Tuesday, December 18, 2007
"Bhooton ka Bhangarh" Adventure to the most haunted place in India...!!!
Since a very young age, I have been a lot into traveling. This year (2007) alone I have already made it to Hong Kong, Bangkok, many places in Europe including London, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany etc., In India-Chennai, Bhandakji, Nainital-Bhimtal, Agra, Delhi etc. All of this either with my family or friends.
It was the first time that we were planning a trip with my colleagues. After a long question answer, I was able to convince them to a positive. Yes they were ready...!!
"But where ?"
"You have planned an outing...any place worth visiting that we return back on the same day?"
"Bhangarh" I said
There were some moments of silence. A half of them had not heard of the place and seemed to be thinking if they had heard of it. And those who had heard of it were just silent. They knew what I was speaking of.
"Bhangarh, bhooton wala??" Goplaji said hesitantly
Then started a series of discussions and arguments whether or not it was worth visiting the place. We googled up the place and now everybody was keen to visit the place. All with just a single question in mind...kya hame bhooth dikhega
This is what the wikipedia said about Bhangarh.
"The local folks say that due to a curse the whole town was vacated overnight. According to the story of the curse, if the town was ever rediscovered the township would not be found, but only temples would show up.
True to the story, only temples dot the landscape and even far up on the mountains only shrines can be seen. It is said that nobody returns from there who stays after dark.
By the Government of India rules there has to be an office of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) beside every historical structure in India. But even government authorities did not dare to open an office there. They opened their office about one kilometer away from the ruins of Bhangarh. Even this office is close to a temple because of this myth. ASI has put a signboard at Bhangarh saying, "Staying after sunset is strictly prohibited in this area."'Bold text'"
The excitement kept growing as we kept discovering more and more about the place. For a week, anyone I met, this question was certain in all those conversations "Have you heard of Bhangarh". Net, shopkeepers, workers, relatives, friends noone was spared. I had heard of the place first from Ankur and Vikas, two of my very close friends in Jaipur. Since then I always wanted to see it. This came as one opportunity.
Sunday 16th Dec 07 was the day. Six in all we hired a qualis and started morning at 8:20 and first halt was 20 mins later for breakfast. Samosa, Kachori, Mirchi Bajji, Jalebi and all such stuff - some of my favorites. Then started a 2 hour drive to the place. It is near Alwar and falls near Dausa.
The first view of Bhangarh itself was much to its name. From a distance, we could make out mountains with some ruined palace like built up. The last three kilometers were among the worst roads, and finally we were there. It was all fenced with mountains on three sides and a wall built in the front with a gate which could open only partially just enough to allow a single person in at a time.
Outside the gate, an old lady was begging true to the Indian image on this. The first thing one saw on entering the ruined village was a temple of Hanuman. A pandit stood there.
"Bhangarh dekhna hai?"
"Chalo koi chinta mat karo...aap log pehle ghum aao phir main aapko saari kahani sunata hoon"
"Kahan ghume?" I asked
"Is gaavn mein koi rehta nahi hai, tho bas aap mandir, wahan mahal aur bazaar dekhlo. Yahan ki saari kahani woh upar jo dikh raha hai naa...ussi se sab kuch lena hai"
He pointed to a small dome built on top of the mountain which had all to do with why Bhangarh is now a deserted village and also haunted.
As we were about to start, another person was going inside. He was ready to be out guide (off-course not by profession but was a good Samaritan.) We saw some temples which now had many cracks, the ruins of what looked like a market of the yesteryears. It was Bhangarh where the shooting of a famous hindi movie Karan Arjun took place starring Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan (involves re-incarnation). Bhangarh was beautiful and makes one think...<span style="font-weight:bold;">Why did the village become vacated overnight??. There was a small water body with some water snakes and fish in it. Temples with some idols missing and a palace.
The palace was amazing. Though ruined, we could feel how beautiful it would have been during the green times. Built on a mountain, the palace had three floors above and four floors dug in underground. The only entrance below were some square shaped gaps which was just enough to allow a person at a time to enter. The small entrance was probably made so that the king, queen and some important people were safe even if attacked suddenly. We did not go in as it was quiet dark inside (and no one wanted to go in otherwise also...what if we were struck inside??? ha).
We felt no ghost or bhooth but rather found the place very interesting. A complete village and looked as if everyday it would be hustling and bustling with trade and people all around. But now, we could scarcely find people in that 6 km x 4 km village. We were also shown a tree from the roots of which water seemed to flow and off-course a crab in it and some kevedon ke ped.
Another attraction was the randiyon ka mahal (palace of the prostitutes). A very open built up, it added nice colour to the already interesting village of Bhangarh. I jokingly commented...
"Yeh abhi working nahi hai !!"
After spending some time around, we finally returned to the pandit to listen to the story of Bhangarh. Here is what it was in short...
" Bhangarh was the capital of the empire in Rajasthan around 565 years ago and was quiet popular at that time. It was named after its king Bhanu Pratap Singh. There also lived a tantrik (a person who performs various degrees of magic) who had always desired for the queen. The queen was very beautiful and faithful to the king...so the tantrik decided to use magic so that the queen come to him.
As the maid of the queen went to purchase oil, the tantrik applied some magic on it such that as soon as the queen touches the oil, she would come running to her. The queen however was very clever and came to know that something was fishy. To test, she poured some of it on a huge stone. The stone flew to tantrik and hit him on his chest. Just before dying, the Tantrik cursed that the village be emptied overnight else nobody would survive.
Most of the people fled the village, including the king and the queen (who later reached Amer then Jaipur became the capital of the empire as it is now). Those who were "brave" and wanted to see what would happen, died. Their souls which has not yet rested seems to haunt around. "
All of us were listening without a word as the pandit continued...
"abhi koi bhoot pret nahi hai"
Though i still do not believe in the story, he claimed it to be true as it has been told generations to generations. Figure:This leads to four floors below...dare to get in??? True or false, it was a fascinating experience to see the village.
It makes one think...why did the village empty overnight...if the story of Tantrik is false, what is the truth then...this answer still haunts me. (maybe some flood, or some other calamaties?)
Overall it was a wonderful experience. On our way back, we just had a look at Ajabgarh from the car itself and then headed to a dhaba to have dinner. After that we reached Jaipur at around 5pm. A fantastic trip had come to end but the question still remains....kya wahan bhoot aaj bhi raat ko aate hain??
Just a last view on Bhangarh which i think is most probably the answer...
Figure: The famous palace of the prostitutes...or randiyon ka mahal...!!!
Myth: No one is allowed inside after 4pm and is gaurded by police as ghosts wake up in the night. No one has ever come out alive after going in during the night.
Fact: There are high chances of some treasures being found there as the place was vacated overnight (due to unknown reasons). Probably the government encourages the story of Tantrik and ghosts so that it keeps away people who come in search of some treasures. Risky but money can drive anyone to do this.
Hope you enjoyed the blog...post your comments....!!!!