Maybe this is partly why India has an economic crisis… (UPDATE)

India is known as a country where superstition is widespread, but am I supposed to believe that the archaeologists take advice from dreaming sages?

Indian sage dreams of gold to save economy, government starts digging – Yahoo News.

The Indian government is digging for treasure after a civic-minded Hindu village sage dreamt that 1,000 tons of gold was buried under a ruined palace, and wrote to tell the central bank about it.

The state Archaeological Survey of India has sent a team of archaeologists to the village of Daundia Khera in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. They are due to start digging on Friday, Praveen Kumar Mishra, the head archaeologist in the state, told Reuters.

Yogi Swami Shobhan Sarkar says the gold he dreamt of belonged to a nineteenth-century ruler, Rao Ram Bux Singh. He says he wants it in government hands to help India recover from an economic crisis.

The archaeologists plan to dig two 100-square-metre blocks beside the palace. Mishra, however, warned that there was as yet no proof that any treasure lay beneath the soil of Daundia Khera village.

What is completely missing is why archaeologists would consider this credible. Who picks dig sites, which certainly cost money to undertake, based on some guy’s dream? Odd. As far as know, they might do better dowsing. (I kid.) Point to one documented case in the history of the world where someone said dig, found gold, and it could not be chalked up to luck or prior knowledge.

UPDATE (18-Oct-2013) They started digging today causing this story to come out in other media outlets. Now there is mention that a survey found traces of metal.

India digs for treasure on tip from Hindu holy man – Yahoo News.

Indian geological and archaeological officials surveyed the area Sunday and found evidence of heavy metal about 20 meters (66 feet) underground, District Magistrate Vijay Karan Anand said. Digging would the only way to confirm which type of metal.

But Indian rationalist, Sanal Edamaruku calls it a “Great Indian Joke”, noting that they waiting for today to begin since it is an auspicious day for Hindus – the day of the goddess of wealth (Lakshmi). Here is his Facebook post.



Officials deny that they are doing this on the basis of the magical tip.

“Archaeology doesn’t work according to the dreams of a holy man, or anybody else. Archaeology is a science. We are carrying out this excavation on the basis of our findings” at the site, said Syed Jamal Hasan, an agency official.

But it can’t hurt to use superstition?

Tip: Ben Wentworth

  7 comments for “Maybe this is partly why India has an economic crisis… (UPDATE)

  1. Chris Howard
    October 16, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    Economic uncertainty leads to all sorts of weird beliefs, and behavior.

    There were people who went looking for The Big Rock Candy Mountain during the Great Depression, because they wanted to believe that it was real.

    Seems like ground penetrating radar would be an option, eh Spooky?

  2. WMccreery
    October 16, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    Dreams are sometimes used as an excuse to tell the authorities information that might otherwise cause problems

  3. John Nowak
    October 16, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    I’d bet the archeologists wanted to dig there anyway. “Dig near a ruined castle” seems like a pretty good idea. If the dream had anything to do with it, it was to convince people to loosen up the money.

    I would imagine that respectable archeologists would be happy to examine a ruined castle, even if the money was being fronted by someone who had a dream about it.

  4. October 16, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    Headline typo alert. (Feel free to delete this comment.)

  5. Nev
    October 16, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    Because of incredible wealth that the holy men are entrusted with keeping:

    n June 2011, the Supreme Court directed the authorities from the archaeology department and fire services to open the secret chambers of the temple for inspection of the items kept inside.The temple has 6 vaults (Kallaras), labeled as A to F for book keeping purpose by the Court. While vaults A and B have been unopened over the past many years, vaults C to F have been opened from time to time. The two priests of the temple, the ‘Periya Nambi’ and the ‘Thekkedathu Nambi’, are the custodians of the four vaults, C to F, which are opened periodically. The Supreme Court had directed that “the existing practices, procedures and rituals” of the temple be followed while opening vaults C to F and using the articles inside. Vaults A and B shall be opened only for the purpose of making an inventory of the articles and then closed.

    The review of the temple’s underground vaults was undertaken by a seven-member panel appointed by the Supreme Court of India to generate an inventory, leading to the enumeration of a vast collection of articles that are traditionally kept under lock and key. A detailed inventory of the temple assets, consisting of gold, jewels, and other valuables was made. Several 18th century Napoleonic era coins were found,[3] as well as a three-and-a-half feet tall gold idol of Mahavishnu studded with rubies and emeralds, and ceremonial attire for adorning the deity in the form of 16-part gold anki weighing almost 30 kilograms (66 lb) together with gold coconut shells, one studded with rubies and emeralds.

    This revelation has solidified the status of the Padmanabhaswamy temple as one of the wealthiest temples in India and with the final estimate of the wealth, it might overtake the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple—hitherto thought to be the wealthiest temple—having some INR32,000 crore or INR320 billion (US$4.9 billion) in gold, coins and other assets.[23] It is estimated that the value of the monumental items is close to INR1.2 lakh crore or INR1.2 trillion (US$18 billion), making it the richest temple in the world. If the antique value is taken into account, these assets could be worth ten times the current market price.

  6. neko
    October 16, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    Magic will find treasure. Aside from Love and your dead kin, the next most popular goal of a spell until fairly recently.

    Dig, my friends, you may not find gold at the bottom, but barring a huge statistical accident, you will find true wisdom, which is far more precious. ( paraphrase of what the village sage said right before fleeing the crowd of angry sweaty villagers waving shovels, who weren’t buying it ).

  7. cre8tivewmn
    October 17, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    The srchaeologists may be digging to prevent looters from doing so. Rumors of gold have lead to looting at other ruins.

Comments are closed.