In Pictures : The enigmatic fort of Bhangarh, haunted at nights, welcoming in the day

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In Pictures : The enigmatic fort of Bhangarh, haunted at nights, welcoming in the day

Harsh Wardhan visits the haunted fort of Bhangarh and discusses the myths and legends surrounding the place.

The town of Bhangarh was established by 16th century King Bhagwant Das, descendent of Jai Singh II (founder of Jaipur city). Today, the Bhangarh fort is considered as the top haunted place in India. There are legends and stories about the creepiness of this place.

Ratnavati, princess of Bhangarh was extremely beautiful and a tantric Singhia was enamoured with her. He planned to seduce her by casting a black magic on the oil used by princess. Princess knew a bit of black magic herself and immediately realised the trick and reversed the trick crushing the tantric. The dying Singhia cursed Bhangarh and strange things started happening with scared residents leaving behind the haunted town.

Another legend blames the hauntedness of the fort to its architecture itself. While permission for building the fort was sought from a monk named Balu Nath living nearby, it was provided to the King on the condition that the fort's shadow should never fall on monk’s home. Unfortunately a tower caused the shadow and fort was doomed forever.

There are many stories of the creepiness of the fort. Once, few boys stayed back for a party and noticed a boy crying in a room. They tried talking to him, but he disappeared after laughing weirdly. Additionally, unexplained noises, breaking of bangles, weird music, dancing shadows and screaming have been reported here.

When I visited the fort, there were many tourists here, and the place was packed with colourful village folks and noisy school kids. I was sure that any ghost will not survive these boisterous residents.

The pathway to the fort lined with roofless colonnades was the first encounter with the ruins. This was the market place, which, in better times was called Johri (Jeweller’s) Bazaar along with dancing girl’s quarters. Arches, broken walls and gates were casting majestic and impressive shadows. There were two beautiful temples on the way. Gopinath Temple had elaborate gorgeous carving on walls and roof speaking volumes about the artisan of those times. Other was the “Someshwar Temple” with Nandi guarding the sanctum.

Among the ruins, one could see a few depilated temples, havelis and wells (Baori). The fort was initially a seven story building, but it was now a four-story crumbling splendour. On the third floor, I saw people doing some quirky things; dancing and chanting some tantric rituals amongst smoke, fire and human bones. Going to isolated rooms of second and third floor was a bit scary and eerie. The top floor was all broken littered with fragmented columns, gates and stones. It gave an amazing view of the Bhangarh Fort ramparts. The cenotaph on top of the hill probably belonged to the monk.

Unfortunately, the place was littered with plastic bottles and wrappers everywhere, and the walls were defaced with teenage frustrations. The dirty and smelly toilets with broken gates were more horrifying than any ghost I would have met.

Our guide denied seeing any paranormal activities although he spooked us by suddenly disappearing after taking money. There was surely a divine sprit helping us as my 3 year old granddaughter climbed the fort on her own without a “godi”.

This jinxed or cursed Bhangarh fort deserves a visit at least once, although the sign outside says “No one is allowed to enter the premises post sunset and pre sunrise”.

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Harsh Wardhan is a pediatric surgeon working in Delhi. Photography is his passion. He was introduced to camera in 1990. These days, he is travelling & exploring beautiful people & places of India. He loves writing travelogues, and enjoys sharing them along with the pictures taken.

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