The estimated prophet and the divine seer Shobhan Sarkar, a resident of the Sangrampur (Daundia Khera) village of the Unnao District of Uttar Pradesh, had a dream. As described by Shobhan Sarkar, in his dream, Raja Rao Ram Bux, a mid 19th century ruler and a martyr of the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, had instructed the seer to recover his 1000 ton gold reserves from a precise spot, located in the Daundia Khera village, amidst the ruins of an old fort belonging to the martyred king. While the local authorities and the state refused to buy Shobhan Sarkar’s story of the buried gold, Union Minister of Agriculture and Food Processing, Charan Das Mahant , was convinced of the seer’s dreams, and had initiated an excavation project in the said area by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Meanwhile, Shobhan Sarkar had another dream, another treasure map, to an even bigger gold booty of 2500 tons, in the Adampur village.

Results of the ASI excavation in Daundia Khera:

The ASI started its official excavations in the said area on the 18th of October, 2013, after a preliminary survey of the area by the Geological Survey of India (GSI). It is to be mentioned here, that the ruins of the fort of Raja Rao Ram Bux and the excavation site, are both located on the banks of the Ganges River. This geographical factor has compelled ASI to conduct the excavation process with extra caution. As explained to the media by the Additional Director General of ASI, D.R. Mani, “It is likely to take a minimum of two to three weeks to reach the reported level of deposits. Once we dig up till the water level, the ASI would have to take a stand on how to proceed further. Water has a tendency to spread”. Dr. Mani, however, expressed his confidence that excavation work is possible even below the water level. ASI Deputy Director, PK Mishra, is conducive to the opinions of Dr. Mani, as evident from his statement, “The River is very close to the excavation site. This makes our task more difficult”.

As confirmed by Dr. Mani, “The excavation site is believed to be an ancient settlement which may have the potential of being an important archaeological location. Till now we have not found any object. We are searching for culture and period of the site, habitation deposits, architecture of the site and architectural sequence.”

The ASI officially ceased its excavation activities at Daundia Khera on the 29th of October, 2013. Days of arduous digging, further jeopardized by the vicinity of the Ganges River yielded nothing but a few pieces of pottery, assumed to be dating back to the Buddhist era. The dreams of unearthing gold deposits worth Rs 31,000 crores, have apparently vanished into thin air. Even the villagers and outsiders from far off places flocking at the excavation site to witness the digging operations, also seem to have lost interest and are now steering towards the Adampur  village treasure site.

The second dream of Shobhan Sarkar:

Swami Om, an associate of Shobhan Sarkar, further confirmed the second dream of the seer. As per the statements of Swami Om, a gold booty of around 2500 tons is entrenched under the dilapidated Adampur village ruins, and that it is relatively easier to recover than the last elusive treasure. The ruins of the Adampur village are identically located like the Daundia Khera, on the banks of the Ganges River and are also a historical site, since it was one of the areas of the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857. Swami Om is currently pushing the issue of a proposed excavation in the ruins of the Adampur Village with the district administration. Meanwhile, the District Magistrate Abhay Kumar has put in a request with the Government to deploy a team of GSI personnel and/or other experts for a proposed survey of the said area which can clarify the truths in the dreams of the seer. As per his statements, “It is a tedious and scientific process, we don’t have any experts. Even if an iota of this is true, we need experts to ascertain that”. He further added that, security has been enhanced at the proposed site to prevent vandalism.

However, it seems that the second dream of the seer has only initiated a case of vandalism, when some illegal treasure prospectors vandalized the temple of Shiva located on the ‘main ghat’ of the Ganges. The illegal gold seekers had dug up the cemented floor of the temple and had left behind a trench measuring three feet wide and four feet deep. Mahant Mohandas, a local resident, mustered enough courage to apprehend the miscreants in the midst of their criminal activities; but all his enthusiasm seemed to have drained when he found himself at the business end of a gun. While the air is buzzing with the speculation that the criminals have escaped with a substantial amount of gold, a police investigation into the matter is ongoing, which started with the filling up of the dug up pit with sand, as confirmed by the village witnesses.

Showing unshakeable faith in the seer’s dreams, the village Gram Sabha has ratified an excavation project in the same area. The conditions laid down by the Village Chief Hari Prasad are simple enough – 20% of the excavated treasure to be invested in development programs for Adampur, while the rest goes to the Government. Appended to the list of demands is also the proposed construction of a bridge across the Ganges, connecting Adampur with Rae Bareli, which would curtail and extra travelling of 15 to 20 kilometers for the villagers of Adampur area. DM Prasad is banking on the fact that, even if no treasure is found, the ongoing activities at Adampur might catch the attention of the media which could be a possible solution of improving the depreciating educational and medical issues of the Adampur area. As of 21st October, 2013, Adampur is rife with folklores about a buried treasure. As confirmed by Kandhai, a local labor, “This is the third time we are hearing about the gold….Some 30 years ago, a Naga (sadhu) had claimed that there was a treasure hidden at the site. No digging could take place as he didn’t specify whether it was gold or silver and where it would be found”.

The role of Supreme Court in the excavations:

Meanwhile, on October 18th, 2013, a PIL had been submitted to the Apex Court by advocate M L Sharma, chasing the issue of a court ordered supervision of the excavation procedures being carried out by ASI in Daundia Khera. The appellant stressed on the fact that, such monitoring was necessary to ensure that no part of the National Treasure falls into the ‘wrong hands’. The PIL was filed on the basis of the apprehension that “the valuable resources might vanish”. However, the Bench of Judges comprised of the Chief Justice P Sathasivam and Justice Ranjan Gogoi, demurred any court intervention in the excavation procedures of the ASI, and pointed out that State measures were adequate in supervising the said project. The Apex Court also added that the Court cannot possibly afford to be a part of every dramatic situation and court rulings cannot be founded on the basis of conjectures. The Apex Court, however, promised to listen to a revised version of the PIL at a later date.

Conclusion:   

As it turns out, the treasure of Raja Rao Ram Bux was indeed a wild goose chase, with ASI wasting its resources and time in excavating a site with practically no archaeological potential. In all probabilities,  Shobhan Sarkar’s dreams were opium induced. It is to be seen, what the Government decides to do with the Adampur issue after returning empty handed from the Daundia Khera project. Only if the entities appearing in Shobhan Sarkar’s dreams, handing out treasure maps, would have appeared in the dreams of the Chief Archaeologist of ASI, things would have proved to be much easier! Unlike Shobhan Sarkar, probably the Chief Archaeologist does not have the necessary extra sensory perception to connect to these entities!

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