UNNAO, India — Archeologists began digging for treasure beneath a 19th-century fort in northern India on Friday, after a Hindu holy man said a former king appeared to him in a dream and told him of a nearly $50 billion cache.
The treasure hunt began after Hindu swami Shobhan Sarkar relayed his dream to an Indian government minister.
The swami said the spirit of King Rao Ram Baksh Singh, who was hanged in 1858 after rising up against British colonial forces, told him to take care of the 1,000-ton treasure hidden under the late king’s fort in Uttar Pradesh.
Geological and archeological officials surveyed the area Sunday and found evidence of metal 66 feet underground.
A host of interested parties have lined up to stake a claim to the treasure, believed to be in gold and silver.
A descendent of the king, Navchandi Veer Pratap Singh, said, “If gold is really found there, we should get our share.”
State authorities and local officials said they had a right to the wealth. “The treasure trove should be used for the development of the state,” lawmaker Kuldeep Senger said.