Priest now "dreams" of 2,500 tonnes of gold buried at site
Even as the Archaeological Survey of India digs for gold under the dilapidated fort of Raja Ram Baksh Singh in Unnao, visitors are trickling to another tiny village in neighbouring Fatehpur, where an even bigger amount of the yellow treasure is believed to be buried.
This second flow of gold-curiosity comes after Shobhan Sarkar, the priest who had a “dream” that 1,000 tonnes of gold were buried under the fort in Daundia Khera village, dreamt of another treasure. His emissary Swami Om says that no less than 2,500 tonnes of gold is hidden in the ruins in Adampur village, which like Daundi Khera is on the banks of the Ganga.
The Swami also contends that the treasure in Adampur could be more easily retrieved than the gold in Unnao. The Swami has submitted a representation to the district administration to commission digging at the site, which like Unnao featured in the 1857 mutiny.
District Magistrate Abhay Kumar said he had requested the government to send in a team from the Geological Survey of India or other geology experts to ascertain the claim. “It is a tedious and scientific process, we don’t have any experts. Even if an iota of this is true, we need experts to ascertain that,” he said.
Mr. Kumar added that security personnel had been deployed at the spot to prevent miscreants from taking advantage of the situation.
After the news of the second “dream” reached Adampur, last night some “miscreants dug through the pucca platform of the ancient Shiva temple on the main ghat of the Ganga in search of gold”.
The treasure seekers left behind a three feet wide and four feet deep pit. While rumours are rife that the robbers got away with some gold, the police are investigating the matter.
Mahant Mohandas, who lives in a nearby kutir (cottage), woke up and confronted the miscreants in the dead of the night but he was compelled to maintain silence at gun-point. When the police got hint of the incident, they quickly recruited some boys to cover the dug up portion with sand, locals claimed.
Resting its faith on Shoban Sarkar, the village gram sabha has passed a resolution for excavation on a condition that “20 percent of the treasure” would be spent on the development of Adampur. “The rest can remain with the government,” said village head Hari Prasad. The priest has put forth similar conditions for the excavation in Unnao. The villagers also want a bridge built on the Ganga, which would connect them directly to Rae Bareli and cut travelling time by 15-20 km.
Even if the gold is not found, Mr. Prasad hoped that the media interest in Adampur would draw attention to its medical and educational woes.
Meanwhile, as the ASI continued to dig for the third day at the excavation site in Unnao, the flow of visitors was restricted by the police on Sunday. Locals also seemed less interested and carried on with their routine work. In Adampur, however, the enthusiasm is only growing, with residents discussing their beliefs and folktales about the buried gold.
“This is the third time we are hearing about the gold,” said Kandhai, a labourer. “Some 30 years ago, a Naga (sadhu) had claimed that there was a treasure hidden at the site. No digging could take place as he didn’t specify whether it was gold or silver, and where it would be found.”