Bhangarh is a village situated in the Rajgarh municipality of the Alwar district in Rajasthan, India. It is famous for its historical ruins and is considered to be one of India’s scariest locations. This place also has the tag of being one of the most abandoned places in India. However, it still attracts visitors from around the world. However, it should be noted that if you decide to visit this place after sunset, you will be not be allowed to enter the borders of Bhangarh during this time. According to locals, spirits enter the place after sunset. A signboard posted by the ASI (Archaeological Survey of India), which is a Government of India organization, specifies these instructions.
While the board is written in Hindi, the instructions on it roughly translate to: “Entering the borders of Bhangarh before sunrise and after sunset is strictly prohibited. Legal action will be taken against anybody who does not follow these instructions”.
The journey to Bhangarh takes approx 1.5 hrs and is 65kms from the capital city, Jaipur. The most remarkable aspects of Bhangarh are its old buildings: the Hindu temples of Gopinath, Shiv (Someshwar), Hanuman, Ganesh, Vishal Devta, Lavina Devi, and Keshav Rai. Other buildings include shops and dhabas along the main road, several havelis, a mosque, and a palace. The palace is protected by two inner fortifications across the valley. The town is separated from the plain by ramparts with five gates.
One of the major attractions of this place is the Bhangarh Fort. It was built in 17th by Raja Bhagwant Das, a Kachhwaha ruler of Amber, for his younger son Madho Singh. The fort is situated at the foot of the hills on sloping terrain. The ruins of the King’s palace are located on the lower slope of the hills; trees surround the pond area and a natural stream falls into the pond within the premises of the palace. The approach to the entrance gate of the fort in the last 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) stretch of the road is an unpaved road. In addition to the main gate, where the temples, dhabas and havelis are located, there are four more points of entry to the fort – the Lahori Gate, the Ajmeri Gate, the Phulbari Gate, and the Delhi Gate. The Royal Palace is located at the extreme end of the fort’s limits.
The story which this town is well-known for
According to legends, a sadhu named Baba Balak Nath lived within the fort area, and it was his injunction that any houses built in the precincts of the fort should not be taller than his house, and if the shadow of any such house fell on his house, it would result in destruction of the fort town.
According to one popular folk tale, a magician adept in black magic fell in love with Rani Ratnavati, a beautiful princess with many suitors. One day, the wizard followed her to the marketplace and offered her a love potion, however she refused it, throwing it onto a large boulder that consequently rolled onto the wizard and crushed him to death. Before the wizard died, he supposedly cursed that Bhangarh would be destroyed soon and no one would be able to live within its precincts. Subsequently, Bhangarh Fort was invaded by the Mughals from the north and the city was surrounded and sacked, and all inhabitants including the princess were killed. According to legend, the present state of the fort is the result of the wizard’s curse, and the ghosts of the wizard and princess haunt the fort. Local traditional beliefs say that the curse will be lifted someday when the princess is reborn and visits the fort.
Despite the story surrounding the ruins, it still is a fascinating place to visit. In fact, it has also been officially promoted as a tourist destination.