Treasure-hunting is the sure-shot plot idea to draw children’s attention to movies and stories . However, outside of fiction, there do exist treasures that represent the kind of wealth an ordinary person might not even imagine. India was known as “the golden sparrow”. It was because, India earlier was considered to be rich, prosperous and wealthy. Here a few hidden treasures in India that will give you a glimpse of India’s glorious past.
Padmanabhaswami Temple, Kerala
Sree Padmanabhaswami Temple of Thiruvananthapuram in the state of Kerala shot to international fame when an underground vault (vault A) was opened under court orders in June, 2011. The officials were surprised at what they saw inside. There were all kind of jewelry, crowns, statues, common household articles made out of gold and studded with all kinds of precious stone. Another vault exists which is supposed to contain wealth that surpasses the estimated $22 billion worth of treasure found in Vault A.
The Krishna River, Andhra Pradesh
This river is the birthplace of the famous ‘Kohinoor’ diamond. These mines were the main source of diamond for the whole world for some time. It is believed that even today, there are uncountable diamonds present underneath the River.
Mughal treasure of Alwar, Rajasthan
During the exile of Emperor Jahangir, the emperor sought refuge in Alwar Fort of Rajasthan. It is believed that he hid a great deal of treasure here while he was on the run. While some of it was found, there was quite some part of it still uncovered.
Sonbhandar Caves, Bihar
These cave chambers are hollowed out of a single giant rock. The estimation is that it dates back to at least 3rd or 4th century AD. It is believed that the western chambers used to be the guard room and the doorway leads to King Bimbisarsa’s Treasury. Inscriptions in the Sankhlipi script are found etched on the wall of the western cave which are purportedly clues to open the doorway. But no one has succeeded in decoding the script. The British once tried to cannonball their way through the supposed doorway, but without success, leaving just a mark that’s still visible.
Sri Mookambika Temple, Karnataka
The temple’s annual income is Rs 17 crores but the development work of the temple accounts for more than Rs 35 crores. Priests believe that the symbol of serpent in the temple is a clear sign of great treasure hidden beneath the temple. The serpent is meant to protect the treasure from outsiders. Even barring the treasure, value of temple jewels itself is estimated to be more than Rs 100 crore.
King Kothi Palace, Hyderabad
The last Nizam of Hyderabad, Mir Osman Ali was named as ‘fifth all-time wealthiest person’ with a net worth of $210.8 billion by Forbes magazine, while TIME magazine declared him the richest man in the world in 1937. The riches of this royal king are said to be hidden in the underground chambers of King Kothi Palace, the king’s personal residence. In his sprawling King Kothi palace, precious jewellery like diamonds, rubies, sapphires, pearls and gems are stored in steel trunks. It will be quite a quest to hunt the royal palace down.
Nadir Shah’s treasure
Legend has it that on his way back to Persia, Nadir Shah was murdered in his tent. But according to historical records he was actually murdered in 1747. If the tale is true, his assassin, Ahmed shah, succumbed to an illness and died a gruesome death, but locals believe, before his death he managed to conceal the bulk of Nadir Shah’s treasure somewhere in the labyrinth of tunnels in the Hindu Kush Mountains. Nadir Shah’s loot included millions of gold coins, sacks of jewels, the sacred Peacock Throne and the fabled Koh-i-noor diamond.
Charminar Tunnel, Hyderabad
The tunnel connecting Charminar and Golconda fort is believed to have hidden treasure. The tunnel;, which is believed to have been constructed by Sultan Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah, provided a safe passage to the royal family from Golconda fort to Charminar, in case of emergencies. In 1936, a survey was conducted of the tunnels, a map prepared and a report was submitted to Nizam Mir Osman Ali with several proposals for further detailed survey, but it was not clear why no follow up action was taken by the Nizam. It’s still believed that there’s treasure hidden in the chambers of the tunnel.
Jaigarh Fort, Jaipur
Legend says that Man Singh 1, who was the commander of Akbar’s army, didn’t share the loot with Akbar when he returned from the Afghan conquest of the 1580s. It was believed that the treasure was hidden in the underground tanks of the fort courtyard. During the emergency, Indira Gandhi ordered a search for the treasure. Though official reports say the search was futile, the opposition claimed that the treasure was moved to the Prime Minister’s residence-citing the fact that the Delhi-Jaipur road was blocked for the public nearly 6 months after the search.