Introduction and history
Located at the border of the Sariska Tiger Reserve in the Alwar district of Rajasthan, Bhangarh Fort is a 17th-century fort, infamous all over India for being the ‘Most haunted place in India’. Because of the numerous ghostly experiences and happenings in the fort premises, villages have sprung up far away from the fort, due to the fear of what lies within. Even the Archaeological Survey of India or the ASI has forbidden the locals and tourists from entering the fort at night.
This completely ruined, haunted fort of Bhangarh does have a very eerie, negative aura to it. Several legends have attested to the paranormal happenings inside the fort.
It has been told by the guides over there that, the beautiful princess Ratnavati, who was the daughter of Chatr Singh. She was the jewel of Rajasthan. Ratnavati was much younger than her stepbrother Ajab Singh and was as universally liked as he was disliked. Tales of her beauty and delightful temperament spread far and wide and she received many marriage proposals. A Tantrik priest, who was well versed in black magic, fell in love with her. But knowing that he didn’t stand a chance with the beautiful princess, he tried to cast a spell on her. Seeing the princess’ maid buying perfume for her in the village, he cast a spell on it so that Ratnavati would fall in love with him.
Ratnavati came to know of this and threw the bottle. It turned into a boulder and hit the Tantrik. He was crushed under its weight, but before he died, he cursed the princess, her family, and the entire village. The next year, a battle was fought between the forces of Bhangarh and Ajabgarh, which led to the death of Ratnavati and most of the army. The guide solemnly uses to tell that it was due to this curse that no one in the village or fort could be reborn; it is forever condemned to desolation and is inhabited by ghosts. If any villager tries to build a roof, it apparently mysteriously collapses. We were told another story too. Apparently, there was a sadhu, Guru Balu Nath, living on top of the hill on which Raja Bhagwant Singh built the fort.
His only condition for letting the fort be built there was that it should never cast a shadow on his dwelling. This condition was honored by all except Ajab Singh, who added columns to the fort that cast a shadow on the ascetic’s house. The angry sadhu’s curse led to the ruin of the fort and the surrounding villages. A small stone hut, known as Tantrik ki chhatri, overlooks the fort. The truth seems to be that after Chatr Singh’s death, since Ajab Singh had already established a new fort, the population of the area dwindled. A famine in 1783 forced the remaining villagers to seek new avenues. In 1720, Raja Jai Singh, grandson of Man Singh, attached Bhangarh to his estate.