Delhi to Bhangarh

A kingdom buried with time…

Hi folks, firstly I want to say that Ghumakkar is a really good platform that I have discovered and the quality of travel writing is really impressive.

I am an avid traveller and love to drive around in my mini – Alto which I believe is no less than a merc. Last weekend, my wife and I decided to visit Sariska for a short trip. I called up my friend who said yes too. So here we were. the four of us. We decided to drive my friend’s Swift. After a leisurely breakfast, we began our drive from Gurgaon at 11:30 in the morning.
all-of-us-_opt

Everytime I get on to the highway, I need something to munch and drink. So true to my nature, I pulled up the car into the Mcdonald driveway near Manesar on the NH 8. After picking up some chicken nuggets and coke, I was on the road again. The weather was really hot but the AC kept things comfortable inside.

In about an hour’s time, we hit Dharuhera (lot of traffic as you all know). From here, we took a diversion left through a market zone that takes you to Bhiwadi. Here you can see the boards of RIICO industrial area.

Here at Bhiwadi you would be amazed to see the number of  real estate projects.  It just looks like a Noida or Interior Gurgaon.

Well once we crossed the town and travelled for 30 minutes or so, the scenery changed. The landscape grew rural and traffic got thinner.

The unique character of this drive is sure to touch you. Trucks and cars are fewer but the frequency of tracters and Juggaad increases.

Well you would wonder what is the “Juggaad”. You have seen a lot of generator driven vehicles or cycle cart fitted with a  scooter engine remind you of the fevicol crowd.

A piece of advice for first timers. These juggaads and tractors have no sense of traffic and seemingly lower IQs so you have to be extra cautious while driving. Also there aren’t too many places to eat so keep your stock of water and munchies.

Back to the drive, we reached the outskirt of Alwar at about 1: 30. Due to a road work, we could not the enter the town so instead had to take a road diversion bypassing the city.

If you take the diversion, you need to turn left right at the bloackade point ( a stone bloackade is constructed on the road)

From here you drive about 10 minutes and once you cross the flyover, you hit a T point from where you turn left.

A little under a kilometer, you find a  ridge to your left.  Here we took a  U turn and went up the ridge .

Once you climb down the ridge, you need to stop.  coz here some wannabe has written the name ALWAR in true HOLLYWOOD style. Calls for a photogarph.  My wife really found the idea humourous.

Resuming further we travelled about 15 kms from here to reach ALWAR BAGH, a ethnic resort set amidst Awla, lemon, fruits and vegitable plants and trees. Here we had booked for the night.

After a quick change and a sumptous lunch of Bhuna Maas, paneer lababdar and tandoori rotis, we were in the car again – I had convinced my team to visit Bhangarh – a ruined city excavated a few decades ago. Bhangarh has also been said to be a haunted place as well. (For more on Bhangarh read the internet)

Bhangarh is about 2 hrs drive from our Resort which is near Akbarpur. After 15 kms away is the gate of Sariska national park (part of project tiger). Although the park is closed from July to Sep , we still managed to see some deers, langurs and a hyena on the drive.

After crossing the forest area, the first major establishment is Thanagazi from where we took a left turn. (do buy water, soft drinks and chips etc as you wont get anything after this)

First timers need to keep their eyes wide open. At thanagazi, a road arrow will show you a left for Ajabgarh.(people might not be able to tell you the directions for Bhangarh so try asking Ajabgarh instead)

The road next is fairly simple with no real turns, just drive as the road takes you. About 30 minutes away is the small town of Ajabgarh.

One you cross Ajabgarh, the road suddenly changes. It becomes more picturisque with several small ruins set in the backdrop of the stunning Aravalli hills. (dont miss out a small fort if you are a photo guy)

About 30 minutes later you will come across to a diversion where one road goes straight and the other turns right to Dausa. Take the road to Dausa and drive for about 10 minutes and you see a few shops and houses. Here you will find an arrow for Bhangarh.

Bhangarh is a city lost in time. The solid rock parapeting, the sturdy constrcution inside but without a roof and the palace set amidst the Aravalli is a romantic treat.

It was almost 5 when we reached.  The walk from the main gate to the palace is about 20 minutes. Add 10 minutes to reach the top of the palace. 

bhangarh_opt

Let me remind you that this is supposed to be a haunted place. And while we were walking back. the monkeys and peacocks seen previously had already disappeared. I have been here several times but everytime I feel something new, something that tells me of supernatural existence.

The horror background storytelling on the way surely had its effect. My wife and also my friend’s wife were quite sacred. They refused to let go of our hands -clutching on tight.

On the drive back,  we had to drive slow as the potholes and tractors took a time to be seen. By the time we reached our resort Alwar Bagh, it was 9 pm. A corporate group was partying to glory in the lawns and a quick look at the meter reading showed 390 kms.

Well this was not one of those never ending highway drives but 390 kms amidst bumpy roads and countless villages was definately an achievement that called for a swim session with beers and Rajasthani bhuna maas.

9 Comments

  • nandanjha says:

    Welcome aboard Sumit.

    Very engaging. I have read about Ajabgarh and it being so haunted. Sometime I should drive down there.

    If you want to insert pics (at least the one of ALWAR Hollywood style) then here’s a small tutorial.
    1. Resize your images here – http://webresizer.com/resizer/ . A width of 500 pixels looks good with current layout.
    2. Read this http://jhaji.blogspot.com/2008/08/how-to-insert-photos-in-wordpress-25.html

    Hope you enjoyed the swim !!

  • Hi
    I am the accomplice in this journey by Sumit. The plan of hitting the haunted place was in our minds for quite sometime. Finally we were able to achieve our much awaited weekend trip – that too as my wife cut short her trip to her home.

    I have loads of photos of this trip… I dont know if external links are allowed but you can find the Bhangarh photos here.

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=108246&id=582116959&l=fed9c56530

    I hope you’d like the place.
    Unfortunate we were that we could not enter Sariska but the route to Bhangarh through the forests of Sariska is quite amazing.

    Worth a trip do definitely visit the place but surely be prepared for some real bad patches of road… my Swift has become rickety from inside after the trip… and i lost one wheel cover too :(

    Cheers
    Anujeet

  • Rohini Seth says:

    Well, i was not a vacationer before marriage, but got the opportunity to travel various places after marriage .We have been to a number of places but the voyage to Alwar-Bhangarh was altogether a different experience for me. Alwar Bagh Resort is a mind blowing place and the main attraction is its pool and the “Bagh”.
    The journey from Alwar Bagh to Bhangarh was quite scary coz we had already heard many terrifying stories about the place from my husband.Me n my friend (my husband’s friends wife), were actually horrified.When we reached the place, the ruins made us think as to what must have happened here because non of the houses had roofs.And at the same time everything which was narrated by my husband was some how revolving round the mind.
    My husbands friend is an excellent photographer, so what can be the next thing…..we just started our photography session.
    Unluckily, we could not visit the main Forest, but got the chance to see some deers,peacocks,langurs n monkies…..
    On the whole it was a marvelous trip. And if you ever get the opportunity, you should surely visit these places and if you are a photographer then this is a perfect place for you……
    Opps! forgot to mention, be prepared for a sun tanning……and a rollar coaster ride coz the roads are damn bumpy….

    Cheers
    Rohini

  • Patrick Jones says:

    So close to Delhi and thats an interesting trip. A drive thru the forest and rural Rajasthan would be the ideal recipe for a perfect weekend. Thanks a lot for letting us know.

    Although one can have it from the net, a little history of this forgotten city wouldve made the account richer. By the way, sacred wives are always a scared lot! ;-)

  • Frozenmusic says:

    Folks as you guys want a bit of Bhangarh history, here it is.

    Story A – Standard of story of lustful wizard and beautiful maiden

    One of the stories say that the Bhangarh was cursed by a tantrik (a wizard who practices dark arts), Singhia, who was in love with the beautiful princess Ratnawati of Bhangarh. Singhia added a love potion to a bowl of oil that belonged to the princess, but Singhias hopes were dashed (literally) when Ratnawati hurled the bowl on a wall that collapsed and buried Singhia.

    A dying Scindia cursed the kingdom of Bhangarh saying that the city would be wiped out overnight, and would never be inhabited again, except for the temples. Shortly after the death of Singhia, the whole city was sacked and destroyed in the Bhangarh-Ajabgarh wars.

    Bhangarh was never inhabited again, but the area around it is dotted with temples. Believers consider this a living proof of the wizards curse.

    Story B – The real-estate obsessed wizard

    The other story goes that Singhia the Wizard, practised his dark arts in the outskirts of the city. When the early Kings of Bhangarh built the city, Singhia warned them that he would not interfere with the city as long as the they did not infringe on his settlement. The kings were respectful of Singhias privacy, but one arrogant king refused to heed Singhia and paid for it. When the buildings overshadowed the wizards work area, the whole city collapsed and all its citizens were forced to flee. Since then, no one has dared to settle in the city again.

    Bhangarh was built in the 17th century, by Raja Madho Singh, younger brother of Man Singh, a general of Emperor Akbars army. At that time, Bhangarh had a population of over 10,000. Now, not a soul lives in the ruined but still beautiful city. Bhangarh was the precursor of the exquisite old city of Jaipur, with its havelis, colorful bazaars, and temples.

    Havelis are elaborate residences, almost miniature palaces, built around large courtyards. The walls are painted in bright colors with detailed frescoes. If the old city of Jaipur is anything to go by, Bhangarh must have been an extremely prosperous city. Today nothing remains but the temples.

  • swastishipra says:

    Thanks a lot for the piece of information. I have never heard or known of this place before. The fact that the place had some supernatural existence interests me to visit Bhangarh. There must be many other such historical places which are not well known to many like me.

    Thanks again

  • praveen says:

    hi iam planning a trip to bhangarh on 4th july and we have decided to stay in the haunted fort for a night.is it safe??????plzz give ur suggestions

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