Bellary Residents Join Diamond Rush in Pathikonda

The annual diamond rush has begun in Pathikonda constituency, with families leaving their homes to search for precious stones. This decades-old tradition sees a surge in activity at the beginning of the rainy season, as locals and enthusiasts from neighboring areas like Bellary in Karnataka flock to the area.

The monsoon rains wash away layers of earth in villages like Peravali, Tuggali, and Jonna Giri, revealing diamonds that were previously hidden. The hope of finding a life-changing diamond motivates many to endure the harsh conditions, living in makeshift tents as they tirelessly sift through the soil.

This diamond fever isn’t limited to locals. People from Anantapur, Kadapa, Prakasam districts of Andhra Pradesh, and Bellary in Karnataka join the hunt, believing that a single discovery could bring them prosperity. Local merchants and middlemen purchase these stones from the villagers, eventually selling them to bigger merchants in major cities for a significant profit.

Legends speak of a time during Emperor Krishna Deva Raya’s reign when diamonds were abundant in this region. Despite warnings from farmers and signs prohibiting trespassing on agricultural land, the diamond hunters remain undeterred. Their activities disrupt farming activities, as the monsoon season is crucial for preparing the land for sowing.

The diamond hopefuls take shelter in bus shelters, schools, temples, and public spaces until the monsoon subsides. Some even continue searching through the night, using flashlights to spot the telltale sparkle of a diamond in the soil. Year after year, farmers file complaints with the police, urging them to protect their land from being destroyed. However, these pleas often go unanswered.

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