Demystifying Bhangarh

Part I was about mysteries of Bhangarh Fort – based on prevalent notions (online and otherwise), which have endeared a relatively unknown Bhangarh to the ever increasing streams of visitors.

Welcome to Bhangarh

Enchanted Visitors



In this part, I dwell upon a few aspects which are at variance with the enigmatic proportions endowed onto this place; naturally based solely on my perception (which does not seek to absolve itself of its propensity to make wrongful assessments/judgements). My aim of writing this ‘Demystifying’ rejoinder is merely to put things in perspective for prospective visitors – since there are some ground facts which I have hardly seen being put forth anywhere. Reason for this could be the fact that a visitor to Bhangarh so tends to get predisposed by the ‘mystery’ quotient, before even setting his eyes on the fort that he willy-nilly ends up propagating the existent notion (and probably believing in the same, to some extent).

The issues that made us feel a bit un-ghostly about the place are as under:-

1. The place was teeming with visitors of all shades thus robbing it of that demonic ambiance. A few untutored snaps would tell the story –

2. The impressive and impeccably maintained ruins appeared more like a vaunted picnic spot – people lazing around in shaded nooks, hordes of riotous cricket-playing boys, shepherd moving around with his herd – its jolly jovial atmosphere, a la Lodhi Garden or Nehru Park, was far removed from the macabre mood one would expect seeping gloomily through the senses…. and so on.

3. Lastly but importantly, my daughter passed her definitive judgement (defiantly and vocally) “Is this the place you were talking so much about ? At least I am not scared.”

Well, as I said above, all this could be a wrong notion on our part – and perhaps we were also influenced by the fact that it was noon hour of an April day in Rajasthan – the heat and languor weighing heavily on us, which probably kept any fantastic feeling at bay.

After Bhangarh, we set forth to Alwar at around 4 pm.

Road review (Bhangarh-Alwar)

Bhangarh – Guda – Thana Ghazi (same as onward route).

At Thana Ghazi, take the right turn (left goes towards the Jaipur NH) – this road passes through Sariska Sanctuary to reach Alwar. This route offers peripheral glimpses of Sariska, as the road leaves Sariska on its right side. Condition of the road (approx 30 kms patch from Thana Ghazi till about 25 kms short of Alwar) is not impressive – massive potholes and cracks on otherwise wide road were impediment to a smooth drive through Sariska. The drive, though, offered sighting of large number of deers apart from ubiquitous langoors.

There is one more route from Bhangarh to Alwar which leaves Sariska on its left (by such a wide margin than the drive is well away from Sariska area). Diversion for this route occurs some 5 km after Bhangarh, from where a right turn has to be taken from a T-junction.

In Alwar, night stay at RTDC Hotel Meenal was eventless. The hotel’s location is slightly away from the main township/marketplace – guests without vehicle may find it difficult to reach the central places on foot.

Next day (Sunday) we paid a visit to Bala Qila – the fort is situated some 12 kms away from Alwar offering a bird’s eye view of Alwar. One important point here – (despite this being our second visit, we overlooked again) – the security guard at the Qila is reluctant to permit visitors inside the fort unless accompanied by a CLEARANCE FROM TOURISM DEPTT, ALWAR. So it would be prudent to collect that slip form Alwar before moving out to Bala Qila.

By Sunday afternoon we were on our way to Delhi – after having enjoyed a superb short weekend.

At parting, I once again emphasise that aim of the article is not to take away any sheen off this vaunted and haunted fort of Bhangarh. In fact, it is a worth while destination even without the overlays of mysteriousness. As far as our no-show with eeriness is concerned, I would say these unknown forces have unknown ways; our knowledge being just about enough to know that there remains so much to know.

Maybe it was there all along – as we walked and talked and chortled – secretly watching us, following us or hovering over us, just that it didn’t want us to know. Maybe others have actually felt the presence; the melancholic strummer from across the ages beseeching the passer by – pleading with words that may not be heard but felt…..

Who knows?

Auro.

16 Comments

  • Tarun says:

    Aurojit,

    The place looks interesting and your narration is as always, very good. What else is there in Alwar to see?

    Tarun

    • AUROJIT says:

      Hi Tarun,

      thanks for going through the post.

      Alwar, I would say, offers reasonable servings of trappings that make a place touristy.

      Since Manish has posted a similar query in the next box, please allow me cover it (based on my limited knowledge) there, right below this comment.

      Thanks again,

      Auro.

  • Manish Kumar says:

    Mystery or no mystery from ur pics Bhangarh appears to be a nice spot for quiet weekend. But what about Bala Qila of Alwar. Is it worth going to ?

    • AUROJIT says:

      Hi Manish,

      Alwar is a good destination off Delhi for a weekend – it is part of Rajasthan , or not (one of our trips to Jaipur, when we became friendly with a local merchant and boasted that we have already seen Rajasthan, viz. Alwar, he exclaimed, Alwar to Dilli hai, ya phir Haryana hai, pur Rajasthan nahi hai).

      Alwar is a typical touristy (may be less so) Rajasthani place – the City Palace , which has almost been subsumed by Collectorate had some very interesting collections , there is a Maharani ki Chhatri (a picturesque place), it is also a base for visit to Sariska National park, then this Bala qila etc – the best part though, I would think is the proximity to Delhi.

      Thanks,

      Auro.

  • Vibha says:

    Oh no! Am a bit disappointed that you didn’t come across any spookiness.
    The place looks very well maintained though. I remember watching a documentary on discovery or Natgeo about this and they concluded that the only reason the warning about not staying in the area after sunset it because of the wild animals (leopards apparently). But in that case I think a lot of other secluded monuments would have the same warnings.

    Thanks for sharing the experience Auro. The photographs have been used very well to complement the text as always. Cheers.

    • AUROJIT says:

      Hi Vibha,

      I don’t say it is not Spookey, just that we missed on that part.

      The reason about that board’s sunrise to sunset window probably is very simple – every monument under ASI sports similar board – due to sarkari (against spooky) reasons.

      But I would till say that perhaps It is there – and at least some visitors would surely sense that.

      One May or May Not come across it

      Enjoy,
      Auro.

  • Nandan says:

    The place is now going to get spooky after enough people read about it at Ghumakkar and are not as keen. I am definitely not too keen to either watch that game of cricket or be among the rush. I am willing to wait for few years though, for the fermentation (as it gradually looses the sheen from the touristy circuit) to grow and be ready to be had (a taste with sookiness – my title for the story on Bhangarh, few years from now).

    Great story Auro.

  • AUROJIT says:

    Hi Nandan,

    Thanks for going through the post.

    Don’t think ‘fermentation’ is going to come soon enough – my advice would rather be; choose a day in deep of oncoming winters (say end Dec/ Jan); start leisurely from Delhi so as to arrive at the gates of Bhangarh by 4ish, bribe the gatekeeper to be permitted to stay beyond stipulated hours (meaning beyond sunset, which would be around 5 pm); and perhaps you would have got ‘It’ (or other way around).

    Thanks,

    Auro.

  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    Very well narrated, old fortes looks very well maintained.

    Inspite of living in Gurgaon not able to visit Sariska & near by places .

  • Manish khamesra says:

    Auro

    We (my office team) are staying for one night at Neemrana Kesroli. The team was looking for something around Alwar. Thanks to ghumakkar, Bhangarh immediately came to my mind. And so here we are planning our visit to Bhangarh. Everyone in team is excited about it :-)

    Beautiful article, no doubt.

    • AUROJIT says:

      Hi Manish,

      thanks for nice words….shows how it has almost become a habit, looking up the place we intend to visit on Ghumakkar.

      Hope you had a nice visit…

      Auro.

  • Yog says:

    Hey I thought you would spend one night in th fort and then narragte your story.Has anyone tried that?

  • Pamela says:

    Hey Aurojit,

    Nice post. Even I also planning to visit Bhangarh on December and will find some ghost over them :P..anyways you described very nicely. Keep travelling.

  • Sidhi Balaji says:

    Hey Aurojit,

    Very well narrated post. We are planning to visit Alwar next week. You have mentioned about the slip form to be collected for Bala Quila. Please advise from where we can collect it.

  • Debasish maiti says:

    Dear Aurojit,
    I am Debasish from jhansi, want to visit bhangarh and alwar with my family in march 2019..kindly inform me about hotel at bhangarh and alwar ..route and timing …Is it good in march for visit..

  • AUROJIT says:

    Hi Debashish,

    1. Bhangarh, as such does not have any hotel, as far as I know. During our trip we stayed in Alwar after visiting bhangarh. Alwar has reasonable stay options. RTDC Meenal is an ok, tourism dept outlet. Or second option could be to stay in Jaipur and make a day-trip from there; although since we did not do it, you may like to check facts before exercising this option.

    2. Yes March is good because you have to do some walking under the sun. So sooner you go, better it would be in terms of climate.

    Have a great trip,

    Auro

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