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Ramakanta Biswas

Excavation at the historic Emar Mutt in Puri has been taken up once again on Friday to detect any trace of hidden treasure inside the 11th century religious institution.

The excavation was being carried out at three places on the premises of the ancient mutt which were marked by metal detectors in September last year following requests of Trust Board. The Trust Board suspected there might be more treasure hidden in the Mutt premises.  

Initially, the entry path of the mutt was dug up today in the presence of Sub-Collector Bhabataran Sahoo, the mutt trust board members and others. 

“Three places in the front portion of the mutt were identified and now those places are being dug up. If traces of any item are found, we will dig up the place further deeper,” Sub-Collector Bhabataran Sahu said. 

President of the new trust board said, “When I took over, I thoroughly examined the underground of all the rooms of the mutt. I do not have any knowledge if more treasures are hidden underground. If any, it will come up after excavation.”   

Situated in the south eastern corner of the Shree Jagannath Temple, the recovery of 522 silver ingots weighing over a total of 18 tonnes and valued a whopping Rs 90 crore from the ancient mutt on February 25, 2011 had rocked the entire nation. The case is sub-judice in court.

Similarly, 45 silver ingots weighing about 35 kg each were recovered from the mutt in the second phase of searches on April 10, 2021. 
Moreover, some precious items like a beautiful silver tree, flower, bouquet, silver utensils and ornaments were found inside the mutt after its possession was taken by the Commissioner of Endowment in April 2021. 

A pair of cow and calf made of bronze and 16 ancient swords was also recovered from the mutt. According to sources, the cow-calf sculpture was used during Jhulan Yatra.

It is suspected several assets and other articles which the mutt had received as donations in the course of its centuries-long history still lie buried inside the premises.

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