If you’re looking for a supernatural experience, then the Bhangarh Fort is the perfect place to visit! Located at the edge of the Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary, the Fort is 50 km from the city of Alwar. Known as the most haunted place in India, Bhangarh Fort remains one of the country’s greatest unsolved mysteries.
Most people who visit the Fort believe that it is indeed haunted; and the many stories that are mentioned by the locals as well as visitors - some possibly made up, add to the mystery of Bhangarh. So much so that it would take a truly brave personality to step inside the Fort after sunset. To be on the safe side, the Archaelogical Survey of India has put up a stone signboard in English and Hindi, prohibiting people from visiting the Fort at night.
To start at the beginning – the city and the Fort of Bhangarh were founded by Madho Singh, the younger brother of the famous Raja Man Singh of Amer. There seem to be two stories that are still circulating that add to the ghostly atmosphere and its legends.
The first story says that Madho Singh had sought permission from Guru Bala Nath, a Sadhu who lived on the site chosen by Madho Singh for his Fort. The Guru Bala agreed but on condition that the ‘shadow of the fort’, should never fall on his home. Madho Singh was careful that all the structures were carefully built, ensuring that the shadows did not go anywhere close to the Guru’s abode.
However one of Madho Singh’s successors in his greed, added to the Fort’s height, thus allowing a shadow to fall on the Sadhu’s home. As per the prophecy, the Fort became a cursed city and began to crumble into ruins. Nothing could be rebuilt nor a new structure be built. Despite the efforts, not a single building survived. Interestingly the tomb of Guru Balu Nath is still there among the ruins. The locals are convinced that it is the Guruji’s curse.
The second story is about Singhia, a sorcerer who practised black magic. He is said to have fallen in love with Princess Ratnavati of Bhangarh, stories of whose beauty was known far and near. When she reached the age of eighteen suitors from other states sought her hand in marriage. Among these was the sorcerer, who knew to win her hand he would have to do some special sort of magic – so he decided to charm her with sorcery. Singhia followed Ratnavati whenever he could and one day he found the right opportunity.
At the market she was buying oil and he thought this was his chance. With his black magic, he turned the oil she was buying into a love potion. He was hoping that she would fall in love with him as soon as she touched the oil, but the princess saw through his trick and threw the oil on the ground. The earth on which the oil fell turned into a boulder which then rolled over Singhia. Before dying he is said to have cursed the city of Bhangarh to death and indeed thereafter it is said there were no more births in the area. Princess Ratnavati also died in a battle between the Ajabgarh and Bhangarh, but locals are waiting for Ratnavati to return and break Singhia’s spell on Bhangarh.
It is difficult to believe these stories, but they certainly manage to draw many visitors. The good part is that the Bhangarh Fort is surprisingly well preserved - its ramparts and fortifications standing amidst the ruins of the ghost towns of the same name. People say they have often heard noises that are unaccounted for.
The locals say that they have heard women screaming and crying, bangles breaking and strange music that appears to be from the Fort. While the Bhangarh Fort story has been rubbished by scientists, nothing stops the villagers from believing that it is all true.
In true ‘Ghost Style’, some also seem to have felt the strange sensation of being followed and have also admitted to being slapped by an invisible being. Many of those who come determined to stay the night, often change their minds as the sun begins to set. It is believed that if a person enters the fort after sunset, he or she will never come out of it. The doors are therefore always locked after dusk and entry into the Bhangarh Fort at night is absolutely forbidden. Also, the guards are very strict and keep an eagle eye to ensure no one remains within the Fort’s boundaries after sunset. A daytime visit seems quite safe, if you dare?