Bhangarh Fort – The only “legally haunted” place in India

When it comes to ghost stories, Bhangarh Fort makes an excellent setting. The massive mountains behind the Bhangarh fort bear an uncanny resemblance to a ghost house! The 17th-century Bhangarh Fort stands tall, unbeaten, and grim in Rajasthan’s Alwar district. While it was once a grand architectural marvel built by local ruler Raja Bhagwant Das, the sprawling fort and its immediate surroundings are now known as India’s most haunted location. One of the best ways to travel to the fort is by availing of the services of car rentals from Jaipur. Car rentals are convenient, comfortable, and budget-friendly if you’re travelling in a group. With lots of spooky tales and myths behind it, it makes for one hell of an intriguing place to visit. 

A glimpse into history

Bhangarh Fort stands as a testament to the rich cultural heritage of Rajasthan, India. Its origins can be traced back to the 17th century when it was constructed by Raja Bhagwant Das, a ruler of the Kachwaha dynasty. The fort was intended to serve as a stronghold, protecting the surrounding area from external threats. Its grand architecture and intricate design reflect the opulence of the bygone era.

Stories Behind The Most Haunted Place In India

Bhangarh Fort

There are two stories of Bhangarh Fort that have survived in the form of legends, both of which have attempted to explain the eerie atmosphere that surrounds the haunted fort of Bhangarh.

Bhangarh Fort Haunted Story 1: A priest’s curse

According to the first legend, King Madho Singh needed permission from an ascetic named Balu Nath to expand the fort’s perimeter. Balu Nath lived in a cave nearby. The sadhu made the king promise that the fortress’s shadows would never disturb his meditation or come into contact with his cave. Madho Singh attempted to follow this rule, but it was not to be. The shadows grew longer and touched Balu Nath’s cave as the sun shifted south in winter. When the tantric awoke from his deep meditation, he cursed the town and its people for never being able to build another roof in the area. Even today, when new buildings are built, the roof collapses.

Bhangarh Fort Haunted Story 2: The curse of unrequited love

A more popular legend surrounding the haunted Bhangarh Fort claims that Princess Ratnavati of Bhangarh was responsible for the fort’s apocalyptic situation. Stories of her beauty had spread far and wide, and she had attracted the attention of many wealthy and powerful suitors. A local black magician fell in love with her (the princess is said to be very beautiful) and once attempted to bewitch a cosmetic she was supposed to use to make her fall in love with him.

The princess detected suspicion and thwarted the black magician’s entire plot by pouring the enchanted cosmetic over a massive stone boulder, which allegedly crushed the ‘Tantrik’ to death. Before dying, the magician cursed the entire landscape, saying that no soul would ever be able to live in peace there. Ratnavati and other residents were killed the following year when the fort was attacked by invading Mughals. Since then, the entire landscape surrounding the Bhangarh Fort has been haunted.

Ghostly Encounters

Bhangarh Fort’s haunted reputation has captivated the imagination of many. Stories abound of supernatural occurrences and eerie encounters within its premises. Locals and visitors have reported hearing unexplained noises, whispers, and cries echoing through the deserted halls. Some claim to have witnessed apparitions roaming the fort at night. These tales have transformed Bhangarh Fort into a magnet for ghost hunters and thrill-seekers from around the world.

Other mysteries in the Bangarh village 

The vanishing villagers

Among the mysteries that have left researchers perplexed is the enigma of the vanishing villagers of Bhangarh. According to local legends, the village once flourished with a vibrant community, but it is said that one day, all the residents mysteriously disappeared, leaving behind empty houses and a haunting silence. Speculations range from paranormal phenomena to mass migration, but the truth remains elusive.

 Bhangarh fort

The haunted temples

Within the vicinity of Bhangarh Village lie several ancient temples, each bearing its own eerie tale. These temples are said to be haunted by restless spirits and are notorious for their otherworldly occurrences. From unexplained sounds and mysterious footsteps to sightings of apparitions, these temples hold secrets that continue to intrigue and chill those who dare to venture close.

The hidden treasures

Legends speak of hidden treasures buried deep within the lands surrounding Bhangarh Village. It is believed that during times of war and invasion, the inhabitants of the region concealed their wealth in secret locations to protect it from plunderers. Many treasure hunters and enthusiasts have embarked on quests to unearth these hidden riches, but the whereabouts of these treasures remain a mystery, tempting adventurers with the promise of untold wealth.

The sacred rituals

Bhangarh Village is also known for its ancient rituals and practices that have been passed down through generations. From mystic ceremonies performed by local shamans to mystical symbols and talismans believed to ward off evil spirits, the village is steeped in a rich tapestry of folklore and traditional beliefs. These rituals add an aura of mysticism and intrigue to the already enigmatic atmosphere of Bhangarh.

The energy vortex

In recent years, some visitors and paranormal researchers have claimed to have experienced unusual electromagnetic phenomena in certain areas of Bhangarh Village. These anomalies include sudden fluctuations in temperature, disruptions in electronic devices, and an intense feeling of energy. Some attribute these occurrences to the presence of an energy vortex, an otherworldly force that defies scientific explanation.

The Government’s Intervention

Due to its mysterious reputation and reported paranormal activities, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has placed restrictions on visiting Bhangarh Fort after sunset. These measures are taken to ensure the safety of visitors and preserve the historical significance of the site. While some sceptics argue that the ghostly tales are merely a result of superstition and folklore, others believe that there is an inexplicable energy surrounding the fort that defies rational explanation.

Is the fort haunted? 

Bhangarh Fort

The answer will never be known as it will always walk the line between reality and fiction. However, according to some locals, despite prior warnings, many young groups of students went into the fort after sunset to explore the area and never returned. Also, those who have returned have reportedly died in some sort of disaster before sunrise. People have also reported hearing women’s cries, music from rooms, and paranormal activity in and around the house. They could be rumours or actual events, but no one has been able to prove or draw any conclusions as of yet. Furthermore, it is said that anyone who enters the fort at night will be unable to return in the morning. Despite all these scary stories, ghostbusters and adventure enthusiasts can’t resist visiting the fort.

Things to remember while visiting the Bhangarh Fort

Also, if you ever plan to visit Bhangarh, keep in mind that you are not permitted to enter after sunset. After the sun sets, it is illegal to enter or remain inside Bhangarh Fort. The Archaeological Survey of India has posted a sign warning visitors not to enter the fort during the dark hours to avoid the ghosts and otherworldly creatures that haunt the site.

Things to see and do in Bhangarh Fort

Bhangarh was once a bustling town, but now the Bhangarh Fort complex consists of a palace ruin, a few Havelis, a roofless bazaar, a market, and temples. While some temples remain in use, others have been abandoned and are devoid of idols. Hanuman Temple and Shiva Temple are two prominent functional temples. Gopinath Temple is the largest of the temples at Bhangarh Fort, but it is not in use because there is no idol inside the sanctum.

Places to visit near Bhangarh fort

Below are some scenic places to visit nearby for a wholesome travel experience. 

  • Bala Quila Fort, Alwar – The Bala Quila Fort, also known as “the” Alwar Fort, is considered a must-see tourist attraction and one of Rajasthan’s oldest sites. At 1,000 feet, the fort is intimidating and strong with its large and small towers, as well as 446 musketry holes.
  • Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary, Alwar – Numerous species of birds and animals, including the Rhesus monkey, Wild Dog, Jungle Cat, Chital, Nilgai, Chausingha, Sambar, Chinkara Four-Horned Antelope, and many others, call the sanctuary home.
  • Moosi Maharani Ki Chhatri, Alwar – The cenotaph built in honour of Maharaja Bakhtawar Singh and his queen, Rani Moosi, has an Indo-Islamic style that can be seen throughout.
  • Moti Dungri, Jaipur – Moti Dungri, a unique sacred site in Alwar, is where Hindus and Muslims come to pray. On Thursdays, bhajans and Qawwali are alternately played over the loudspeakers.
  • City Palace, Jaipur – This 18th-century fort, which combines Mughal and Rajput architectural styles, exemplifies the region’s rich cultural heritage.

How to reach

The closest airport is Jaipur International Airport. The closest train stations are Bhan Kari and Dausa. You can also take a train to Alwar and then go by road. Driving is the most scenic and adventurous way to visit. Jaipur is about 90 km away and is the best option for a stay as well. Delhi is 220 km away. The best way to visit the fort is by booking a cab from Jaipur, as the trip can be done in a day. If you wish to explore Jaipur, click here for a detailed travel guide.

The fort commemorates Rajasthan’s royal and grand history. Every traveller should put it on their itinerary if they want to experience a pleasant mix of horror and history. Don’t worry about how to head back to the Jaipur international airport or railway station after your trip. The easiest way is to download a safe and trusted car booking app so that on your way back, the only thing on your mind is all the memories you’re going to carry throughout your life!

Last Updated on January 17, 2024 by Swati Deol

A quick summary
Bhangarh Fort - The only “legally haunted” place in India
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Bhangarh Fort - The only “legally haunted” place in India
With lots of spooky tales and myths behind the Bhangarh Fort, it makes for one hell of an intriguing place to visit. 
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About the author

Shabari, a modern-day wanderer, seeks out the hidden stories within the world's serene landscapes and vibrant cultures. She views each person as a living, breathing tale, a unique signature in the grand narrative of existence. With an insatiable curiosity for local customs and traditions, Shabari explores the rich drapery of humanity wherever her journey leads. Her passion is to unravel the secrets of tranquil temples, scale majestic mountains, and share the ancient wisdom they hold. Join Shabari on her quest for solace amidst the world's quiet corners and let her writing transport you to the heart of these captivating adventures.

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