The ruins of Bhangarh Fort in the Rajasthan state in India are known for being the most hunted place in this south Asian country. While it’s understandable that not all people believe in ghosts, there are warnings at all entry points to the Bhangarh Fort advising people not to venture into the city at night. In fear that something terrible could happen, some of the signs posted by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) not only advise against, but literally prohibit visitors from entering Bhangarh Fort at night. The sign reads in Indian language: “Entering the borders of Bhangarh before sunrise and after sunset is strictly prohibited.” If you are a ghost hunter or like visiting mysterious places, especially those known to be haunted by ghosts, then Bhangarh Fort deserves a solid spot on your “Must Visit Before I Die” list.
Bhangarh Fort Location
Abandoned fortress of Bhangarh is located between the Pink City of Jaipur – the capital of Rajasthan and Alwar, a city in the same state located about 160 km south of Delhi. Rajasthan is located in the north-west of India and it’s country’s largest state. You can see exact location of the Bhangarh Fort on the interactive, navigable map below (provided by Google Maps TM).
How to Get to Bhangarh
Nearby cities of Jaipur and Alwal are great starting points as they are major metropolitan hubs and are easy to get to. If you are already in India, you can take a train to either city, or if your budget allows, you can fly in instead. Regular bus service leaves for Bhangarh Ruins but requires about a kilometer of walking because nearest bus stop is not directly at the ruin. Another option is to take private taxes which are more expensive than buses, but get you there faster and at a time convenient to you.
The Bhangarh Story
The story (and the history) of the Bhangarh began in the year of 1573 when the fortress was established. Built by Raja Bhagawant Das – the ruler of the city of Amber, Bhangarh Fort has become the residence of Madho Singh, ruler’s second son who fought alongside his father and brother in many wars. The decline of Bhangarh Fort started in 1630 after Chhatr Singh, son of Madho Singh got killed in a violent attack. The decline continued until 1783 when the fortress and the city were completely abandoned following that year’s famine.
The Bhangarh Myths
According to one of the myths, Bhangarh was cursed by Guru Balu Nath (Baba Balanath), who originally sanctioned the construction but warned that his sacred meditating place lies nearby and should the palace reach the size which would cast a shadow big enough to reach his forbidden retreat, the city would fall into ruin. Ignorant of the warning, Ajab Singh – one of dynasty’s descendants raised the palace to a height that cast the shadow on the Balu Nath’s retreat and the city was cursed.
Another myth talks about princess Ratnavati who was so beautiful she had no match in all of Rajasthan. Marriage proposals came coming, but one day she was spotted by a tantric named Singha Sevra who was so bewildered by her beauty, he decided to use his black magic to get to her. As he was spying on the princess, he saw her servant buying perfumes for her. The tantric used the opportunity and put a black magic spell on the lotion which was supposed to draw the princess to him upon initial use.
His intentions were uncovered by a person loyal to the princess who informed her of bewitched lotion. The princess took the bottle and smashed it against the rock which came to life and rolled over the tantric killing him. Before he died, he laid a curse on entire land which came to be the following year during battle between Bhangarh and Ajabgarh. All who dwelt in Bhangarh died, including the princess.
There are several other myths and legends that explain the reasons why the fort was abandoned overnight and never re-inhabited, but they all revolve around the fact that the city was cursed and is now haunted by ghosts.
The Bhangarh Ghosts
The Government of India wanted to put the myth of ghosts haunting the Bhangarh Ruin to rest by deploying the military to patrol the fort at night. However, none of the Indian military personnel dared to participate in this ghost busting operation because the belief that it’s haunted by ghosts is so deep. Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the official government body responsible for maintenance of monuments and ruins throughout the country officially recognizes the Bhangarh Fort as a place haunted by ghosts. Because of that, no accommodation if offered within the ruins and even the office of ASI was built at a safe distance from the fort, instead of within it as is the case of other similar sites.
Ghost Town of Bhangarh Video
In this video documentary, the Voice of America correspondent Steve Herman reports on the Ghost Town of Bhangarh, haunted by the spirits of the dead:
Even though Bhangarh is deserted at night, locals report that strange noises, including music and dancing can be heard coming from the ruins of the fort. The access to Bhangarh is regulated by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and by their rule, it is illegal to enter Bhangarh at night. However, several people did make an entry during forbidden hours just to get a sense of thrill associated with being in one of world’s most haunted places. Bhangarh Fort offers superior opportunities for mystery and ghost hunters to experience the ultimate adrenaline rush. The restless spirit of the magician who cursed the land watches over Bhangarh from a nearby hill during the day and comes down at night in search of a ghost of his beloved princess. Welcome to the world of Ghost Tourism.