”There are things beyond the carvings of this world of senses. Reflections of the long gone, preying upon the faint hearted. Things which aren’t in the realms of the reality. Things which were normal once, now devastatingly paranormal.”
When we were kids, we were all fascinated by the paranormal. Tales related to ghosts, spirits and witches scared us, but we still wanted to know more about them. Didn’t we?
When I was a kid, one such tale excited me. Tale about the abandoned fort, Bhangarh. It was cursed by a tantric and the whole town including the Fort turned into ruin in just a single night.
Wanderlust has a flip side too, it gets frustrating when it kicks you in the gut and you can’t go out and ride. I was caught in the same dilemma so when my exams got over, I couldn’t even wait for a single day and prepared for a ride to Bhangarh. I wanted the destination to have an interesting history and the roads to be nice. Bhangarh ticked all the right boxes. A bro from school and a friend from the Ajmer Rider’s Club accompanied me. Our steeds were Falcon (My Gixxer) and a TVS Apache 160. One of us had some work in Jaipur so sorting out the work there, riding to Bhangarh and coming back to our home the same day would have made our schedule a bit messy just like the things which happened in Bhangarh. So we decided to ride for two days.
Day -1 : Ajmer – Jaipur – Bhangarh – Jaipur
Total distance covered : 370 kms.
Started our voyage 2 hours late than the decided time at 7 AM. The distance from Ajmer to Jaipur is around 150 kms and the roads are good, yet it took us 4 hours to cover the distance, blame the three long breaks.
We had all the time in this world because we already decided to stay the night in Jaipur. Reached Jaipur at around 11:15 am or so.
It took us around 2 hours to sort the things out. It was then that we faced the wrath of the sun, when we weren’t on the open stretches of the road but trapped in the urban jungle.
We opted for the Jaipur – Dausa highway, because of the good roads and less traffic. After enquiring from the locals, we got to know that Bhangarh was around 90 kms from where we were. Interacted with an elder on the outskirts of Bhangarh, during one of our breaks. He told us what he had experienced, he narrated “When I was about 30, there were rumors of buried treasure somewhere in the middle of the woods inside the fort area. So in the hopes of getting filthy rich, we went to dig and find what the fuss is all about. We were around 5 friends. But as soon as we started digging, it felt like all the trees were falling upon us and we’d get buried under them, because they were humongous. So we got shit scared and left the place asap. ” This further boosted our interest in exploring the place but it’s said that the doors of the Fort area get closed at 5 PM everyday because of the strict government orders. There was an official board before, by the archeological department of India that entry was prohibited in the Fort area before sunrise and after sunset, making the place “officially” mysterious. It was 3:30 pm already and we were still good 35 kms away from Bhangarh. The roads were nice and empty so we crossed the three digit mark on our bikes and cruised at the same speed for 20 mins. Surrounding of the Fort is eerie and inhabited, but scenic.
We were finally at the doors of Bhangarh at 4 PM and it was Sunday so the closing limit gets pushed to 7 PM.
After parking our bikes and entering the area, we came across two locals. I approached them and asked about the Fort’s history. It’s another thing to Google the history of the place you’re visiting, but it’s necessary to learn it from the locals too. They agreed to show the place around and narrated the history while walking down the ancient market lane. The lane used to gather a lot of crowd before the unfortunate night, but now all the shops are in a state of complete ruin.
The story which the locals narrated : “The Fort was of a King named Madho Singh (Macho singh would have sounded more swaggy). He had a very beautiful daughter, Princess Ratnawati. The talks of her beauty were widespread. One day when she went to the market with her maids, a tantric called Sindhya saw her and was mesmerized by her enchanting beauty. He fell for her (love at first sight, anyone?) and casted a spell on the bottle of the scent she bought. Somehow, Ratnawati got to know about his deeds and threw the bottle out of the window, causing the scent to spill on a big rock. Because of the spell, the rock started rolling towards Sindhya and crushed him under it. When Sindhya was taking his last breaths, he cursed the whole town of Bhangarh that it will turn into a complete ruin, except for the temples in Fort area. He also cursed the Princess and the villagers that they will all die. “
This certainly explains why there are ruins everywhere, except for the temples which are still in a good condition. There are 4 temples in the Fort area dedicated to the Hindu Gods.
There’s a pond adjacent to a temple, it’s said that a few years ago a guy drowned in it and his body hasn’t been recovered till today. Apparently, the pond “consumed” him.
The garden and the woods which surround the fort makes the surrounding peacefully beautiful, but I’m sure that it turns eerie when the sun sets.
The temples were worthy of only a brief visit so we moved to the main fort. Back in the day, it was seven storied but now only a single story is standing upright.
The Fort which was once majestic in the terms of architecture, has now turned into a complete ruin. There’s nothing spectacular in it, except for the panoramic view from the top of it. I actually fell in love with the surroundings of the Fort.
We saved the most interesting places for the last, the dark rooms and the tunnels.
There are only a few tunnels which are open, we saw two of them. The openings were outlined by bats and one can see the stairs to go down. It was nothing but absolute darkness inside the tunnels. This is where I sensed the negative vibes that something terrible has gone down in this fort. There was something weird, articulate negativity one can clearly gasp in and around the tunnel, accompanied with the weird smells. The rooms were dark and cold. The tunnels underneath the ground must be an absolute treat for the ghost hunters.
Got out of the Fort and discussed our experiences, came to a conclusion that there was nothing scary about the Fort except for the terrible vibes and weird smells. But when the sun sets and the darkness takes over, it would be a different story altogether, a terrible one.
While returning back to Jaipur the surroundings around Bhangarh lost the eerieness, and turned more tranquil. The sun was setting, splattering a orange hue, wind wasn’t warm anymore. The sense of freedom, devoid of any boundations! It’s just you, your bike, the tarmac and the following rumble of your riding partner. That’s when it made the most sense, there were so many reasons splattered around explaining why we ride.
But it soon became a bit hard to ride, because of the darkness and the fatigue.
We were welcomed in the city by a tunnel. It was time to rev the shit out of our bikes and listen to the symphony! The exhausts of our bikes created eargasmic music, gathering the attention of all the cars driving down the tunnel. It vaporized all our fatigue.
The plan was to explore Jaipur’s night life but couldn’t, because we were riding for the whole day and we still had to cover 150 kms the next day.
Day 2 : Jaipur – Ajmer
Total distance covered : 160 kms.
The day wasn’t that happening because we just had to return home and we had all the time in this world to cover the 160 kms. Lack of coordination is something that we all face when we ride with someone else, we weren’t spared from it too. But the ride was nice given the sense of accomplishment that we finally made it to Bhangarh and were going to our homes. Falcon’s chain got a bit loose before 30 kms from Ajmer so had to reduce the average cruising speed a bit. Reached our respective homes at 3 pm with all smiles!
The first thing I realized after hitting my home was that it was the safest ride I’ve ever done so far. Slowing down at the intersections, maintaining a constant speed, staying hydrated to cope up with the scorching heat and following the code of the highway made it all the more safe. There was a sense of accomplishment after completing the ride, because it was the return of the Falcon and me, as a whole.
About the place, if you’re going to Bhangarh and expecting to have an appointment with Ratnawati and her fellow villagers, I advise you to go after the sunset. You might come across them, but don’t forget to take a spare pair of pants with you, in case you piss your pants off.
There was nothing haunting about the Fort during the day, it was more of a picnic spot for families. The garden, the woods and the view from the top of the fort were terrifyingly beautiful. If you still want some kick, do visit the tunnels and stay there for a while, until the negative vibes and weird smells engulf you.
And yeah, say my hello to the lady in white standing behind you.