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The Bhanghar Fort, India

Ghosts, light humour and serious beliefs, item 31

The ruins of Bhanghar Fort, which lie between Alwar and Jaipur in Rajasthan, India, is among the most haunted locations in the world. This sprawling complex of buildings includes palaces, temples and residences - -all of which have been abandoned, though the site remains one of the most visited in India.

There is a legend which details both the Fort’s construction, as well as to why it was abandoned. Locals refer to the story of King Madho Singh. Guru Balu Nath (also reported as Guru Balnath) mediated at a retreat in the vicinity of the Fort. Rather than unduly disturb the aesthetic, King Singh sought Guru Balu Nath’s permission prior to constructing Bhanghar Fort. Balu Nath gave his consent with one condition: the shadow of the building must never fall over his retreat, lest the city be destroyed. Though King Singh honoured the request of Balu Nath, his descendants continued to build and expand upon the Fort until Balu Nath’s retreat overshadowed. As promised, the Fort was cursed and abandoned by its residents.

Then, there is the legend of the beautiful Princess Ratnavati, who began receiving marriage proposals from nobility on her eighteenth birthday. Though the match would never be approved, a local occult magician called Singhia desired her for himself and plotted to obtain the Princess’s affections. Using his skills as a dark magician, he cursed a bottle of oil the Princess’s maid had purchased for the Princess in the market. As the Princess used the oil, she would become desirous of the magician and surrender herself to him. However, Singhia’s curse was discovered by the Princess who poured the oil upon the ground. A boulder grew from the cursed earth. As it rolled toward Singhia he declared that all who dwelt within the palace would die the final death (without the possibility of reincarnation). Within the year, hostilities between Ajabgarh and Bhangarh Fort would result in a war in which most of the inhabitants of Bhangarh Fort, including the Princess, were killed. The few survivors fled.

People in the district believe the Princess has been reincarnated, but the Fort will stand as a ruin until she returns to her home to put an end to the curse. Many of those killed in the battle are believed to haunt the structure and local villagers report the roof collapses on any structure built on the site.

Villagers also claim no one who has dared stay the night within the ruined walls of the Fort has ever returned…And the Archaeological Survey of India has posted a sign at the sight which states entrance to the Fort is forbidden from sunset to sunrise, with the “legal action” to be taken against any violators.

But then again, how would they know?

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