Jul-Sept 2015 Inaugural Issue Kings & Kingdoms

De Beers’ 450 Year Hunt For The Hidden Treasures Of Indian Kingdoms

This excerpt from The Hunt For The Treasure Of Vijayanagara Empire details the centuries old plan of the East India Company to loot the hidden treasures of the Indian kingdoms.

A massive eviction of tribals is taking place in the State of Andhra Pradesh from the virgin forests of Nallamala range for the exclusive benefits of De Beers, a diamond mining corporation that wants the kimberlite or diamonds from the forest. But that is not the only thing De Beers is after. What De Beers is after is the buried wealth of Vijayanagara Empire to be hauled permanently into western fold. The efforts of De Beers started at least 13 years ago when it was told to us that “they realized the massive diamond, gold and granite deposits in Mehaboob Nagar and Kurnool districts of Andhra Pradesh”. These deposits are spread under the thick jungles of Nallamala forests. These forests needed to be cleared first for the diamond mining or De Beers should have to resort to the latest technology called horizontal drilling under the forests. Fortunately, or unfortunately, this forcible eviction was stopped when the state government that wanted to promote this was voted out of power.

Now here comes the kicker.

East India Companies when they ruled India tried to locate these kimberlite mines and declared that they were all exhausted and thus shifted their focus to South Africa. In South Africa they found diamonds and set up African gold and diamond mining companies under the ruthless exploitative ownership of Oppenheimers, who were one of the owners of the East India Companies. De Beers is also one of the East India Companies owned by these Houses of Rhodes and Oppenheimers.

It is these Nallamala diamond mines that were the source of the riches of all the kingdoms of India including the Vijayanagara Kingdom, which at its height sold diamonds on streets not in carats but in kilograms. This fact was recorded by Portuguese, Russian, French and other chroniclers who had business and diplomatic ties with Vijayanagara Kingdom.

Every crown jewel of every European kingdom in those days came from India and from these mines along the banks of Krishna or Tungabhadra rivers. World famous diamonds like Kohinoor, Hope, French crown jewels all came from these mines in Krishna river as it winds through the expansive Vijayanagara Kingdom through the Nallamala forest reserves. As this reserve was empty of all diamonds and gold as a result of mining over centuries by many kingdoms, the British never exploited these forest reserves. Otherwise all Chenchus (tribals living in these forests) would have been dead by now and all diamonds and gold looted by this time till the last diamond and ounce of gold was exploited from these Nallamala areas. India would never have got her independence as South Africa never got till all her diamonds and gold were exploited to the last carat and ounce.

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So, where are these diamonds and gold these people are talking about if these kimberlite mines were exhausted couple of hundreds of years back? And why every central mining minster states in parliament that India has no technology to exploit these resources and that is why we have to call MNCs to do the job? Even for IT and Computers, India never had expertise. In a matter of a decade we now are leading in IT and computer field. How difficult is it to set up education in mining in India to train and prepare thousands of engineers in a span of 5 years? Why are we waiting from 1990 until 2016, for 26 years without setting up mining colleges or training Indian students to do the job?

Is it only to hand over the same resources to De Beers or other companies? Was there a tacit agreement across all political parties that for some return (read kickbacks or in normal English bribes) these non-existing or exhausted diamond and gold mines should be given only to De Beers. When mines were already exhausted why everyone is rushing into Nallamala for diamonds and gold? Where are they? How in post-independent India, when we can send our own satellites, explode our own atomic and thermo-nuclear weapons, make our nuclear submarines, none can find these resources and only De Beers found it in 1990?

So, where is the treasure?

During the battle of Talikota when the front line Vijayanagara armies were defeated, the backup army under the Commander in Chief Tirumala Raya was kept across the river Krishna, who decided to save the wealth of the kingdom rather than fight the battle from left flank. What Tirumala Raya carried was only guessable and exaggerated by many and made legendary by some others. It was estimated that on 7,000 elephants and 30,000 horses the wealth of Vijayanagara Kingdom was carried and with this wealth Tirumala Raya vanished into the dense jungles of Nallamala.

He resurfaced after six months took back Vijayanagara and then shifted the capital to Penugonda garrison. What he carried on these many horses and elephants is believed to be diamonds and gold mined in these kimberlite mines before they got exhausted by the time the British came. (Around 1835 when British soldiers sacked Amaravati near Guntur, they carried on 7,000 horses the gold that was removed from the buildings of this capital city.)

Since that time of Tirumala Raya’s movement with wealth untill now, thousands of treasure hunting parties tried to locate this wealth. According to one estimate around 1980 there were 125 full time treasure-hunting parties to find this wealth. And part time treasure-hunting parties must be ten times that number. Many temples around these Nallamala forests were destroyed and uprooted; dated thousands of years old and were real cultural treasures. Close to 125 to 150 people including a French treasure hunting party were killed in the process of finding the treasure in these Nallamala forest areas. So the then Government of India under Prime Minister Indira Gandhi restricted all human entry into the jungle areas except for religious tourism.

Even today many temples are uprooted and destroyed by many Indians in these Nallamala areas; while Archeology departments of state and center are resource-less and powerless to stop these greedy Indians who at times do these things with full backing of politicians. Regarding gold in these forests there was an estimate of a mining engineer who studied the Sri Sailam temple (Jyotirlingakshethra) surroundings and found that there was close to 2,500 tons of gold buried under the Temple premises. After this the state government banned all night travel in and out of Sri Sailam temple ghat road. This is what the western MNCs are aiming to dig out and take out of India.

Is it a coincidence that now every diamond mining company is back with renewed force into India to clear and decimate these Nallamala jungles in search of another Kohinoor or Hope or dozens of crown jewels and many ordinary diamonds? These ordinary diamonds are needed as they were needed during Second World War for manufacturing of jet engines, high temperature and high velocity war heads etc or in oil drilling industry.

Recently both state and central governments have become concerned about the protection of wildlife in the Nallamala forests. Now it is hard to understand how for thousands of years the human dwellings in the Nallamala ranges were never a problem to any habitat and how now they suddenly became. And how successive governments decided the only way to solve this problem of wild life protection is to evict all tribals who go by the community name CHENCHUS.

Subscribe now and read this extensively researched complete article on The Hunt For The Treasure Of Vijayanagara Empire in the Inaugural Jul-Sept 2015 issue of GreatGameIndia – India’s only quarterly magazine on Geopolitics & International Affairs.

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