Outside the ruins of the Bhangarh Fort is a sign board in Hindi put up by the Archaeological Survey of India. And it translates loosely to "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".
Intrigued? Well, a simple search on the internet will show you that Bhangarh features prominently as one of the most haunted sites in India. And here's the story for you
Bhangarh Fort was built by Man Singh, Emperor Akbar's general, for his younger brother Madho Singh. And there are a lot of legends related to the ruin of this fort. One is that it was cursed by Guru Balu Nath. Guru Balu Nath was an ascetic who stayed in a retreat near the Fort. And when the fort was built, he had told the king that the shadow of the fort should not fall on his retreat. However one of the followers of Madho Singh breached this agreement angering the ascetic. And he cursed the Fort resulting in its decline.
But the juicier story is that of tantric Singhia and princess Ratnavali. The princess was a beauty and there were many who tried to win her. The tantric was one of them – and he also practiced black magic. The princess saw through all the tricks he played to charm her. But one day, they ended up having a confrontation and the magician was killed and just before he passed away, he cursed the princess and her country. In one of the wars that followed with Ajabgarh, Bhangarh was defeated. And gradually the importance waned and it became a place which was deserted.
What to see/ do
There is a Hanuman temple right next to the main gate. The sprawling premises houses more than half a dozen temples dedicated to Gopinath, Someswar, Keshav Rai, Mangala Devi among others. Of the many mansions in the complex, the dancers Haveli and the Jauhari Bazaar it is said are where paranormal activities are observed. The Royal Palace is located against the backdrop of the Aravalli Range. Stand on the terrace of the Royal Palace - and you can see all the four gates - Lahori Gate, Ajmeri Gate, Phulbari Gate and Delhi Gate. The view is breath-taking. But, make sure that you leave well before dark. The silence that hangs around the ruins is ominous.
Where is Bhangarh?
The Bhangarh Fort is located on the border of the Sariska Reserve in the Aravali range of hills in Alwar district, Rajasthan. It is about 235kms from New Delhi. It is about 84kms from Jaipur
1. If you are traveling from Delhi: Gurgaon-Bhiwadi-Alwar-Sariska-Thanagazhi-Pratapgarh-Ajabgarh-Bhangarh. It's a nearly 300-km drive. Best to travel in a SUV and always carry a spare tyre as there are stretches where for kilometres there are no petrol pumps or habitations.
2. Always carry some dry food as good dhabas and eateries are rare.
3. Carry a torch with you as the fort does not have electricity and even in day time, a torch will help you to see parts of the fort better.