Thursday, June 2, 2011

Haunted City of Bhangarh

A haunted city, lost in time is the city of Bhangarh in the Alwar district of Rajasthan. Bhangarh was once a flourishing town of 10,000 homes but that was nearly 400 years ago. It was a beautiful city with many temples and fine houses. History seems to indicate that the city was abandoned virtually overnight.

There are two legends that says how the city was abandoned and cursed… The first says that a local holy man was asked for permission to build a city on the his property and permission was granted. He warned though that the city must never grow so big or its buildings so tall that it cast a shadow that would touch the holy man while he prayed.

Sacred Cow
Of course, the city grew to match the wealth and desires of its rulers. One day, the city's shadow touched the holy man. At that very moment the sky grew dark, rumbling was heard and the ground began to shake. The citizens, realizing what was happening, grabbed what they could and fled for their lives, never to return… the end of Bhangarh!

The second legend tells of a battle waged between the queen, and a wicked Tantric sorcerer. He set a magical web in which to catch her but with her agility she escaped every time.

After the last battle the queen finally lost her temper and turned a glass bottle containing magic oil into a rock and flung it towards the hilltop temple, where the sorcerer sat. He tried summoning his power to deflect the missile but failed, though not before cursing the city.

The queen and her people, fearing the worst, spent the night hastily moving her treasures to a new palace in Ajabgarh. Their caution was judged sensible because in the morning a storm leveled the city… the end of Bhangarh!

The truth is that  after the Mughal empire weakened in the 1720’s, Bhangarh slowly diminished in population, and when the famine of 1783 occurred the town was abandoned and has remained in ruins ever since.

People who visit Bhangarh today say there is still a haunted feeling in the air that makes them uneasy, so it seems that the curse worked.  It may be scary but it’s a great place to see. We loved it


  1. Very cool pics....I have an urge to visit this place now!

  2. Really intriguing post. I read about this city in a book called 'The Alchemical Body', that referenced the legends you've quoted. It's fascinating now to see pictures, and get a sense of the reality of it.