Once There Was A Kingdom-Bhangarh

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Photo of Once There Was A Kingdom-Bhangarh 1/15 by Akriti Anand

I am sure you must have guessed which place I am talking about. Yes, I am talking about Bhangrah-Asia’s most haunted place. But before starting further with my experience, let me ask you, how many of you believe in ghosts? Some will say yes and some will say no. But everybody would like to take a trip to the den of the ghosts.

Visiting Bhangarh was never in my bucket list but it happened accidentally. I was in Bandikui to attend a wedding and so to pass the time, I decided to explore the place. While surfing on the internet, I learned that Bhangarh is near Bandikui and so I decided to visit the most haunted place in India. I booked a cab and head straight towards Bhangarh.

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Bhangarh lies approximately 85 km from Jaipur and it takes around two hours to cover the distance. I had heard a lot about Bhangarh and stories of the haunted activities of the fort. Even the road which was heading towards the fort was looking haunted. As I reached the fort, my driver asked me to go on own as after a point car is not allowed.

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As I started walking towards the main fort, I crossed the ruined complex. Ramparts of the fort spread far and wide amidst the forests and huge temples stood on elevated platforms to give a grand feel. Bhangarh lies in the Aravali Range and is believed to have been a Kachhwaha clan citadel before Amber, near Jaipur. The town was established in 1573 by King Bhagwant Das and the Fort Palace was made for his son Madho Singh, who was also a Diwan in the court of Mughal Emperor Akbar.

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Bhangarh might be famous for its haunted and mysterious reasons but it looked very beautiful. Leading to Bhangarh, there is a roofless stone colonnaded pathway that was once the market of the town. It is completely deserted and I wondered how bustling it may have been in its glory days. The entrance to the main fort is via a huge arched door and as soon as you enter, a Hanuman temple is visible on the right. The fort is accessed through two huge towers on either side and has a winding path to walk up.

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The sprawling premises has more than half a dozen temples: Hanuman Temple, Gopinath Temple, Someswar Temple, Keshav Rai Temple, Mangla Devi Temple, Ganesh Temple and Naveen Temple and a very strategically positioned Purohitji ki Haveli. It left me wondering how ghosts stay in the premises where there are so many temples!

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Story behind the haunted fort

The locals said the royal palace was once as big as 7 stories, although now only 4 floors remain. The town was deserted because of a tantric magician who was in love with the ruler’s daughter and cursed the city when his ploy to seduce her backfired. There is a sole cenotaph built on a hill that towers above Bhangarh that is said to be the evil magician’s chhatri. Before dying, he cursed the village and the entire village’s inhabitants left it in one night in 1783.’ Bhangarh is entirely uninhabited and the nearest village is a small hamlet called Gola ka Bas.

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View from the fort

Standing on the terrace of the Royal Palace one can view the vast expanse of the fort. It has four gates – Lahori Gate, Ajmeri Gate, Phulbari Gate, and Delhi Gate. It seems life has come to a standstill in this area.

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However, I didn’t feel any uncomfortable thing or any sight which caught my attention. But there are people who say they have. This is a long debate and even unending. But keeping aside all these things, the place is worth visiting for a picnic with the family. I was happy that I decided to visit this palace as it will always remain in my memory.

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