17 tones of silver found hidden at Puri Math
It is not at all surprising that 17 tones of silver have been found in an abandoned Math near the Jagannath Temple at Puri. Math is a place where the people after renouncing the family life lived within the parameters of strict religious strictures. This is no dearth of this type of places in India, and it is said that many such treasures could be found in India spanning all the states of the country. Keeping treasures in secret places was a common practice of the kings, wealthy people, and also the temple trust, where donation in the form of precious metals was usual practice.
At today’s hiking price of silver, the finding has been estimated at Rs. 85 crores by the police. Silver slabs of 35kgs and 40 kgs were in four wooden chests that remained in a room of the dilapidated Emar Math situated on 4 acre of lands very near to the famous Jagannath Temple at Puri. The only way the Math was used is the non-Hindus went up the roof of the Math to have a view of Jagannath Temple, as they are not allowed to enter the shrine.
It is sheer by chance that the police came across this concealed treasure, when a man named Barun Baral, a daily wage worker, was caught while trying to sell one silver slab in the town Dhenkanal in Orissa. On interrogation he gave the whereabouts of the hidden silver slabs and the police could reach the room by breaking the walls of the room, said Sanjay Kumar, the Superintendent of Police at Puri. The labourer worked in some renovation work sometimes back and accidentally stumbled upon the treasure. Altogether the police have found 522 slabs.