Eldorado: A Golden Myth
[We are Human Beings.
Human Beings have always been fond of possessing gold. This lure has led to many weird and strange adventures. Above all, the most strangest and mysterious of all expeditions lies in search of Eldorado- The Golden Land. For centuries, the legend of Eldorado, the fabulous land of gold led many people to undertake the courageous feat. Some lost their reputation and some even lost their lives.
Still the men remained undaunted. Year after year, decade after decade, men went out in search of the Golden land. After all, the question arises that, what were they seeking? Gold? A Golden City? A Golden man? or everything was just a myth or legend? A myth that destroyed many lives?] The year was 1969. Some farm workers were working in a cave near Bogota in South America. Suddenly, their hands struck against a model of a raft. They shrieked with surprise- “Eldorado! Eldorado!” It meant the Golden Man.
The model showed a king on a raft standing with his bodyguards. This solid gold model raft is similar to the one taken out from Lake Siecha in the 19th Century by the adventurers of Spain. The mania for gold started in 1530 with the Spanish adventurer Fransisco Pizzaro who set sail from Panama to plunder the treasures of the Inca Empire in Peru. In 1535, Sebastian De Belcazar, veteran of the Inca conquest and founder of Quito, the capital of Equador, met an Indian, who told him of a far- off tribe king who sprinkled his body with gold dust before swimming in the sacred mountain lake. After hearing this story, Belcazar coined out a new name for the mysterious king Eldorado, meaning the Golden Man. It was this name which became so famous among the adventurers.
People began to wonder that whether Eldorado really existed. But myths die hard. And by the beginning of the 19th century, the quest for beginning of the Eldorado passed a new breed of adventurers. The two new adventurers were Humboldt and Bomplande. They travelled extensively but concluded that the search for Eldorado was futile.
However, Humboldt noted a spot where Sepulveda’s expedition had made a breach in the crater’s wall in 1580’s. So, once again interest was drawn on Lake Gutavita. Humboldt had no interest in the treasures of the lake but the others had. So, in 1912, a British company named ‘Contractors Limited’ arrived in Colombia, with 150,000 dollars worth of equipment to pump out Lake Gutavita’s water. But lo! What they found was not even worth the effort.
The ground was covered with a thick black mud and a little bit of gold, which was not even enough to repay a fraction of the cost spent. More valuable than this find was the raft gold model found at Lake Siecha earlier in the 19th Century. Thus ended the search for Eldorado- The Golden man, The Golden Land. The expeditions failed to discover the Golden Man or the Golden Land, but in their pursuit, they discovered unknown tribes, platinum, silver, bauxite and manganese. And above all, they discovered oil in the Lake Marcaibo Basin of Venezuela. The Golden Man on the raft still stares into the eyes of the adventurers as if asking- “Are you ready to unfold my mystery- the mystery of Eldorado”?