Odisha: Treasure hunt at Puri’s Jagannath Temple for ‘hidden hoard’

By Express News Service

Teams of archeologists, armed with metal detectors, are these days searching for a lost hoard at the Emar Mutt located in Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri. The treasure hunt started on Thursday in the belief that a stash is buried underground. It is being carried out following a request by Narayan Ramanuj Das, the mahant (head) of Uttarparshwa Mutt, who is also in charge of Emar Mutt.

The discovery of two earlier troves made the authorities take the request seriously. In April, 45 silver ingots weighing about 35 kg each had been found inside the Mutt. A silver tree and silver flowers, about 16 antique swords, and a bronze cow sculpture had also been recovered.

Earlier in 2011, too, police had stumbled on a treasure trove of 522 silver ingots weighing 18 tonnes, worth about `90 crore, inside the Mutt, established by Ramanujacharya in 1050. The treasures recovered earlier from the mutt are now kept in the state treasury. 

A special team of Odisha’s Archaeology Department, in the presence of officials of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration, Puri district collector Samarth Verma, SP KV Singh and trust member of the Emar Mutt, began the search inside the premises.

“No material was detected during Thursday’s inspection. We will take appropriate action on the report of the technical team which scanned the premises,” Puri Sub-Collector Bhabataran Sahu said. As many as 18 mutts belonging to Ramanuja sect was established in Puri by Ramanujacharya. All these are closely linked to the Shree Jagannath Temple.

 The mutt’s hidden treasury,  came to the limelight ten years back when two masons involved in its renovation work were caught by Dhenkanal Police while they were trying to dispose off two silver ingots weighing over 30 kg each. During the interrogation, the duo confessed to having stolen the valuables from Emar Mutt.

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