Day 12 (L) ~ #BlogchatterA2Z
All artwork is copyrighted by Lonely Canopy.
Bhangarh fort, situated near Sariska reserve, is several hours drive from Jaipur. This 17th century fort was built by Man Singh I for his son, Madho Singh. It’s supposed to be the most haunted place in Rajasthan, and features in almost every “haunted place” list in India.
The fort encloses a small city, with the palace situated on a hillock in the center. To reach the palace, you have to walk for about 1.5 kilometers through the city. The road is surround by the remains of houses and shops – and its an interesting fact that none of them have roofs. The feeling is very eerie.
An ASI notice at the entrance warns tourists about the fort being haunted and advises them to leave before sunset. Therefore, its not surprising that the fort has several stories told about it.
Princess Ratnavati and Tantrik Singhia
The most popular one is about a tantrik, Singhia, who lived in a temple on one of the mountains near the fort. Even today, this temple can be seen clearly from the fort. Singhia fell in love with the beautiful princess, Ratnavati.
Once, the princess went with her friends to purchase some Ittar (perfume). The tantrik, in an attempt to snare her, added a love spell to her ittar. However, the clever princess recognized the trick and threw the perfume. It fell on a boulder, which rolled down and killed the tantrik. With his last breath the tantrik cursed that Bhangarh would be destroyed and become deserted.
Subsequently, the fort was attacked by Mughals from Ajabgarh. Bhangarh was surrounded from all sides.
The entire population within the fort, including the princess, were killed. The present state of the fort is attributed to the curse of this crazy tantrik and people believe the ghosts in the fort are those of the princess and the wizard.
The palace had many alleys and passageways that led to closed chambers, with locked iron doors. There was a deadly, musty smell in the air (mostly Bat piss) in these pathways. On reaching the summit of the sprawling fort palace, the city in its entirety, and the hills surrounding it are clearly visible. I spotted a small path that led up to another temple (the one where the tantrik lived) on the top.
With the stories creating a tangible feeling of dread, and the evening sun adding to its eerie character, Bhangarh Fort felt like a muted facade to me. The stories buried deep within its ramshackle walls and epitaphs seemed to be reverberating and surrounding me like echoes of the past.
Staying here overnight is a challenging task, even for the courageous at heart.