Across India on the Trail of the Koh-i-Noor Diamond
In the beginning diamonds came from India, nowhere else. And the greatest of those ancient stones cut a deep and bloody path across the history and legends of the country. The Koh-i-Noor, the Mountain of Light, has been fought over, cursed and occasionally lost. Seized by British agents eager to please the young Queen Victoria, it now lies in the Tower of London, its ownership still disputed.
This book follows the trail of this great jewel, journeying to many fascinating corners of India and to the heart of Indian culture. Along the way, meet dealers, smugglers and petty crooks who populate modern India's diamond trade, and discover that the depths of human greed and the heights of spiritual aspiration are both bound up in India's long association with diamonds.
The historical characters are no less fascinating, from the bloodthirsty tyrants who built mountains of human heads, to the man-god Krishna - each contributes to the gradually forming picture of the story of the diamond, a story that permeates the author's own experience of modern India on a journey that becomes increasingly dangerous as it progresses.