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Updated: February 26, 2011 23:59 IST

‘Hidden treasure' worth Rs. 90 crore found in Puri's Emar Mutt

Satyasundar Barik
Comment (10)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
A policeman marks on the silver slabs recovered from a 200-year-old mutt in Puri on Saturday.
PTI
A policeman marks on the silver slabs recovered from a 200-year-old mutt in Puri on Saturday.

Officials stumble upon 522 old silver slabs weighing about 18 tonnes

In one of the biggest findings of “hidden treasure” from a religious place, Orissa's Endowment Department officials and the police stumbled upon 522 silver slabs weighing about 18 tonnes from a mutt in Puri on Saturday.

As per the present market price, the value of the metal is estimated to be around Rs. 90 crore.

The huge stock of silver was found from four sinduka (wooden containers) placed inside a room, closed from all sides by brick walls, in the Emar Mutt in front of the Sri Jagannath Temple.

‘Very old'

“The silver seemed to be very old, possibly over 100 years old. As many as 522 silver slabs, all in brick shape, have been retrieved. Each of the slabs weighs between 35-40 kg. We are continuing the investigation to find out how the stock landed here,” said Sanjay Kumar, Puri Superintendent of Police.

Mr. Kumar said the names of ‘Bangok,' ‘Sanghai' and ‘Canada' were embossed on the bricks, and put together, their weight was measured at 18 tonnes 87 kg.

“We have informed the forensic department to check the age of the metal. The Emar Mutt has been cordoned off. Heavily armed police are keeping a close watch,” Mr. Kumar added.

The police found out about the silver bricks from two labourers who were trying to sell the slabs in Dhenkanal district. “One person had confessed that he had stolen a brick from the Emar Mutt. We now suspect that the smuggling of such bricks was continuing for quite a long time,” Mr. Kumar said.

The two persons were identified as Barun Baral and Akshyay Das of Kuttam village under the Dhenkanal sadar police station.

Claimants

“Two claimants for the treasure, one a saint of the mutt and the other from the Endowment Department, have come up,” Mr. Kumar said.

Rajagopala Ramanuj, mahanta (saint) of the mutt, said: “I had no idea that such a room existed in the mutt. It was closed from all sides. My predecessor had told me that the mutt had hidden treasure. Now we have come to know about it.”

The police said that the general public perception in Puri was that the treasure should be donated to the Sri Jagannath Temple. The Emar Mutt is one of the several ancient mutts in Puri.

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Empty wooden container found in Emar MuttFebruary 27, 2011

@NB Bennet raj --- what do you mean "If these silver slabs are the offerings from devotees, why it was not disclosed to the Government". These were hidden about 100 yrs back and the Mutt authorities themselves did not know about the existence of these....how could they have disclosed it to the government?

from:  Vamsi
Posted on: Mar 9, 2011 at 13:19 IST

This needs to be thoroughly investigated.If these silver slabs are the offerings from devotees, why it was not disclosed to the Government? I strongly feel all mutts and ashrams (irrespctive of any religion)need to be monitored. Government shoud take necessary measures to mke these organisations accountable to the government and the society.

from:  NB Bennet raj
Posted on: Feb 28, 2011 at 16:29 IST

There a lot of money flowing in the name of temples, churches or mosques. In the name of GOD, there is lot of illicit money coming from abroad as well as within the country. There should be a regulatory authority who verifies this inflow of money, and make sure that it is used for rightful deeds.

from:  Prasanth P R
Posted on: Feb 28, 2011 at 10:22 IST

Sell it and spend money on people's welfare.

from:  jack
Posted on: Feb 28, 2011 at 01:46 IST

The treasure should undoubtedly go to the mutt organization. The mutt welfare group should use it for welfare for the common public.

from:  Mayank Madhav
Posted on: Feb 28, 2011 at 01:46 IST

The Silver Bricks belongs to the Hindu Devotes who had donated it to the mutt and in no way should land up with the government. The case of temples in Kerala should be remembered at this juncture where the government takes away all the offerings and nothing is done for the welfare of those temples.

from:  Unni Krishnan
Posted on: Feb 27, 2011 at 17:52 IST

It is a joyous surprise that a huge haul of 'silver bricks' were found out at Emar Mutt by the Endowment authorities. The place where the silver trove was hidden and the size and shape of the bricks clearly reveal the involvement of more than one person or one group of persons in it. It may take some more time for the police to unravel the source of the wealth and the purpose of it. Perhaps we may stumble upon many more 'such hidden' treasures like the one in the famous novel, the 'Treasure Island' by R L Stevenson.

from:  M Somasekhar Prasad
Posted on: Feb 27, 2011 at 10:45 IST

As this property is recovered from the Mutt, it should be used for the benefit of the Mutt or Lord Jagannath.

from:  Shantanu Kumar Pattanaik
Posted on: Feb 27, 2011 at 07:33 IST

The proceeds should be donated to the mutt with the clear understanding that projects of standing value to the community -education for children of families below poverty line, more facilities to piligrims and such other works should be taken up. Some of the money could be used to promote writing projects explaining the history and significance associated with Jagannath Puri.

from:  S N Tekur
Posted on: Feb 27, 2011 at 06:57 IST

Belongs to Hindus and should be give to the Mutt. Devotees have offered it for the welfare of the Mutt.

from:  Raj
Posted on: Feb 27, 2011 at 01:19 IST
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