Unexplained Mysteries - Bhangarh Indian Ghost Town
ASI of Bhangarh has warned people travelling to this place in Rajasthan that they should not go to the place after sunset.
Though it is not sure if ghosts exist or not, the ASI of Bhangarh has warned people travelling to this place in Rajasthan that they should not go to the place after sunset. You can see signs everywhere not to venture to the haunted city before sunrise and leave it before sunset. The place has many ruins of the middle era.
Ghosts at Bhangarh: The Extent of Fear
The Government of India was to set a military centre to patrol the place all over the night to solve the puzzle of ghosts but could not dare. None of the military personnel were willing to participate in the operation. Even the ASI office is a kilometer away from the place and has a board that says: “Staying in the Area after Sunset is Strictly Prohibited.” This indicates that something is very wrong, to the extent that even the paramilitary forces are not venturing into the area after dark.
Legend has it that due to a curse of Guru Balu Nath, the whole town was vacated overnight. Balu Nath sanctioned the establishment of the town but said: "The moment the shadows of your palaces touch me, the city shall be no more!" Ignorant of such foreboding, one ambitious descendant raised the palace to such a height that its shadow reached Balu Nath's forbidden retreat and the town was devastated. The small samadhi where Balu Nath lies buried is still there.
The other myth is as follows:
The charm of princess of Bhangarh Ratnavati was said to be matchless in all of Rajasthan. Being eighteen years old, the princess started getting matrimonial offers from other states. In the same region there lived a tantrik, a magician well versed in the occult, named Singhia who was desperately in love with the princess knowing that he would never be allowed to even see her, let alone meet her. One day, he saw the princess' maid in the market buying scented oil for her. Seeing this, he got an idea by which he could meet the princess. He used his black magic and put a spell on the oil which would hypnotize the princess by her merely touching the oil, and she would surrender herself. The princess foiled this plan though. She had seen the tantrik enchanting the oil, and she therefore threw it away, whereupon the flagon rolled over a stone. As soon as the oil touched the stone, it started rolling towards the wicked tantrik and crushed him. While dying, Singhia cursed the palace with the death of all who dwelt in it, without any rebirth in their destinies. The very next year there was a battle between Bhangarh and Ajabgarh and no one survived, not even the princess Ratnavati.
Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has put up a signboard at Bhangarh stating (among others): "Entering the borders of Bhangarh before sunrise and after sunset is strictly prohibited." Some people who visit this place say that there is a strange feeling in the atmosphere of Bhangarh, which causes symptoms of anxiety and restlessness. Nevertheless, most of people like Bhangarh, and even those who went there at night didn't notice anything strange.
Also the prime minister cursed Bhangarh that no one would settle there in future and whoever dares will die as well. It is said by the local villagers that whenever a house has been built there its roof has collapsed. It seems to be true because inside Bhangarh all the houses are without a roof and even at the closest village where people reside, they still have roofs made of straw but not bricks.
How many of us believe in ghosts? Do they actually exist? Can they be felt? Believers will reply in affirmative and non-believers will perish the thought. But everybody would like to take a trip to THE den of the ghosts and such was the trip to Bhangarh, considered India's "most haunted" place. Although it is a 300-km drive away from Delhi, yet a handful of people know about it. We started driving towards Bhangarh Ghost Town from Delhi early morning, expecting the journey to last not more than four hours. As not many people frequent the place, we did not have any first hand information and took guidance from a map and distance measurements available on the internet. After crossing Gurgaon we proceeded towards Bhiwadi and turned to Alwar district in Rajasthan. Till this point we did not encounter any problem; it was a nice long drive and a little anxiety about what we would encounter at the fort.
The haunted ruins of Bhangarh are now expected to be a big tourist draw during the Commonwealth Games. The Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC) has included Bhangarh in a tour package especially designed for the games. "We chose this 'ghost city' to boost tourism to the area," says Manjit Singh, chairman and MD, RTDC. But he smiles and adds, "We, of course, don't promise any paranormal activity."
So how did the ghosts get here? The story goes that this sixteenth century town, 80 km from Alwar in eastern Rajasthan, was home to a tantrik (a magician well-versed in the occult) named Singhia. The tantrik fell desperately in love with the kingdom's beautiful princess, Rani Ratnawati. Knowing that he would never be allowed to go near her, Singhia decided to use his dark powers to seduce her. He spotted the princess's maid buying oil and cast a spell on the oil. If the spell worked, on touching the oil, the princes would surrender herself to him.
Locals say that the princess, who was proficient in the occult herself, soon sensed his evil plan and foiled it. She threw the flagon of oil away, whereupon it fell on a stone. As soon as the oil touched the stone, it started rolling towards the tantrik and crushed him. But before dying, Singhia cursed the palace with the death of all who dwelt in it, without the possibility of rebirth. According to K L Saini, who was the director of the Sariska Tiger Reserve for 18 years, this entire belt used to be a thick forest.
Even the Ramayana is said to talk of the Pandavas staying here while in exile. Yogiraj Hiranath, a sage during the reign of Maharaja Jai Singh of Jaipur, corroborates the fact that Bhangarh did have a princess called Rani Ratnawati who was adept in the art of wizardry. According to the locals, the town, protected by two inner fortifications and separated from the plains by ramparts, came to life only at night. There were bustling bazaars where beautifully adorned women ran shops. Besides the royals, common citizens could also eat, drink and make merry here. Everyone was expected to dress in finery with the king's treasury picking up the tab. In Yogiraj's account, wearing old clothes was a punishable crime as was eve-teasing.
That might be more legend than fact, but Bhangarh is still a charming ruin to visit. Even today, a walk to the palace through the remains of what once used to be a bustling town is a fragrant affair with the aroma of kevda wafting in from a nearby grove. Bhangarh Ghost Town was also a well-laid out town and could serve as an excellent model for present-day town planners. Each shop along the route still has a vacant space for an idol. But what is strange is that there are no roofs on the houses, shops and even the palace. Locals say that whenever a house is built in the vicinity, its roof collapses! And in the village closest to Bhangarh, people have made roofs over their heads — but only those made of straw!
Large banyan trees and several temples dot the landscape. The beautifully carved temples of Gopinath, Shiva (Someshwar), Mangla Devi and Keshava Rai have survived the passage of time and are a must-see for visitors. There is also the dancer's haveli, the ruins of homes and scattered boulders with carvings. On a nearby hilltop stands a chhatri that is believed to have been inhabited by the tantrik.
Despite the passage of time, the Rani Ratnawati myth continues to fascinate everyone. Many claim to have witnessed paranormal activities in the area; some have "heard" sounds of music and the tinkling of anklets. Saini maintains that many tourists who take photographs inside the ruins find weird colour spots in the pictures. Is all this imagined or a ploy to draw in tourists? Whatever the truth, a visit to Bhangarh isn't for the faint-hearted.
Bhangarh: How to Reach Bhangarh
The place lies between Jaipur and Alwal. You can drop down at either places through train or flights and take a bus to the place. There are also private taxis that take you to the place. However, you will have to walk for a km as the buses stop at some distance from the place.
Places to Stay
There is nothing that will let you stay inside the place as it is uninhabited. It is suggested that you use the local Rest Houses spread outside the place. The Rest Houses are managed by the ASI and are located within the circle of a km from the place.
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