Bhangarh Fort – Behold the most haunted place in India

What does the first thing that crosses your mind when it dawns on you that you will be visiting the most haunted place in India (and perhaps, Asia even) ? The Bhangarh Fort ! I was super thrilled, as it was on my wish-list for a while now, but not so much my sisters who were accompanying me on this trip – lest they are actually greeted by some haunted personalities. I am a wimp when it comes to watching horror movies but visiting haunted castles on a bright day, the operating word being day, is par for the course 🙂

The most haunted place in India – The Bhangarh Fort

For our 13 member family road trip, Bhangarh Fort was one of the non-negotiable highlight when I was planning India’s golden triangle. I was put through a lot of grueling, eye rolls, fear of spirits but moi was undeterred. So, you can relate to my disappointment when we did not stop here on the way to Jaipur as my sis was slightly under the weather.

Having made up my mind earlier, we agreed to visit Bhangarh as a day trip from Jaipur breaking off from the extended family. Thus, the usual 4 suspects found themselves at the gates of the fort.

An impressive structure seen as we approach Bhangarh fort by car

Bhangarh Fort is situated on a hillside in the deserted town of Bhangarh in Rajasthan, between Jaipur and Alwar. It is located at the edge of Sariska Tiger Reserve. My first impression was of a place bereft of tourists that you rub shoulders with at the likes of the Taj and Amer fort. The second was the grandeur that was Bhangarh – now in ruins.

Exploring the ruins of Bhangarh fort

Legends of Bhangarh Fort

If you know me by now, you will understand how intrigued I am with legends associated with a place. A place like the haunted Bhangarh has its own share of these.

a) One such story revolves around an ascetic, Baba Balau Nath. King Madho Singh, brother of Man Singh (one of the Navratna from Akbar’s court), built this palace in 1613. Apparently he built the fort after seeking approval from one Baba Balau Nath, who used to meditate here. The sadhu agreed on one condition – the shadow of the palace should not touch his retreat else the city shall be no more. The king agreed and ensured that the palace is built ensuring no shadow fell on the ascetic’s retreat. One of the king’s ambitious descendants decided to raise the palace higher. Alas, that cast a shadow on Baba Balau Nath’s retreat and his prophecy became true. The whole town was destroyed. Locals say that even today, any house built in its vicinity ends up with a collapsed roof !

b) There is another legend that is more well-believed and the one I prefer. It is related to the princess of Bhangarh, Ratnavati. She was very beautiful and caught the eye of a local tantric (magician). To cast a love spell on her, he put a magic potion in the perfume (ittar) the princess was buying from the local market. The princess saw through the deception and threw the perfume on a rock, which crushed the magician. The dying tantric cursed the palace and all who lived in it, with no re-birth. The princess died in a battle soon after and the town abandoned post a famine. Locals believe that this “cursed” place has become home to spirits and ghosts from that time !

Approach to the Fort

As we enter the gates, the temple of Hanuman on the right was reassuring! It is believed one must visit this temple before leaving to ward off evil spirit.

Hanuman temple at the entrance of Bhangarh premises

We walked through the palatial grounds, crossing many ruined structures which would have been really impressive during their hey days.

We crossed Nachan Ki Haveli (dancer’s palace), which probably would have been a frequented place for entertainment.

Dancer’s home in Bhangarh Fort

These ruins were part of Jauhari Bazar (market place). The buzz around this area can only be imagined now.

A view of the Jauhari Bazaar (Market)

Walking down Johari Bazaar (market) area

Near the main entrance there were many monkeys, which put me on my guard though they seemed quite happy to just wander around without making any trouble.

Main entrance of the Bhangarh fort area – the most haunted place in India

The monkeys at the main entrance

There was also a kind couple that served water to people visiting the fort in the hot sun. You could tip them for the water but I wasn’t exactly sure of the source of water. I did see the lady disappear down a road to get water – probably from a tap close by ?

Gopinath Temple

As we entered the main gates, Gopinath Temple on the right took my breath away.

Gopinath temple and Bhangarh fort in one frame

Intricately carved, this temple appears to have been frequented by the royal family, owing to its proximity to the palace. The temple is built above a 14 ft raised plinth and yellow stones are used for the exquisite carvings.

Gopinath Temple within Bhangarh Fort

The temple has lovely carvings on the pillars and ceiling.

Carved pillars of Gopinath temple

Intricately carved ceiling of Gopinath temple

The Royal Palace was located at the end of the fort’s limit. It was apparently a seven storeyed building, out of which only 4 are seen today. As we walked towards it, I could only imagine how beautiful this place would have been with the sound of fun and laughter of the royal family enjoying the warm sun of a winter day.

This huge group of travelers sitting under this banyan, were they too reminiscing about the same, surrounded by the relics of the olden days ?

A set of travelers resting under the shade of an old tree and surrounded by historic relics, Somesvara temple seen in the backdrop

The Bhangarh Fort

The climb to the fort – the most haunted place in India, was not much but was steep and slippery in small portions.

Of course, we take pictures as we climb towards the fort

We reached the gate which took us further up to the living quarters.

Stairway to the higher floors of the fort

Along the corridor, there are many rooms that can be seen from outside the fort. These have been enclosed with grills and some ghostly sightings have been reported here (eg of a small boy crying in one of the grilled rooms – shudder). This area is still well preserved.

The corridor where ghostly sightings have been reported

The living quarters on the top storeys are in ruins. It is easy for me to imagine this haunted and quite eerie as night approaches – giving it the title of the most haunted place in India.

Posing in the ruins of the Bhangarh Fort

These intricate carvings in the ruins tell a story of grandeur and splendor of once upon a time

Ruins at the higher storeys of the fort

From here I got a bird’s eye view of this fantastic fort and all it encloses.

Bird’s eye view of the most haunted place in India – The Bhangarh Fort

A view of the spectacular ruins of Bhangarh Fort

A view of Purohit Ji Ki Haveli (head priest’s house)

Purohit Ji ki Haveli

One of the watch towers

My own supernatural experience

Having visited the most haunted place in India, I suspect you want to ask “Do I believe in ghosts ?” Not really but I do believe in spirits. Though now, I must share an eerie experience during this visit. I clicked photographs on my mobile and DLSR while in Bhangarh. Needless to say, I did take some videos and family pictures on the phone. All of a sudden, my mobile camera stopped working and all the pictures clicked on my phone just disappeared. I spent 3 agonizing hours when the pictures finally did appear but the camera is still not functional. Go figure !

Behold the Bhangarh Fort - the most haunted place in India and perhaps, Asia

Behold the Bhangarh Fort – the most haunted place in India and perhaps, Asia

Things you may want to know before the travel (Travel tips)

  • You can visit Bhangarh as a day trip from Jaipur (about 2 – 2.5 hours drive). I would recommend you start early in order to cover the fort before the mid day sun
  • You will take about 3 hours to see the fort, at a leisurely pace
  • There is no entrance fee to the fort
  • Equip yourself with  good walking shoe, sun hat and sunscreen to avoid the harsh sun
  • Carry enough water and keep yourself hydrated
  • You can buy some water and snacks at the entrance from a couple of small shacks
  • I did not find any public restroom in the vicinity of the fort, though the map did indicate a toilet
  • Bhangarh fort can be combined with a visit to Abhaneri

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

A daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend, IT professional and now - a travel blogger. I just love traveling, exploring new places and this inspired me to share travel experiences and memories with others.

admin

A daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend, IT professional and now - a travel blogger. I just love traveling, exploring new places and this inspired me to share travel experiences and memories with others.

44 Responses

  1. I have a strange attraction to such abandoned places. Don’t know where it comes from… In Russia, I have visited old bunkers and abandoned villages.

  2. neha says:

    Last year when I did a trip to Jaipur, I badly wanted to go to Bhangarh but couldn’t get time. More than the fact that the place is believed to be haunted, the beautiful architecture attracts me. Loved your pictures, they are bringing life to the whole otherwise deserted surroundings.

  3. Louiela Ann Analista says:

    ohhh… from the first photo, this is a very beautiful fort and ruins… How come it is the most haunted place in India…
    I hope I will forget all the legends, stories about this fort when I go visit Bhangarh Fort 🙂

    But nice experience,,, someone played trick with your camera… 🙂

    • admin says:

      Thanks so much. Glad you liked the pictures. It is indeed a beautiful fort. The paranormal society of India recorded maximum activity here. I think the folklore adds to the haunted tag. Camera – yeah but adds to the story , doesn’t it ? BTW, it stopped working from that day on 😉

  4. Chris says:

    That’s so cool! Of course it looks beautiful, but such an interesting story behind it.

    Can I ask, how did you find out about this haunted place? I am also drawn to those kind of sights. Abandoned places and haunted areas etc..

    • admin says:

      Thanks Chris. I love the legend and stories behind these structures. I like to explore offbeat places around any place I visit, so a quick research helped. Other bloggers who have been to these places are also pointers for me.

  5. Ambuj Saxena says:

    Nice post swati. I am sure just like you I cant visit the fort at night (I dont know if its’ allowed or not). Loved reading the legend behind the fort and I am sure whether one is more popular or the other, it’s haunted for sure. I am pretty sure your camera is playing games with you. Hope you get all the pics back!

    • admin says:

      Thanks Ambuj. It is against the law to enter the fort after 6 ! There is a notice threatening prosecution if someone is found guilty. I love legends and folklore – some believable, others interesting ! In re the camera – I did get the pics back after a few hours but the camera conked off since that day !

  6. Mario says:

    Stunning place, but haunted? I go urbexing and to “lost places” and yeah, you sometimes have the chills down your spine, but believing ins ghosts? Nahhh. Anyways: Do you have to pay entry there at night? Would love to take milkyway photos in this scenery.

    • admin says:

      Thanks Mario. It sure is a stunning place. By law, you aren’t allowed entry after 6 but I have heard people gained entry with bribes etc to the fort and have had a “haunting experience”. Not something I will try, ever ! My adventurous streak ends there 😉

  7. You have captured the intriguing Bhangarh fort incredibly well in your pictures. The architectural beauty of the place gets ignored many times by the myths and stories surrounding the place. But it is a lovely place, which we have somehow missed and hope to make amends for that when we are in those parts next.

    • admin says:

      Thanks Sandy N Vyjay. I loved the fort and its architecture. It was easy to see how beautiful it would have been during its time. Hope you are able to visit soon.

  8. amit says:

    I’m a little like you in the sense if I visit a place like this I wanna know if there is any urban legend about the place, then I want to find out if its real. This fort though looks so impressive, if ever I travel India I will be paying it a visit to check for ghosts myself. So far whenever I’ve been to places like this I’ve never come across a ghost; my belief in them is wavering, one needs to show itself soon haha.

    • admin says:

      Amit, ha ha. I am quite happy believing a legend if the option is to validate it with a sighting ! But I know what you mean. I would typically want to chaff out the real from the fluff.

  9. Marge says:

    I think we share an interest with the paranormal! I too, get all giddy and excited at the thought of going to a place that is haunted. I went to an old hotel in a city here in the Philippines and while I was a bit spooked, I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. I also joined a ghost tour recently and it was at night time. I was more spooked there but still, no ghost sighting or whatsoever.

    Anyway, back to your story, I would love to visit Bhangard Fort myself. But I think I would be more afraid of the monkeys than the ghost hahaha… I heard they can be wild. The fort, however, looks marvelous, that I might forget the ghost stories if I were to visit there. When I saw the photo of the haunted corridor though, the hair at the back of my neck rose, yikes!

    • admin says:

      Thanks Marge. Glad you enjoyed the post. It was an awesome fort and I agree about the corridors – considering what I knew. Monkeys were the least of my worries – remember I had 2 of my own accompanying me 😛

  10. Verity says:

    This place is so beautiful! The architecture and the detail is amazing. Your story about the camera though is pretty spooky. The pictures you’ve taken are great and the one with the monkeys sat on the wall is so cute.

  11. Carlo Madrid says:

    Maybe it’s just me but it doesn’t look haunted to me. It’s beautiful and interesting.

  12. Shreya Saha says:

    I was watching the movie “Grave Encounters” lately and was asking my travel partner to plan for Bhangarh Fort and kaboom, I came across this blog post. Hahahah! Chills and thrills!

  13. Nicole says:

    I went to India in March with my four children. We spent a few days in Jaipur. I wish we had gone Bhangard Fort. After the crowds and crowds at some of these historical places, it would have been so nice to walk around a beautiful ruin and enjoy our surroundings. Great descriptions!

    • admin says:

      Thanks Nicole. Glad you liked the post and Bhangarh pictures. You must plan a visit to India again and this time try and make it to Bhangarh and Abhaneri ! Thanks for stopping by

  14. Noel says:

    I’m sure there are groups of people who would still secretly visit the place after sunset for ghost hunting. Thought you caught a ghost in your cameta though. Haha. Do you also observe a month or day to commemorate the deceased?

    • admin says:

      About the camera, I am inclined to believe you Noel 😉 ! Yeah, I have heard people do try and visit at night but some have not returned from the adventure and the ones whi come back are incoherent (hearsay) ! For the deceased we typically have a 13-day ritual / mourning

  15. Neil Alvin says:

    Nice! Perfect article for Halloween. Did you try to visit it at night?

  16. sumit walia says:

    hi swati

    hv a lot abt this place , i guess it is worth making a trip out here … grt article btw

    rgds

    sumit

  17. Fábio says:

    I can’t understand how I have been so many times in Jaipur(going again in November) and never have been in here. It looks a stunning place, full of mysterious also far from the crowds. Thanks a lot for share it 😉

  18. That’s a very interesting post, even if it was a tad too long.

    a) Its interesting you took your family to a place that had no toilets and that too 13 of them. Apart from the story on the princess, are there more recent stories of spooky behavior, (apart from your mobile/SLR story)? I must say the mobile pictures getting lost was indeed a nice way to end and tell your story.

    b) Loved the images of the whole place. Looked like a mini city existed inside with Johri Bazaar, Gopinath temple and the other places that existed!

    • admin says:

      Thanks for the useful comment and the appreciation. There are many stories of people visiting at night never to be seen again or found in a state of muddled head. Didn’t mention that as I haven’t spoken to anyone personally who went post dark. When you visit, you will realize how easy it is to imagine the mini city within the fort !

      If you were me, what would you have skipped to make the post shorter ? Would love to hear back from you.

  19. Indu says:

    I did not have any idea on this most haunted place place. Interesting read. Bhangarh fort may be haunted but its grandeur is immense.

  20. sumit walia says:

    hi
    i hv read a lot of articles on this but urs was the one which was detailed and with sufficient visuals ,

    thank you

    rgds

    sumit

  21. Neil Alvin says:

    If you’d visit the Philippines, you should tour Corregidor Island and go on a night lateral tour of Malinta Tunnel or ghost hunting at the old hospital ruins. You’d surely believe in ghosta afterwards.

  22. Swayam says:

    Whatever be the truth about Bhangarh being a haunted place, I will agree with you one thing- the government authorities have maintained the campus very well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *