Submitted by Tornado Dragon
Indiana, Willie, and Short Round manage to gain possession of the three Sankara Stones the Thuggee cult have and also free the children of Mayapore – who had been working as slave miners for the cult in the catacombs beneath Pankot Palace in order to find the two missing stones – before escaping the catacombs.
Unfortunately, while trying to cross a rope bridge over a river infested with crocodiles, they are met by Mola Ram and a large number of Thuggees, who trap Indiana in the center of the bridge. After telling Willie and Short Round to hang on, Indiana cuts the rope on one side, which causes the bridge to break in two and eventually leave Indiana, Willie, Short Round, and Mola Ram hanging off one end while the rest of the cultists on the bridge fall into the river and get devoured by the crocodiles. Indiana eventually struggles with Mola Ram for the stones he has in his bag until he invokes Shiva’s name and calls Mola Ram a traitor to Shiva, which causes the stones to turn blazing hot and burn through the bag. Two of them fall into the river, and when Mola Ram catches the third one, the pain it causes him makes him lose his grip, and Indiana catches the stone before Mola Ram plummets straight into the hungry mouths of the crocodiles. The Maharaja Zalim – who was earlier freed from the cult’s hypnosis by Short Round – then appears with Captain Blumburtt and a regiment of British Indian Army riflemen, and they force the remaining Thuggees to surrender.
Indiana, Willie, and Short Round return to Mayapore and give the remaining Sankara Stone back to the village in order to officially restore it to life, and the missing children appear and reunite with their families. Indiana and Willie also share a kiss before they get cheered and embraced by the children.
On their first night in Pankot Palace, Indiana (Harrison Ford), Willie (Kate Capshaw), and Short Round (Ke Huy Quan) find a hidden temple beneath the palace, and they see a ceremony in progress being put on by the Thuggee cult, who worship the god Kali and is headed by its high priest Mola Ram (Amrish Puri). They also see that the Maharaja, Zalim (Raj Singh), is a member. They then watch from a hiding place as the cult sacrifices a man to Kali by first shackling him inside a cage, then having his heart literally extracted by hand by Mola Ram (while somehow staying alive), and then finally lowering him into a whirlpool of lava underneath the idol of Kali and burning him to death. Indiana then watches as three priests bring forth three of the five Sankara Stones (one of which is the one they took from the village of Mayapore) and set them in the eye sockets and nose of the skull between Kali’s legs. After the cult disperses, Indiana tells Willie and Short Round to stay put while he goes and collects the stones. Indiana places the stones in his bag, but then he hears distant screams coming from the tunnels behind the idol, so he decides to go in them and investigate. Soon after, Willie and Short Round are surprised and captured by Thuggee guards.
Indiana discovers that the screams belong to Mayapore’s missing children; the Thuggees have a mining operation going on in the catacombs beneath the palace and they are using the children as slave labor. He throws a rock down at the overseer of the slave drivers in order to spare a boy from a whipping, but he draws attention to himself as a consequence. When he attempts to run, he finds a bunch of guards standing behind him, and he gets put in a cell with Short Round and several other children. A couple of the children tell Indiana and Short Round about how they fear the possibility of being forced to drink the blood of Kali, which causes those who drink it to be put into a hypnotic state called the “Black Sleep” and forces them to do the cult’s sinister work. Indiana and Short Round are soon brought before Mola Ram, who explains that there were five Sankara Stones in the beginning, but over the centuries, they were dispersed by wars and sold off by thieves. After Indiana points out that he is missing two of them, Mola Ram replies that, when the British raided this temple a century ago and butchered the Thuggees, a loyal priest hid the last two stones somewhere in the catacombs. The enslaved children are being used to find the stones, and any gems they dig up in the process are used to support the Thuggees’ cause. He says that, once the cult acquires all five stones, they will become all-powerful. Mola Ram then forces Indiana to drink the blood of Kali and entrances him, and Short Round is placed in the mine to dig with the other children. However, Short Round starts chipping away at his ankle shackles with his pick when the slave drivers aren’t looking.
The cult starts up another ceremony, this time with Indiana taking part, along with the prime minister Chattar (Roshan Seth), who is another member. Willie is then suddenly brought out to serve as the cult’s next sacrifice. At the point where Mola Ram would take her heart out, he instead has Indiana come forth, and though Willie tearfully pleads with Indiana to snap out of it, all he does is finish locking her in the cage. Meanwhile, Short Round gets his shackles off and runs through the mine to get to Indiana, eventually climbing up through a hole in the ceiling to escape the slave drivers. He reaches Indiana just as Willie is being lowered towards the lava and begs him to wake up, but Indiana backhands him across the face. Mola Ram orders the cultists to seize him, but Short Round grabs hold of a nearby torch and uses it to keep them at bay. He then approaches Indiana again and sticks the torch into the right side of his torso, and this succeeds in breaking Indiana free from the trance.
The Thuggees grab hold of Short Round and attempt to slit his throat, but Indiana – pretending to still be under hypnosis – tells the Thuggees to let him deal with him. However, shortly after grabbing hold of Short Round, he lets him know that he is okay, and together they attack the cultists. Indiana tries to go after Mola Ram, but he escapes through a trapdoor under the idol, and Indiana reverses the movement of the cage’s pulley system to bring Willie back up. Chattar then tries to ambush Indiana with a knife, but he fails, and then he tries to send Willie back down again. Indiana manages to knock him out and finally get Willie out of the cage safely, and she kisses him after he tells her that he is back to his old self. Indiana then grabs the Sankara Stones from the skull and puts them back in his bag, and Willie says that they and Short Round must get out of here, to which Indiana replies that they will – but not just them.
They thus go back into the mines, where they overwhelm the slave drivers and release the children (with some help from the children themselves). Indiana then comes under attack from the overseer, and they have an arduous fight that sees Indiana at a heavy disadvantage thanks to Zalim appearing on a ledge above them and repeatedly sticking a pin into a voodoo doll of Indiana in order to pain him and hamper his assault. Indiana and the overseer end up on a conveyor belt heading towards a rock-crushing steamroller, and after Short Round sees what Zalim is doing, he climbs up a waterwheel to reach Zalim’s location and tackles him, though the pin is stuck in the doll’s back. Short Round gets the better of Zalim and pulls out the pin just in time to prevent Indiana from getting his head crushed under the roller, and Indiana succeeds in getting the better of the overseer and causing him to get flattened instead. Short Round fights Zalim until he takes a torch and hits him in the torso with it, and it turns out that Zalim was under the Black Sleep as well because this act frees him from it. Indiana soon yells for Short Round to get down into one of the mine carts, and Zalim tells him to take the left tunnel to get out of the mines.
As Indiana and Short Round fight off more Thuggees and Willie gets a mine cart rolling along the track, Mola Ram appears with the rest of the cult, but they are unable to stop the protagonists from getting into the cart and fleeing down a tunnel. However, they take a wrong turn and find themselves going all through the tunnels, and though they take care of two carts full of cultists that pursue them, Mola Ram and the others eventually knock over a giant vat of water next to the waterwheel in order to flood the tunnels and drown them. After the trio manage to bring the cart to a stop, they see the torrents of water coming their way, so they run until they head out an opening in a cliff wall, where they are able to avoid the water as it gushes out. Indiana orders Willie and Short Round to head for a nearby rope bridge since they have an easier climb to solid ground, and he begins to scale the cliff face.
Willie and Short Round get to the rope bridge first, which is situated over a river lying far below that is infested with ravenous crocodiles, but Indiana crosses paths with more Thuggees as he makes his way there. He gets on it just after Willie and Short Round have made it across, but Willie and Short Round are surprised by Mola Ram and some cultists seconds later. They are held captive while the cultists go onto the bridge and halt Indiana’s advance, and Indiana soon finds himself trapped in the center with the Thuggees on both ends. After Mola Ram forces Willie and Short Round to start walking back onto the bridge with him right behind them, Indiana tells his companions to hang on, then uses a Thuggee sword he acquired moments ago to cut one side of the rope bridge loose. The bridge breaks in two, and Indiana, Willie, Short Round, Mola Ram, and a couple of other Thuggees find themselves hanging from the remains of the bridge while the rest of the cultists fall straight into the river and get devoured by the crocodiles. Mola Ram ends up losing his grip and falls, but regains it just above where Indiana is, and they have a short fight that sees the two surviving Thuggees meet the same fate as their brethren. Mola Ram tries to climb back up, but Willie and Short Round kick at his hands until he falls again. He grabs hold of Indiana to stop his fall, and they then begin to fight for possession of the stones in Indiana’s bag while Willie and Short Round get up to the top. Indiana soon invokes Shiva’s name and calls Mola Ram a traitor to Shiva in Hindi, and this causes the stones to light themselves on fire and burn through the bag. Two of them fall straight into the water, and when Mola Ram catches the last one, it burns his hand, and the pain overwhelms him enough for him to lose his grip. Indiana manages to catch the stone just before Mola Ram plummets straight down into the hungry mouths of the crocodiles. As the Thuggees on the other side of the river try to slay Indiana with arrows, Zalim shows up with Captain Blumburtt (Philip Stone) and his regiment of British Indian Army riflemen, who appear on both sides of the river and force the cult to surrender. Indiana then gets topside without further trouble.
Indiana, Willie, and Short Round return to Mayapore, where they see greenery around the village, and they have brought all the child laborers with them, who reunite with their families. The village elder tells Indiana that he knew he was coming back when life returned to the village, and Indiana – deciding that the need to do the right thing is more important than the fortune and glory he seeks – gives him the remaining Sankara Stone so it can be set back in the village’s shrine where it belongs. Willie remarks to Indiana that he could’ve kept it and gained fortune and fame, but Indiana replies that the rock would’ve just ended up in some museum collecting dust, and as for the fame, anything can happen. He then tells her that it is a long way to Delhi, but Willie refuses to go on any more adventures with him after all of the trouble they have experienced and starts trying to seek out a guide to Delhi. Indiana uses his whip to ensnare her and pull her towards him, and they soon share a kiss before they get cheered and embraced by the children.