Does 1,000 tonnes of gold exist in Unnao?
Rakesh M Goyal  and  Pallavi Goyal 28 October 2013

Here is a forensic analysis based on facts and data available about the claims of 1,000 tonnes of gold. It is logistically impossible and thus hard to establish that 1,000 tonnes of gold was retrieved from Allahabad, transported to Bithur, stored there. Again transported to Daundia Khera and allowed to rest in peace there


Early October 2013, a Hindu sanyasi Swami Shobhan Sarkar (seer), who has an Ashram at a village named as Daundia Khera in Unnao district in Uttar Pradesh (UP) had a dream that there is gold underground to be taken out.


Following are details of the dream

1.    Rao Ram Baksh Singh was a Talukdar (chieftains) in Daundia Khera
2.    During British raj, during and after 1857 war of independence, these chieftains either become British stooge or rebels (freedom fighters). Rao Ram Baksh Singh was one such rebel against British rule
3.    As per the story told by a person close to the seer, the seer often narrates the story of a dream about the gold which was looted by some freedom fighters, led by Maulvi Liyaqat Ali, from the fort of Allahabad on 14 June 1857. Ali was a relative of the zamindars of Chail Pargana in Allahabad and also close to the talukdars of different states between Allahabad and Faizabad. He had declared major parts of Allahabad as independent from the British rule during the Mutiny of 1857. He handed over the looted gold to Nana Sahib Dhondu Pant, the adopted son of Maratha Peshwa Baji Rao II and chieftain of Bithur, to hide somewhere. When Brigadier General James George Smith Neill started searching for this gold, it was brought to Daundia Khera and buried somewhere on the campus of the fort of Rao Ram Baksh Singh. Ali was captured and awarded life imprisonment in 1872. He was sent to Port Blair jail. Rao Ram Baksh Singh was also captured by the British forces and hanged to death. "This gold was actually confiscated by the British from small Indian chieftains or collected in the form of lagaan (land tax) from farmers. This was the reason that the rebels during the Mutiny did not mind confiscating it from the fort of Allahabad," the source said
4.    The dream says that the gold is 1,000 tonnes
5.    Based on this background the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) started digging in the fort, at the place, described by the seer


Some people believed the story completely, whereas some rejected it out-right doubting the veracity of dream. We are one of those, who neither believed nor disbelieved till we did some more analysis. Thus, we decided to do some scientific and forensics analysis of various elements of data, as available from various sources and try to collaborate these with stated historical facts, scientific and forensics analysis and common sense.


Here are our findings.


What Physics says

With this background, now let us do some scientific and logistic calculations and create some hypothesis and prove the/ these hypothesis for correctness of claims and counter-claims.


How much will be the volume of 1,000 tonnes gold?


The specific gravity of gold is 19.32. This means the gold is 19.32 times heavier than water at 4°C. This further means that one litre volume of gold will have a weight of 19.32 kilograms (Kg) or one metre cube of gold will have weight of 19.32 tonnes (metric tonnes).


With this basic physical fact, the total volume of 1,000 tonnes of gold will be 1,000/19.32 = 51.76 cubic metre (m3).


Now imagine that it will have 51 pieces of 1 metre x 1 metre x 1 metre with 0.76 cubic metres in hand. This means about 51.76 metre long wall of solid gold with 1 metre height and 1 metre width. Alternately, this can be viewed as 1,828 cubic feet. This means a road with a pure gold layer of 1/2 inch (12.5 mm) high, 12 feet wide and 3,656 feet (1114 metres or over one kilometre) long.


In pure solid state, this gold will occupy two rooms of 10ft x 10ft x 9ft, fully packed, without any space either between gold cubes and walls and roof. And with 28 cubic feet gold still left.


The assumption is that the gold is 24 carat pure and in solid state, and not in the form of coins, jewellery, utensils, etc. If it is in shape of round coins, the space will increase by atleast 21% to 27% depending upon configuration for storage. In case of jewellery, the volume of space required becomes 10-15 times. I checked this by visiting two jewellery show rooms in Mumbai. (names withheld at their request).


Now, just imagine, if this much of solid and pure gold is stored at the site, and ASI needed to do gold prospecting by using metal detectors and then light drilling. Why dig?


But, the above is a hypothetical condition, just to provide you an idea of volume of gold weighing 1,000 tonnes.


In reality, the gold may not be in solid state and as described above.


Realistic Assumptions

  1. The gold in not in pure solid state
  2. If it has been looted by British and then from British, it may be in the form of coins, jewellery, utensils, etc. The gold may be less than 24 carats. Further, there must be some jewels or jewel studded jewellery and/or silver items in this lot
  3. The gold can not be handled as iron rods/ bars or plates are handled, open in trucks, in current age
  4. This gold must be transported in 1857 using horses or bullock carts on earth surface or by boats on water
  5. This gold coins, jewellery, utensils must be in some strong boxes and/or chests. Each chest must not be so heavy that it can not be handled by human beings or bullock carts or boats or horses
  6. Load carrying standards - as per “THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO DRAUGHT AND PACK ANIMALS RULES, 1965”, Small bullocks can pull a bullock-cart with (no ball-bearing and no pneumatic types) 500 Kg for 3 hours, whereas large can pull 900 Kg. As per horse-science-news, horse can carry 20% of its weight i.e. say 100-150 Kg. including human, if any. These rules are dated 1965, but the standards may not vary over time. On the other hand, I checked with one of my relatives in a village near Mathura, who himself is a farmer and has an oil expeller unit. He confirmed 500 kg figure provided it is on asphalt road. On village road, this load is less depending upon the road condition  
  1. As per practice of that time and for security reasons, the chests were stored in underground chambers in a fort or fort-like structure. The passage/ stairs to these chambers are narrow, so that maximum one person or one chest in specific position can move in either direction. Though, not seen the exact location at Allahabad fort
  2. Further, to carry one chest from/to chambers, minimum 4-8 persons will be required
  3. Given all these constraints, ideally, one chest may weigh not more than 500 Kg. It may be less also. This 500 Kg includes the weight of chest, which may be of iron or heavy wood
  4. One can imagine that even to lift 500 Kg box, how many human will be deployed to lift it from the basement to surface, where transport is available

Based on above, it will be realistic if not optimistic, to assume the average weight of each chest as 500 Kg. With this, it comes to 2,000 chests for 1,000 tonnes. This number may vary 10%-20% on both sides depending upon the weight per chest. But, let us consider the number—2,000 chests now.


Now consider the chronology of events

(Ref - and

  1. Mutiny against British started on 10 May 1857 at Meerut
  2. Rebels reached Delhi on 11 May 1857
  3. Mutiny started in Allahabad on 5 June 1857. British of Allahabad took refuge in Fort. Brig Gen James Neill arrives at Allahabad on 11 June 1857 and took control of fort and started his operation from there
  4. As per the dream, the gold was looted on 14 June 1857
  5. Maulvi Liaqat Ali flees Allahabad on 16 June 1857
  6. Bithur was captured by General Havelock on 19 July 1857
  7. Distance from Allahabad to Bithur—over 200 km
  8. Distance from Bithur to Daundia Khera—over 70 km (both by road or by boat in Ganga)
  9. Bithur is about 35 km north-west of Kanpur on west bank of Ganga, where as Daundia Khera is same distance south-east of Kanpur on east bank of Ganga. (source- Google map)
  10. At a speed of 60 km per day, it will take three days for a bullock cart from Allahabad to reach Bithur. Similarly, one day from Bithur to Daundia Khera, consider good road conditions, which may not be.

Let us consider logistical requirements

If consignment was carried by road –

  1. To carry 2,000 chests, Maulvi Liyaqat Ali needs at least 2,000 bullock carts of one bullock each or 1,000 cart of two bullocks each
  2. Each cart must have one or two bullocks and one driver. So, 2,000 bullocks and 1,000-2,000 drivers
  3. Then to shift from Allahabad fort to bullock carts, human being are required to lift, bring up and load on bullock carts. How many? With liberal estimates, let us assume that one set of 6-8 persons takes 30 minutes to lift, carry and load one chest from storage chamber to bullock cart. Further, if there exist 10 minutes distance between two chests, six chests can be loaded in one hour without taking rest. These chests are kept in underground strong rooms with narrow staircases, so people can not take the chests in parallel but one after the other.
  4. This means loading 72 chests/day, if people working for 12 hours, considering no work at night. 2,000 chests will take one month
  5. Maulvi have to start these 72 bullock carts at the end of the day for journey else there is a chance of being looted
  6. A convey of 72 odd carts per day going to Bithur will be exposed to British and Rebels for three odd days. The convey also needs a guarding force of at least 200-300 armed people alongwith their rations etc
  7. Then at Bithur, the operation has to be reversed to store in safe place
  8. The same will be repeated again from Bithur to Daundia Khera

If the gold was carried by boats –

  1. The month of June is before arrival of monsoon. The Ganga is almost dry. It has little water.
  2. Further, even water is there, the journey of boats would be against the flow of Ganga.
  3. Ganga is not that deep that that it can be used for goods transportation.
  4. Arranging 2,000 boats with 2,000 sailors and security is not heard in India, even today.
  5. Thus, we do not accept this hypothesis.

HYPOTHESIS - that the gold is 1,000 tonnes


Let us test the hypothesis that “the gold is 1000 tonnes”

  1. If British had this big treasure (of 1,000 tonnes of gold) at Allahabad before 1857, why was it left unguarded? This may not have been collected in a short period. The normal British practice was to ship the treasure to England. Why did the British store such a big treasure in Allahabad and not send gradually to England, as they were sending loot from India?
    Hypothesis test – not certainly successful
  1. Mutiny started in Allahabad on 5 June 1857. Neill arrived and took control of fort on 11 June 1857. Maulvi Liyaqat Ali fled Allahabad on 16 June 1857. As per our calculations, Maulvi Liyaqat Ali has maximum 6 days (5 June to 11 June 1857) at his disposal to organize bullock carts, human resources, security and supplies for 72 odd carts / day. Considering, he had free and unchallenged access with sufficient resources working without any resistance for these 6 days, he can move maximum 432 carts means 216 tonnes of gold at maximum
    Hypothesis test – not successful
  1. The dream said that  he looted gold on 14 June 1857. In one day, it can be maximum 72 carts with 36 tonnes
    Hypothesis test – not successful
  1. Then he needs troop commanders to guard the convoy for six days. Each convoy may need 200-300 people. But in place of used to guard the convoy, they could have better used to fight against British forces
    Hypothesis test – not successful
  1. Was it possible to mobilise resources such as 72 carts, bullocks, cart-drivers, security, ration and other logistics for each day, in such a short time, in such a flux state of anarchy? We believe – not possible
    Hypothesis test – not successful
  1. It is impossible that a convey of 72 odd carts or 72 carts/day is hidden from public, British stooge, other chieftains, etc. while travelling from Allahabad to Bithur. Extremely high risk exist for looting these conveys in between by various interests including and not limited to bullock-cart drivers, guards, etc
    Hypothesis test – not successful
  1. Further, this incident of loot and movement of such big amount of gold must be written by both sides of historians, which exist nowhere
    Hypothesis test – not successful
  1. Nana Saheb himself was busy in battle in Kanpur and around. This amount of gold needs his personal attention on full time basis. Do he had that much time and resources to receive these consignments and storage place for them?
    Hypothesis test – not successful
  1. Even if this consignment has reached Bithur and then to Daundia Khera, can it be hidden from public eye?
    Hypothesis test – not successful
  1. Does Daundia Khera have that much storage underground strong rooms in place to store these chests? Does only Rao Ram Baksh Singh was in knowledge of this consignment? His family or close associates or people, who were involved in the whole process of recovery, transportation and storage at Daundia Khera, some must be survived the mutiny, could have visited or secretly claimed/ recovered the treasure. This type of bravery becomes a folklore
    Hypothesis test – not certainly successful
  1. If the soul of Rao Ram Baksh Singh has to come and tell a sanyasi in dream about this treasure that means only Rao Ram Baksh Singh knew it. In that case, the treasure can only be of a size, which can be handled by him only or may be with some of his very close and loyal people
    Hypothesis test – not certainly successful
  1. Rao Ram Baksh Singh was not a big chieftain with a small force. Further, he was associated with a bigger raja, i.e. Nana Saheb. Full force of Nana Saheb was busy fighting for and guarding Kanpur from British. Nana Saheb can not leave this big treasure without sufficient guarding, especially, when people, who were involved in logistics, know the details. Further, all these places, palace politics has also been rampart. So, there were internal saboteurs
    Hypothesis test – can’t say anything
  1. When Neill was searching the treasure, he came to Daundia Khera and after searching, destroyed the fort. With Jaichands and MirJafars around, could he not come to know about such big logistical operation of bullock-cart conveys and it’s final destination? If the stakes were high, he would have got it digged at various place including Daundia Khera and tried to recover the Gold. He was in command and can mobilise any amount of human resources forcibly
    Hypothesis test – not successful
  1. Storage at Daundia Khera for this amount of gold (means gold coins, jewellery, utensils) needs big underground strong chambers, with proper approach path. If it is so, the job of ASI becomes easy. It needs to locate those hidden or blocked passage. For that they can use equipments like sonar, metal detectors and other technologies
    Hypothesis test – Can’t say anything
  1. The unit of measurement of weight in India, at that time was Mun, Ser, Chathak, Tola, Masha and Ratti. Gold was always measured in Tolas. The question is - when did the soul of Rao Ram Baksh Singh learnt the measurement in tonnes? Metric system in India was introduced in 1957, 90 years after this incident. If he would have used the measurement units in older Indian system, it would be more creditable
    Hypothesis test – not successful


We are not in a position to offer any alternate theory/story. Only history knows what had happened.


But, with the dream data made available by the sanyasi and other data available in public domain and as analysed above, it is logistically impossible and thus hard to establish that 1,000 tonnes of gold was retrieved from Allahabad, transported to Bithur, stored there. Again transported to Daundia Khera and allowed to rest in peace there, without any people, except Rao Ram Baksh Singh and Maulvi Liyakat Ali and Nana Saheb knowing it.


We have another hypothesis that some amount (somewhere, between few hundred kilos to few tonnes) of Gold was retrieved from Allahabad and transported to Bithur and then to Daundia Khera. Else why Neill would have come in search of gold? The quantity has to be very much lower than 1,000 tonnes as claimed by seer.


If people in the area do not know about it and only a few knows then it may be maximum few chests, which can be carted on horses with or without human or travelled in few bullock carts covered with grain or lighter material. Grain also has weight, thus the weight of gold reduces per cart. May be due to this reason, Neill has also not searched more deeply at Daundia Khera as stakes were not high.

How does 1,000 tonnes of gold compare with well known structures?


Total weight of Eiffel Tower (Paris) is – 7,000 tonnes of steel


Total weight of Boeing 747-200B Jumbo jet – 165 tonnes


Weight of largest whale – 200 tonnes


Elephant weighs – 10-20 tonnes


Total weight of Statue of Liberty, NY – 225 tonnes (made of copper)


(Due to difference in density between gold and steel, 17,175 tonnes of Gold will be required to build Eiffel Tower of pure gold. Technically, Eiffel Tower of gold can not stand due to softness of gold)



(About the authors –


Rakesh Goyal is PhD in Cyber Security; MBA from IIM-Bangalore and AMIE (Mech. Engineering). He has earned certificates - CISA, CISM, CFE, CCCI, CMC and Chartered Engineer.


He is an IT consulting entrepreneur since 1985 as MD of Sysman Computers P Ltd, Mumbai, a CERT-In and CCA empanelled firm ( He is also the Director General of 'Center for Research and Prevention of Cyber Crimes'. Before that, he worked with BHEL, WIPRO and MNC Bank between 1972 and 1985.


Pallavi Goyal is BE from Mumbai University. She is certified as CCNA and ISO27001 LA. She has been active in Cyber Security consulting specially in Web-application and network security for over three years. She has done Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing of over 200 web and other applications and over 10 networks. She has been working with Sysman Computers Private Limited for last 3 years and assisted Rakesh Goyal in many forensics assignments.


N Viktamsimha
9 years ago
Then what was the Reason & rationale of GOI to do this Test excavation , was it to divert the attention if so of whom. I saw an Foreigner Conrad Elast Show Slides of the Exacavation by ASI in Demolished Structure in Ayodha . Certainly There were Indications of a Hindoo Temple or Structure , Does ASI or GSI get any such Proof or is it just a Spoof
shadi katyal
Replied to N Viktamsimha comment 9 years ago
If one recalls, there was nothing found first and than suddenly with some pressure or maybe digging deep they claim to have found some proof? if any.
How can one have any respect for a department who believes in such dreams and makes the nation a laughing stock of the world in this age of technology. Are we looking forward to India future with such predictions by god men?
shadi katyal
9 years ago
We thank Mr. Goyal for spending hours of research and trying to open the minds of superstitious people who in this age still believe in such Sadhus etc.
Why did ASI got involved in this issue. Should the person in charge be disciplined for wasting funds. Has the department not lost its standing? Mr. Goyal's work should be an eye opener for all and specially for ASI who still are hide bound with such superstitions and dreams of fake Sadhus. Is this why we are still way behind in our growth?
When we read such diggings we laughed as a joke as common sense will tell you that how can any gold be buried for so long. Look at the grave robbery from Pyramids and leave such gold in ground in India.
The fact is that we wish to be rich without working and any discipline.
ASI digging has made India a laughing stock in the world
9 years ago
I dreamt of a location that turned out to be in India, though I am not Indian , not a sadhu and have not seen India in my life, may be I should go and there and make some digging,
where is the location??
ture I swear
siddharth murarka
9 years ago
what an analysis.. so deep.. excellent.. hats off the father daughter duo
M M Gadre
9 years ago
The analysis by GOYALS is extremely convincing . One more hypothesis which could be proved wrong ? 1857 Uprising was well planned and atleast four top people were behind this. If it was planned one year/ six months before the actual start and these four /six main persons knew that there is 1000 Tons Gold they must have decided on the strategy of shifting it from place to place and then bury it in a well planned / constructed place . Shifting small amounts at a time over a longer period would not attract any body ! Also it may not be 1000 Tons the seer must have got confused after all it was a dream no details remembered.

M M Gadre
9 years ago
We have been ridiculing people who go from one astrologer to another for quick fix. One can understand that perhaps these people are in dire need of wealth and hence they depend on any one who can offer easy option.

Now the government is also on the similar mission. One can surmise that they are terribly short of cash and urgently need money. Or is it that the politicians want a quick buck before losing power.

Suiketu Shah
Replied to Satish comment 9 years ago
Perfectly put Satish!:)
The mission is over today and comfirms to findings of ml article above.

Abhijit Gosavi
9 years ago
How sad! If only those Archeological folks had spent all that time building some roads or canals, there would have been something long lasting that would help the economy and reduce poverty.
Bal krishna Gupta
9 years ago
What the Goyals have done is exactly self promotion and flaunting of basic knowledge of Physics and school level Maths.

One need not go to such ridiculous lengths to disprove a Sadhu's unguarded words based
on a 'dream'. On the face of it one may wonder whether even the Sadhu knows How many grams are there in a Tonne.

Arvind Kumar
9 years ago
Hats off to Goyals !!!!
These calculations & analysis is worth more than actual diggings.
Some more dreams have been conveyed to DM, Kanpur where "dream figures" are literally dream figures -- another 1,000 & 2,500 tonnes.
No wonders, there are claimants, including the present day chieftains -- Yadav family and their goons -- waiting for Mckenna's Gold. Ha, ha, ha to the saintly dream. Yet another Nirmal Baba, which is at the most a cheap comedy serial.
GSI did notice some signals on their detectors to show presence of some metal, as reported in various news channels. Anyway, they are totally silent now.
Arvind Kumar
9 years ago
Dear Goyals,

Can you please suggest the total values of Gold in the unopened vault B of Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple of Trivandrum, Kerala?
Replied to MOHAN comment 9 years ago
Padmanabha temple:What riches behold the sealed B vault?
Bapoo Malcolm
9 years ago

If you have a plot of land and want to farm it but have neither the strength or money to till it, all you have to do is spread the story that there is gold or some treasure buried there. You will have it dug up in no time and ready for sowing. AND EVEN THE ASI WILL BE THERE TO HELP YOU.

Bapoo M Malcolm
S Narain
9 years ago
Very scientific analysis. I wonder what officials of ASI wish to say
9 years ago
The authors' assumptions and calculation and conclusion at the end support and confirm the general belief that the seer's illogical dream cannot be believed to be true and is sure to finally collapse into loss of resources of the Govt and ASI. The impressive calculation done by the authors help understand the sheer waste of time, energy and resources in search of the 1000 tonne dream gold' Let us be cautious and do not support the aforesaid type of dreams. Otherwise the whole country will need to be dug up for no reason. Let us do something better.
kamal modi
9 years ago
Just impressive logical study.You are too too good.Your article ought to be weighed in gold.
9 years ago
The analysis sounds impressive but is entirely a critique of the figure of 1,000 tonnes, and not of other parts of the story.

In fact, this quantity is the least important part in the sense that it is most likely to be a wild exaggeration.

To my mind, the analysis actually shows that there could well be 5 or 10 or even 20 tonnes of gold there, still an impressive quantity. All the impossibilities pointed out here disappear if the quantity were less.
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