Spooky season is here and we are taking you to one of the most haunted places in India. Rajasthan is famous for its ancient forts, and historical and architectural marvels that have stood the tests of time. However, the grandeur of the state’s royal heritage has not been able to hide the fact that the Land of Kings is home to the supernatural and one of the most haunted places in India and the world, the Bhangarh fort. By Ruchit Rastogi
Nestled amid the Aravallis, 50 km from the Sariska sanctuary between Jaipur and Alwar, the 17th-century Bhangarh fort tells a spooky story of a time dating back centuries and has a spine-tingling tale behind its history.
These eerie facts have put Bhangarh Fort on the must-visit paranormal places in India list
Bhangarh Fort: A testament of an era long gone
Raja Madho Singh, the younger brother of Mughal general Man Singh of Amber, built the fort in the 17th century. The town of Bhangarh had almost 9,000 houses, as well as the royal palace, until 1720 when the population dwindled all of a sudden. Three consecutive fortifications and five enormous gates guarded the fort and the entire settlement of Bhangarh.
Magnificent Havelis, temples, and derelict marketplaces can be found within the fort’s grounds, demonstrating the fort’s prosperity during its heyday.
There are two horrifying legends behind the doom of the 400-year-old standing ruins of a fort that has haunted people for generations.
Guru Balu Nath’s curse: “All houses will remain roofless”
According to folklore, the grounds of Bhangarh Fort were once the home of an ascetic, named Guru Balu Nath. Raja Madho Singh made sure to get permission from Balu Nath before building the fort and even got one conditionally. The ascetic decreed that the fort’s shadow must never fall on his home. However, a successor to Madho Singh ignored the warnings and fortified the fort with vertically higher walls. The ascetic’s abode was wrapped in a gloomy shadow. As a result, his curse spread like wildfire and wreaked havoc in Bhangarh.
Once teeming with life, Bhangarh is now a ghost town with roofless houses. Not even a single house had a solid roof over its head. Locals say that whenever someone tries to build a roof, it collapses and as a result, a lot of people have lost their lives in the past.
Strange right? Well, this is one fact that has baffled people for decades now.
Black magic: Truth or fiction?
Whether you believe in black magic or not, here is another frightening tale to give you sleepless nights. According to a local legend, Princess Ratnavati of Bhangarh was a very beautiful woman. Smitten by her beauty, a tantric priest, well versed in black magic, fell in love with her. He tried to make Ratnavati fall for him by bewitching the oil she was supposed to use.
The Princess somehow caught the wind of the evil plan and threw the enchanted oil bottle on a rock that eventually crushed the tantrik to death. Right before dying, the magician cursed the entire town of Bhangarh. He said that engulfed with grief and despair, no living soul will be able to live a peaceful life in Bhangarh. The next year a battle was fought between the military forces of Ajabgarh and Bhangarh. The war led to the massacre of most of the people of Bhangarh.
To this date, locals say that no one is reborn in Bhangarh because of the curse of the tantrik.
Dead men tell no tale
The Archaeological Survey of India has put up a board that cautions every visitor to not venture into the fort after sunset and before sunrise i.e. 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. It is because people have heard strange noises and a chilling hollowness has given life to rumours of spirits roaming the fort at night and that if anyone steps foot on the cursed grounds, he or she will not live to tell their story the next day.
Things to do in the haunted town of Bhangarh
Remnants of a royal past
It is not all curses, ghosts, and fabled stories. Bhangarh is also famous for its old temples and architectural marvels. The “haunted” fort has been built based on the blueprint of the mediaeval city of Shahjahanabad in Delhi.
To witness the remnants of a royal past and to be a part of a legacy of peace and solitude, you can visit the ancient temples dedicated to different gods such as Keshav Rai, Lord Gopinath and Mangla Devi and Lord Hanuman among others.
Another noteworthy place to visit is the Lord Someshwar temple, where you can spend some time in a natural spring.
Is the Bhangarh Fort really cursed and haunted? No one will ever know the answer. It will always straddle the line between truth and fiction. The fort is a reminder of Rajasthan’s royal and grand history. It should be on the map of every traveller should they choose to experience a pleasant mix of horror and history.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: Delhi is 279 km away from Bhangarh and it takes 5 hours 30 mins by road. Take the NH48 and cross Neemrana fort. Keep on driving on NH148 after NH48 and then finally take the Rajasthan state highway SH 55 to reach Bhangarh Fort. If you plan to take a flight or a train from Delhi then the closest destination to the fort is in Jaipur.
Answer: The city is at a distance of 89.6 km and it takes about 2 hours 30 mins to reach Bhangarh. Alwar is the closest to the haunted location. Every tourist can take a local taxi or bus to reach the spooky destination.
Answer: Bhangarh is only a 2-hour drive from the Pink city. Tourists can take the Ajmer road towards NH21. They need to keep on following NH21 and NH 148 till Rampura. From there they need to take RJ SH55 to reach the eerie town via the fastest route.
Answer: The best time to travel to any city of Rajasthan is the winter season, between the months of October and February. The temperatures range from 10 degrees Celsius to 30 degrees Celsius.
Answer: Timings: 6 AM - 6 PM Fees for Indian Nationals: INR 25 Foreigners: INR 200