Bhangarh’s Cloud Kissed Landscape
A heavy downpour, looming hills against the backdrop of dark angry crowds, the crashing of thunder, and a car winding its way through flooded hilly terrain – a spooky scenario indeed! Well, this is a two day old scene from my life when I set off to Bhangarh, supposedly India’s most haunted place.
Bhangarh is about 80 km from Alwar and one can catch a train to Alwar from Delhi or Gurgaon and crash out at Alwar for the night. It’s best to hire a cab for Bhangarh early next morning. Well, this is what we did, except that we skipped the early morning part and booked our cab way into the afternoon. No regrets! With a sombre but close friend for company and a local driver hell bent upon telling us about the cursed history of this abandoned old city, the mood seemed just perfect for ghost hunting.
The Main Fort – What Mysteries Does it Hide?
Expectations shattered! These two words describe our feelings when we reached Bhangarh. It was 4:30 pm, the sun was out, and the place was alive with lots of mischievous monkeys and loud mouthed tourists. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary and cursing our luck we lazily flopped down at a slightly secluded spot and started guzzling our beers. Little did we know what was to follow. By the time, we were done with our beers, there was a sea change in the weather. It started getting cloudy and like a high altitude hill station, clouds began to cover the entire place.
Entrance to Some Secret Tunnel or Doorway to Hell?
High on beer, we risked our necks climbing different ruined structures and snapping away pictures. I have to admit that as time passed, the entire place inexplicably started assuming a sinister character indeed. We stumbled across spooky looking entrances to supposedly secret tunnels, a parapet less old well dangerously dug right in one’s path, old temples, and the dilapidated main fort complex. In the distance, atop a hill there was a small temple like structure, which is said to be the main haunt of the evil spirit, who cursed Bhangarh during his lifetime. As far as we could see, short of trying out a suicidal climb on that precarious hill, there was no way of reaching that structure.
That little speck atop the Hill is said to be seat of untold evil
By the time it was 05:30 pm, the place started emptying out fast. Even the monkeys were scampering away in hordes as if obeying an unsaid but binding command. We knew that as per Government rules, nobody is allowed to stay in Bhangarh after sunset. The funny part was that people were actually hurrying away and some deep primordial instinct within us seemed to warn of impending danger. The last straw was, when a local villager here said, ‘Babuji jaldi karo, pehra badal raha hai’ (Sir, get going, while the going is good).
We came out real fast after that and were somewhat shamefaced on meeting the driver outside the gate. Finally, it was time to bid adieu to Bhangarh. Although, the experience was a bit of an anti-climax as we had gone with some rather far-fetched hopes of ghost hunting, we somehow felt thankful that nothing drastic happened.
Another Tunnel Entrance?
Here, I should mention that there is a Hanuman temple just beyond the main entrance to Bhangarh. It is said that at night as long as one stays within the temple boundaries, the evil forces here can’t cause harm. The driver also told us that many visitors have lost their lives in Bhangarh due to natural accidents as well as unknown reasons. Every year, people are also said to drown in the natural pool here.
A Ruined Structure. Was scary inside. Look carefully. There seems to be a white human form inside the upper storey.
Another somewhat spooky incident occurred on our way back. It started pouring so hard that it seemed that some force was trying to hinder us from returning. Even the local experienced driver lost the way and strayed back towards the fort once. Finally, we got so late that we missed our evening train from Alwar to Gurgaon. With no other option, we had to book a hotel again and fell into a fitful sleep.
The Palace Lawns
Next morning, the hotel guys heard about our Bhangarh trip and told us to get blessed at Mehandipur Balaji Temple. Well, that’s another story. Bye for now.
About the Author:
Pinak Shome is a member of the enthusiastic ixigo fraternity and an avid traveller.