Monday, October 1, 2012

October Haunting - Haunted Bhangarh Fort : The Ghost Town of Rajasthan

Garden at Bhangarh Premises

Bhangarh is a deserted town with some 10000 dwellings established in 1613 by Madho Singh, younger brother of great Mughal general, Man Singh of Amber. Bhangarh was abandoned soon after being built and supposedly after it was cursed by a magician. Bhangarh fort offers an intact view of the medieval past. Apparently, the Bhangarh town had been desolated by an old mughal invasion, and is just reverting back to being habited again.


A Passage through ruined Dwellings

Bhangarh ghosts: Myths, Curse, Devastation and horror stories:

Madho Singh built the town of Bhangarh with the approval of an ascetic Baba Balanath, who meditated there, though Baba Balanath predicted “look my dear chap! The moment the shadow of your palace touches me you are undone. The city shall be no more!” In ignorance Ajab Singh, the grandson of Madho Singh raised the palace to such a height that the shadow reached the forbidden place. Hence the devastation of entire town of Bhangarh happened.

Temple with backdrop of chhatri inside Bhangarh ruins

 The another and stronger myth goes as follow: A tantric battle engaged between the gorgeous queen Ratnavati and the wicked sorcerer Singhia Sevra, who was attracted by the queen’s beauty. Desperately, he tried to trap her in his magical ploy, and failed every time, as the queen herself was a master in the tantric art.The last battle took place on the day when the queen losing eventually her temper, transformed a glass bottle containing the massaging oil into a big rock and hurled it towards the hill-top and the rock started rolling towards the wicked tantric. Sensing his looming death, Tantric concentrated all his powers and spatted his dying curse:  “I die! But you too, you Ratnavati shall not live here anymore. Neither you, nor your kin and these walls of the city, none shall see the morning sun!” In that night, all the treasure of the Bhangarh was transferred to the new site of Ajabgarh and the next morning everything was leveled to the ground after a severe commotion. And as per the ancient tales, Ratnavati died in the very next year during a battle between Bhangarh and Ajabgarh. Singhia Sevra (Wicked tantric) chhatri can be seen on the top of the hill.

Chhatri on the hill top on the side of Bhangarh fort
Bhangarh premises are enclosed by a partially ruined wall. Other than dwellings, ruins of Bhangarh also include gardens, havelis, banyan trees and temples of Lord Someshwar, gopinath, mangla devi and Keshava rai. But the enigmatic attraction is a secluded chhatri on the hill top which catches attention of all the travelers. In entirety, the random placement of all these sites within Bhangarh premises may look freighting and mysterious at the same time.

Ajabgarh Fort near Bhangarh

 Other Forts near Bhangarh: There are some other forts near Bhangarh those were also built in the same era and share the related history. Ajabgarh is a picturesque garrison fort between Bhangarh and Pratapgarh, with a lovely reservoir nearby. Ajabgarh fort was built by Ajab Singh Rajawat, The grandson of Madho Singh. Ajabgarh fort is in good condition, and offers an incredible panoramic view of the eponymous walled town and the well –preserved, but less visited temple of Shri Raghunath ji and old chhatris, all nearby. Pratapgarh is a remarkable fort situated on hill top which dominates the region. Pratapgarh and its vicinity are famous for its natural surrounding and scenic countryside. Pratapgarh town has two temples and a mosque.

ASI Sign Board at Bhangarh

Bhangarh is an ancient town of archeological importance. During recent excavations different types of tools used by early man have been recovered from the pre-historical site of Bhangarh. The old town of Bhangarh, as the ruins show was surrounded on three sides by elevated hills where wild undergrowth is seen today. There were natural springs and waterfalls there and one such is found near the temple of lord Someshwar. The Archeological survey of India (ASI) has put up a sign board at Bhangarh stating (among others): “Entering the borders of Bhangarh before sunrise and after sunset is strictly prohibited.” Lot of tourists who visit this Bhangarh affirms that there is a strange feeling in the atmosphere of Bhangarh, which causes symptoms of anxiety and restlessness.

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