Sachin Raghuwanshi
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No gold found in Unnao, ASI will now dig new site near Ganga.

After 12 days of digging for gold on the basis of a seer’s dream, archaeological excavations have not found any gold trace yet in the bizarre hunt for 1,000 tonnes of the yellow metal supposed to be buried under the ruins of a 19th century fort in Unnao in Uttar Pradesh. However, the search won’t stop yet. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) now plans to initiate digging at a new site near the river Ganga while expanding excavation at the current site in Unnao’s Daundia Khera village.

ASI director general Pravin Srivastava said the digging area is now planned to be widened but clarified that the excavation work by his 12-member team has not been stopped. He said a team of Geological Survey of India with the consultation of the ASI officials at the site has suggested another area at the site close to river Ganga for trial excavation. “Accordingly, a new trench XA2 has also been laid-out with proper cleaning of the surface and the digging would take place from tomorrow,” he said. “The Archaeological excavation is restricted between the space of two parallel brick wall and continued upto the depth of 4.80 metres below the surface. It has reached a level of kankar (gravel) formation in part of the trench which actually started from 4.60 metres,” Srivastava told reporters. He said now subject preparation for photographs and drawings of the trench was in progress. “We are also planning to extend the area of digging in the same trench, after removing the structure of the bricks wall,” he said adding, excavation is not like boring work, it has to be done meticulously. The ASI initiated the digging at the dilapidated fort of Raja Ram Baksh Singh in the Buxar area of Unnao after Shobhan Sarkar, head priest of the Shobhan Temple, claimed to have dreamt of 1,000 tonnes of gold lying buried under the ruins of the fort. Sarkar has claimed that the king appeared in his dream and told him about the treasure. The priest had claimed that gold would be found after 15 feet of digging but ASI officials have had no luck so far. The priest had said that the digging must be completed before Dhanteras (the first day of Diwali festival) or else the gold will turn into ash.