Centuries-old gold and silver ornaments recovered in Achham districtTwo weeks ago, while laying the foundation for a campus building in Sanphebagar Municipality-2, Achham, a group of seven construction workers recovered gold ornaments weighing about 13 tolas. T
Two weeks ago, while laying the foundation for a campus building in Sanphebagar Municipality-2, Achham, a group of seven construction workers recovered gold ornaments weighing about 13 tolas. The constructions workers since have dug up more gold from the site—around 150 tolas of gold and 8 kgs of silver, as of Monday.
“Twenty-four people have been panning the area now to find gold and silver,” said Kalu Singh Kunwar, ward chairman of Sanphebagar-2. “The gold and silver were recovered while digging a trench for the foundation of Shrikot Campus. The workers and the locals, under the surveillance of the local authorities, are looking for more ornaments,” he added.
The incident of the recovered gold came to light on May 5 after the construction workers had a serious dispute over the share of the gold, and the news reached authorities. The seven workers were kept in custody for 10 days, while a team investigated into the incident. They were released on Sunday. “Thirteen tolas gold seized from the workers are kept in the District Police Office, while 137 tolas
are kept in Area Police Office in Sanphebagar,” said Kunwar.
Locals believe that in the exact spot there once stood a palace of a king, although this story lacks facts and data. A knowledgeable source said that there were around 40 kots in Achham district in around 1424 BS. Among them the biggest Kot was believed to be in Shrikot. If the stories are to be believed then the recovered gold ornaments hold high historic and archeological value.
Jhupi Rawal, a local, said that the then king of Achham, Surya Malla, had built the palace in Shrikot which was named as Surya Durbar. According to her, there are other remnants of the palace in the area.
Meanwhile, the local people of Shrekot have been demanding the recovered ornaments be placed in a museum. “These are the assets of our ancestors. A museum should be set up to keep and preserve these assets,” said Shanta Kunwar of Shrikot.
“The recovered ornaments are very important from a historical and archaeological view point. Their importance could not be measured in tolas and kilograms,” said Kaji Pyakurel, museum officer at Department of Archaeology. According to him, such ornaments were found earlier in Jumla as well and kept at the national numismatics museum in Kathmandu. “Discussions will be held among stakeholders as to where these ornaments will be kept” he added.