Just 23 days after the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) began digging to locate the much-hyped 1,000 tonnes of gold buried inside Raja Rao Ram Baksh Singh fort
in Daundia Khera in Unnao district, Uttar Pradesh, India, ended on Monday, November 11.
The ASI started the excavation to find gold after a local seer claimed that the Raja had appeared in his dream and told him that 1,000 tonnes of gold lay buried under
the ruins of the fort.
Myths and legends abound in the nondescript hamlet of Daundia Khera in Unnao district, Uttar Pradesh, India, about a hypothetical hoard of gold, buried beneath the
ruins of a 19th century fort - the treasure hidden by a local landlord Raja Rao Ram Baksh Singh, hanged by the British for raising a group of rebels up against them at
the time of the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857.
In early October, 2013, Sant Shobhan Sarkar, a local seer, active in Unnao district, said that Raja Rao Ram Baksh Singh who lived in the 19th century, appeared in his
dream and pointed to a treasure of 1,000 tonnes of gold buried near the Shiva temple in Daundia Khera.
A sewak of the seer, said that his around 55-years-old guru hailed from a Tewari Brahmin family and that he "is class 12 pass." When asked about the deity the seer
worships, another sewak retorted: "He's a living god. Why would he worship others?"
This revealation by the seer sparked an interest and hope among the gullible villagers.
On September 22, and October 7, Dr. Charan Das Mahant, the lone Congress Member of Parliament representing the Korba Lok Sabha constituency from
Chhattisgarh. and Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing, had visited Shobhan Sarkar's ashram. The seer, apparently concerned about India's
slumping economy and plummeting rupee, told the minister about his dream. He claimed there could be as much as 1,000 tonnes of gold there, and another 2,500
tonnes of gold lying nearby, waiting excavation, which the government could use to augment its gold reserves. Dr. Mahant, convinced by the seer, assured him that
appropriate action would be taken with regard to his dream.
On his return to New Delhi, the Union Minister, set the ball rolling. He informed the Prime Minister’s office, the finance minister, the home minister, the mines’ minister
and various agencies. He also sent word to Sonia and Rahul Gandhi. With surprising alacrity the government machinery immediately sprang to action.
In an interview with The Indian Express, Dr. Mahant said: “When I met [Mr Sarkar], he told me about the reserves. He said the quantity was so huge that if the
government can excavate it, it could be handy since there was a crisis with the rupee.”
Political pressure compelled a team from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the Geological Survey of India (GSI) to survey the area.
The GSI submitted a report that said that there were strong indications of metal lying under the ground at the site, and recommended further...