Hyderabad: The name ‘Golconda Diamond’ became synonymous to Golconda as the region became the most popular producer of precious stones during the rule of the historic Qutb Shahi dynasty. At that time, India had the only known diamond mines in the world. Each diamond even before the discovery of mines in Africa and other places generated from this kingdom.
Kohinoor, Nizam, Dariya-e-Noor, Hope, Dresden Green, Archduke Joseph, Noor-ul-Ain, Nassak, Sancy, Shah, the Great Moghul, and many more diamonds made Golconda famous.
Very few of us know, that not one, but three places across the world were named after Golconda by its residents. Apart from Hyderabad, a small town in Pope County, United States is also named Golconda.
The town was originally named Sarahsville upon the organisation of Pope County in 1816, but changed its name to Golconda on January 24, 1817. Why ? The town was once mining diamonds, and now, minerals.
“Golconda, Illinois is not the only place to be inspired by Golconda, Deccan. There is another town in Humboldt County, Nevada, United States. This town of Golconda was founded in 1869. Discovery of copper, silver, gold, and lead brought entrepreneurs who opened mines and mills in the district,” Haseeb Jafferi, a Heritage Buff told Deccan Chronicle.
The name Golconda was not restricted to a region in United States rather a bank was also named after the place. A US currency note of $10 issued in 1902 by the first National Bank of Golconda.
The third place is a village located in the southern part of Trinidad. It was named after Golconda in the 19th Century. Presently, it is populated by mostly descendants of East Indians.
‘Cut like a flower’
The Golconda fort was initially called Gul Kunda, meaning “cut like a flower”.
Most of the diamonds were found near Kollur, Guntur district, Paritala and Atkur in Krishna district in present day Andhra Pradesh and were brought to Golconda in Hyderabad to cut and polish them. At that time, India had the only known diamond mines in the world.
Golconda was the market of the diamond trade, and gems sold here came from a number of mines. However, Europeans believed that the diamonds were found in the fortress-city itself. During the Renaissance and the early modern eras, the name Golconda acquired a legendary aura and became synonymous for vast wealth. “This was the reason that some residents of mining towns renamed them after Golconda,” said Mr Jafferi.
The mines brought riches to the Qutb Shahis who ruled Golconda up till 1687, then to the Nizams. The fort was built in the village Mankhyal, a name that still exists.