company allowed them Rs. 50,000/- and Rs. 20,000/- per years respectively.


Maharaja Ranjit Singh suddenly died of a paralytic stoke in June 1839. He was succeeded by his imbecile son, Kharak Singh. On November 5, 1840, Kharak Singh die and the reign of his capable son Nao Nihal Singh also ended the same day while returning home from the cemetery after performing funeral rites of his father by the fall of an archway of the Lahore Fort. The following years witnessed intrigue and murders.This was the consipiracy laid by the Dogra rulers, they deceived the Sikh rulefor their personal gains.The Sikh rule collapsed due to the secret planning of the Dogra brothers. The English were closely watching the happenings in the Punjab and they finally declared war is December, 1845 which ended in February 1846. Sikh army was defeated and Peace Treaty was concluded between Maharaja Dalip Singh, a minor son of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and the East Indian company. This peace treaty did not last long and second Anglo-Sikh war was fought in 1848-49. Finally the Sikh army was defeated and Punjab was annexed. The Maharaja Dalip Singh was pensioned off, all state property confiscated to the company, the celebrated diamond, the Koh-i-Noor surrended to the Queen of England on 24th March, 1849. This is how the Koh-i-Noor passing through many hands finally reached England

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