If you are one of those people that love to get scared then check this out. India has some of the world’s most haunted places. In fact, if you thought that India was a country of many Gods and Goddess then you might in for a surprise. India has a dark and spooky side as well. Indians believe in all sorts of ghosts, ghouls, spirits, black magic and unnatural things. You might wish to read about the types of ghosts believed in India. If are one those travelers who likes to explore haunted places then why not visit the Bhangarh Fort that has the reputation of being one of the most haunted places in India and is listed as one of the most haunted places of the world. Sadly, this place is not the most visited of places in India and neither do foreign tourists know about this place. But the place has a reputation of its own and is considered as India’s “most haunted” place. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, why not check this place out for yourself.
About Bhangarh Fort
The Bhangarh Fort is a 17 century fort built by a King called “Madho Singh” of Rajasthan. The fort is situated in Bhangarh, a deserted town near the famous tourist destination of Jaipur in the Alwar district of Rajasthan. Why not take the opportunity and visit this place as well while you are in Jaipur. The town of Bhangarh was established by Bhagwant Das the son of Madho Singh, the younger brother of Emperor Akbar’s general called Man Singh. Historical archives suggest that he and his father fought many battles and Bhangarh town had a population of more than 10,000.
The decline of Bhangarh started when the next ruler of the place, his son Chhatr Singh died. This collided with the decrease in the strength of the Mughal Empire particularly after Emperor Aurangzeb (son of Mumtaj Mahal for whom the Taj Mahal was built). Today the fort is deserted and nearby town (almost a village) of Bhangarh has about 200 households with a population of around 1500 people. The town and the fort were supposed to be a precursor of the city of Jaipur. There are temples, shops, havelis (palaces), and courtyards, built around the fort. If a lavish fort could be built in the town of Bhangarh then this indicates that it must have been a prosperous place but sadly nothing remains of the town and the fort other than the ruins and a few temples. Today a handful of local tourists visit the place simply out of curiosity. Bhangarh is not even advertised a tourist destination for foreigners.
The Bhangarh Fort is lovely and while standing on the terrace of the fort, you can see the vast expanse the place. When you enter, you will find temples dedicated to Hanuman and Shiva as soon as you enter the fort and the residences of the priests which lie in ruins. It has four gates namely Lahori Gate, Ajmeri Gate, Phulbari Gate and Delhi Gate. Outside of the gates, there is a Muslim tomb. It is thought that it is one of sons of Hari Singh who had converted to Islam.
Getting to Bhangarh Fort
The fort is about 300 km drive away from Delhi. If you leave Delhi in the early hours of the morning then you will be able to get there in about 4 hours. If you want to visit this place then ask your tour operator or the hotel to organize you a taxi and a driver for the day. My estimate is that it should not cost you more than 10,000 Rupees for the entire trip depending on the type of car you hire. The TATA Indigo is the most popular of cars for hire in India but I prefer an SUV as it’s more conformable for the dusty Indian roads.
If you are driving from Delhi, you will need to go via Gurgaon and then head towards Bhiwadi and then take the turning to Alwar district in Rajasthan. From Alwar, you will have to cross the Sariska reserve and then Ajabgarh where you will then enter the Bhangarh territory. It’s a nice but long drive from Delhi. The fort is about 80 km away from Alwar city and 50 km from Jaipur. Sadly the roads are not good at all and you will find the ride bumpy and uncomfortable. But nonetheless, make the most of it and don’t forget to stop at the numerous dhabas while on the road and tea stalls to get the most of Indian food and chai (tea).
The address: Bhangarh Fort, Bhangarh, Rajasthan 30141, India
The exact route: Delhi – Gurgaon – Bhiwadi – Alwar – Sariska – Thanagazhi – Pratapgarh – Ajabgarh – Bhangarh
Alternatively, you can get there by Shatabdi Express that runs from New Delhi Railway Station to Alwar every morning (6.05 am) and reaches there at 8.40 am. When there, you can take a taxi to Sariska and then to the fort. The travel time is about 2 hours and 35 minutes with 3 halts of a distance of 158 km. it might be a better option than going by road plus you will be able to enjoy the great Indian countryside. Here’s how to book train tickets in India. Don’t forget to take a return ticket back to Delhi. There are no shortages of trains back to Delhi.
While you are at it, there are other local attractions you might consider visiting that include temples of Gopinath, Shiva (Someshwar), Mangla Devi, Lavina Devi, Keshava Rai and the ancient Jain temple called the Tijara and the Sariska sanctuary. In fact, the fort is situated at the edge of the Sariska Tiger Reserve hence you can combine visiting both the places together. If you fancy a safari then Sariska Tiger Reserve is a good one go for.
The Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC) has included Bhangarh in their list of places to visit but have not included it in their tour packages. You can compare tour quotes and get suggestions from multiple travel experts here. Simply fill up the form with your details.
Fees and charge for Bhangarh Fort
Entry Fees: for Foreigner Rupeess. 200/-, For Indian Rupeess.25/-
Video Camera fees Rupeess.200/-
Places to stay in Bhangarh
Unfortunately there are not many places you can stay in Bhangarh itself so you will have to go to towns that have hotels close to the place. In fact, there are no hotels around the fort but there are a few luxury resorts you can try. If you don’t fancy them then either you can go to Alwar (85 km) or Jaipur (50 km) for the night.
One of them is the Madhuvan Hotel at a distance of 22 km from the fort. Another one is the Dera Lake View Retreat and Umaid Lake Palace (both at a distance of 24 km). A resort called “Amanbagh Rajasthan”, a secluded and beautiful resort is quite a popular place to stay. It offers tourists a great opportunity explore the remnants and ruins of the local area. These are quite expensive hotels and if you are looking for something heaper then it is best that you travel back to either Alwar or Jaipur for cheaper and alternative accommodation.
No entry before sunrise and after sunset
If you are considering visiting Bhangarh Fort then you will have to go during the day time. In fact, one of the departments of the Government of India has prohibited entry between sunset and sunrise. The Archeological Survey of India, the body that looks after historical monuments in India, has a sign that notices visitors of this rule. I have no idea why they have a sign post in Hindi and not in English considering that Rajasthan is a place where people from all over the place visit. Perhaps one of the reasons could be that this particular place is not popular amongst foreign tourists hence they have not bothered to have a sign in English.
The signboard simply says“…It is strictly prohibited to enter the borders of Bhangarh before sunrise and after sunset. Legal action would be taken against those who do not follow these instructions…” It seems to be warning visitors to stay away during dark. There is a local saying that if you do enter this area, you will not return.
However if we look at the exact translation of the signboard this is what it translates to:
(1) It is forbidden to enter borders of Bhangarh before sunrise and after sunset.
(2) It is criminal offence to allow any animals to enter Bhangarh. Shepherds and woodcutters will face legal action if they enter the Bhangarh area.
(3) Within the borders of Bhangarh, the “Kewda” trees found in area belong to the Archaelogy Survey of India. Is it forbidden to harm these trees in any way.
Note: Anyone disobeying these rules will face legal action.
By the order of “Archaeology Survey of India”.
Its well and good to have a signboard saying that it’s not allowed to harm trees and entry of grazing animals are not allowed. It is possible that wild animals at night could harm visitors. But to have a sign forbidding entry in the area after sunset and before sunrise seems a little odd. Does this mean even the government of India thinks that ghosts dwell in such a secluded place? How can they succumb to local ghost stories of Bhangarh Fort.? Or is there something more than simply stories?
Fascinating, don’t you think! I wonder why the government of India would prevent anyone entering the premises of the Bhangarh fort and the use of language is somewhat strange as well. I suppose, the sign is to prevent illegal activities, trespassing on government and historical property, over grazing by animals and so on.
But the truth is that Bhangarh Fort is haunted for sure. Many people have committed suicide and have died unnaturally in the area surrounding the fort. In India, is said that those who die of unnatural or untimely death become ghosts. In addition to this, there are many weird haunted stories surrounding Bhangarh Fort.
Haunted stories of Bhangarh Fort
Let’s look at some of the haunted stories associated with this fascinating fort.
Locals refer to this place as the ‘bhoot bangla’ (meaning the haunted palace). The locals say the place is rife with paranormal activity. Ghosts and spirits are rumored to roam Bhangarh fort; strange noises and whole lot of weird activities have been reported by locals of the area. Locals have seen entities, ghostly apparitions, and strange lights at night and sounds of dancing emanate from the fort (there’s a dancers hall or haveli in the fort). There’s an ancient market called “Johri Bazaar” which no longer exists but it is rumored that it’s now a ghost market. The shops of the market used to be run by beautiful women. At night, it is said that the market is abuzz with activity.
It is also rumored that those who have stayed overnight have not returned hence the signboard by the Government of India. Legend has it that the place was deserted suddenly in a day but so far no evidence has been documented. But the real story is that Ajabgarh (20 km away) and Bhangarh went to war with each other and both the armies of the cities of Ajabgarh and Bhangarh completely destroyed each other and destroyed the cities. Ajabgarh rehabilitated later while Bhangarh remained uninhabited. One of the other reasons for its downfall could be acclaimed to the famine of 1783. At this time, India was hit by a severe drought due to the El Nino effect that started in 1780. North India was hit by a drought around this time (1840 according to the King Vikramaditya’s lunar calendar). It is thought that about 60% of the people in these parts were killed. Given that Rajasthan is already in scarcity of water, it faced severe decimation of its towns and cities. Those who survived left the place in search of better places to live.
Since the fort is situated on the edge of a Tiger reserve, it is no surprise that one finds all sorts of animals around the fort including dogs, monkeys, langoors and other wild animals at night. I am sure these animals add to the sense of the presence of the paranormal. Locals say that people have died in the fort at night. Since the place lies in ruins, it is full of boulders and excavations are talking place, many could have simply died by tripping over them.
Do you believe Bhangarh Fort is haunted? Would you visit this place and stay the night? Have you visited this place, if yes then share your views in the comments section.
Legends of Bhangarh Fort
There are strange legends associated with the fort. According to one of the legends, Bhangarh was cursed by a holy man called Guru Balu Nath who used to live in the surrounding forests. He did not want anyone to know about his special retreat. When asked if he was happy for the construction of the town then he said as long as it does not get too close to him then it should be fine. It is thought that he said these words and laid a curse, “The moment the shadows of the palace touch me, the city will be no more”. But when one of the princes of Bhangarh Fort raised the walls, it restricted sunlight where he lived. This is where the curse comes in play and then the destruction of the town and the fort started. It is said that Balu Nath’s grave is somewhere near the fort. Whether this is true or not, it certainly is a good place to explore.
Another interesting story associated with the fort is that a tantric called “Singhia” (ascetic with supernatural occult powers) was in love with the beautiful princess Rani Ratnawati of Bhangarh. When she turned 18, she stated getting marriage offers from the princess of the state and beyond. The tantric too wanted to marry her but he knew that it was not going to happen. He started some of his own tricks to win her over. Once he saw the princesses’ maid in the market who happened to be buying ointment for the princess. He added some kind of “spell bound love potion” to the oil meant for Ratnawati so that he can seduce her. The idea was that if she consumed the oil, she would submit herself to him. Ratnawati was well versed in occult and an expert in the art of wizardry herself, she spotted and sensed the plan. She threw the ointment that landed on a boulder that happened to crush Singhia. As he was dying, he cursed the town of Bhangarh that it would be destroyed overnight and death to all those who live in it.
Strange thing is that, this is exactly what had happened. Due to the numerous wars Bhangarh had with its neighbor Ajabgarh, the army of Ajabgarh completely ransacked the place and Princess Ratnawati too was killed shortly after the death of Singhia (after a year). In addition, curse or not, whenever houses were built in that area, the roof constantly collapsed and killed the people inside the houses. There are many houses in this area that have no roofs and in addition, most houses in the villages close to the fort have straw roofs rather than concrete.
There’s a hilltop with a “chhatri” (canopy or dome shaped pavilion) near the fort which is thought to have been inhabited by the tantrik. Perhaps you can visit this hilltop if you like but do remember; it was cursed by Singhia.
The fort of Bhangarh is one of its kind! So much that even the government acknowledges the presence of paranormal activity surrounding in and around the fort hence the signboard warning of consequences. To this day, local people confirm the presence of ghosts, spirits and weird happenings in the area particularly in the compounds of Bhangarh Fort. A visit to Bhangarh is certainly not for the faint hearted.
If you do intend to visit this place then make sure that you carry ghost hunting equipment and make sure that you do not stay at Bhangarh Fort after sunset and before sunrise.