Though our grandparents and parents abandoned the idea of ghosts still we all loved listening to ghost stories during our childhood days.
You must be an exception if you don’t find ghosts enchanting.
The basic human craving for the unknown and mysterious can’t be denied. The craving for adventure…This hunger and curiosity to unfold the truth usually take us to places that not too many people really attempt to visit.
This curiosity took us to Bhangarh Fort, which is listed among the most haunted historical places in the world.
Bhangarh doesn’t need any introduction. It is fairly well-known now, thanks to the internet.
It has been talked about, written about and myth-ed about innumerable times. People enjoy reading or listening to haunted stories about it but few dare to actually visit and see it. It’s counted among the spookiest ghost towns in India.
Of the many legends, there are two that are well-known among the natives. One is the legend of Princess Ratnavati and jadugar Singhia and the other is a curse of Guru Balu Nath.
During our visit to Jaipur last week, we dubiously added Bhangarh to our to-visit list.
When we asked a person at our hotel about Bhangarh fort; he found it outlandish and tried to convince us not to visit the fort but we were determined. My daughter was more excited than I was.
Exploring the haunted Bhangarh Fort with kids seems like a grotesque idea to others, however, the fort if visited during daytime with a little caution is good for kids.
Early next morning, we started driving towards the fort which is around 90 km from Jaipur.
We took the help of Google maps because of the lack of firsthand information. Roads were narrow and deserted. We felt strange to see that there were not many cars on our route; traffic was moving in the opposite direction.
Though I am really skeptical of my belief in the paranormal and supernatural powers, however, the experience on the road kind of intensified the feel of adventure. And we knew that the place is sparsely visited because of its infamous status.
It was a lovely drive with beautiful rural landscapes, however, I felt a bit of uneasiness about what we would confront at the fort.
It was truly a journey to the unknown, unexplained and unreal.
There were few stretches where ours was the only car on narrow and bumpy roads with almost no soul in sight.
We kept ourselves busy explaining the culture and customs of Rajasthan to our daughter.
There are people who claim that they were bewitched or hounded or punched or whatnot. And there are people who reject the whole idea as a trick to attract tourists.
Believers respond in positive and non-believers cease the concept. Whatever the truth is, adding a haunted label to the place definitely turns even a dilapidated fort into a popular tourist destination.
An intelligent publicity stunt. These myths attract people from around the world to the ruins of Bhangarh.
The Archeological Survey of India has put up a board on the fort gate saying that it is prohibited for tourists to stay inside the fort after sunset and before sunrise.
Just at the entrance, the fort has a marketplace (Johri Bazar), with rows of shops and houses (including nartikiyon ki haveli on the right) lined on either side, which is in ruins now; roofless.
The place feels a bit of spooky not because of paranormal status but because of the sadness and poignancy that wraps it.
Bhangarh doesn’t really seem to be protected as an Archaeological site in any sense.
The deterioration is apparent as one moves up.
In India, religion is everywhere.
Despite the ghostly image, there were people performing religious rituals in different rooms of the fort.
The group of villagers was performing a nasty ritual of punishing themselves for wrongdoings or to make their God happy.
ASI isn’t making any effort to curb these happenings inside the fort maybe because they don’t really wanna hurt anyone’s religious beliefs or sentiments.
Two young boys entered the palace with bags on shoulders; talking in hushed voices while we were coming out of the palace.
My curiosity took over; I had to know what brought them with bags here. They declared that they are going to spend the entire night at the fort.
They chuckled saying it’s a nice place for camping. I wished them luck and waved goodbye.
I investigated every room, every aisle, every corner but was disenchanted.
Out of curiosity, I spoke to the Hindu priest staying within the fort premises and the guard on duty.
They rejected the idea of ghosts. Priest philosophized “There is no spirit more dangerous than man”.
They claimed that the wild animals come down from the mountain ranges at night from the neighboring forests like Sariska and the fort serves as a night shelter for them; sounds created by these wild animals make this fort a scary place.
Also, the fort has no provision of electricity, which makes the ruins atrocious at night.
Gopinath Temple has the same elaborateness of carving that Rajasthan is known for.
Strangely, the idols of God were missing.
Hanuman Temple and Someshwar temple are also in the Fort premises.
At the end of the visit, nasty tales about the fort seem unbelievable; there was an uncomfortable feeling though.
Like everyone, we also left the place before sunset with many unanswered queries. It left me pondering though that how can ghosts stay in a place with so many temples surrounding it.
And the mystery remains…whether the place is haunted or not….if you figure it out…please let me know…waise bhoot woot kuch nahin hota
Bhangarh Fort is about 285 km from Delhi via NH48. It lies in the spooky villages of Rundh Bhangarh in Alwar district, Rajasthan.
If you want to explore the fort from Delhi, leave Delhi as early as possible as it takes more than 5 hours to cover the entire distance.
Here’s the route to Bhangrah Fort from Delhi:
Delhi > Gurgaon > Bhiwadi > Alwar > Sariska > Thanagazhi > Pratapgarh > Ajabgarh > Bhangarh
Bhangarh Fort is best explored on a day-trip from Jaipur. The fort is just about 85 km away from Jaipur and takes nearly 2 hours via NH21.
Here’s the route to Bhangarh Fort from Jaipur:
NH21 > NH148 > RJ SH 55 > Bhangarh
You should definitely visit Bhangarh fort with kids if you are willing to let go of your fear and explore places that are known to scare most of us but are utterly tranquil and beautiful.