Istanbul: It is a piece of history that never fails to excite Indian tourists in Istanbul - a gold throne encrusted with emeralds and rubies that Persian invader Nadir Shah carted away from India during Mughal rule in 1747 and presented to the Ottoman ruler of Turkey.
The throne, among numerous other priceless antiquities, is housed in the Topkapi Palace, which was the official and primary residence in Istanbul of the Ottoman Sultans for 400 years from 1465 to 1856.
The throne was presented by Nadir Shah to Ottoman king Mahmud I (1730-1754).
The Topkapi dagger is another interesting piece of priceless antiquity. The dagger`s handle is encrusted with huge emeralds and its sheath is made of gold studded with diamonds. It was intended as a present for Nadir Shah by the Ottoman rulers. However, when it was being sent to Iran, news came of Nadir Shah being killed. The dagger was then returned to the Ottoman empire.
The Topkapi dagger was the subject of a Hollywood film, titled "Topkapi" starring Peter Ustinov. The heist film, made in 1964, was about plans to steal the dagger.
The treasury also houses the world`s third largest diamond, an 86-carat gem, called the Spoonmaker`s diamond.
Besides, the museum houses religious relics, including the wooden stick used by Prophet Mohammed, his beard, a bowl used by him and an imprint of his feet. The relics were brought to Topkapi Palace by the Ottomans in the 16th century.
The amulet of St.John the Baptist, a staff used by Moses, a silver case and mantle of Prophet Mohammed and other interesting religious relics can also be found in the museum. The Quran is continuously read by a cleric in this section of the museum.