Dalrymple On Koh-i-noor

Eminent Author William Dalrymple said that Koh-i-noor has a controversial history and there are many claimants to it.

Delivering Twentieth Odisha Knowledge Hub Lecture series organized here in State Secretariat on 6 April, Mr.Dalrymple said, the gem is one of the 
largest cut diamonds in the world, weighing 105.6 carats. 

The term Koh-i-Noor is Persian meaning “Mountain of Light" and has been known by this name since 18th century.

The gem has changed hands among various parts of Globe like Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan.

Presently it is   ceded to 
Queen Victoria as part of the British Crown jewels, said he.

Mr.Dalrymple further mentioned Koh-i-noor is an integral part of Indian history, art and literature.

“It symbolized colonial sovereignty in India,” he said while relating it to the historical reference of King Ranjit Singh presenting the jewel to Lord Shree Jagannath at Puri.

He further termed Koh-i-noor as the most infamous diamond of the world because of the controversies around its ownership and the after effects of its possession.
Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi and Development Commissioner Asit Tripathy welcomed Mr.Dalrymple and Mr.Padhi  felicitated him with the OKH memento to mark his visits to the State.  
Introducing Mr.Dalrymple to the audience, Development Commissioner Mr.Tripathy said that William Dalrymple is a famous historian, traveller and a journalist. He is author of nine world famous books about India and Islamic world.

“Because of his scholarly reflections and discoveries he has been awarded honorary doctorates of letters from the Universities of Edinburgh, St Andrews, Aberdeen, Bradford and Lucknow,” he said adding, the writer has been a visiting fellow in humanities at Princeton and Brown University.

Recently Mr.Dalrymple curetted a major show of Mughal art for Asia Society in New York with the banner of Princes and Painters in Mughal Delhi ( 1707-1857) wherein the jewel of Koh-i-noor was described and related to. 
Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi along with Additional Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and Commissioners of different departments participated in the ‘open session’ following the lecture.

In view of growing popularity of the Lecture, it was extended to two other conference halls of Odisha secretariat and various district head quarters through video conferencing.

The Collectors along with senior officers, students, teachers, researchers from various parts of Odisha participated in the lecture through this video conferencing.

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