A small fragment of soil, believed to contain traces of Mahatma Gandhi's blood, has sold for £10,000 at an auction in the UK.
The blood-stained soil, contained in a glass box, is said to have been taken from the site of his assassination in 1948.
It was consigned to the auction by PP Nambiar, who was standing close-by when Gandhi was killed by a Hindhu fanatic.
Nambiar describes the item as "the most sacred of all relics", adding that it is "a fraction of the pinch of soil I collected on 30 January 1948 from the spot where the father of our nation MK Gandhi fell to the bullets of his assassin".
He adds that the sample "is a treasure of immense sentimental value".
The auction also featured a pair of spectacles that once belonged to Gandhi. They more than doubled their £15,000 high-estimate with a £34,000 showing.
Meanwhile a wooden spinning wheel known as a "Charka", which Gandhi took with him to London for the second Round Table Conference in 1931, achieved £26,000. It had arrived with a £10,000-15,000 valuation.
Gandhi's prayer book, valued at £4,000-6,000, sold for a considerable £10,500.
The auction was not without its controversy, as some quarters claimed that items connected with Gandhi should not be part of a financial transaction.
Despite the dissenters, the sale is evidence of the clamour for artefacts connected with the world's foremost political figures.
Mahatma Gandhi led India to independence and is known in the country as "Bapu", meaning father.
His non-violent philosophies inspired civil rights movements across the globe.