Thursday, 27 February 2014

Bhangarh Fort (Real Story & The Myths)


Bhangarh Fort is situated on a hillside in the deserted town of Bhangarh, Rajasthan. Bhangarh is a ruined town between Jaipur and Alwar in Rajasthan and is located at the edge of Sariska Tiger Reserve. Bhangarh fort is a major tourist attraction and is said to be one of the most haunted sites in the world. Many legends are associated with the haunted folk. It was established in 1613 by King Madho Singh. It might be renowned for its haunted and spooky presence but it can be visited as the place is beautiful and tranquil.

It is said that the story (and the history) of the Bhangarh began in the year of 1573 when the fortress was established. Built by Raja Bhagawant Das, the ruler of the city of Amber, Bhangarh Fort has become the residence of Madho Singh, ruler's second son who fought alongside his father and brother in many wars. The decline of Bhangarh Fort started in 1630 after Chhatr Singh, son of Madho Singh got killed in a violent attack. The decline continued until 1783 when the fortress and the city were completely abandoned following that year's famine.

Many more versions of the myth are known in order to unravel the mystery of the haunted fort. One such myth is that the city of Bhangarh was built by King Madho Singh after getting an approval from ascetic, Guru Balu Nath, who meditated there. Guru Balu Nath sanctioned the establishment of the town but said : The moment the shadow of your palace touches me you are undone. The city shall be no more! But one of the ambitious descendant raised the palace to such a height that it cast a shadow on Balu Nath's forbidden retreat and his prophecy became true as predicted and the whole town was devastated. The samadhi where Guru Balu Nath is said to lie is still there. Local villagers say that whenever a house is built there its roof collapses. People also say that nobody returned who stayed there after dark.

Another myth is the legend of the Princess of Bhangarh, Ratnavati. She was said to be very beautiful and by the age of 18 she started getting matrimonial offers from nobilties of other states. Now, in the same area lived a tantrik (a magician well versed in the occult), called Singhia who was completely smitten by her but knew that the match was impossible. One day Singhia saw the princess's maid in the market. So he thought of tricking the princess by using black magic on the oil that the maid was purchasing so that upon touching it, the princess would surrender herself to him. The princess had however seen the tantrik enchanting the oil, foiled his plan by pouring it on the ground. As the oil struck the ground it turned into a boulder, which crushed Singhia. Before dying, Singhia cursed the palace with the death of all who dwelt in it, without any rebirth in their destinies. The very next year, a battle took place between Bhangarh and Ajabgarh in which Princess Ratnavati perished.

Where some people say that Ratnavati was not a princess but a queen of Raja Madho Singh and was immensely beautiful. Because of her beauty, she was not much allowed to be in vision by the king to the public, hence she mostly use to stay in her palace, where she use to learn tantric vidya and was very much interested in learning more of it. It is said that while learning tantric vidya from a well known tantric Singhia, the magician felt in love with Rani Ratnavati and was mad to get her. One day while Rani's maid was purchasing the oil from the market for Rani Ratnavati, singhia noticed it and through all his powers of black magic he chanted some mantras which would then bring Rani to surrender herself to him. But as Rani herself had a vast knowledge of tantric vidya, she noticed the uneven smell in the oil and so she poured that oil on a huge stone from the top of the terrace of fort. And according to the plan of Singhia, that stone went to him after the dark and stepped on him, making magician to die. Before dying, Singhia cursed the palace with the death of all who dwelt in it, without any rebirth in the destinies.

According to the legends, there are ghosts dwelling in Bhangarh fort and that is why entry is prohibited for tourists in the fort after sunset and before sunrise. The locals believe that Princess Ratnavati has taken birth somewhere else and that the fort and the empire of Bhangarh is waiting for her return and put an end to the curse. 

Few years ago, the crew members of production team of a haunted T.V. Serial which is televised on national television visited the place of Bhangarh after searching for an ideal location for shooting the haunted story. Even they witnessed some paranormal activities happening there.

If you will read the signboard of Archaeological Survey Of India then you will get the goosebumps and start wondering that the unusual instructions mentioned by the government are indirectly indicating that the place is haunted as it's strictly prohibited to visit the fort before sunrise and after sunset,the Kewda and Pandanus trees are forbidden to any kind of harm, shepherds and wood-cutters are not allowed in the region, if you are daring enough to disobey the instructions, then you may face legal action. A lot of tourists, who have visited Bhangarh fort say that there is a strange feeling in the atmosphere, which causes anxiety and restlessness.

The factual story is close to myths and beliefs that are running around the area since hundred of years. The town was established in 1573 (VS 1631) during the rule of Bhagwant Das as the residence of his second son Madho Singh, the younger brother of Emperor Akbar’s general, Man Singh, Madho Singh participated in many campaigns with his father and brother. The next ruler of Bhangarh was his son Chhatr Singh, who build the fort of Bhangarh a little higher, not knowing about the words of Guru Bala, that was a conditional permission given to Madho Singh while building of the fort of Bhangarh. When Madho Singh came to this area looking for the perfect place to build this fort of Bhangarh, he found a ashram of the saint in that area. He was a strong believer and hence went to take the permission from the St. Guru Bala for building the fort. To which Guru Bala said that he would not mind him making a palace in the area, until the shadow of the palace would touch the Guru Bala’s forbidden retreat. Once the shadow would fall on the Guru Bala’s forbidden retreat, the city of Bhangarh would be undone.

So as Chhatr Singh raised the walls of Bhangarh Fort, the curse of Guru Bala got activated and the city was to be undone with the curse. Meantime, Chhatr Singh had one son and two daughters named Pratap Singh, Ratnavati and Pushpavati. Out of which the elder son Pratap Singh once fell into the well near the palace, thou at that time the well did not had much water but Pratap Singh was just 10 years old and he was badly hurt on his head. Due to which Pratap Singh became mentally imbalanced and hence there was no next ruler to take the position of Chhatr Singh. The King was badly concerned by the growing of his children and Bhangarh not having a ruler. One day while sharing his concerns with his group of mantris, King came up with a solution to marry Princess Ratnavati with eligible person who could be brave enough to take the position of King after Chhatr Singh. Princess Ratnavati was said to be the jewel of Rajasthan, because of her mesmerising beauty. Chattr Singh was sure that no man on earth would refuse to marry his daughter, but he had a responsibility to get the best ruler for Bhangarh after him. Since Ratnavati was just 12, he kept on scanning the young charming prince from around Rajasthan and even the far places. When one day in Talwaar baazi competition held in the kingdom, he noticed a brave boy who finally won the competition and got awarded by the King.

For few days King Chhatr Singh kept on thinking about the bravery of little boy and also the charm of his face, which made him a perfect match for Princess Ratnavati. But he was not much aware about the origin and family of the boy, hence he was not able to share his confusion with any of his mantris. One evening, while the King was seating on his terrace, his minister in chief Arjan Raj Singh asked the King regarding his deep thoughts. The King, thought of asking the minister of the origin of the boy who won the competition in a young age with his brave efforts. The minister Arjan Raj Singh with a proud smile, mentioned that he was Amber Raj Singh the eldest son of the minister himself. The King was kind of satisfied with the answer of his minister and his thoughts of perfect match with Princess Ratnavati started gathering on Amber Raj Singh. The boy was charming, brave and was the son of his loyal friend and a very trustable minister of his kingdom.

After few days, King Chhatr Singh mentioned about his thought for Amber Raj Singh & Princess Ratnavati to his minister Arjan Raj Singh. The minister was contented to know the opinion of King and he was more than glad to accept this relationship proposal for his son. They both agreed for the future of their Son & Daughter, but King had mentioned to his minister to keep it secret within the two families, until the wedding of both is officially announced. Princess Ratnavati & Amber Raj Singh was aware about the relationship deed mutually agreed by their fathers and both of them also had started liking each other. They started spending time with each other, being friends and roaming throughout the gardens of Bhangarh. Soon, both of them also felt in love with each other and made a promise to love for entire life and saat janam (seven lives) thereafter. There world started revolving around each other, Princess was learning Music & Singing inside the palace and her lessons use to go on for hours in the morning. Whereas Amber Raj Singh had to practice talwaar baazi (sword fight) as well as horse riding full day long. After full day, mostly both of them use to see the sunset from the top walls of Bhangarh Palace together and spend few hours of the evening together.

 As Princess Ratnavati grew 17 years old, her beauty and grace charmed many Princes from around the Rajasthan and King Chhatr Singh started getting the proposals from the Kings around. Meantime Bhangarh and the people of the town were also talking about the beauty and charm of the princess. Those who had ever seen the Princess, use to say that there is no other princess or girl of her comparison around Rajasthan. And those who had not seen the Princess were more than eager to get a glimpse of Princess Ratnavati. During this time, there resided a tantric (magician) named Singhia who also came to know about he talks being held about the beauty of the Princess. Singhia was a lover of beauty and he use to get every woman he ever wished for, thru his magical powers. One day, Singhia was successful in getting the glimpse of the Princess and he was mesmerised by the beauty of the Princess and never had he thought of marrying a woman, but now the thoughts of possessing the Princess for life long started revolving around his head.

Meanwhile as Princess Ratnavati grew 18 year old, King Chhatr Singh officially announced the engagement of Princess and Amber Raj Singh the son of minister in chief of Bhangarh. And soon they were engaged with official engagement ceremony with the blessings of both family and elders from the King’s Court. This news of their engagement also reached sooner to the tantric Singhia and he was restless and impatient to now get Princess Ratnavati. He perfectly knew since ever that he was a not a match for the Princess and he could never get her by any official means, so he had already started planning thru his devil mind. And as the news of the engagement ranged into his ears, he went in search of the Princess. That evening after the engagement, the to be couple Princess Ratnavati & Amber Raj Singh were suppose to pray at the Someshwar Temple in Bhangarh. Both of them went together with the flowers and all puja materials to the temple and prayed with their heart to the Someshwar Mahadev for the blessings on their love and relationship. With a surprise the bells of the temple started ringing because of the flow of air and they both considered this as listening of their prayers by the Someshwar Mahadev. Immensely happy with the ringing of the bells, they thought to celebrate this day in the garden beside the temple. Princess asked guards to stay out of the garden as they both wanted to enjoy the moments alone. Same time Singhia, with his people reached around the area and noticed the Princess Ratnavati and Amber Raj Singh going alone in the garden area. In the garden Amber Raj Singh gifted Princess a bunch of beautiful flowers and decorated some of them in her hair with his hands. Then Princess set on the swing of the tree branch and started to swing cheerfully, where as Amber Raj Singh was moving the swing from the behind, when all of a sudden he noticed few unknown people around them.

They both started struggling, but in a fraction of time with the magic of Singhiya he created a mist in the atmosphere, due to which Princess Ratnavati fell down on the ground and Amber Raj Singh lost his half senses, but he was trying to wake up the Princess. Meanwhile those people dragged away Amber Raj Singh from Princess and locked him in a dark room, with no window and the only door which was locked from outside. He kept on shouting and struggling to get out of the room but failed as the walls were high and door was very strong. But as the guards were outside the garden and waiting for the Princess to return, they soon came to know about the missing of Princess and Amber Raj Singh from the garden. Guards started looking for them and the prints of footsteps around the garden started giving them the hints to reach the place where Princess was kept. Meantime, as Princess Ratnavati gained her senses and opened her eyes, there was a huge and horribly looking man in front of her, who was staring to her with the greedy eyes. Seeing her opening the eyes the horrible looking man, none other then Singhiya mentioned ‘Princess Ratnavati, how can you get engaged to someone else, when I have been dreaming and thinking about only you since about a year time’. At the same time guards of Bhangarh reached looking for Princess and Amber Raj Singh at Singhiya’s house. As soon as the guard found Princess in the house of Singhiya, they asked for Amber Raj Singh and soon also found him from a locked room. With both of them, guards also brought Singhiya and his followers to the palace, in front of the King Chhatr Singh in the King’s Court. Princess Ratnavati & Amber Raj Singh mentioned everything that had happened with them and the words that Singhiya had told to the Princess. King got very angry and wanted to hang Singhiya to death right away, but the ministers and knowledgeable people guided the King for not killing a tantric and instead think of any other punishment for him. Finally, they decided to throw out the tantric Singhiya from Bhangarh and ban him from entering the town again.

Frustrated Singhiya, lost the princess and even his house, he was thrown out of the border of Bhangarh. After walking few miles, he found a place called Ajabgarh where he decided to stay, as it was the closest place to Bhangarh. With his devil plans, on his mind he started pleasing the King of Ajabgarh. And soon the king of Ajabgarh got his trust on the tantric, who helped him gain few benefits thru his tantra shakti. Just after few passing days, one day he sent one of his follower to Bhangarh and gave him a oil, just after the two days of struggle on getting a chance, finally the follower of Singhiya got a chance. One evening, he charmed a maid of the Princess Ratnavati and gave him a oil to be put in the hair of the Princess, so that the smell of the oil would charm even the Princess and bring her to Singhiya. And the same thing did happen, as the maid started putting the hair oil to Princess Ratnavati, she started getting charmed in the smell of oil. Within some time, she totally got mesmerised and started walking out of the palace at the late evening hours. Soon she reached mid forest walking in the charm of the oil and as she re-gained her senses, she found Singhiya standing in front of her, with few of his followers. Singhiya tied Princess and took her away to Ajabgarh forcefully.

Meantime, maids of the Princess started looking for her around the palace, but she they were not able to find her and hence the news of Princess missing was brought to the King Chhatr Singh. The King, the guards, the ministers and Amber Raj Singh all started looking for the Princess, around the palace and in the town of Bhangarh. But Princess Ratnavati was in the house of Singhiya at Ajabgarh, where he had made the necessary arrangements for marrying the Princess. Princess protested a lot and also pleaded in front of the tantric Singhiya, to leave him and not force him to the marriage, she heartily belongs to Amber Raj Singh and she had taken the vow for living and dieing together. But none of her protest or plead was heard or noticed by Singhia, he just forced her to seat with him in front of the agnikund (holy fire). After all her tries when she had no other option, she poured the ghee on her head and jumped into the fire. While taking her last breaths, she vowed for her love and cursed Singhiya, saying ‘Not only in this birth, but in all my coming lives, I will love Amber Raj Singh and try to get him despite of all your efforts and in every coming life of yours too, you will meet me and love but would not be able to get me by any means. As you made me away from my love, you will wait for your love for centuries and not get it’. Leaving that curse behind she died burning herself in fire and despite of all his tantra powers Singhiya could do nothing to save his love. At the same time the sainik of Bhangarh reached Ajabgarh, searching for the Princess and noticed Singhiya crying in front of the holy fire.

Frustrated and angry Singhiya now had lost his temper and as soon as he noticed the sainik of Bhangarh approaching the place, he started burning them by his tantra vidya one by one and finally he reached the palace of Bhangarh where he cursed the King Chhatr Singh, saying ‘You made me go away from Bhangarh and your daughter burned herself in fire and made my love burn with even more fire. Now I would curse you to in such a way that you and all your people would never be able to come out of the Palace, you would die here in such a way that not even your soul would be able to come out of this place’. With this words of his, he turned himself in ashes which started rotating around the palace in the form of a curse. But when the tantric Singhiya cursed the palace with his all tantra siddhi vidya and spirits, Amber Raj Singh was not inside the palace. He was roaming in the nearby towns looking for the Princess. Next evening, when he returned back and came to know from the people of Bhangarh about the death of the Princess as well as the curse that Singhiya gave to the palace and all the residents of Palace, he was broken and dismayed. He tried a lot to enter the palace, but all his efforts were in vein and he was neither able to enter the palace nor save his people from the curse. Finally he had no choice but to kill him to the death and go in search of Princess Ratnavati. He took his sword and kept it on neck, just before dying he mentioned ‘If I was not able to get Ratnavati in this life, then I will surely get her in some other life and whenever our destiny will meet, Bhangarh would surely be free from the curse of Singhiya’. With these words he cut his neck apart with his own sword and died for his love and people of Bhangarh.

Since that day, the souls of King and his family resides in the Fort of Bhangarh and spirit of Singhiya’s followers guard the palace for not letting them get the freedom. Many births have been taken by Princess Ratnavati & Amber Raj Singh thereafter, but there struggle is still going on and they are yet not able to make their destiny meet. 

At present according the curse, apart from Bhangarh the village nearby are also not able to get a house with roof. The day when Bhangarh will be free from the curse, people in the nearby village would also be able to get the house with roofs.

6 comments:

  1. It's really a very touching and beautiful story,but is this a fact or a myth? Are there any evidences of Rani ratnawati and Amber Raj Singh in history? I am really very keen to know howcome u came to know about this story in detail?

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  2. Plz do reply for above questions if possible at vedirid2087@gmail.com

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  3. Plz do reply for above questions if possible at vedirid2087@gmail.com

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  4. Love story of Amber and ratna is just a friction story or real? Because I have never read about amber and ratna in any other article.

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  5. The story is true but the boy name is different, confirm

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  6. Thanks for presenting this story,I wish in this birth again can I build the fort again and put all the gold statute of god which were not present in the temple at current,I know I can't do as it required lots of money,I tried at every means but I fail only in terms of money and joke,I stop believing in god as he never there and I suggest you should also if the god is there then show the miracle and help or let me take away forever...!

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