India treasure dream turns to dust
Published 15/11/2013 | 13:56
India has ended a search for treasure underneath a 19th century fort after finding only a few bones and terracotta bricks but none of the gold predicted by a Hindu holy man's dream.
The search began on October 18 in Uttar Pradesh state in northern India after Hindu swami Shobhan Sarkar told a government minister that a former king appeared to him in a dream and told him of a haul worth nearly 50 billion dollars (£31bn).
The leader of the dig, Praveen Kumar Mishra, said the hunt had been suspended. The government spent 1.6 million rupees (£16,000) on digging at the site, said Durga Shankar, a local magistrate.
The opposition said the government search was triggered by the holy man's dream.
However, the Geological Survey of India has said it found signs of heavy metal about 20 metres (66 ft) underground before deciding to dig in the area in Unnao district, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) from the state's capital Lucknow.
Mr Mishra said on Friday that appeared to have been an error. The state-run Archaeological Survey of India found some artifacts and reached sediments of calcium carbonates in the first trench but there was no hope of finding any archaeological objects beyond that as the diggers hit rocks in the second trench.
"There is no indication of (the presence) any alloy as reported by the GSI team," Mr Mishra said in his report.