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The haunted fort of Bhangarh: Myth Vs Reality

The ASI restrictions on entry in Bhangarh - Mythical India

Yes, you read that right.

This sign translates to stating that entry to the borders of Bhangarh between the hours of sunrise and sunset is legally prohibited. Yes, legal action could be taken against you for entering this ‘haunted’ ghost town after sunset and before the break of dawn.

The city of Bhangarh lies in the state of Rajasthan ,between Delhi and Jaipur (close to the Sariska Tiger Reserve) The architecturally profound city and well-heard of Bhangarh Fort remains almost like a ghost town.

But Seriously, Government enforcement for the Supernatural?

We must note that the restriction has been put forth by the Archaeological Survey of India, which is a Government of India organization.

But there is a catch. The local guards posted at Bhangarh to enforce these restrictions say that it is in fact not the supernatural entities that ASI is concerned with but rather the wild animals and dangerous predators lurking in the woods, given that Sariska Wildlife reserve is not too far away.

So, is this another case of misunderstanding among the masses? The latter explanation is a plausible one but we Indians are always enticed by masala, isn’t it.

Whatever may be, restriction of access is a shame. I mean, just look at the place:

The scenic city of Bhangarh - Mythical India
The scenic city of Bhangarh

‘Legally Haunted’ leading to Illegal activity?

There is a reason why Legislation is not done upon questions involving the Supernatural. And that is because whatever law becomes vague in its enforcement, and is quite ridiculous to a realist.

The fact is that it is assumed that the place being haunted is enforcement enough, so not much more is looked into. But there have been reports of people taking advantage of the situation as is, and carrying out activities which they couldn’t do out in the open, like substance abuse.

The central fort of Bhangarh - Mythical India
The central fort of Bhangarh

Now if you’re still an adamant believer in the existence of ghosts lurking around every corner of every abandoned fort, you’ll have to satiate your intrigue by listening to the tales behind the apparent haunting of this ‘ghost-town’.

The Baba’s Curse

One legend states that a sadhu named Baba Balnath (or Guru Balu Nath) claimed that the city would fall under the wrath of his curse if any construction was erected whose shadow would fall upon his own abode. And of course, this legend would be pointless if somebody didn’t go against his warning and raised a palace, thereby causing irreversible terror upon the city.

Gopinath temple, abode of baba Balnath - Mythical India
Gopinath temple, abode of Baba Balnath

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/

Ratnavati’s cry

Another legend cites the story of The Princess Ratnavati of Bhangarh, who was courted for marriage by a Tantrik named Sinha/ Singhia. But unfortunately (and conveniently along the lines of ghost-story telling etiquette) the Princess did not favour this wizard of dark arts. So, like any other lovesick black magician would do, he enchanted her ittar (body scent or perfume, quite popular in the middle east) so that wearing it would cause her to fall for the Tantrik. But Ratnavati realized what Sinha was trying to do and instead poured the scent onto the ground, from which erupted a giant boulder that crushed the black-magician.

Artist's impression of Rani Ratnavati of Bhangarh - Mythical India
Princess of Bhangarh, Rani Ratnavati

The spirits of the Princess and the Wizard are said to haunt the Bhangarh fort to this day; and this fort is considered the epicenter of all hauntings.

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So what do you say goes on in Bhangarh?

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