Unnao gold hunt leads to digging for precious metal elsewhere
|The temple at Daundia Khera [Credit: Andrew Buncombe]|
As the news spread, some people dug up the platform of an ancient Shiva temple near the Ganga's main ghat in Fatehpur.
Reports said about two dozen places in ruins have been dug up. It was also rumoured that the diggers had fled with some gold.
Residents claimed Mahant Mohandas, who lives near the temple, was held at gunpoint during digging forcing authorities to cordon off the temple.
Fatehpur district magistrate Abhay Kumar said security personnel have been deployed to prevent a repeat of such activity.
Sarkar's disciple, Om Ji, had claimed "no less than 2,500 tonne of gold is hidden in the ruins in Adampur village". He said Adampur is located on the Ganga banks and was associated with 1857 revolt like Daundiya Khera. Om Ji asked the district administration to commission digging since the treasure in Adampur was easier to retrieve.
In Bahraich, some unidentified people left behind a huge pit after they probably got tired of the physical labour at the Charda Fort "No seer has ever dreamt about Charda. The only possible connection between Daundiya Kheda and Charda forts is that they have a mound and are associated with the 1857 revolt," said a local professor.
Jagjot Singh had ruled the place and reportedly sheltered Nana Sahab and Begum Hazrat Mahal besides helping them escape to Nepal in 1858. The fort was ruined when the British attacked it.
In 2004, Dinesh Pratap Singh from the local royal family got the ruins, spread across 11.5 acre, excavated after permission and found gold coins and jewellery besides some rare weapons.
Bahraich DM Kinjal Singh said police had been deployed at the fort and ordered arrest of those involved in the illegal excavation.
Another ancient Shiva temple in Banda's Piparhari area too has been targeted in the quest for gold. Residents said the place has no connection with Sarkar's dream, but it has been prosperous.
"The temple is located in Maharajpur Kher near Pailani forest range. It is believed that gold and silver kalash (pots) are buried here," a resident said.
The Archaeological Survey of India is concerned over the illegal digging and stepped up security in Fatehpur Sikri following claims that some treasure was buried inside its fort.
Author: Shailvee Sharda | Source: The Times of India [October 22, 2013]