Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Bhangarh, India:

    Is a town that is famous for it's historical ruins within the Banghar Fort which was built in 1613. it is in the Rajgarh municipality of the Alwar district in the state of Rajasthan. Bhangarh is at the edge of the Sariska Tiger Reserve. The modern village has a population of 1,306 in 200 households. Bhangarh is also a popular tourist attraction.
    Bhangarh is also a pre historic site. The most remarkable of it's buildings are the temples of Gopinath, Shiva (Someshwar), Mangla Devi, Lavina Devi and Keshava Rai. Other buildings include shops along the main road, several havelis, a mosque, and a palace. The palace was protected by two inner fortifications across the valley. The town is separated from the plain by ramparts with five gates.
    The town was established in 1573 (VS 1631) during the rule of Bhagwant Das as the residence of his second son Madho Singh, the younger brother of Emperor Akbar’s general, Man Singh I. Madho Singh participated in many campaigns with his father and brother. The next ruler of Bhangarh was his son Chhatr Singh, after whose death in 1630, Bhangarh slowly declined. When the Mughal Empire became weaker after the death of Aurangzeb, Jai Singh II attached Bhangarh to his state by force in 1720. After this Bhangarh diminished in population, and since the famine of 1783 (VS 1840) the town has remained uninhabited.
   Entry to Bhangarh is legally prohibited between sunset and sunrise. It's the only 'Legally Haunted' location recognized by the Indian Government. A signboard posted by ASI (Archaeological Survey of India), which is a Government of India organization, specifies the instructions. While the board is written in Hindi, the instructions on it roughly translate into: "Entering the borders of Bhangarh before sunrise and after sunset is strictly prohibited. Legal action would be taken against anybody who does not follow these instructions".
    According to legend, the city of Bhangarh was cursed by the Guru Balu Nath. He had sanctioned the construction of the town on one condition, "The moment the shadows of your palaces touch me, the city shall be no more!" When a descendant prince raised the palace to a height that cast a shadow on Balu Nath's forbidden retreat, he cursed the town. Balu Nath is said to be buried there to this day in a small samādhi.
   There exists another myth. This is the legend of the Princess of Bhangarh, Ratnavati. She is believed to be the jewel of Rajasthan. On her eighteenth birthday she began to get offers of marriage from other regions (i.e. nobility). In the area lived a tantrik, a magician well versed in the occult, called Singhia, who was in love with the princess but knew that the match was impossible. One day Singhia saw the princess's maid in the market, he used his black magic on the oil she was purchasing so that upon touching it the princess would surrender herself to him. The princess, however, seeing the tantric enchanting the oil, foiled his plan by pouring it on the ground. As the oil struck the ground it turned into a boulder, which crushed Singhia. Dying, the tantrik cursed the palace with the death of all who dwelt in it.   
   The next year there was a battle between Bhangarh and Ajabgarh in which Princess Ratnavati perished. Legends says that there are ghosts in Bhangarh and that is why entry is prohibited for tourists in the fort after sunset and before sunrise. The locals believe that the princess Ratnavati has taken birth somewhere else and that the fort and the empire of Bhangarh is waiting for her return to put an end to the curse.
    So what makes this place so haunted, no one knows but what is for sure is that anyone who enters this place after dark is never seen again.

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