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Precious stone hunters throng Kurnool villages

Precious stone hunters throng Kurnool villages
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It is not for nothing that Rayalaseema is known as ‘Ratnalaseema.’ During the early days of monsoon in June precious stones, emerge out of the soil in Kurnool district. If a person is lucky, he or she could become a ‘lakhpathi’ overnight finding just one precious stone. Treasure hunters are on the prowl just like Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) in the Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Pathikonda (Kurnool): It is not for nothing that Rayalaseema is known as ‘Ratnalaseema.’ During the early days of monsoon in June precious stones, emerge out of the soil in Kurnool district. If a person is lucky, he or she could become a ‘lakhpathi’ overnight finding just one precious stone. Treasure hunters are on the prowl just like Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) in the Raiders of the Lost Ark.


Precious stones are usually found in the villages of Pagidirayi, Jonnagiri, Madananthapuram and Peravali in Thuggali and Maddikera mandals, when farmers take up tilling of land during early monsoon days. With the rainwater washing away mud on stones, they shine in all glory.

Many such hunters regularly come to these places as scores did in the past. There have been instances when the finder of a gem was taken for a ride by ‘crooked’ traders, who mislead the seller about its value

This is the time when hunters of precious stones from places as far as Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, besides those in Guntur and Hyderabad, descend on these villages looking to strike it rich if they find a real ‘ratnam’. It is not an easy task, as the hunters have to wait patiently for several days at a stretch from dawn to dusk.


Many such hunters regularly come to these places as many did in the past. There have been instances when the finder of a gem was taken for a ride by ‘crooked’ traders, who mislead the seller about its value. He or she would have to simply sell for the rate quoted by a trader.


Later, the traders make a large profit, selling the stones for lakhs of rupees, causing a loss of revenue to the State government. People of the district, particularly from these four villages, are waiting keenly to see who among the precious stone-hunters will be lucky this year during the ensuing southwest monsoon, which, unfortunately, has struck Rayalaseema late. Usually the monsoon arrives in the region a week after it touches Kerala. However, it has been delayed by the cyclone in the Arabian Sea.

By:C Shaik Shavali

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