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TrimbaKeshwar Devasthan trustee keen to get back Nassak diamond from Lebnaon

11:19 AM May 30, 2019 | Free Press Journal Correspondant

The blue Nassak Diamond and Lalita Shinde(left), a Trimbakeshwar Devasthan  trustee, who has taken the initiative to bring it back from Lebanon

Nashik: The blue Nassak Diamond, that once graced the crown of the famed Trimbakeshwar idol in 1725, is the one of the largest diamonds in the world. After its loot by several rulers, the diamond is now said to be safely housed in a private museum in Lebanon.

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Exactly 291 years later, or in 2016, a Trimbakeshwar Devasthan trustee has announced that she would bring back the diamond. Lalita Shinde is the first female trustee and a former municipal president of Trimbakeshwar, a small town located in Nashik district.

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“It’s our diamond. It belongs to the Trimbakeshwar Deity, and we’ll get it back,” says Lalita.

Lalita has written to President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and many other departments. Now she has plans of filing a petition in the Supreme Court to speed up the homecoming of the Nassak Diamond.

The Nassak diamond, also called ‘Eye of Lord Shiva’, is an emerald cut blue-white stone weighing 43.38 carats or 8.676 gr, when it was mined from the Amaragiri mine located in Mahbubnagar, Telangana in the 15th Century, the size was 89 carat diamond which was cut and belonged to the Mysore kingdom.

Lalita Shinde further said that, the Mughal Dynasty subjugated Mysore and became owners of the diamond. “It was kept in their treasury.

After Nana Peshwe, one of the greatest warriors of India became powerful, he defeated the Mughals and took over their treasury in Delhi. “Among the jewels was the Nassak Diamond,” she said.

“In Nashik, Nana Peshwe had made a vow to the Trimbakeshwar Deity that he would gift the Nassak diamond if he succeeded in breaking the siege of the Trimbakeshwar fort. He won, and gifted the deity with a priceless gold crown studded with many jewels and the Nassak diamond in the Centre, after renovating the temple in 1725,” she said.

“Then the British came and the East India Company looted the Nassak diamond and sold it off to jeweller Rundell and Bridge in 1818. It changed hands many times and was cut further to its present size of 43.38 carats or 8.676 gr. Now it belongs to Robert Mouawad museum in Lebanon, a private institution. “If need be, we’ll collect the funds and buy it but the government has a big role in bringing it back,” Lalita said.

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