Bhangarh Fort Rajasthan

By Prateek Nayak | 2022

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1. Royal Palace. Bhangarh Fort is 83 kms from Jaipur, 90 from Alwar. Township was founded by Raja Bhagwant Das, the then ruler of Amber in the latter half of the 16th century for his second son Madho Singh (Diwan in the court of Akbar), brother of Raja Man Singh of Amber. Bhangarh had over 9,000 houses until 1720. There was a famine in 1783 during which all people died.

2. Entrance to fort. The fort is “protected by 3 successive fortifications and 5 massive gates. The fort houses remnants of grand havelis, temples and deserted marketplaces within its premises, indicating its prosperity. It attracts tourists owing to its serene atmosphere, picturesque Aravalli Mountains and the architectural marvel that it is.”

3. Hanumanji Temple. “The fort has 4 entry points in addition to the main gate – the Lahori Gate, the Ajmeri Gate, the Phulbari Gate and the Delhi Gate. Fort has a number of temples, the prominent ones being Gopinath Temple, Someshwar Temple, Keshav Rai Temple, Mangla Devi Temple & Ganesh Temple. These temples are a sublime e.g. of architecture & workmanship of the 17th century.” Only the main gate at the entrance remains.

4. Why is it considered Haunted? “According to tradition, the land where the Fort stands was once the home of an ascetic, Guru Balu Nath. Madho Singh got his permission to construct the fort with one condition. The ascetic stated that shadow of the fort must never fall on his home or else great tragedy will unfold. The condition was ignored by an ambitious successor of Madho Singh. As a result, the shadow engulfed the home of the ascetic whose curse engulfed the whole of Bhangarh.”

5. Lay-out shows it was a well-defined town. ASI Board-Township was founded by Raja Bhagwant Das, the then ruler of Amber in the latter half of the 16th century. It was later made capital of Madho Singh, brother of Raja Man Singh of Amber. The Royal Palace was said to be 7 storeys, now 4 remain.

6. Fort ruins. “As per folklore, during Aurangzeb’s time a beautiful princess, named Ratnavati, lived here. Hypnotized by her exquisite beauty, a necromancer in the region fell in love with her. In order to get her, he put a spell of black magic on the oil that the princess was supposed to use for massage. But, before his dirty ploy could work, Ratnavati got a whiff of his trickery & threw off the magic-laden oil onto a huge boulder close by. The black magic worked its way & caused the boulder to crush the tantric to his death. However, before breathing his last, he cursed the entire town to slowly succumb to its utter desolation just like him.”

7. Market named Jauhari Bazaar. It is a well-planned row of shops like we see in Jaipur. Anuradha Goyal wrote, “It was when we were passing through the Bazaar part of the fort, I felt a push to the left. For a few steps, I felt I was being pushed on the left while there was no one on the left. A while later, I stopped and looked back to observe the spot where I felt the push. I saw there was an empty space- unlike the rest of the street, at this spot, people walked to the left or right and no one was crossing that spot. It was like someone is standing there.”

8. Next year itself, i.e. after the ascetic`s curse, the ruler of Bhangarh suffered a defeat at the hands of an enemy. So the story of the curse began to be believed. In ruins, centre looks like a Havan Kund. Since it is said to be haunted tourists are not allowed before sunrise or after sunset.

9. Ruins. Note that walls did not have roofs in this fort.

10. Entrance gate Royal Palace. Right is Gopinath Mandir.

11. All the temples are in Nagara style of architecture. Right is Gopinath Mandir. Please correct if wrong. Temple is on a plinth, said to be 14 feet.

12. Front view of temple.

13. Front sanctum and dome.

14. Close up centre of dome. It has murtis on all sides. Not sure what they are. In one can see a musical instrument being played.

15. Door jamb is intricately carved. Top part shows in centre man and woman (probably Shiv Parvati) on an elephant or buffalo not sure with man & woman sitting on camel both sides. On either side next to them is woman in dancing post. Below them centre is Ganesha.

16. Temple wall. Fort has a different level of energy.

17. Three headed murti in centre in niche, must be Brahma.

18. Close up view of ruins of Royal Palace and structures in front.

19. Same view from top of palace. Left of pic is Gopinath Temple on a plinth. Left pic takes you to entrance that u saw in earlier pic.

20. This is the last fortification before you enter the royal palace.

21. Entrance that takes you to first floor. Note top of pic niche empty, must be for Ganesha.

22. Close up view of Royal Palace. It is at a high point in the region so breezy throughout the year.

23. Corridor inside the palace. Very good travelogue https://www.ghumakkar.com/all-about-bhangarh-fort-rajasthan/

24. Ruins top floor of palace. Centre is a Kund of the Queen. Anuradha Goyal wrote, “On top of the palace, where I was told it is Princess Ratnavati’s palace. The ruins look like they have just become ruins with thunder. The energy here is heavy, but the view of the fort from here is breath-taking.”

25. View from top of palace. Note the fortification walls. Missed seeing ruins of Nartakiyon Ki Haveli, which was the house of the dancing girls and Purohit ki haveli.

26. This must be Somesvara Mandir, dedicated to Lord Shiva. For a good travelogue https://www.inditales.com/most-haunted-bhangarh-fort-india/

27. Nandi inside the temple. Referred to this site for caption information https://www.tourism.rajasthan.gov.in/bhangarh-fort.html

28. Combine visit to Chand-Baori Step-well and Bhangar Fort. They are in the same direction. To see pics of stepwell https://www.esamskriti.com/a/Rajasthan/Chand-Baori-Stepwell-Jaipur.aspx

29. Bhangarh is also known for Marble Murtis. To see album https://esamskriti.com/a/Rajasthan/Marble-Murtis-Bhangarh,Rajasthan.aspx

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