The Kohinoor diamond evokes stories, legends and many such emotions in people. It was supposed to be one of the most famous, ill-cursed stones in the last century. This book is a blend of history and fiction essaying the tumultuous journey of this fascinating precious stone. Intrigue, tragedy and pathos have surrounded this iconic gemstone and this book gives us a chance to be lost in its scintillating mystique.
The story kick starts from the Mughal Empire of the 16th century chronicling the long arduous journey as it changes hands ever so often. The actual plot begins in 1817 where the Afghanistan emperor is held captive. He is Shah Shuja and the plot begins from the Shalimar Gardens in Kashmir. The story unfolds as the then ruler of Punjab, Maharaja Ranjit Singh forces Shah to handover the Kohinoor to him in return for his freedom.
Of all the 105 carats, the Kohinoor also known as Mountain of Light in Persian is a silent witness to the destruction of the family of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Left in the innocent hands of the 8-year-old Maharaja Dalip Singh. The story also brings to life the growth of the East India Company, the spread of their power and influence over India.
The book serves as a good piece of engaging history lesson too. We are introduced to some famous personalities of those days like Lord Auckland, Lord Dalhousie, Henry Lawrence and Queen Victoria. The story evolves when Maharaja Dalip Singh is influenced to hand over the Kohinoor to Queen Victoria as we see this pride of India going away forever.
Indu Sundaresan is an Indian American historical fiction writer. One of her best-known works is the Twentieth Wife that won the 2003 Washington State Book Award. Some of her other popular works are the Feast of Roses, The Splendor of Silence, In the Convent of Little Flowers and The Taj Mahal Trilogy collection. This paperback book is listed with the ISBN number of 9788171674589.