India’s Archaeological Survey of India has set aside all heckles and took it seriously to redeem a dream of a local priest to unearth gold worth 1,000 tonnes purportedly buried during the 1857 revolt.
The priest, Swami Shobhan Sarkar, said he had a dream in which the 19th century local king executed by the British had appeared and told him that 1,000 tonnes of gold is lying beneath the earth near the local temple of Lord Shiva.
With ministers intervening, the country’s Archaeological Survey (ASI) began digging the ground near the temple for the haul, irrespective of the heckles from the opposition leader and self-style PM-in-waiting Narendra Modi.
But ASI Deputy Director P.K. Mishra says the excavation is based on Geological Survey’s report that pointed out either gold or silver beneath. He refuted seer’s dream as the trigger and said, “A report by the GSI suggested that there may be gold or silver there. On the basis of findings of the report we have started the excavation and results will come soon.”
The media was quick to calculate the value of the haul if unearthed. Estimated to be worth Rs.300,000 crore ($50 billion), it would constitute one-fifth of the country’s total budget for 2013-14.
The 19th century local king Rao Ram Baksh Singh had told the seer that the 1,000 tonnes of gold haul was buried near a 180-year-old Shiva temple in Daundia Khera village, which was part of his palace.
On October 12, a drilling machine made two holes of 20-metre deep and hit some metal, say the ASI team. Now that the ASI is confident to unearth 1,000 tonnes of gold, will the country see gold price coming down?