STORY: THE HAUNTED FORT
THE HAUNTED FORT
Every year , Babloo uncle and his nephew Tumpai went to spend a few days together in some place within India. This year they had planned to visit Delhi. From there, his uncle planned to travel three hundred kilometres to Bhangar The place is between Alwar in Jaipur district and Ajmer. It is near the Aravali hills. Tumpai was already excited as he knew some adventure was coming up. Out of curiosity Tumbai once again asked his uncle “Why Bhangar ? There are better places in Rajasthan .”
“In Bhangar a horror experience is awaiting us.”replied his uncle.
-Tumpai said, “Don’t tell me we are going to interact with the ghosts.”
-His uncle said, “I can’t assure you about seeing ghosts , but Bhangar fort is one of Asia’s ten haunted forts. There is no electricity there. They say that ghosts appear in the dead of night. After sunset , no body is allowed to stay there as per the strict order of Archaeological Survey of India. – But where will we stay? Is there any hotel nearby?
– There is nothing said Babloo uncle, we will stay fifty kilometres away in Sireska forest cottages. – I have made my bookings through Rajasthan Tourism department.
– Tumpai asked, “How did Bhangar become a den of ghosts. There must be some mystery
– Before we go to Bhangar, you have to know the history of that place. In the year,1573 the fort
was built by Raja Bhagawant Das. Due to a severe famine in 1783, thousands of people died
others left and Bhangar and it became a deserted place.
– I got no smell of ghosts but there will be the presence of ghosts I hope said Tumpai.
– Babloo uncle said there are many tales about this fort but only two are accepted by the people.
One is of guru Balunath and the other queen Ratnavati. I will tell you how the ghosts came to live in the fort. Tumpai didn’t like history as he had to remember a lot of dates related to battles and other historical events. In this case it was different as the story of Bangar fort was very different. He asked his uncle to explain the connection between Balunath and the ghost.
– The story goes that Raja Man Singh’s brother was Madho Singh. He wanted to build the fort of Bhangar. Now there lived a sadhu named Balunath. He had his ashram there. He clearly told Madho Singh not to construct the fort . After Madho ’s repeated requests, Balunath agreed that if the fort is built ,then the shadow of the fort should not fall on his ashram.If the shadow of the fort was cast on his ashram, he would destroy the entire fort. Madho Singh agreed and construction began. After the fort was completed ,it was seen that at a certain time, a part of the shadow fell on the ashram. Balunath was so furious ,that with his divine power he destroyed the entire fort. Not a trace remained to be seen.
– Tumpai laughed loudly and said “ It is absolutely absurd. Are there no one living in Bhangar?
– Yes replied Babloo uncle there are some villagers dwelling in huts without any roof. The fury of Balunath was so intense that it blew away the roofs of these poor people. Since then not single hut has a roof .All are roofless. The locals believe that Balunath did not want any one to live in
Bhangar. Tumpai said “till now I did’t get to hear anything about the ghosts.”
– Well I am coming to it. But listen to the story of Queen Ratnavati. Oneday the beautiful queen Ratna vati dressed in splendour went to buy some fragrance . On her way back she was kidnapped by a man who practised black magic. His name was Singhania. He cast an evil magic spell in her fragrance . So that when she would smell the fragrance she would be hypnotised by him.The queen was very clever she understood the plan of the black magician. She threw the bottle on a big stone. Instead of the queen the stone got hypnotised and with the power of the black magic the stone chased Singhania and ultimately killed him. Before he died he cursed the royal family and said they would all die. Even after his death he would not stop chasing the queen Ratnavati. A few years later, the kingdom next to Bhangar attacked the kingdom of Bhangar. There was a big war and blood flowed in Bhangar . Nearly all the people died including the royal family. Bhangar was completely devastated. Only the ruins remained. “you must be thinking I am telling you a story, but the locals have said till today, the ghosts of
Singhania and queen Ratnavati still haunt the fort of Bhangar
Tumpai now found interest and was immensely excited to visit the Fort. They were going by the Indigo flight to Delhi and from there decided to book a car and go to Bhangar. The journey would be around five hours by car. After reaching Delhi, they moved according to their plan. The road from Gurgoan was silky smooth. After passing the Siriska jungle, They saw the cursed fort of Bhangar. It was in ruins. It was a pathetic sight. There were many temples on either side. The Hanuman mandir was on their right. The rest they couldn’t figure out. Their driver Pathak ji could speak Bengali very well. He explained the different deities of each mandir. Tumpai was quite surprised to find ,that inspite of so many temples how could ghosts haunt the Fort.The driver explained that the dance hall of the palace and the road to the javeri bazar will bring a chill running down their spines. At night the tigers of the Siriska jungle come down to the palace. They roam around the place and are even more dangerous than the ghosts.
The Fort has four gates the ghosts enter through the Fulwara gate. This gate has an adjoining garden. The most astonishing fact is the flowers of this garden never die nor wither. They are ever fresh. There is a small pond in the garden. At night if one stood near the pond ,he could hear the sound of bells worn by the dancers. The bells jingled as if some one was walking around the dance hall of the palace. Tumpai asked the driver, “have you seen any ghost? You bring so many tourists here.Pathak ji said , “Ram Ram I have never seen a ghost, but the locals perhaps have seen them”
Babloo uncle was busy taking photos of the silent ruins of the once beautiful palace. He kept on clicking. Suddenly they realised that the sky was overcast. Dark black clouds were gathering in the sky . It looked ominous. Babloo uncle told his nephew that they should leave. Even Pathakji agreed that it was not safe to remain there. They immediately got into the car and Pathakji began driving. Meanwhile torrential rain began to pour. It was very difficult to drive. Visibility was zero. Pathakji drove like a maniac in the torrential rain. Suddenly after he applied the brakes, the car came to a halt. The road was deserted . Pathakji got down to check. His face looked tense he tried to do something but it didn’t work. In a serious tone he said the car won’t start he had to go to the petrol pump three kilometres away to fetch a mechanic. He said he would walk down to the pump and come back soon . Meanwhile they should wait inside the car and not make the mistake of stepping out.
After Pathakji left, the heavy rain stopped and it slowly began to drizzle. Tumapi wanted to use a toilet. He asked his uncle to accompany him to a distant tea stall where a lamp was dimly lit. A hot cup of tea on a rainy night would energise them. They went near the stall. A man wearing a turban came out to greet them. He sold roti , vegetables and tea at only two rupees. Babloo uncle was really amazed at the price. He appreciated the man’s hospitality. While they were sitting on a rope bed Tumpai noticed a photo on the wall. he asked ,”Who is he?’’ The man replied he is Raja Chatra Singh son of Raja Madho Singh. Babloo uncle jokingly asked are you from that period? The man replied, “yes our previous generation belonged to that period. His grand father was the head cook of the palace. My dishes also have the royal flavour.” When the man went inside to get their food ,Tumpai found the years were not matching. Raja Chatra Singh ruled in1830 if his grand father worked there what was this man’s age? They both agreed something was seriously wrong.Besides who can provide so much food in just two rupees.It all seemed very suspicious. They decided to leave.
Suddenly they looked up and saw there was no roof !There were no walls either everything vanished. Tumpai and his uncle were standing in a deserted road. A man carrying a powerful torch light was coming near them.On a closer look they saw the man was Pathakji. He said the car had been repaired but he could’t find them so he went in search of them. He asked, “where did you go Babuji I warned you two not to get out of the car.”
Babloo uncle replied ,”We had gone in search of a dhaba nearby . But we took nothing and returned.”
-Pathakji was totally shocked. “What are you talking ? How will you find a dhaba in this deserted road? You will only find a vegetarian dhaba at Pratapgarh which is miles away from here.”
-Tumpai looked at his uncle in a dazed manner. They both noticed the stretch of deserted road enveloped by darkness. The Aravali hills were behind them fog was rising the hills looked faint in midst of mist and darkness. The man who wore a turban in the dhaba , seemed to sigh his deep breath on their shoulders. The veins on his face were swollen ,with a ghastly look he seemed to say ,”For the guests of Bhangar , I have got your food Babuji.”
The horrifying experience at Bhangar would remain etched in their minds for a long time.