After about 10 days of hullabaloo over finding hidden treasure, Indian archaeologists have now stopped an excavation in search of buried gold at the ruined Unnao Fort in Daundia Khera village in Uttar Pradesh.
Officials at the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have confirmed that the dig, which was triggered by a sage's premonition about a hoard of 1,000 tons of gold, has not unearthed any treasure.
The excavation about 500km from New Delhi, that started amid lots of media attention, has uncovered only some iron pieces and nails, broken glass bangles and pottery from the Buddhist era.
Recap: India's 1,000 tons of gold hunt
Seer Shobhan Sarkar dreamt of the buried treasure at the fort of a nineteenth century king, Rao Ram Baksh Singh, about three months ago. He informed the government about his dream and sought excavation hoping to help the country fight its current economic situations.
Sarkar allegedly said that Singh's spirit has been roaming his ruined palace and asking for the gold to be dug up. Geological survey indicated presence of metal, and the dig began on 18 October.
He further predicted an even bigger quantity of about 2,500 tons of gold, buried at Adampur village, around 200km away from Unnao.
Relatives rule out trove
A descendant of Baksh Singh explicitly claimed that there was little chance of finding any jewels, let alone such a huge cache as 1,000 tons of gold.
Rekha Singh Baxi, daughter of the great great grandson of Baksh Singh, said that though silver coins and royal family's copper vessels had been dug from the fort and nearby areas several times, she had never heard of hidden gold at the site.
Gold hunt halted: Twitter Reactions
Since the confirmation by ASI that there is no gold at the fort, many people, including politicians, have taken to Twitter to show their reactions on the whole affair, which became more political, than archaeological.
"ASI finds no gold at Unnao fort! So it was right to call the excavation 'sheer madness'," Arjun Munda, senior leader of India's opposition political party, BJP, and a former chief minister of the state of Jharkhand, wrote.
Another user wrote: "Digging under politicians' houses will probably yield better results."
"We must salute the leader who was the first to raise question on government promoting superstition."