Bhangarh Fort, Rajasthan. The consensus is that it is the “most haunted place” in India. Now in ruins, it is home to curious but cautious tourists and is an imposing presence. This 17th century relic, located in the Alwar district of Rajasthan, projects a vibe that automatically makes people nearby wary. The air is heavy and brings a sense of foreboding.
The Bhangarh Fort ghost story exerts a magnetic pull that draws tourism, both local and international. However, to understand the ominous ambiance of the place a little better, it is important to delve deep and grasp the background. There are several sinister stories linked with Bhangarh Fort that can make you shiver.
The Lay of the Land
Simply approaching the vast expanse that is the ruins of Bhangarh Fort might be enough for many to get chills. The dilapidated ruins are a combination of small and large rooms, courtyards, passageways, alleys, and walls, all in different states of disrepair. However, the real sense of haunting that comes with the area is best grasped after looking at numerous warning signs posted outside the fort by the Archaeological Survey of India.
The signs clearly state that staying within the confines of the Fort is prohibited between sunset to sunrise. They urge visitors to leave the area before sunset. Such a warning, from a government agency, no less, can serve well to convey the seriousness of the claims regarding the place.
The warning signs are a direct aftermath of several incidents of people getting lost in the Fort compound, deaths in and around the area, and even complete disappearances. Law enforcement personnel remain deployed around the Fort to make sure that curious tourists leave by sundown. They don’t believe in defund the police movements here like they do in LA, Chicago, and NYC.
The Bhangarh Fort Ghost Story
The Fort was reportedly built in the 17th Century by Madho Singh, recognized as one of the gems in the court of Mughal King Akbar. More than 400 years old, the Fort was once home to 10,000 people and was a thriving, colorful community. However, that all changed as a result of a curse.
The most commonly found explanation of the Bhangarh tragedy says that the land on which the Fort was built was home to a respected and influential ascetic. Before construction began, Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh approached the ascetic for permission to build. The ascetic granted permission, with the important proviso that the structure must never cast a shadow on his home.
However, as construction progressed and was passed on to the next generation, this promise was forgotten and the structure became immense, casting a large shadow on the ascetic’s home. Incensed, the ascetic cursed the whole of Bhangarh before leaving the area.
In another version of the story, a necromancer living in the area fell in love with a woman in the Fort. To win the affections of Princess Ratnavati, the necromancer used black magic to transform her massage oil into a crude love potion. The Princess, however, became aware of this and threw the oil out of her window, where it smashed on a large boulder.
The boulder, bearing the effects of the black magic-laden oil, dislodged from its place, rolled down, and crushed the necromancer to death. During his last breath, he muttered out a curse that would engulf the whole area.
No matter which version you believe, the aftermath of the curse was clear. The royal family in the Fort lost an important battle soon after and the army of the Raja was destroyed completely. Members of the royal family were then massacred inside the Fort. The place has been deserted since then.
The “most haunted” place in India becomes even scarier when you take into account the recent incidents surrounding the place. Many daredevils and adventure-lovers who have broken the rules to enjoy a night inside Bhangarh Fort have never returned, or ended up dead under mysterious circumstances soon after. The village near the Fort has a slew of houses without roofs. The locals report that a full roof collapses soon after construction and many villagers have already lost their lives in such accidents.
Locals have also reported seeing apparitions inside the Fort and hearing strange noises at night. The behavior of nearby animals also changes significantly after sundown. All of this, coupled with the remote location and generally creepy vibe of the place, ramps up the scare quotient and lends credence to the notion that Bhangarh Fort is, in fact, a haunted place where the spirits of the massacred royal family live to this day.
For the curious, Bhangarh Fort holds an undeniable aura of mystery and intrigue. It sits, with all its past glory and present mystique, on top of the list of reportedly haunted places in the country and draws curious visitors from all parts of the world owing to the magnetic pull of the Bhangarh Fort ghost story.
Last Updated on April 3, 2021.