Is your Netflix’s horror movies list frequently visited than the other genres? Does your appetite for a good read always crave for Stephen King or Mary Shelly or the likes? Well then, welcome to the club of horror story fans. Bhangarh Fort is a name and place known to almost all horror story buffs of India. Most of us are curious that Bhangarh Fort is equivalent to the stories and videos the internet contains. All those who have been to Bhangarh have an extraordinary narrative about the place. For those who have not yet been to Bhangarh, make-do with the snippets from others.
To quench our curiosity and get an insight into the mystery Bhangarh Fort stands for, let us read about the place. Starting from the history, the curses, and the aftermath, let us read everything we need to know about the famous Bhangarh Fort.
History of Bhangarh Fort
Bhangarh Fort is in the present-day state of Rajasthan. To be more precise, the Fort is at the edge of the Sariska Tiger Reserve, between Alwar and Jaipur. A once prominent and lively city, Bhangarh is now commonly known as the ‘ghost city of India’.
The Bhangarh Fort’s origin goes back to many centuries. The Kachwaha ruler of Amber, Raja Bhagwant Das, had built the Fort for his younger son Madho Singh in 1573 AD. Man Singh, general of King Akbar, was Madho Singh’s brother. Chatr Singh was the son of Madho Singh, and he took over the palace after his father’s death.
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Raja Bhagwant Das built the Fort after seeking permission from the ascetic Guru Balu Nath, whose place of meditation was in the precinct. Guru Balu Nath had one condition that the shadow of the Fort should not touch his shrine. If the palace’s shadow was to reach Guru Balu Nath’s place of meditation, then Bhangarh will be cursed and remain roofless. Raja Bhagwant Das agreed to the condition and built the Bhangarh Fort.
Curses on the Bhangarh Fort
There are primarily two curses in association with the fall of Bhangarh Fort.
Curse of Guru Balu Nath
As per the condition of building the Fort, no shadow reached the place of meditation of Guru Balu Nath. Unfortunately, one of the ascendants of the Fort did not adhere to the condition.
When the shadow of the Fort fell on the shrine of Guru Balu Nath, he put a curse on the place. All the houses of the Bhangarh Fort were to remain roofless.
Curse of a Tantrik
The second curse that befell Bhangarh Fort was the curse of a ‘lovelorn’ Tantrik.
Princess Ratnavati’s beauty was famous widely. Marriage proposals from far and wide flew into Bhangarh, asking for Princess Ratnavati’s hand. Singhia Tantrik, a practitioner of spells and magic, also fell for her.
One day the Singhia Tantrik saw Princess Ratnavati’s maid buying hair oil for her. The Tantrik saw a chance and took it. He put a love spell in the hair oil. The Princess herself was aware of such spells and magic. Seeing the swirl in the hair oil, she knew there was a spell in it. Princess Ratnavati threw the bottle away. The moment the bottle touched the ground, it enlarged into a boulder. The boulder, in turn, became the doom of Singhia Tantrik. Before breathing his last, Singhia put a curse on Princess Ratnavati and everyone in the place. The curse was a warning to the people of Bhangarh to leave home or else they were to die a painful death and would never be able to rest in peace.
The aftermath of the curses
Bhangarh Fort was a place like any other fort or palace of India. The place was lively with markets, Dance Havelis, things for amusement, and, most importantly, people. Once the curses fell on the spot, Bhangarh Fort uncannily became a lifeless place, the air itself carrying a smell of suspense and a bad omen.
The ruins of Bhangarh Fort that remains today are unlike other ruins of forts and palaces of India. For starters, the roofs are entirely missing from the houses inside the Fort. The temples inside the Fort are devoid of their Gods. The people who once lived inside left their homes behind and settled outside.
Today the Bhangarh Fort is a place of tourist attraction. Visitors from across the country look forward to their Rajasthan trip. Out of the many attractions of Rajasthan, Bhangarh Fort has a place in their itinerary. What fascinates people even more is the restrictions imposed by the government of India.
Restrictions on Bhangarh Fort
The Archaeological Survey of India has put up a board at the entrance of the Bhangarh Fort, stating, ‘Entry to the Bhangarh Fort is restricted after sunset and before sunrise.’ The statement piques the interest of many. Young people are drawn to the place even more because of their quest for adventure and ghost-hunting spirit.
Another peculiar restriction is the limit on foreign visitors. Foreign visitors are not permissible to the Fort without special permission. Though the Bhangarh Fort is a popular haunted place globally, foreigners are not allowed inside the premises.
Signs of rituals
Moving along the narrow passageways inside the Bhangarh Fort, people notice items of spiritual significance. Some of the palace doors are marked off-limits by placing the orange cloth as a symbol of a ritual.
People with stalls outside of the Fort have temples outside as a symbol to guard them against evil spirits inside. In many interviews, the sellers have said that they are no longer afraid of the djinns and ghosts of Bhangarh because they have protection from their Gods.
Youngsters have a curiosity to find out why the restriction on timings is there for Bhangarh Fort. Some ghost hunters, with special permission, spend a night inside Bhangarh in the hope to encounter a ghost. But there is one popular story about three young boys who were found dead after spending a night in Bhangarh.
Other narratives of unfortunate accidents are also familiar. People fear and believe the tales of Bhangarh all the more because of these tragic incidents. The belief in evil spirits is instilled in the hearts of many locals.
Alternative to ghosts
Given the fairy tale type curses associated with Bhangarh Fort, the title ‘haunted fort’ is apt for the place. But in today’s practical and reasonable world, a rational reason is more believable than ghosts.
In an interview, an officer of the ASI had refuted the claims of there being ghosts inside Bhangarh Fort. The reason for putting a restriction on the timing according to the ASI is the proximity to the Sariska Tiger Reserve the Fort has. It can be dangerous for people after dark, for wild animals are common in that area. They have their security guards patrolling the site, and none of them affirmed seeing or facing any paranormal activities in the area.
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So, to believe or not to believe in the ghosts of Bhangarh Fort? It is, of course, all up to the individuals. But ghosts or no ghosts, Bhangarh Fort’s ruins do tug the heart in believing in some kind of supernatural power. The suspense in the air carries the smell of age-old curses. Therefore, the best remedy is to visit Bhangarh Fort and then decide what to believe or not to believe in. Because of the tag of a haunted place, Bhangarh Fort receives many tourists. So why not, for the sake of a trip, you go and visit this famous place to quench your curiosity? We are sure that Bhangarh Fort will not disappoint you, given its history and location in the beautiful state of Rajasthan.