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Blast from the Past: Kurnool Farmers strikes Diamonds in field

A daily chore at the field turned out to be a huge surprise for a farmer in Andhra Pradesh after he discovered precious stones in his farm. He found a diamond in his agricultural fields at Gollavanepalli, Kurnool district, heralding the annual ‘diamond hunt’ in Rayalaseema. The diamond is estimated to be worth Rs. 60 lakh. 
 
The farmer sold the diamond to a local merchant, identified as Allah Baksh, who purchased it for Rs 13.5 lakh and five tolas of gold. Although the news has spread like wildfire through the district, the police said they were unaware of it. Meanwhile, the exact size, colour and weight of the diamond remain unknown. The police said they are investigating the case.
 
This is the second diamond struck in Kurnool district this monsoon. On June 12, a shepherd, while grazing his sheep at Jonnagiri village, found an eight-carat diamond, which he sold for Rs. 20 lakh, while the actual price could be about Rs. 50 lakh. The Krishna basin, along with that of its tributaries, is historically known for producing diamonds, which are erroneously known as Golconda diamonds.
 
Meanwhile, farmers and migrant labour, who have been camping in makeshift tents along the course of rivers Tungabhadra and Hundri, both tributaries of the Krishna, are striking smaller diamonds.
 
The hunt for diamonds across several villages of Kurnool district, including Jonnagiri, Tuggali, Maddikera, Pagidirai, Peravali, Mahanandi and Mahadevapuram, picks up steam every year with the onset of the monsoons and goes on till the end of the season. During the monsoon, rains wash away several layers of earth revealing the diamonds beneath the earth.
 
The diamond hunt in these parts of Kurnool district has gained so much in popularity that migrants from not just across the state but also from several neighbouring states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana and Maharashtra visit the riverside areas in search of diamonds.
 
The areas where the diamonds are found are in and around Sarvanarasimha Swamy temple in Sirivella mandal headquarters where it is widely believed that Sri Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagara empire and his minister Timmarasu hid treasures under the ground.

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