Memoirs of Rajasthan - Part II

Cursed To Be Haunted – Bhangarh

Rated as the most haunted place in India – ‘Bhangarh’ is probably the only place of archeological importance in India which has the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) office outside the village premises. This very fact adds to the mystery surrounding the place. Many who come to explore the surrounding regions of Jaipur stumble upon this haunted deserted fort village and are intrigued by the various tales surrounding the mystery. 

It is about 65kms from Jaipur and about an hour’s drive from Sariska Tiger reserve, it is prohibited to stay overnight – in fact, a tourist board reads – it is prohibited to stay after sunset and enter before sunrise. We just managed to reach by 5.30 pm when the parking ticket guy was in a hurry and was leaving for the day in a rush, this added to our curiosity. The eerie undertone dotting the majestic fort with all the grandeur of a bygone era is not be missed right from the gates. 

While there are many tales and lores explaining the void and mystery of the place, the most popular one is the story of a curse that left the place doomed overnight. As per the local folklore, there was a beautiful princess of Bhangarh, named Ratnavati who was extremely beautiful. Struck by her beauty, a necromancer in the village fell in love with her. In order to marry her, he cast a spell of black magic on the oil that the princess was supposed to use. Princess Ratnavati got a whiff of his dirty ploy and threw off the charged oil which landed onto a huge boulder. This caused the boulder to roll down and crush the tantric to death. Before breathing his last, the tantric cursed the entire town of Bhangarh to doom. The following year the ruler of Bhangarh suffered a bad defeat at the hands of his enemy. His entire army was annihilated and all of the inhabitants of Bhangarh were brutally massacred in the battle.

This is believed to be the cause of the eerie cold environs of the fort. There are a number of dare devils who try to stay overnight and there are number of photographs circulated stating the sightings of silhouettes and shapes spotted which add to the mystery. The fort walls are absolutely stunning and just lives on to tell the tale of a bygone era. We were there till 7pm looking at the various aspects of the fort - Palaces, temples, mansions, fortresses which lay in crumbles. We were urged by the guards to leave the premises soon, we left the place with some stunning memories of the ramparts which stood to tell tales. We drove back to Jaipur and took the highway back to Gurgaon and for several days we were thinking about the antiquities and tales of the place, it is a must visit place for not just some thrills but the sheer architecture and design.

A Grandson, Husband and Father of Two, S Jaganathan - is one of the Director's of The Verandah Club. He is an avid traveller, interested in trendspotting and a firm believer in the philosophy - Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitah.

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