Published on 20 Sep 2014 | over 2 years ago
Bhangarh is a place between Jaipur and Delhi in Rajasthan state of India known for its ruins. Bhangarh is also a pre-historic site. The most remarkable of its buildings are the Hindu temples of Gopinatha, Shiva (Someshwar), Hanumana, Ganesha, Vishal Devta, Lavina Devi and Keshava Rai. Other buildings include shops along the main road, several havelis, a mosque, and a palace. The palace was protected by two inner fortifications across the valley. The town is separated from the plain by ramparts with five gates.
The town was established in 1573 (VS 1631) during the rule of Bhagwant Das as the residence of his second son Sawai Madho Singh, the younger brother of Emperor Akbar’s general, Man Singh I. Madho Singh participated in many campaigns with his father and brother. The next ruler of Bhangarh was his son Chhatra Singh after whose death in 1630, Bhangarh slowly declined. When the Mughal Empire became weaker after the death of Aurangzeb, Jai Singh II attached Bhangarh to his state by force in 1720. After this Bhangarh diminished in population, and since the famine of 1783 (VS 1840) the town has remained uninhabited.
Entry to Bhangarh is legally prohibited between sunset and sunrise. A signboard posted by ASI (Archaeological Survey of India), which is a Government of India organization, specifies the instructions. While the board is written in Hindi, the instructions on it roughly translate into: "Entering the borders of Bhangarh before sunrise and after sunset is strictly prohibited. Legal action would be taken against anybody who does not follow these instructions". Some other rules are there according to which no one is allowed to graze their animals after sunset.
According to legend, the city of Bhangarh was cursed by the Baba Balanath. He had sanctioned the construction of the town on one condition, "The moment the shadows of your palaces touch me, the city shall be no more!" When a descendant prince raised the palace to a height that cast a shadow on Balanath's forbidden retreat, he cursed the town. Balanath is said to be buried there to this day in a small samadhi.
Another myth is the legend of the Princess of Bhangarh, Ratnavati. She is believed to be the jewel of Rajasthan. On her eighteenth birthday she began to get offers of marriage from other regions (i.e. nobility). In the area lived a tantrik (wizard), a magician well versed in the occult, called Singhiya, who was in love with the princess but knew that the match was impossible. One day Singhiya saw the princess's maid in the market, he used his black magic on the scent she was purchasing so that upon touching it the princess would surrender herself to him. The princess, however, seeing the tantrik enchanting the scent, foiled his plan by pouring it on the ground. As the scent touched the ground, it turned into a boulder, that crushed Singhiya. Dying, the tantrik cursed the palace with the death of all who dwelt in it. The next year there was a battle between Bhangarh and Ajabgarh in which Princess Ratnavati perished. Legends says that there are ghosts in Bhangarh and that is why entry is prohibited for tourists in the fort after sunset and before sunrise. The locals believe that the princess Ratnavati has taken birth somewhere else and that the fort and the empire of Bhangarh is waiting for her return to put an end to the curse.