The Madhya Pradesh government has succeeded in ‘bringing back’ a cache of gold coins dating back to the Mughal era, found in Burhanpur district – 340 km south-west of Bhopal – in 2003 from neighbouring Gujarat.
The State Department of Archaeology, Archives and Museums Department has managed to get back 482 gold coins that had been unearthed from the Shikarpura area of Burhanpur and later sent to Gujarat. The coins, weighing around five kg and having a market value of nearly Rs one crore, were recovered by Shikarpura resident Savita Rani in 2003 when she was digging her fields.
Savita had given the coins to her daughter who used to live in Junagadh district of Gujarat. The daughter had handed over the coins to the police and had expressed a desire to donate them to the Somnath temple.
However, the district magistrate of Junagadh decided that the treasure belonged to Madhya Pradesh and should be handed back, officials of the State Archaeology Department said. Most of the coins belong to the time of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb (reigning from 1658-1707) and are of immense antique value.
The State Minister for Culture, Lamikant Sharma has said that the historically and archaeologically important coins would now be displayed at the State Archaeological Musuem in Bhopal.