India has gone into frenzy mode trying to locate what could be a massive pot of gold based on the dream of Swami Shobhan Sarkar, a sadhu or holy man. Mr Sarkar claimed he dreamt of once-ruler Rao Ram Baksh who allegedly told him where the latter kept his riches before he was hanged in 1858 after rising up against the British.

Mr Sarkar's dream was apparently highly valued, based on the way the central government responded, by ordering the state Archaeological Survey of India to send a team of archaeologists in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh to the village of Daundia Khera. Their mission - to find the precious gold based on Mr Sarkar's dream, beginning on Friday. It is presumed the archaeologists won't stop digging until they find that gold.

In September, Mr Sarkar said the spirit of the 19th century king told him that gold of up to 1,000 tonnes was buried underneath the ruins of an old palace in the state. Estimates placed the missing loot to be worth $40 billion.

"It is a hidden treasure for the country," Mr Sarkar told the Mail Today newspaper, adding the spirit of the dead ruler continues to roam the palace, striking up communication channels with people who can dig up gold.

Mr Sarkar alleged the dead ruler king was worried India was going to the pitfalls, that's why he wants his hidden gold treasure found and unearthed to help boost up the country's ailing economy.

However, not everyone thinks the state sponsored dig is a sensible way to spend taxpayers' money.

"This entire hunt is a complete waste of time, money, energy and resources. Shame on the government for ordering this ridiculous exercise," R.C. Agarwal, a former director general of the Archaeological Survey, was quoted by the Wall Street Journal. "We have become a laughing stock."

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