Bhangarh Fort also known as Bhooton Ka Garh, is considered as the most haunted place in India. Bhangarh is located at the edge of Sariska Tiger Reserve and is at a driving distance of 77 km from the state’s capital Jaipur. Bhangarh is a small town in Rajgarh municipality of Alwar district in Rajasthan in the backdrop of Aravalli Hills. The fort is a very popular tourist spot due to its strange and frightening history. Bhangarh Fort is maintained by ASI, under the Ministry of Culture. As per 2011 Census of India, Bhangarh has only 200 households with 677 males and 629 females residing in them.
Bhangarh and Ghosts
Do you remember ghost stories of R. L. Stine’s Goosebumps? As of most of the people, I always thought that these stories can’t reiterate themselves in real world. But scientific studies of paranormal cases worldwide reveal that ghosts do exist. They can be scientifically detected through EVP Recorders and EMF Meters.
The fort closes sharpely at 5 PM every evening. It should be noted that ASI has put there a clear notice saying that entering inside the borders of Bhangarh after sunset and before sunrise is illegal and is sternly punishable. Also, vehicles are not allowed inside fort campus.
The locales of Bhangarh town believe that the fort is haunted and the ghosts of soldiers and dead people relive at the fort. At night and sometimes during the day, sound of banging of swords, sound of weeping bitterly of women, as well as sound of bangles and ghoongroos come from different parts of the fort. The place is full of black-faced monkeys, bats and pigeons.
To unlock the mystery of the fort, the Government of India had applied there special police forces but the operation failed and could not reach any logical conclusion. Several soldiers posted there have admitted the presence of paranormal activities in the region.
The fort has been investigated during the night by the team of Aaj Tak News Channel and the team of Indian Paranormal Society called G.R.I.P. (Ghost Research & Investigators of Paranormal) headed by Gaurav Tiwari. However, they couldn’t find anything paranormally substantial during that night.
The fort has also been extensively featured in 41th episode of Zee TV’s horror show Fear Files which is inspired from real events. The episode was based on the making of Zee TV’s serial Jhansi Ki Rani with the original cast and crew. The lead actress Ulka Gupta playing the role of young Rani Lakshmi Bai, experienced severe paranormal phenomenons during the shoot. Several of the crew members reported supernatural activities during the shoot.
Inspired from the story of Bhangarh Fort, the Bollywood heartthrob Aamir Khan is reportedly planning to visit the fort.
History of Bhangarh Fort
Bhangarh has a rich history of as old as more than 400 years. The town of Bhangarh was established in 1573 during the reign of the Kacchwaha Ruler of Amber named Maharaja Bhagwant Das who had two sons. His elder son, Man Singh was a trusted General of the Mughal Emperor Akbar and one among the emperor’s 9 Navaratnas. The younger son was Madho Singh who built Bhangarh Fort. He lived in the Bhangarh Fort. He had participated in several wars alongside his father and brother. At that time nearly 10,000 people inhabited Bhangarh.
After Madho Singh, Bhangarh was ruled by his son Chhatr Singh who got killed in a violent attack in 1630. After the death of Chhatr Singh, Bhangarh’s downfall started gradually. Mughal Empire got weaker after the death of Aurangzeb at Ahmednagar on February 20, 1707 at the age of 88. Jai Singh II encashed the opportunity and captured Bhangarh forcefully in 1720. After that, the population of Bhangarh began to diminish and after the famine of year 1783, the town was completely evacuated.
Legends subjected to Downfall of Bhangarh
There are two locally popular supernatural legends that explain the downfall of Bhangarh.
According to the first legend, Madho Singh before building the fort, took the approval of an ascetic saint named Baba Balu Nath who meditated and lived there in a hut. Guru Balu Nath permitted the king to built the fort but warned that the fort must not be too high to stop sunlight to his meditation place. If the shadow of the fort ever touched his hut, the town will be no more. It is said that, the son of Maharaja Chhatr Singh overlooked Balu Nath’s warning and decided to enlarge the palace and built several new floors to such heights that the shadow of the fort darkened the saint’s hut. The curse of Balu Nath became active and gradually devastated the town. The small samadhi where Balu Nath was buried is said to be still there.
The second legend is a clash between princess Ratnavati and tantric (black magician) Singhia Sevra. The princess of Bhangarh, Ratnavati was extremely beautiful and believed to be the jewel of Rajasthan. When she turned 18, she began to get marriage proposals from other regions. In the area, there was a wicked tantric named Singhia Sevra who was a proficient black magician. He desperately loved the princess and wanted to own her but knew that the match was out of question. One day he saw the princess’ maid purchasing enchanted oil for the princess. He mysteriously used black magic on the oil such that on touching the oil the princess would have surrendered herself to him. But Ratnavati was herself a black magician and knew Singhia’s intention beforehand. She threw the oil in a rock which then hurled towards Singhia and crushed him to death. But before dying, Singhia with all his might cursed the palace with the death of all who dwelt in it. The very next year, in a battle between Bhangarh and Ajabgarh, all inmates of the palace along with princess Ratnavati died. Now the locales of Bhangarh believe that the princess has taken birth somewhere else and the fort will be free from the curse whenever she returns to the fort.
Structure of Bhangarh Fort
Bhangarh is an important tourist place of Rajasthan. The place is a center of attraction for tourists, paranormal experts, historians and those who believe in supernaturals.
There are five entrance gates to the fort campus. In order from south to north along the fortification wall, they are LAHORI GATE, AJMERI GATE, HANUMAN GATE, PHOLL BARI GATE and DELHI GATE. There are a number of temples inside the fort campus. At the main entrance gate called HANUMAN GATE, there is HANUMAN TEMPLE.
Here is the list of temples inside Bhangarh Fort campus :
- HANUMAN TEMPLE
- MANGLA DEVI TEMPLE
- GANESH TEMPLE
- GOPI NATH TEMPLE
- KESHAV RAI TEMPLE
- SOMESVARA TEMPLE
Unlike other Indian temples, these temples are without any God or Goddess idols except in HANUMAN TEMPLE. The real idols of these temples were shifted to the fort of Jaipur. The only presence of idols are in the walls of these temples, which are engraved with idols of deities.
Other places of attraction inside fort campus are following :
- MODON KI HAVELI
- JAUHARI BAZAR
- PUROHIT JI KI HAVELI
- ROYAL PALACE
- CHHATRI (AT HILLTOP)
MODON KI HAVELI is a multi-storeyed historical building inside the fort just after HANUMAN TEMPLE. Moving a little ahead will lead to JAUHARI BAZAR or MAIN MARKET which was a posh marketplace for fort inmates. PUROHIT JI KI HAVELI is situated between KESHAV RAI TEMPLE and SOMESVARA TEMPLE. At the western end of the fort is ROYAL PALACE which is very large and surrounded by KEVADA PLANTS at the front. It is believed to be constructed as a 7 storeyed building. But, at present only 4 storeys are left. The CHHATRI at hilltop is believed to be the samadhi place of the tantric Singhia Sevra.
Archaeological Importance of Bhangarh
Bhangarh is an archaeologically important site. Various tools used by early man have been recovered in recent excavations at Bhangarh. There are several ruins scattered all over the fort which might be historically important.
Other Forts near Bhangarh
Near to Bhangarh are other forts as well which were built during the same timeline and are historically related to each other. One such fort is Ajabgarh Fort which is between Bhangarh and Pratapgarh. Madho Singh’s grandson, Ajab Singh Rajawat built the fort. The fort is well-preserved and is in good condition.
Other fort nearby is Pratapgarh which is very popular and situated on hilltop. It offers very beautiful landscape view of the natural surroundings of Pratapgarh town. The town has two temples and a mosque.
How to reach Bhangarh
The nearest airport to Bhangarh is Jaipur Airport at Sanganer. It is 110 km from Sariska. Regular flights to Jaipur Airport from Indira Gandhi International Airport (Delhi) and Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (Mumbai) are available.
Bhangarh does not have any railway station. The nearest railway station is at Alwar which is 36 km from Sariska.
Here are some convenient road routes to reach Bhangarh.
- New Delhi -> Gurgaon -> Dharuhera –> Bahror –> Shahpura –> Bhangarh (Route Length : 270 km)
- New Delhi -> Gurgaon -> Dharuhera –> Bahror –> Alwar –> Sariska Tiger Reserve –> Bhangarh (Bumpy Roads, Route Length : 275 km)
- Jaipur -> Dausa -> Bhangarh (Route Length : 80 km)
Here is a 44-minutes long documentary which puts light on history and legends surrounding Bhangarh Fort.
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