ASI not hopeful of 'gold deposit' at fort

Mad rush: Organisation looking for historic facts and antiquities

ASI not hopeful of 'gold deposit' at fort

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is not hopeful of getting any “bulk deposit” of gold from the ruins of Rao Raja Ram Bux Singh Fort at Unnao in Uttar Pradesh, though it began excavating the site following a Geological Survey of India (GSI) report indicating presence of “metal” deposits at a depth of 5 to 20 metre.

The historic site at Daundiya Kheda shot to limelight after a seer recently claimed to have got a message from a king in his dreams that 1,000 tonnes of gold was buried in the ruins.

“We have started excavation work at the site on the basis of the GSI report. Raja Rambaksh Singh was not a big king. Suggestions about 100 tonnes of gold with a petty king does not seem to be very adequate,” said B R Mani, Additional Director General, ASI.
“We don’t believe in some dreams.

We are not running after gold. We are interested in discovery of historical facts and antiquities,” said the ASI’s acting DG Pravin Srivasatava.
In the 150 years since its inception, the maximum gold the ASI discovered at any point in time from various historical sites is about 12 kg and that too in the form of ornaments and coins.

“I do not think such a major discovery was made ever in India or anywhere in the world despite many stories about secret treasures,” said Srivasatava. About 12 years ago, a huge pot containing about 12 kg of gold ornaments were recovered at an ancient Harrapan civilisation site at Mandi in the Muzzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh,  
“I think this was the highest amount of gold that we have recovered in the country so far,” Mani added.

At Unnao, the ASI team has so far discovered pieces of pottery, traces of hopscotch game for children and old Lakhauria bricks, which, the additional DG said, could belong to anytime between the 17th and 19th century. “We are getting these remains in dump, not in regular deposits. It is possible they are part of the fort. Now, a floor level has come which may be stretching further. There are 90 per cent chances of getting a regular deposit beneath this floor,” Mani said.

The excavation work, which commenced on October 18, is estimated to take a minimum of two to three weeks, the ASI said.

Narendra Modi tries to mollify seer

After mocking the UPA government for chasing a seer’s dream about hidden treasure, Narendra Modi on Monday tried to mollify Swami Shobhan Sarkar by saying he salutes his “penance and sacrifice”, reports DHNS from New Delhi. Reaching out to Sarkar and his followers, the Gujarat chief minister tweeted: “Sant Shobhan Sarkar ke prati anek varsho se lakho logo ki shraddha judi hui hai. Main unki tapasya aur tyag ko pranam karta hu (over the years, lakhs of people have reposed faith in Shobhan Sarkar. I salute his penance and sacrifice).”

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