Mussoorie’s connection with Kohinoor and its inheritor | Dehradun News


MUSSOORIE: The demise of Queen Elizabeth II and the subsequent talks of the Kohinoor to be inherited by Camilla, the Queen consort, have reminded Mussoorie residents of the connection of the town with the famous diamond, which for centuries has been the pride of royalty and envy of many.
Historical accounts indicate that as a young boy, Duleep Singh — the inheritor of the world’s largest diamond and the last Sikh ruler of Punjab — was kept in this hill town by the British for his education before he was taken to England to ‘personally hand over’ the diamond to Queen Victoria.
“Before he was taken to England in 1854, the young Sikh maharaja was brought to Mussoorie in 1852 and kept here for two years. He stayed at Whytbank castle in Barlowgunj which has long since been demolished and replaced by a five-star hotel,” says local historian Gopal Bhardwaj.
Records indicate that the young prince was put in the care of Dr John Login, an army surgeon, and his wife Lena Login. The purpose of bringing the young prince to the hill town was to keep him away from Punjab and also to groom him before being taken to England.
At Mussoorie, the young maharaja engaged in a host of activities and showed keen interest in cricket and a cricket ground was especially made for him at Manor house, where St George’s College is located today.
Later, in 1854 Dalhousie arranged for Singh to be taken to England, where he was shown the diamond and after examining it for a few minutes, he presented it to Queen Victoria.
“As the inheritor of the most sought-after diamond in the world, Duleep Singh was worked on so well by his English guardian to hand over the Kohinoor diamond that Dr Login was conferred a knighthood by the queen,” says noted author and Mussoorie resident Bill Aitken.





Source link

Leave a Comment