Located on the outskirts of Sariska tiger reserve in the Alwar district of Rajasthan, Bhangarh fort is famous or more precisely, infamous, for being the ‘most haunted place in India’. Due to a wide range of ” so-called” ghost sightings and tales of supernatural interference, the locals of the area have made the utmost effort to steer clear of the fort. However, it doesn’t end there.
The Archaeological Survey of India or ASI has forbidden locals as well as tourists from entering the area once the night has fallen. The fort although completely in ruins has still the effect of sending chills down your spine. Enter the premise and you are hit with an eerie, uneasy feeling that you simply can’t explain. There are several stories and rumors of various terrible things that had happened in the fort. A trip to the Bhangarh fort will be undoubtedly a unique vacation if you have the heart for it.
History of the Haunted Fort
The fort revolves with centuries of history. It is said that the fort was built by Man Singh I, a member of Akbar’s Navaratnas in his court in honor of his son Madho Singh I.
There quite a several spines chilling tales associated with Bhangarh fort that has spread fear among the locals for centuries. In one such story, Madho Singh who ruled the fort under the condition that the shadow of the fort will never fall upon the home of Bala Nath, an ascetic. However, as years passed and successors of Madho Singh ruled and died in the fort peacefully, along came a successor with immense greed. The very greed drove him to make the fort bigger. The fort was built vertically and its shadow engulfed the home of the ascetic. The fort was reduced to ruins and thereafter the fort stayed haunted since.
The second story, however, is more popular and fervently believed by the locals. You come to Alwar and ask the question ” is Bhangarh haunted”, you’ll probably get this story from the local.
As per this tale, there was a princess named Ratnavati whose beauty was famed above and beyond. A black magician once fell in love with her. The desperate black magician bewitched a cosmetic that the princess used to make her fall in love with him. The princess smelled suspicion and foiled the entire conspiracy of the black magician by pouring the bewitched cosmetic over a massive stone boulder, which then supposedly crushed the ‘Tantrik’ to death. Before his last breath, the black magician cursed the entire area close to the fort making it haunted since and forever. Even centuries later, people still say that princess Ratnavati was the reason for the apocalyptic situation.
Legends of the Fort
Bhangarh Fort is still well preserved, despite the nearby areas being reduced to ruins. The fortifications and ramparts still stand sturdy amidst the ruins of the ghost’s own. Legends have it that the fort and the surrounding establishments around it once buzzed with life. Then something happened along with a chain of other unfortunate incidents that led to the doom of the place within a concise period.
The Fort at Night
Entry to the fort is strictly prohibited after sunset and before sunrise. The whole region is engulfed in the deafening silence once the sun has made his last appearance on the horizon. Several beliefs circulate among the locals and it depends on you whether to believe it blindly or question it. However, better to be safe than sorry. It is said that the spirits roam in Bhangarh Fort at night and various strange noises are heard. Also, as it is said, anyone who enters the fort at night would not be able to return in the morning.
Visitors have always recounted their experience and they always mention that they have an eerie feeling of being watched by someone or something in the dark. These people have also said that there is a dizzying heaviness in the air. It is up to you to believe it or not. That being said, the fact that the ASI has strenuously warned against the mishaps that may befall at a night hike in the area is not something to be taken lightly. There is evidence to support the claim of those who say that those tried their luck either went missing or weren’t able to explain anything coherently. You might say that the entire episodes were mere figments of imagination by ruminating minds, but the fact that there are people who had ventured to question the truth and never returned is unquestionable.
The Best of Bhangarh
The fort is located on the outskirts of the Sariska tiger reserve between Alwar and Jaipur. A visit to the fort automatically requires you to a trip to the tiger reserve by default. It would be a crime to have come to Alwar and not visit the Sariska tiger reserve.
The fort also exemplifies architectural splendor is you look closely. The fort, modeled on the medieval city of Shahjahanabad with 4 gigantic wooden gates in all four directions. The precincts of the fort have ornately carved a miniature waterfall and temples which lend an air of tranquillity to the place during the better part of the day. There are also remaining so some palace within the fort. Which takes you back to a time of prosperity the place had witnessed centuries ago.
It is undoubtedly a humbling experience. The fort attracts people for the architectural marvel and natural charisma and great climate of the place and not just for the spookiness and the haunted stories. Unfortunately, the best of Bhangarh is somewhat unknown to many even today. Still, even to this day, the fort attracts hordes of tourists for its notoriety. People, even after centuries fear to build a roof in the vicinity of the fort scared of a collapse by the supernatural intervention.
How to Reach Bhangarh Fort
The closest town to Bhangarh Fort is Alwar which is located at a distance of 90 km from the place. The most convenient way to reach Bhangarh from here is via a rented cab or an easily available bus.
It takes around 4 to 5 hours to reach Bhangarh from New Delhi. Two routes can be opted for it, one via Neemrana and other via Alwar. Though the latter is a shorter route, it takes a longer duration of time owing to the unfavorable road conditions. The easiest way to reach Bhangarh Fort from Delhi is by driving to the place, taking NH8, and pass through Neemrana. Post this, turn to NH11A and continue for about 50 minutes then take SH55 and drive for another 20 min until you reach your destination.
Bhangarh Fort is just 83 km from Jaipur, and it is an excellent place to go for a day trip with friends. Take the NH11 and continue onto Agra Road. From Dausa, take the NH11A and continue for about 15km. From there, take the SH 55, and you can reach the destination. Overall, it won’t take you more than 2 hours from Jaipur to reach Bhangarh Fort. It will be an enjoyable trip knowing the haunted stories of Bhangarh.
Some Tips Before The Visit
While there is a level of excitement and adrenaline rush in visiting a “haunted” place. Make sure that all instructions given by the ASI are obeyed. The timing for visiting the fort is between 6 AM to 6 PM. Don’t try for a trip before and after the said time. Curiosity is great with a balanced level of caution.
The Entry is free of cost, however, video filming is chargeable at approx. Rs. 20- 40. October to March is the best time to visit this strangely beautiful Haunted Place in India. While Summers (March to June) are extremely hot, Monsoons (July to September) to are not very advisable to visit this region due to torrential downpours. Winters (October to February) however, is the apt season to witness Bhangarh fort in its full glory. However, it is also the peak tourist season in Rajasthan.
These are important things you need to know before you visit Bhangarh. Let the ghostbuster in you wake up.
If you are visiting Rajasthan, do try to visit Mount Abu for a different kind of experience