Sunday, 16 June 2019

If Mahatma Gandhi were alive .......

Mahatma Gandhiji's quote.
Indian nethas (politicians)
''To me God is truth and love, God is ethics and morality, God is fearlessness''. .....................Mahatma Gandhi

The birth of Gandhiji (Gandhi Jayanthi)  is `celebrated on the 2nd of October  every year across  India with Indian leaders of various parties garlanding the Gandhiji’s statues in their respective places. The same ritual is repeated when his death anniversary is observed on the 30 th of January every year.  For the past several decades, our nethas  have  never failed to observe both Gandhi Jayanthi and death anniversary events to impress on the people that they are following Mahatma's preachings despite their parties'  divergent ideologies. Following  Gandhi Jayanthi day, in particular, with some exceptions most of  his statues across  India will lose their shine and become dusty as months go by and will remain so till the next event mentioned above.
As for our nethas, they have  neither time  nor clear mind to look upon Gandhiji as a source of inspiration because most of them have problems up to their neck, the serious ones being political scams and corruption charges. To cap it all, they have obsession with their political revelry within the party ranks who are ready to knock them down like nine pins in the Bowling Alley and replace them. In a stressful, tight  political scenario  they would rather focus their energy  on to save their face, safe and stature than  follow Gandhiji's teachings. The day to day problem of survival within the party and of proving their innocence in corruption charges levelled against them by the opponents will get priority over other things.  In the midst of all, they have to do some social service for name sake in their constituencies to keep their image in good shape. Regardless of their political functioning, one factor emerges out: Most of them  have scant respect for Gandhiji's  simplicity and political morality for which he stood as an example and sacrificed his life.  

''There will have to be rigid and iron discipline before we achieve anything great and enduring, and that discipline will not come by mere academic argument and appeal to reason and logic. Discipline is learnt in the school of adversity''................ Mahatma Gandhi
Gandhiji by cartoonist R.K.Laxman.
If Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi,  an Apostle of Non-Violence were alive  to day, he would have been in rage for the following reasons ...............................................
01. Clashes among caste Hindus and dalits: 
Nauseating clashes  and enmity among caste Hindus 
and Dalits across India often initiated by certain politicians to have an edge over the other are too serious a matter. The aspirations of every caste must be addressed to maintain political amity. 

02. Coalition  Government and horse trading: Irregularities in elections and horse trading in the name of alliance among parties  to form a coalition government need to be taken care of. This problem crops up when the political party or parties do not get majority to form a government. Though the parties'  ideologies are poles apart, the nethas come together on a single platform for a common cause other than taking care of people's welfare. The target here is pelf and political power within their reach. Social welfare, agriculture, etc are relegated to the background.

03. Caste and Election: 
The role of caste comes to the fore during election time and it has become vital to win a contest. Using caste as vote banks and money power to get votes reamin unsolved and, at present, no end is in sight. Contestants are chosen for certain  constituencies on the basis of a dominating caste living there. 

04. Corruption in Govt. departments: 
Rampant corruption in every thing  within the corridors of govt. offices - PDS, hospitals, etc. Nepotism  among the some higher-ups is a fact.

05. Licence Raj and Govt. contract work: 
Politics has become a money-spinning business right from construction of roads, bridges, leasing out lands for mining purposes, industrial licence, etc. Only members of party in power will grab the contract compromising on quality of work, etc. 

06. Scams galore: 
Central and state ministries  get involved in  many scams in the last one decade or so. The amazing thing is, if politicians are caught red handed, they know the legal holes through which they can come out unscathed. 

07. Abusing and misusing political power. 
Grabbing of government lands (in particulat Hindu temple lands) for personal gains with the help of goondas – local rowdies or thugs goes unchecked in many cases. In states like Tamil Nadu,  the theft of hundreds of historical Hindu temple idols, grabbing of temple lands, etc  are going on in collusion with some unjust employees and the politicians with no 100% proof solution in sight. 

08. Scant respect for the Supreme Court. 
In the recent past, irresponsible politicians had least  respect for the Supreme Court rulings with respect to release of the Cauvery  River water to Tamil Nadu state (a riparian state). The Congress ministry of Karnataka state did not obey the Supreme Court orders. Tamil Nadu government wanted the Cauvery water for their starving crops in the Delta region through which the river Cauvery travels and joins the Bay of Bengal

09. Prevalence of linguistic chauvinism:
In a few states the linguistic chauvinism is taking roots often fuelled by selfish  nethas. India does not have a common language for communication across the country. The central Govt,'s three language formula is opposed by non-Hindi speaking states. 

10. Frequent breakdowns of  business hours  during parliament sessions.
Opposition parties take every chance to make a mountain out of a mole hill, if they find some  trivial mistakes committed by the ruling party. Several days will be wasted because of  pandemonium and the end result is zilch. Relegated to the background are the issues related to gripping social problems, agriculture, industrial growth, rising prices, etc. 

11. Mixing religion and politics: 

In the last election certain parties in Tamil Nadu made blasphemous remarks about the Hindu Gods and Hindu rituals.
As for Non-Hindu religious priests,  they without any hesitation  used their places of worship  to canvas votes for certain parties. Even, they unashamedly conducted prayer, thus converting the sanctified places into political platforms. By stooping to such a low level, they strangled the democratic practises.

positively he (Gandhi) would  have reprimanded the self-centered nethas  for instigating  and using religion as a tool to get the votes.  
From various sources 

Raj Rajeshwari Tripura Sundari temple in Bastar, Bihar -where idols talk to each other at night.

Miracles  and superstitions do exit all over the world and though explanation is available for these, we are not satisfied with the reason. In India, there are thousands of Hindu, Jain and Buddhists temples and many of them are historical monuments. Likewise there are countless age old mosques, durgahs and churches.\ across India. With so many ancient monuments and places of worship, there is no dearth of mysterious places  here  where a large number of people go due to media hype besides inherent curiosity normally associated with such odd stuff.  In a country like India where
Raj Rajeshwari Tripura Sundari temple in
people are religious and believe in superstitions, miracles tend to occur more often. Raj Rajeshwari Tripura Sundari temple in Bastar, Biharis a case in point and lots of people visit this popular temple. 
Raj Rajeshwari Tripura Sundari temple in Bastar
This 400 year old temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga and it was eestablished by tantric Bhawani Mishra. In the Hindu pantheon Durga is an important goddess - s symbol of destroyer of the evil forces over the good. There are numerous famous Durga temples across India, In Tamil Nadu Patteswaram and Kadiramangalam Durga temples are quite popular and both are close to the temple city of Kumbakonam. 

What is so special about the temple at Baster? here there are several idols of Goddess in various avatars like Tripura, Dhumavati, Bagulamukhi, Tara, Kali, Chinn Masta, Shodasi, Maantangdi, Kamla, Ugrah Tara, Bhuwaneshwari etc.  The main deity is Raj Rajeshwari Tripura Sundari. This place is shrouded in mystery as devotees strongly believe the idols in this temple  talk to each other at night and one can hear it. Upon request a  team of scientists visited this temple and stayed whole night. Past dusk, one can hear voices from the temple, though humans were not present inside the temple. Voice is heard in the form of echo and the mystery behind the talking idol remains  a puzzle. The scientists were sure that the voice were not coming from outside. That what is the source of the voices at night in the temple is an enigma and might require a lot of research. 

The famous Raj Rajeshwari Tripura Sundari temple in Bastar, Bihar, attracts hundreds of thousand of devotees from across the nation. The temple, dedicated to Goddess Durga, is a revered place for tantrics as there are several idols of Goddess Durga in various avatars like Tripura, Dhumavati, Bagulamukhi, Tara, Kali, Chinn Masta, Shodasi, Maantangdi, Kamla, Ugrah Tara, Bhuwaneshwari etc. The nain deity is Raj Rajeshwari Tripura Sundari. This place is shrouded in mystery as devotees strongly believe the idols in this temple  talk to each other at night and one can hear it. Upon request a  team of scientists visited this temple and stayed whole night. Past dusk, one can hear voices from the temple, though humams were not present inside the templ
Let us leave the temple mystery as. it is as the exact reason is not available, Any way, people in thousands visit this temple for peace of mind and blessings from the goddess.

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Quite absorbing Kasiraj Kali Temple, Varanasi, UP

Kasiraj Kali Temple, Varanasi
Kasiraj Kali Temple,

Kasiraj Kali Temple
Kasiraj Kali Temple,

India is endowed with thousands of Hindu temples across the land with amazing architecture, design, sculptures  and minutely carved stone images of exceptional beauty. They stand  as examples of  exceptional talents of our artisans who lived in the past. They speak volumes of their dedication to work, imagination  and the ability to give life to the stone images. Kasiraj Kali Temple in Varanasi is an interesting one, a haven for photographers. 

Located very close to  Godowalia Chowk, Varanasi, U, Kasiraj Kali Temple is  a popular one and it is the property of the erstwhile King of Kasi.  This 200 hundred years old  temple was built by Kashi Naresh  to serve  as a private temple for the royal family. Only royal members could worship there in his time, not others. This temple is an architectural wonder. The workmanship and the mastery of the artisans will overwhelm the visitors. Taking a flight of stone stairs rising from the ground level, you get into the temple where you will just stand there tongue-tied because every carving, decorative sculpture and ornate pillar is a master-piece. The temple with fine roof is aesthetically designed.  The petals, bells and rings  nicely chiseled out of stone  bear testimony to the grandeur and beauty of this temple and they are proofs of the highly developed art of stone work in this part of  India. The architectural mastery is in full bloom not only inside but also outside - beautifully carved gate of the temple  complex. It is symphony in stone
Kasiraj Kali Temple
Kasiraj Kali Temple,

Hindu temple Kalasam (pot) - Some captivating facts

Kalasam on Thanjavur Big temple, TN.
Srikanteswara temple,Nanjangud, Karnataka
Kalasam is like an inverted  pot made of an alloy of five metals (iyympon) normally you will find atop the Hindu temple Tower/ Gopuram. Metals including  gold, silver, copper and tin are used in right proportion to make kalasams. These metals  are believed to give these kalasams an electro-magnetic property.  There is no Hindu temple  across the world that does not have kalasams atop the Vimana. The number of kalasams depends on the structure  and choice and the total number of kalasams comes in odd number. Fixing kalasam on top of the temple has been in practise for centuriesand it is done on an auspicious day.  In India there are  countless 1000 plus year old  historical temples that have metal kalasam(s). According to an ancient Tamil wheeze: ''Don't live in a place where there is no temple'' (in Tamil: ''kovil illatha ooril kudiyerrukka vendam''). This is the reason why Tamil Nadu, in particular, has tens of thousands of Hindu temples. Invariably almost all kalasams are well decorated
Cross section of a Vishnu temple. North Indian style

The following are the interesting facts associated with Temple Kalasams: 

01. Worshipping of Gopuram /Temple Tower (Gopura dharsanam) is one of the important rituals of Hindu  temple worship. One should view the tower  along with  Kodimaram (Temple flag mast). It also goes by the name of Dwajasthambam.

02. In  ancient time no building was allowed to build taller than the temple tower within the specified perimeter, considering the deity's exalted status. No body is above the almighty.

03. Each Kalasam is filled with various dhanyams  (grains) like millet (Kambu), rice (paddy) etc and the quantity will be not less than 50 kg.  In case of a deluge or some kind of powerful natural disaster that might wipe out the plants, crops, etc,  sustenance or survival of humans will become questionable. To avoid food shortage, the dhanyams -will be taken out of kalasams for cultivation purpose, making room for prolification in the future.  The belief is in case of vast flooding, the water level won't touch the kalasams  at higher elevation and the grains will be safe. The grains  in the kalasams on top of these towers will be protected and dry and they could be used for sowing.

04. The kalasams are filled with grains like rice, salt, ragi, millet, corn, maize and sesame. Millet, especially, is used in huge quantities as it is claimed that it could conduct electro-magnetic waves.
Lingaraj Mandir, Bhubaneswar,

05.  Kalasams are kept on the top of the tower where the flow of cosmic energy is maximum and from there they conduct it to the interior parts  right below. In the case of Srikovil or Garbagriha  (sanctum) where the main deity is kept, it is filled with positive energy. A priest has old me that the sanctum does not have a window on the walls  so that the positive energy will be retained within sanctum. So,  Kalasam - Vimana  improves the flow of cosmic energy and helps focus on the interior of the temple. 
06. Yet another fact is these Dhanyam/ pulses in the metal kalasam minimize the impact of  lightning on the structure and avoid damage to it.

Jambukeshwarar (Shiva) Temple, Thiruvanaikaval, Trichy,

07. Periodic renovation of the temple is called Kumbabishekam / Samprokshanam (in Tamil: “Kudamuzhugu Vilzha”). that is done every 12 years;  reason being after 12 long years, the grains lose their power to  absorb the electro-magnetic waves and conductivity and productivity.
Meenakshi Amman Temple at Madurai in Tamil
Srirangam Ranganathar temple, TN.
08. In this elaborate ritual lasting few days, puja is done to the kalasams replacing the old dhanyams/pulses with fresh ones. In some temples, new kalasams are made and ceremoniously fixed atop the tower. This is mostly done by  priests who are well- versed in temple Agama sastras. On the day of kumbabishekam, holy Thertham is poured on the metal pots on the tower

09. The artisans  do not begin their work on the temple kalasam without doing elaborate puja/prayer. Besides, they choose only auspicious day and time to begin their work. The artisans specialized in making idols, kalasams, puja articles and other related items for the temples have a good knowledge of Agama sastras and do their work accordingly.

Friday, 14 June 2019

Mt. Everest 2019, Spring season deaths - Nepal Government blames the weather

Mt. Everest.
Mt. Everest, long line to the summit.
The Mount Everest climbing Spring season having been over, now the blaming game has begun to take shape over the death of more than 11 climbers on the higher slopes of Everest in May over a short period. Tagged as the  deadliest season since 2015 by the international media and by many mountaineering clubs, the accusing finger points at the Nepal government that issued permit for the climbers far beyond the limit, considering the short weather windows available this season at the high slopes of the Himalayan peak. A traffic jam was created   above 8000 meters in the ''death zone'' when many climbers wanted to go for the summit at the same time under short favorable weather condition. and can be dangerous above 8,000 metres, known to climbers as the “death zone”.
 Refusing to accept the blame the Nepal government claims that the large number of deaths of climbers on Mount Everest this season
 is not solely because of the “traffic jam” on the world’s highest peak. They said the contributing factors were high altitude sickness, hypothermia, etc caused by adverse weather. The Nepal tourism ministry said the toll was  nine.  “Our attention has been drawn to the wrong information about deaths on Everest conveyed by national and international media,” said Dandu Raj Ghimire, director general of the department of tourism (DoT), adding that “traffic jam” did not cause the deaths. The DoT has stated that it had issued 366 expedition permits in 2017 and 346  in 2018. This year it was  381 and it is not a big difference.  This false information will hurt our image and mountaineering sector badly.

Tit Bits:

01. Since 1953, 4400 people have climbed Everest in the climbing season-  March to June.

02. Since 1922,  over 200 mountaineers have died on Everest.

03. George Mallory was  the first British to have died on Everest decades ago in 1924. His body was recovered on first of May 1999. His climbing partner, Andrew "Sandy" Irvine's body is still unknown. It was not confirmed weather he and Irvine had reached the peak and death occurred while descending.  Mind you, the  standard of mountaineering gear  was very poor in those days.

04. In the years 2015 to 2018 less than 6 climbers died on Everest.
05. Four Indians died on Everest at an altitude of 8,848-metre  and two each died on Kangchenjunga and Makalu, bringing the total death toll of Indian climbers in the Himalayas to 8.
06. Over the past two decades the average casualty on Everest has remained about six.

07. Part of adverse weather condition on the Nepalese Himalayas was triggered by the cyclone Fani that had struck India and Bangladesh. In the aftermath 20 tens at the camp were blown away by heavy winds.

08. By mid May the work on fixing bolted rope was completed. The first feasible weather window was 19 and 20 May. But majority of climbers preferred the second weather window 22 to 24 May. 

09. A maximum of 250 climbers lined up on 23 May. and this caused the traffic jam. There is a need to improve crowd management.

 10. Besides long wait, many climbers risked their lives, as they were low on oxygen.

Awe-inspiring Kailasanathar temple, Kanchipuram,TN - dedicated to God Shiva

Kanchi Kailasanathar temple, TN
Temples of India occupy  a unique place in the country. They are the torch-bearers of our culture and tradition. They are the sites of  our age-old arts, dance  and spiritual moorings. In the state of Tamil Nadu every place is doted with some kind of temple invariably an old one. According to a Tamil  adage: ''Do not ever live in a place where there is no temple''- (Kovil illatha ooril kudierrukka. vendam''). Tamil Nadu has the largest number of ancient Hindu temples dedicated  both to Shiva and Vishnu, besides Goddess who goes by different names like Durga, Kali, Lakshmi, etc.

The Kanchi Kailasanathar temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, has the distinction of being the oldest structure in Kanchipuram (Tamil Nadu) which is close to  Chennai, just 75 miles. Built from 685-705 AD by  Rajasimha ruler of the Pallava Dynasty in  the  Dravidian temple architectural style, it is a popular temple. The name  Kailasanathar Temple  implies “Lord of the Kailash  Mountain”) and the credit goes  to the Pallava dynasty, who had established their kingdom with Kanchipuram (also known as “Kanchi” or “Shiva-Vishnu Kanchi”) as the capital city. Like Kumbakonam temple city, TN, this city is one of the sacred places for the Hindus. Pallavas, once they established their rule began to expand the city and started building many  artistically designed fine temples.  Maha Shivaratri is the major festival held in this  temple when thousand of devotees visit  the temple in the evening hours to offer prayers to the main deity.
Kanchi Kailasanathar temple, TN
Narasimhavarman II ( also known as Rajasimha Pallaveswara) built the earliest structure here. It was his son  Mahendravarman III completed the front part and the gopuram (tower).  Earlier temples were built using either  wood or wood hewn into rock faces in the caves.  It is said that this temple acted as a safe haven  for the rulers of the kingdom during wars or any other emergency. Underground  secret tunnel, built by the kings, was used as an escape route and is still visible  to day. Raja Raja Chola  985-1014 CE, on a visit to this temple, was very much impressed by the architecture,  unique design  and the beautiful stone sculptures.  It was this visit that gave him  inspiration and desire to build a big temple made of only hard stone and dedicate it to God Shiva as he happened to be a true devotee of God Shiva. Like the underground tunnel at the Kanchi temple, there is also a tunnel connecting the Big temple at Thanjavur  and outside. It used to be an escape route for the rulers in case of emergency. On the outer wall of this temple at Thanjavur, you can see provisions for mounting  big canons in case of war. 

The low lying  sandstone compound has a large number of beautiful carvings, including many half-animal deities which were popular during the early Dravidian architectural period. The complex has 58 small shrines, all dedicated to various forms of  God Shiva. These are set  into niches on the inner face of the high compound wall of the  Prakara path way.   Facing east, the temple is  on the banks of the Vegavathy River at the western limits of the Kanchipuram. The city has three parts and this temple is in Shiva Kanchi. The other parts being Vishnu  Kanchi and Jain Kanchi.  The other famous Hindu temples are  Ekambaranatha, Kachapeshwarar, Kamakshi Amman, Kumarakottam Temple, and Varadaraja Perumal.
Tradition followed here at this temple is based on Smartha worship: Shiva, Vishnu, Devi, Surya (Sun), Ganesha and Kartikeya (Subramaniam or Murugan have separate shrines. 
Kanchi Kailasanathar temple, TN
Tiru Parameswara Vinnagaram, which is also known as the Vaikunta Perumal temple and the Kailsahanathar Temple stand as true specimens of temple architecture of the period 640-730 AD. One can see the retention of Pallava architecture with influences of Dravidian and Vijayanagara styles. As in other temples, you find the same temple design. The temple complex has all parts - garbagriha (sanctum sanctorum), antarala (inner enclosure), mandapa (hall), a high compound wall, and an entrance gate, the gopuram.  The foundation is made of granite to bear the weight of towers- gopurams with many tiers. The Vimana above the main shrine has  a square plan and rises up as pyramid.  The mandapa was a detached one initially, later was made part of the main shrine by interposing an ardhamantapa (smaller hall). The ornate pillars of the mandapa  have the repetitive features of mythical lion mounts.

The main shrine has a 16 sided Shivalinga in black granite stone deified in the Srikovil/sanctum  and the pedestal, within the walls of the shrine, has many beautifully carved images, including sculpted Nandi (bull), supposedly guarding the main deity.

On  the south facing wall you can see the sculpture of Shiva as Umamaheshavara (Shiva with his consort Parvati), Lingodbhava (emergence of Shiva as fiery pillar - linga) surrounded by Brahma and Vishnu and flying amaras on the lower level. On the west facing hall  there are sculptures of Shiva in the form of Sandhya Tandavamurti and Urdhava Tandvamurti. The ensemble is complete with images of ganas in dancing poses and also with images of Brahma, Vishnu, Nandi and Parvati. On the north facing wall Shiva is  Tripurantaka flanked by three ganas, goddess Durga with three ganas, and goddesses Bhairavi, Kaushiki and Jyestha.  Aspects of Shiva - Bhikshatana, Somaskanda and in Samhara-Tandava (destructive dancing) pose adorn the exterior faces of the tower - vimana. 
Kailasanathar temple, Kanchi A sculpture in one of the niches of the 58
In the inner prathakshana path you can see a galaxy of various deities. Notable are  images of Durga, Kartikeya, Bhavati, Tripurantaka, Garudarudha-Vishnu, Asura Samhara (slaying of demons), Narasimha (Vishnu's avatar), Trivikrama (another Vishnu's avatar), Shiva Tandava (Shiva in a dancing pose), Shiva severing the fifth head of Brahma, desecration of Yagna of Daksha, Brahma and his wife, Gangadhara, Urdhava tandava, Vishnu flanked by Bhudevi and Sridevi, Lingodbhava, Bhikshatana, Ravana, and Vali offering prayers to Atmalinga Chandikeshvara. The image of Ardhanariswara sitting on a bull is exquisitely carved. 
 Kailasanathar temple, Kanchi. pillar with  mythical
Kailasanathar temple, Kanch.Sculpture of Goddess Durga. wikipedia
Doing prathakshanam (going round the temple clock-wise) is a must for the devotees visiting Hindu temples. At this temple, it has spiritual connotations and it is important to do it. Those who complete it, it is said, will be free from rebirth. Various stages in the Prathakshna path are akin to going through different stages in life. Here, the exit gate is called Birth gate (Pirappu Vaail). The entry point to the Prathakshna path is called Death Gate (Erraupu Vaail).  During completion of  Prathakshana (circumambulation) - crawling and coming out of the small passage  suggests your coming out of mother's womb, implying  Hindu's belief of rebirth.Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple is maintained by Archaeological Survey of India.

This temple is a phtograher's paradise. It is a big, historical Hindu temple worth visiting and you will not be disappointed. 

Tantalizing ''Evening Star'' diamond of Indian origin!!

“The Evening Star” diamond from India’s Golconda mines is one of the finest ancient diamonds in the world. This diamond was auctioned in New York on 10  December 2009. This Pear-shaped,  39-carat, D-color Golconda diamond  was the  highlight of this auction that featured  10 exquisite jewels. Do you know how this diamond got its name? It was customary on the part of the unnamed owner to wear this sparkling diamond  to evening  parties, often as a pendant suspended from a diamond necklace that consisted of 68 graduated pear-shaped diamonds

Evening star diamond from Golconda mine.

This diamond from the private collection came up for auction - “Magnificent Jewels from a Distinguished Private Collector” at the famous Christie's, a time-honoured auction house  and is well known for presenting some of the most rare and priceless jewels in its auctions, especially from the Indian subcontinent. Special attention was given to this stone - The Evening Star Diamond  because it came from the India's ancient Golconda mines, the source of many of the world's exceptional diamonds, including the Hope Diamond, Koh-i-Noor, etc.
 As expected both the “Evening Star” and the stones used in the matching earrings -Type IIa diamonds that possesses the exceptional clarity associated with Golconda diamonds took the people and the bidders by surprise at the auction. The Evening Star went under hammer for whopping $5.4 million at the auction house.   According to Christie’s  the Wittelsbach diamond (from Golconda) holds the record for a jewel sold at auction -$24.3 million at its 2008 London sale. Indeed, a mind-boggling price for a big piece of hardened carbon. What a way to establish ones status and affluence in this transient world?

In the 19th century, particularly toward the end, ‘Golconda’ (west of Hyderabad city, Telengana, India) became  associated  with diamond mines or source of exceptional wealth,  quite similar  to El Dorado.

A note on Wittelsbach Diamond:

The original Wittelsbach Diamond, originated from the Kollur mines in Guntur District, Andhra, India also goes by the name of  Der Blaue Wittelsbacher.  This  35.56-carat (7.112 g) deep, grayish-blue diamond with VS2 clarity had been part of both the Austrian and the Bavarian Crown jewels. The unique feature of this stone was  it had  82 facets arranged in an atypical pattern. Originally possessed by the King Philip IV of Spain in the 17th century finally  the Habsburg family  of Vienna became the owner. It came to Munich when, in 1722, Maria Amalia married Charles of Bavaria, a member of the Wittelsbach family.  It was Maximilian IV Joseph von Wittelsbach, the first King of Bavaria in 1806, commissioned a royal crown that prominently displayed the diamond. The jewel remained on top of the Bavarian crown until 1918. It was seen last in public at Ludwig III of Bavaria's funeral in 1921.

The Wittelsbach family made a futile attempt to sell the diamond  in 1931 during the Great Depression. Only in 1951, they could sell the stone.  In the 1960s, the Goldmuntz family owned this historical stone.  On 10 December 2008, the 35.56-carat (7.112 g) Wittelsbach Diamond was sold to London-based jeweller Laurence Graff for £16.4 million sterling, or US$23.4 million. At that time, it is believed,  the highest price ever paid at auction for a diamond. In June 2011, Graff apparently sold the diamond to the former emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa, for at least US$80 million. events and galas.