A 17th century built fort, on the lap of the Aravali hills is a mystic beauty amidst nature attracting hordes of tourists every year if not for the charm but for its tag as a “haunted fort”. Man Singh I got it erected for his grandson Madho Singh I. Madho Singh later named it after his grandfather who was also known as Bhan Singh.
There are stories heard about this dilapidated city. Some say, a sadhu, Baba Balanath had warned the King that the fort should not over shadow his house. When it did, the sadhu spelled a curse, which destroyed the city. Others say, a magician named Singhiya, had fallen in love with the princess Ratnavati. He failed to marry her and in his vengeance cursed the city to destruction.
Eventually the fort was attacked by the Mughals who killed the Princess and all other inhabitants.
The beauty of architecture seen in the remnants of the gates leading to the fort, the temples and palace are adorable. The views from the hills are a feast for the eyes.
In addition to the main gate, the fort may be entered through the ‘Lahori Gate’, ‘Ajmeri Gate’, ‘Phulbari Gate’ and ‘Delhi Gate’. Housed in it are the revered Hindu temples like ‘Hanuman Temple’, ‘Gopinath Temple’, ‘Someshwar Temple’, ‘Keshav Rai Temple’, ‘Mangla Devi Temple’, ‘Ganesh Temple’ and ‘Navin Temple’. ‘Purohitji Ki Haveli’, house of the priest, ‘Nachan Ki Haveli’, house of the dancer and ‘Jauhari Bazar’, the market place follow the temples. The King’s palace lies at the rear side of the fort.
The yellow stone structures in the ‘Gopinath Temple’ need a special mention. Originally built of Jhirri marbles are now camouflaged in white wash. A tomb lies outside the fort gate which is believed to be of King Hari Singh who had adapted to Islamism.
All said and done about the monumental efficacy, the Bhangarh Fort is one of the most eerie places in India. Locals claim to have heard screams, cries, jingling of bangles after the sun goes down. Some people have even smelt the presence of others, heard weird voices speaking. Such was the call of the unnatural that it has forced the archaeological department of India to restrict entrance to the fort of Bhangarh after sunset. Masoom Bhargav, a tourist had been to the fort with his father as a child. They had seen an old man in the fort who was citing aloud the story of the fort. They walked ahead of him but looked back awestruck as the man had disappeared. Inexplicable but experienced.
While visiting the fort the vehicles are allowed up to a certain point and then you need to walk the remaining stretch. The hilly roads are narrow and can be tiring. Even in sunlight the fort is partly dark and it is better to carry a torch along.
The fort is located in the Jodhpur district of Rajasthan. The nearest railway station to the fort is at Dausa which has 64 halting trains from various locations in India. Bhangarh fort is about 28km from that station via road. The nearest airport is at Jaipur, around 87km from the fort by road. Bhangarh Fort can be reached by all three transport mediums of air, rail and road. So just get going.
It is advisable to avoid the summers which are extremely hot and uncomfortable in Rajasthan. August to February may be a good option.
6:00 am to 6:00pm