Most Of Us Have Heard About Bhangarh. But How Many Of Us Know About Chakwa?


Want to explore more road trips that you can take in 2022? Head to this page to find your next favourite holiday!

India is a land of a myriad of experiences. And when it is about paranormal experiences, everyone’s interests get piqued. Daredevils or not, most of us would have heard about Bhangarh, and would be intrigued to know the experience that it offers. Ofcourse, not many have the heart to even consider that experience. Likewise, there are a lot of haunted places in the country, majority of them associated with hill towns and villages, or forested areas.

Photo of Most Of Us Have Heard About Bhangarh. But How Many Of Us Know About Chakwa? 1/5 by thewanderjoy
(C) Unsplash : Rythik

One such part of the country is Konkan. A beautiful land sandwiched between the azure Arabian sea and the verdant green Western Ghats, this stretch of land extends from the north of Maharashtra to Goa. While a road trip from Mumbai to Goa is commonplace, with stopovers at some of the more popular beaches of Konkan, a night drive through these forested ghats (especially if not on the highway) is not recommended. I have heard of “strange” experiences that several drivers / riders who have attempted night drives.

Photo of Most Of Us Have Heard About Bhangarh. But How Many Of Us Know About Chakwa? 2/5 by thewanderjoy
(C) Unsplash: Kelly Sikkema

These strange experiences are locally termed Chakwa. The Chakwa is one of spirits of the Konkan culture, presumably harmless, but make lonely travellers on empty stretches of land go astray, and derive a pleasure from that. However, at dawn the power of the Chakwa diminishes and people are able to find a way to their destination unharmed. It's quite possible, that this belief was created by people centuries ago to dissuade travellers to stay out in the open in the dead of the night. But who knows the reality?

Like many travellers, two of my friends decided to drive down from Mumbai to Goa, with pit stops at some of the more famous beaches along Konkan - Kashid, Velas, Ganapatipule and the Vijaydurg fort. They had started off relatively late, and by the time they were midway through the ghats and the forested roads leading to these seaside towns, it was well past evening, around 10 pm, and the dark night had descended around them, this one being just a day after new moon’s.

Photo of Most Of Us Have Heard About Bhangarh. But How Many Of Us Know About Chakwa? 3/5 by thewanderjoy
(C) Unsplash: Kelly Sikkema

As the two of them continued driving towards their destination on the lonely village road, there was not a single speck of light, except the one from the car’s headlights. After a while on that dark country road bordering the woods, they saw a truck parked on the roadside. Strange! What was a truck doing in the middle of nowhere? Not giving it much thought they drove on. Soon they passed a roadside tree in full bloom, with sweet smelling flowers, those aromas that standout among all else.

As they continued for a little bit more, they again crossed a truck parked on the roadside. To their surprise this truck had the same registration number as the previous one. How was that possible? While they were trying to figure that out, they passed by a roadside tree with the same sweet smelling flowers as the previous one. Quite possible that there are multiple trees with the same fragrant flowers. Still a little confused about the same number plated truck, they continued driving since they were exhausted by now and had to reach the village to get some food and rest.

Photo of Most Of Us Have Heard About Bhangarh. But How Many Of Us Know About Chakwa? 4/5 by thewanderjoy
(C) Unsplash: Florian Olivo

A little further down, they saw a third truck parked by the roadside. As they approached, their doubt gave way to an unnerving feeling in the gut. This truck too had the same registration number and was parked the same way as the earlier trucks. As they shared nervous glances, they passed the same flowering tree with that same aroma in the air.

What till now was limited to tales and movies was happening to them in real life. They seemed to be going in circles without actually driving in a circular route. By now fear had set it, but stopping wasn't an option. As they continued driving they saw in the distance something that looked like a cluster of houses, albeit dark and seemingly abandoned.

Photo of Most Of Us Have Heard About Bhangarh. But How Many Of Us Know About Chakwa? 5/5 by thewanderjoy
(C) Unsplash: Atharva Tulsi

Not wanting to have any other “strange” experience, they started discussing among themselves on the way out of this situation. By now they realised that Google Maps was of no help owing to a no network area. They finally decided to call a third friend who had in the recent past driven on the same route a few months back, and with his guidance were able to get on another road and finally reach their accommodation.

They finally realised that they were a couple of hours behind schedule, but the odometer of the car did not show any additional kilometers. Strange, Strange. The next day,after some conversations with the locals of the place they were staying at, they learnt about “Chakwa”. It could mean a trap or a decoy, but no words will be able to aptly define what the people in that experience go through. Different elements like trees, animals, and even inanimate objects have a role in it. Many have experienced it and each one has a unique experience to share if he is able to get out of that hex.

Have you had any such “strange” experiences? Do let us know in the comments.