Uncover the Shocking Truth Behind 10 Stolen Indian Treasures Housed in British Museums

By Anurag Kataria

Lord Harihara Idol

The British Museum in London has a sandstone statue of Lord Harihara that was taken from Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh, and beautifully carved. The god with four arms is shown holding Vishnu's discus and conch on the right and Shiva's trident on the left.

Sultanganj Buddha

A 2.3-meter-tall, 500-pound copper Buddha sculpture was discovered in Sultanganj, Bihar, in 1862. It was probably built around 1500 years ago and adds to the Gupta Empire's sculptures. The museum in Birmingham currently houses the priceless statue.

Tipu Sultan’s personal possessions

In a number of museums, Britain has Tipu Sultan's swords, ring, perfume, and a wooden tiger. This famous wooden carved statue of a tiger attacking a European soldier is a life-size mechanical toy. The tiger's grunts and the man's wails are heard by mechanisms inside the tiger.

Wine cup of Shah Jahan

White nephrite jade was used to create the wine cup in the shape of a paisley in 1657 CE. It bore Shah Jahan's name, Sahib-Qiran-e Sani, which translates to "Second Lord of the Conjunction," and belonged to the Mughal emperor. The cup was later acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 1962.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s Throne

In 1820, goldsmith Hafez Muhammad Multani constructed a magnificent throne for Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the first Maharaja of the Sikh Empire. The throne was moved to London during the Anglo-Sikh war, where it is now housed in the Victoria and Albert Museum.


At the British Museum, you can find a bell-adorned, carved granite statue of Nandi, Shiva's humped bull mount. It was made in the 14th century and comes from India's Deccan region.

Amaravati Marbles

Carved relief panels depicting the life of Buddha and Buddhist symbols make up the Amaravati marbles. The Great Shrine was a significant Buddhist site in India when it was built around 200 BC. It was excavated by the British almost 140 years ago, and in 1859, 70 pieces that are now in the British Museum were shipped to the UK.

Departure of Prince Siddhartha

The departure of Prince Siddhartha from his palace at Kapilavastu to begin a spiritual journey that will lead him to Buddhahood is depicted in this Amravati fragmentary relief.

Sword of Aurangzeb

The Persian inscription "Alamgir padshah 24" is inlaid into the steel blade of this sword, indicating that it belonged to Mughal emperor Alamgir, also known as Aurangzeb. The year 1680 is denoted by the number 24. In 1964, the Victoria and Albert Museum acquired this sword for its collection.

Ambika Statue from Dhar

The lengthy inscription in Ngar script on the base of this marble statue of the goddess Ambika, which dates back to around 1034 AD, is what made it famous. In 1875, it was discovered by a British Major among the city palace's rubble in Dhar. Five years after it was found, the statue was added to the collection of the British Museum.


The Koh-i-Noor was taken from India by the British during Punjab's annexation in 1849 and placed among Queen Victoria's crown jewels. In 1937, it was the main stone in Queen Elizabeth's crown. The diamond is currently on display to the general public in the Jewel House at the Tower of London.