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Updated: October 19, 2013 08:05 IST

ASI surveyed area on Centre’s directive before launching gold hunt

Atiq Khan
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The Raja Ram Baksh Singh fort in Unnao district.
The Raja Ram Baksh Singh fort in Unnao district.

Acts on dream of a priest of 1,000 tonnes of gold lying under ruins of a fort

Amidst heavy police bandobust, the Archaeological Survey of India on Friday launched the biggest, and unprecedented, gold-digging exercise in the country to unearth a massive 1,000 tonnes of the yellow metal, said to be lying under the ruins of a fort in a nondescript village in Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh.

This is unprecedented because the ASI seems determined to transform a temple priest’s dream into reality, though evidence, if any, of gold lying buried in ruins has not been made public.

Shobhan Sarkar, head priest of the Shobhan Temple in Unnao, claims to have dreamt of 1,000 tonnes of gold buried under the ruins of the dilapidated fort of Raja Ram Baksh Singh in the Buxar area of Daundiya Kheda village on the banks of the Ganga. The priest claimed that the king appeared in the dream and told him about the treasure.

The treasure is said to have belonged to Ram Baksh Singh, who fought against the British in the Great Rebellion of 1857. The Raja was defeated and hanged and his fort razed to the ground by the British forces which were on their way to Cawnpore (now Kanpur) to save the besieged garrison in July 1857.

After having dreamt of the khazana (treasure) buried in the fort, Sarkar wrote to the Government of India with the request that the area be excavated. On September 3, the Centre directed the Unnao District Magistrate to ascertain the veracity of the priest’s claim. The area was subsequently surveyed by the Geological Survey of India (GSI) and the ASI. Following Union Minister of State Charan Das Mahant’s visit to Daundiya Kheda village earlier this month, it was decided that the excavation would commence on October 18.

The ruins are spread across an area of 70 acres of undulating plains, interspersed with thorny bushes and small hillocks (called teela in local parlance). The excavation work was delayed as the ASI officials had been summoned by the magistrate. The digging started in the presence of district officials and heavy police security. Security was tightened as a precautionary measure as the priest’s dream and the massive digging exercise had sparked off curiosity among residents of the neighbouring areas too with Daundiya Kheda village resembling a mela site.

Besides, many people, claiming to be Ram Baksh Singh’s descendants, have surfaced. ASI officials say the work, which might involve digging to a depth of 20 metres, will take about a month to be completed, but experts feel it would take more time. Since the site is located close to the Ganga, there is a possibility of finding water. “Possibility of finding water at a depth of six to seven metres cannot be ruled out,” said Rakesh Tiwari, Director, State Archaeology Department.

Other nations will be laughing at us if they hear this. Utter foolishness.

from:  garlin vincent
Posted on: Oct 21, 2013 at 14:55 IST

In spite of the govt. being very secular, it acted on the dream of a
sadhu and it shows its desperation.

from:  kvjayan
Posted on: Oct 21, 2013 at 11:15 IST

The dream of the priest may be true.but if we do not find any thing what will be the reactions of the world.The govt should act on the basis scientific study.public should not blame its activity.Technology has improved to a level where we can justify such actions.govt has to be serious in its actions,other wise more dreamers may appear and tharnish the image of this great country.

from:  Paripally Gopinathanpillai
Posted on: Oct 20, 2013 at 08:57 IST

An utter foolish act. Should be discouraged.

from:  k.janaki vallabhan
Posted on: Oct 20, 2013 at 05:53 IST

To be fair to ASI, I read in few other related articles that geological
survey of the area did reveal the presence of non-rocky material at the
site but that is not necessarily gold. I wish The Hindu article would
have mentioned of the same survey to be fair to all sides.

from:  Suvojit Dutta
Posted on: Oct 19, 2013 at 23:14 IST

India's economy is in such dire straits that the govt. out of
desperation started digging for gold based on a priest's dream sequence!
This happens only in India!

from:  Suvojit Dutta
Posted on: Oct 19, 2013 at 22:50 IST

It is ridiculous to act on somebody's dream.

from:  Vani
Posted on: Oct 19, 2013 at 17:51 IST

Before excavation, the treasure could have been scanned for its presence by the remote sensing satellite.

Posted on: Oct 19, 2013 at 16:25 IST

Govt should not take it seriously. It is nothing but waste of money.

from:  Arup
Posted on: Oct 19, 2013 at 15:42 IST

This happens only in India where a dream is given more importance than
an evidence to escavate 1000 tonnes of gold,perhaps they should consider
day dreams for disaster management

from:  Divye kartikey
Posted on: Oct 19, 2013 at 11:54 IST

Just another gimmick of a so called sadhu. Doesn't understand why the
Government is taking it so seriously. Had the same efforts be put to
merge the rivers in our country, our country will flourish and can be
the one dictating terms to the world just like what US is doing now.
With whose money is this activity carried out, isn't our hard earned tax
payer's money.
It's high time INDIA, wake up.

from:  Sreekanth
Posted on: Oct 19, 2013 at 11:11 IST

Digging ASI for the hidden treasures is a most irresponsible and foolish action of the government. This is nothing but destroying the old Siva temple and also waste of money and as well as time. This action may further enthuses treasure hunters to dig up old temples for the hidden troves which results in ruining completely ancient temples & structures. Instead of they should try to bring back the unaccounted block money which is stashing in the Swiss bank and can be utilized in the welfare activities. These types of actions they should undertake only relying on scientific evidences not just depending on dreams of some sadhus.

from:  Ramesh
Posted on: Oct 19, 2013 at 11:01 IST

Government of India acting on a "Dream" of a sadhu makes a fool of
itself.In Hyderabad too some months back it was "Rumoured" that there
was a "Tunnel' near Secreteriat and that wealth too was concealed
there.Nothing was reported about this tunnel and wealth if any
discovered.Much advertisement was made of tonnes of gold stacked in
Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple in Trivandrum.Ancestoral wealth of
India must not be confiscated by The Government of India,but a
percentage of the wealth discovered by The Government must be taken as
TAX and remainder be handed over to The Legal Owners of The lands on
which the treasures are discovered.

from:  Baru Rajendra Prasad
Posted on: Oct 19, 2013 at 11:00 IST

Small wonder that dream of a priest of 1,000 tonnes of gold lying under fort, India is the only country in the world who unanimously believing such a superstitious thing with the support of ASI. what is going on here? The same time we cant dimly ignore the fact. It may be chance to be there,for eg: in the Sri. Padmanabha Temple in Trivandurm -Kerala. Still unknowingly there are plenty of Gold in the
temple.Neverthless, this is not the way that " act on dream of a
priest" Dont forget the reality that our politicians have a great deal
of deposit money in the Swiz Bank, Why don't they act on this?

from:  Subeesh Kumar S
Posted on: Oct 19, 2013 at 10:20 IST

Probably the most famous dream after Martin Luther King’s must be the one of Shobhan Sarkar, head priest of the Shobhan Temple in Unnao. While the American clergyman dreamt of uplifting his fellow African-Americans, the Indian priest wants the Government to dig for 1000 tonnes of gold. Since the time Mr.King gave the call and since the time Ms.Rosa Parks refused to vacate her seat in a bus for a white man, the American society has come a long way and now have an African-American president. As for India, we find ways to not just dig but get mired in controversies that divide society. Even if found, would that 1000 tonnes of gold be of any help? It will be better if we educate large sections of our society, encourage free enterprise, provide gainful employment and healthcare, and then all these measures would uplift the entire Indian society without need for any gold. Let us together sing ‘We shall overcome not just one day, but today’.

from:  Kamalakannan
Posted on: Oct 19, 2013 at 10:16 IST

Is there a possibility that the king had the technology those days to
dig 20 meters especially the when the matter was to be shrouded in
secrecy? By involving more men the chances of the matter leaking out
must be very high. It is very hard to believe the story. Is there a
possibility that the treasure got more deeper due to seasons and seismic
activity? Theories will come out both for the success or failure in the

from:  Ramakrishnan
Posted on: Oct 19, 2013 at 10:13 IST

Why the government is digging based on a letter by the priest ? Does it
not have any other important work ? If this 1000 ton of gold is found,
to whom it would go ? Please confirm

from:  Rajesh
Posted on: Oct 19, 2013 at 09:55 IST

Yesterday I also had a dream. In it I noticed under every indian politician's residence there was a vault. Inside the vault I saw millions in foreign currency stashed up neatly in shelves. They were crisp and freshly minted. There was so much that cranes would be needed to haul them. On my way out I saw the same imprint "Swiss Bank" on each of the vaults.

With haste I urge the GOI to direct ASI to dig deep into each of these vaults and haul the money. The unearthed money will be multiple times more than that anticipated at the fort of Raja Ram Baksh Singh!!! lol

from:  Murali S
Posted on: Oct 19, 2013 at 08:33 IST

The desparate centre has rushed to find the truth(Gold) of the purported dream of a priest.The speed with which the things are moving is amazing.The same dedication,had it been shown in bringing back the unaccounted monies stashed in swiss and other banks in havens,would have yielded good dividends.Instead of trying this hideous plan,government should be positive and forth coming in unearthing the blackmonies inside and outside India.Even if any treasure trove is found,it will be claimed by civil suits filed by all descendants and it will only open a pandora's box.It seems to be a ploy to divert the attention of public from a-la-RIL affairs....

from:  K.Sugavanam
Posted on: Oct 19, 2013 at 07:35 IST

It's very interesting. The people, and the courts, have more faith in
the dream of a village priest than what the Hon'ble PM or Ministers say
everyday...such is the state that the ruling politicians have gotten
themselves into.

from:  GP
Posted on: Oct 19, 2013 at 06:02 IST

Unnao division, Daundiya Kheda (village)....Shiva Temple its Shadows...there is treasury with reserve of Gold…a seer, dreamt, and requested the GOI to excavate and get 1000 MTns Gold, and GOI instructed to ASI to take up digging operation to find out Gold Treasure.

In this entire episode, Sadhu’s nation love is appreciated.

In mid 19th century, Unnao was a small part of Awadh dynasty under Awadh Nawabs till mid of 19th century, later under British. The period of Raja Rao Ram Baksh Singh may be of Sepoy Mutiny. During this period, he might have hidden this treasure from the greed of Britishers. OK..., but.....

The most amazing thing is, how could a raja of small domine, collected 1000 MTns of Gold, (100 trucks of 10 MTns each), and managed to hide and maintained secret unnoticed by the British, and yet anybody?

If the treasure really comes out, the entire credit goes to Raja Rao Ram Baksh Singh and the Saadhu and DREAM.

from:  Nisar Ahmed Syed
Posted on: Oct 19, 2013 at 03:52 IST

Government officials paid with tax payers money are working on the basis of an
irrational hunch, damaging the grounds that they are invested to protect. Is ASI
aware of ground penetrating radar and subterranean metal detectors that have
capabilities of detecting metals and metallic rocks at up to 20 meters? All that being
said, in the 21st century government agency acting on the basis of a person's
dreams? Astounding, yet comical. Way to go India.

from:  Chengis Khan
Posted on: Oct 19, 2013 at 03:06 IST

absolutely ridiculous. atrocious. what kind of government is this?
manmohan singh and akhilesh yadav have lost their brains. for once i am in support of what narendar modi has said. the whole world is
laughing at us.

from:  suhail
Posted on: Oct 19, 2013 at 01:18 IST

A stupid and futile exercise and waste of tax payers money

from:  Jitesh
Posted on: Oct 19, 2013 at 00:42 IST

Whatever, USA must be more worried for this Gold episode.

from:  dalchand agrawal
Posted on: Oct 19, 2013 at 00:02 IST

I am very curious to find out what the outcome will be. The government
also has taken such a big leap in taking action against a person's
words. What if the person's words were wrong??

from:  varun
Posted on: Oct 19, 2013 at 00:01 IST

Is this a joke or are the concerned people serious? Since when did the Indian government start relying on dreams? If this is the state of matters in India, why not disband the various meteorological departments and begin relying on astrologers for the monsoon forecasts? Moreover, why not disband the Geological Survey of India and various research departments and instead rely on cats and dogs for predicting earthquakes? I really hope this scarcely believable action of the ASI does not set a precedent for the future.

from:  Ninad
Posted on: Oct 18, 2013 at 23:43 IST

I would like to assume this 'digging' is a rumour or a dream ! But it is true, it proves
beyond doubt that we are ruled by bunch of morons ! How could a rational
government entertain such thing ?

from:  Naveen Kumar
Posted on: Oct 18, 2013 at 23:36 IST

I am completely confused as to whether this is a folklore or sloppy
reporting. So, we have a boodha sadhu (old monk) who dreams of a dead
king telling him that untold riches is buried under a temple. This
prompts the ASI to dig up 70 acres to find said riches. Is this
verified information or is the ASI just going by the say so of this
Old Monk? Reminds me of when I used to read Clive Cussler thrillers
like "Raise the Titanic" because the ship Titanic was supposed to
contain tons of gold when it sank in 1912. Of course, the team in the
novel had done a lot more due diligence than the DM, Old Monk and Mr
Manahnt are purported to have done as per this reporter.

from:  Rahul Garg
Posted on: Oct 18, 2013 at 23:34 IST
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