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Indian archaeologists halt treasure search triggered by Hindu holy man's dream

  • India Hidden Treasure.jpg

    Oct. 17, 2013: People visit the fort of King Rao Ram Baksh Singh in Unnao in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh state, India. Archaeologists began digging for treasure beneath the 19th century fort on Friday, after a popular Hindu holy man said a former king appeared to him in a dream and told him of the cache. (AP Photo)

  • India Hidden Treasure 2.jpg

    Oct. 18, 2013: Onlookers stand at the site where the state archaeological survey of India has sent a team of archaeologists to start digging at Daundia Khera village in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. 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. (Reuters/Stringer)

India ended a search for treasure beneath 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, an official said Friday.

The search began Oct. 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 nearly $50 billion cache.

'There is no indication of (the presence) any alloy as reported by the GSI team.'

- Praveen Kumar Mishra, the leader of the dig

The leader of the dig, Praveen Kumar Mishra, said the hunt had been suspended. The government spent 1.6 million rupees ($25,300) 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 66 feet underground before deciding to dig in the area in Unnao district, about 50 miles southwest of the state's capital of Lucknow.

Mishra said 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, Mishra said.

There was no hope of finding any archaeological objects beyond that as the diggers hit rocks in the second trench, he told The Associated Press.

"There is no indication of (the presence) any alloy as reported by the GSI team," Mishra said in his report.