Seeing the centuries of history that India has, there are no doubts about there being a lot of mysteries that have yet to be answered. Undoubtedly the most intriguing of those is the story of Bhangarh. Often called the most haunted place in India, this abandoned city of historical ruins lies at the edge of the Sariska forest in Rajasthan. The stories of the place are attracting a lot of tourists, though the adventurous ones will be disappointed to hear that entry to this place is prohibited between sunset and sunrise. The ban imposed by an Indian Government agency ASI. Yes, the government has banned entry to this place after dark. Spooky!
The ruins lie between Jaipur and Delhi, in Rajasthan. Bhangarh is a historic site. The noticeable building here are the temples of Gopinath, Shiva (Someshway) Mangla Devi, Lavina Devi and Keshava Rai. There are also shops along the main road, several havelis, a mosque, and a palace. The palace is protected by two inner fortifications across the valley. The fort was built in 1613. The town is separated from the plain by ramparts with five gates.
The town was founded in the late 16th century during the rule of Bhagwant Das for his second son Madho Singh. He was the younger brother to Man Singh I, Emperor Akbar’s general. The next to rule Bhangarh was his heir Chhatr Singh. In 1630, after Chhatr Singh died, Bhangarh declined slowly into the ruins that stand there now. When, after the death of Aurangzeb, the Mughal Empire became weaker, Jai Singh II conquered Bhangarh in 1720. Even after this Bhangarh continued to diminish in population, and after the famine of 1783 the town has remained abandoned.
Entry Prohibition by Government of India at night
A sign greets you as you enter the place. It says [translated] “Entering the borders of Bhangarh before sunrise and after sunset is strictly prohibited.” With a note at the bottom warning “Legal action would be taken against anybody who does not follow these instructions”
This is the only “legally haunted” place recognized by the Government of India. The sign board only adds to the mystery surrounding the place.
Legend has it that the city was cursed by Guru Balu Nath. He had allowed the construction of the town on one condition that the shadow of the city not touch him or else the city shall be no more. Not heeding the warning, a descendant prince raised the palace to cast a shadow on Balu Nath’s retreat. He cursed the town and since then the city has not been habituated. Balu Nath’s samadhi (burial place) is said to be there till this day.
Another story about the city mentions the Princess of Bhangarh, Ratnavati. She was considered to be the jewel of Rajasthan. As soon as she came of age she started receiving marriage proposals from princes of different provinces. There also lived a Tantrik, an expert in black magic, who fell in love with the princess. He name was Singhia. Knowing he couldn’t gain the princess’s favor nor marry her, he devised a plan to get her attracted to him. When he saw the princess’s maid buying oil for the princess, he enchanted the oil so that the princess would surrender herself to him. But the princess saw him doing it and poured the oil on the ground. As the oil touched the ground, a boulder emerged from the place and crushed Singhia. In his dying breath he cursed the palace and all those who lived in it with death. There was a battle a year later between Bhangarh and Ajabgarh in which the princess died. There are tales of ghosts still haunting the place. And some even say that that is the reason for the government barring all entry from the city. The locals believe that the princess has reincarnated and the fort and the empire of Bhangarh still waits for her to return and put an end to the curse.
Rocky and Mayur’s visit to Bhangarh
A duo who hosted the show India’s Most Haunted went to the place for shooting. They share their experience about the unkempt roads, the deserted buildings, the high mountains and the terrain which all seemed inhospitable. As the sun sets their adventure began.
“There are many things which are unexplained. It’s an important part of our culture that our country has these stories. Aimed to provide an opportunity for people to know about such places through an interesting and fascinating subject, the show is an attempt to say that legends are everywhere and there are people who believe in it.” explained Rocky.
“While we were shooting at night in Bhangarh, many a times we heard very high pitch screams from the mountains. Once we saw a blur figure of a woman walking around. Though it was only for a few seconds but we could easily make out that something is there and we cannot deny their existence.” said Mayur.