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रविवार, 17 नवंबर 2013

My Journey to the Land of the 'Majestic Past With Unspoken Pain' !!! : Sonia singh

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Every place has a past and future too but some places do have glorious past but no future… I visited one such place recently…….. in Rajasthan, people say it is one among the most haunted places in the world....


Derrick says…..When we talk about haunted places in India, the first name that pops up in mind is the place which has also been listed among the 10 most haunted places in the world, the Bhangarh village which is ruined of a kingdom of Raja Madho Singh, Younger brother of Man Singh, a general of Emperor Akbar’s army in Rajasthan between Jaipur and Delhi. There is a belief that the place is haunted by ghosts ‘after sunset’ and no one dares to go there after the sunset.
So, he warned me this place is not for weak hearted…. “Complete explore at your own risk”. I was ready with the million dollar smiles…..

Spooky Tree....

And journey begins...
In my childhood I used to enjoy good ghost story. My imagination perked up further when I was told that the incident was a real one and felt envious of those who have had first-hand encountered with ghosts and spirits. This thrill to be apart of the unknown lingers silently in me. In my teens I satisfied my thrill by reading books, watching scary movies but never tried or say dared to go scouting for haunted locations but always had a silent desire to get friendly with a nice, gentle, soft natured ghosts and spirits. This strong childhood desire seems to come true when I was introduced during my last visit to BHU,Varanasi in September with a Danish scholar Dr. Derrick who is doing some research on paranormal world, in simple language on ghosts and spirits for the last 12-15 years.
The long drive......to .... spooky land...

Even after a long conversation I was not convinced logically with Dr. Derrick I couldn’t understand the objective of his research, after spending so much money, time, stamina how it is ( his research) going to help the society and I switched off logical part of my brain and readily accepted his adventurous invitation. Derrick did not reveal me the place then just told to be ready some times in mid-November as per his research and study, ghosts are more active in winter season called Ghost Season. Yes, I remembered he had said this place is “ONE OF TEN MOST HAUNTED PLACE IN THE WORLD”, I was surprised ….in India !! “What parameters decide this ranking…1st…2nd…3rd…. and so on…. Uffff…. I shall keep quiet” .
I do strongly believe in paranormal activity so I was just happy to visit an ‘unseen world’ with a scholar as my guide and guard too.

... and ... drive continues.........

I was guided to reach Jaipur on 11th November. I met Derrick on Railway station in evening, he was there with an old gentleman introduced as a retired Professor from JNU, I guessed him as our local guide. Three of us headed towards outskirts of Jaipur and reached a big, old, broken wooden hut like house, it was our luxurious guest house for that night. Professor and Derrick went to sleep after dinner but I couldn’t …. This hut was giving me the feeling of a haunted place itself. There were many unanswered questions regarding haunting were roaming in mind. Many quest for answers like – Why are places haunted ? Does it mean if someone dies, that location automatically becomes spooky ? Do ghosts and apparitions only lurk in lonely places ? And the lists continue…

Next morning I equipped myself with gadgets like IR camera, sound recording system, Torch, walking stick, Plastic sheet, Nylon Rope thin and thick both, Mosquito repellent cream, first aid medical box, whistle …to frighten nocturnal animals, cellphone, drinking water, some eatables… when I am nervous or scared I start munching otherwise I am very diet conscious…. I would call my this habit as ‘Stress Management Technique’ it really works… and of course my Rudraksh Mala with Blessings and courage from  Baba Mahakaal. And yes, I have forgotten to mention I put on an Iron ring on my middle finger of left hand given just before I set off for my venture by an old boat man (90 years) from  my village, I was told this iron ring would protect and keep spirits away from me. I was advised to keep a small iron knife and cigarette lighter too as essential gadgets …no…no…I am not a smoker, a small fire too keep spirits away, all these were protective coverings and its really strange ….. I followed whatever was told to me by illiterate villagers, I was putting arm guards to keep ‘them’ away from me…. Please I am not promoting any superstition rather sharing a normal psychology of mine just before an adventurous venture……. anyways…. We started our expedition at around 5 a.m. towards …….
Photo is out of focus, is not made deliberately.
Derrick, 'the paranormal researcher and investigator’ says “a place is regarded as haunted when an entity or ghost is attached to that area. It could be because of sudden untimely death, suicide or murder. The soul is trapped in that event and roams around and just lost in that anguish. This is usually termed as “traditional haunting.”  Ninety per cent of the time the haunting are caused due residual energy. This residue of energy is unconnected to specific entities. It is the imprint left by several people over the years and sometimes even centuries back. This is one of the reasons why at many places like hotels, theaters, hospitals, museums, railway stations and many other public places we hear footsteps, tapping and other strange noises. There are various instances it is found that spirits haunt their homes, this could be due to the attachment to that place or a person who is associated to that place and sometimes it could be that these souls don’t know where to go after death and like to be attached to the place where they spent most of their life. They could be used to a routine and find it comforting to be at a place which is familiar to them. Some may not even be aware that they are dead and continue there as they used to be. When they find other people (living beings) using their space then they get annoyed and show signs of retaliation. This we see as a haunting”. We were going to explore such place now………popularly known as the “ghost city of India”. 
Can't say about those patches.
Random Night shot....

“One of the ten most haunted places in the world : BHANGARH”

Awesome Fort Of Bhangarh

Mesmerizing Fort Of Bhangarh
Mesmerizing Fort Of Bhangarh

It is very famous majestic historical ruins where nobody dares to go after dark. This place is rated to be among one of the most haunted places in the world today. But I found this place beautiful and tranquil, what remains though, is a shadow of a once beautiful kingdom.

Majestic Fort Of Bhangarh

Red Mud on the other side of the Road caught my eye... instantly !

The road ends here….

Come-on-in……. with me ……into the mystery of Bhangarh ! Lets explore

Bhangarh..... just 5 Km away....

Bhangarh..... just 5 Km away....

The Ancient Site of Bhangarh ! now...only 2 Km Away now...

the Ancient Site of Bhangarh ! now...only 2 Km Away now.
Way To Bhangarh…

Way To Bhangarh…


I met this gentleman …. look at his eyes…twice at two different place at the same time…spooky’s welcome..... 

..

he government has restricted the entrance in the boundary of Bhangarh before sunrise and after sunset. I don’t find anything unusual in this news. Do You ???

he government has restricted the entrance in the boundary of Bhangarh before sunrise and after sunset. I don’t find anything unusual in this news. Do You ???

The Government of India and Archaeological Survey of India in charge of this place warns people off the area after the sunset and before sunrise. Moreover, the signboard placed by ASI 1 Km away from the Bhangarh fort, This is really unusual …..WHY ???? Do they believe in paranormal activity really taking place here …!!! My thoughts were moving only in one direction only….
One signboard was there, which is removed, attracted tourists attention, What did that signboard say ? I did not see that particular signboard which is interpreted by the tourists and local people as a “proof of Govt.’s belief in the paranormal”.
What does it mean ……photograph of that is shown by the officer there in ASI office… that signboard reads as….

Important Warning:
1. Entering the borders of Bhangarh before sun rise and after sunset is strictly prohibited.
2. Shepherds and woodcutters who enter Bhangarh area will face legal action.
3.The  Kewdaor Pandanus trees found in Bhangarh area belong to the Archaeological Survey of India. It is forbidden to subject this tree to any kind of harm.
Note : Anyone flouting of the rules mentioned above will face legal action.
By Order,
In charge , Archaeological Survey Board

I don’t see anything odd in this sign board, then why it is misinterpreted as … “proof of Govt.’s belief in the paranormal and removed by the authority”. I couldn’t understand… but “I shall explore it from the concern authority on my return …if I….” I kept in mind.
Photo Source : ASI, Jaipur Circle

Photo Source : ASI, Jaipur Circle

Photo Source : ASI, Jaipur Circle

Welcome to Bhangarh !
Welcome to Bhangarh !


I don’t want to go in deep History of Bhangarhand - Ajabgarh , in short, it is said that this city Bhangarh and Ajabgarh associated with each other as The king of Bhangarh had a deep crush on the princess of Ajabgarh, but the princess had no feeling for him, eventually a war was called from both the sides, and both — Bhangarh and Ajagarh were destroyed completely in just one night !! One Tantrik of Bhangarh who practice Black Magic also played major role in the destruction of these two majestic kingdoms.

Ajabgarh... Place of Mystery ...was indeed as strange place as Bhangarh !
Ajabgarh... Place of Mystery ...was indeed as strange place as Bhangarh !


There are couple of stories too for this place, but all mention that Bhangarh was destroyed overnight, and the spirits of the killed still exist here.



It is believed that at night, the bangle markets of the destroyed city are crowded by the spirits.

Ruins Of Bhangarg ...Telling the story of its glorious Past.
Ruins Of Bhangarg ...Telling the story of its glorious Past.


Ruins Of Bhangarg ...Telling the story of its glorious Past.
Ruins Of Bhangarg ...Telling the story of its glorious Past.


It’s still majestic. This medieval kingdom, that is or rather, the remains of it. Hundreds of years ago, its occupants fled or died. Nobody is sure. Not a single human soul lives in the 158 hectares of land.

Bhangarh Fort
Bhangarh Fort


Brief History of The Fort Bhangarh.
Brief History of The Fort Bhangarh.


Bhangarh ….Bhangarh is a pre-historic site known for its majestic ruins.
The most remarkable of its buildings are the temples of Gopinath, Shiva (Someshwar), Mangla Devi, Lavina Devi and Keshava Rai. Most temples have no idols inside.

Someswar Temple .
Someswar Temple .


I saw a young man jumping from the top…..who was he ? I couldn’t trace him after the jump in the water !!!!...but was able to catch him through my lens just before the jump .
Someswar Temple .
Someswar Temple .




Other buildings include shops along the main road, several havelis, a mosque, and a palace. The palace was protected by two inner fortifications across the valley. The town is separated from the plain by ramparts with five gates.

a mosque...
a mosque...


Dancers haveli...
Dancers haveli...


Market Place...
Market Place...



According to villagers “the evil effects of the tantric’s curse are believed to be working even now.” People claim to have heard the tinkling of payals, seen the ruined market come to life.

Ah...the marketplace... sets me thinking as to how things were sold back then...
Ah...the marketplace... sets me thinking as to how things were sold back then...


Strange Looking House.. like two Aqua Eyes and a Nose.
Strange Looking House.. like two Aqua Eyes and a Nose.


An Abandon Shack!
An Abandon Shack!


Except the Temple-No other rooms had roofs...
Except the Temple-No other rooms had roofs...


I met an old man Sangram Singh Ranawat who narrated about how he along with his two friends met with an accident after a night spent in Bhangarh Fort a long back. The odd thing, he says, was that they were the only people to have been hurt in a bus of more than 150 people, even though they were sitting 5-6 rows apart.

Sangram Singh Ranawat
Sangram Singh Ranawat


Sangram Singh Ranawat and his wife Budhia further added “Another indicator of ghosts was a signboard put by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) outside the ruins that warned people against entering the fort after sunset. The notice has now been removed because everybody who visited saw this as “proof” of ASI’s belief in the paranormal”.Hearing this from him I responded as ohhh.....really ...... Professor was enjoying seeing my response with very serious gesture...he was explaining to Derrick about our conversation....

Sangram Singh Ranawat and his wife Budhiya
Sangram Singh Ranawat and his wife Budhiya


Bhoot, chudail, jinns – she has witnessed them allover the last six decades, says a wizened Sunitia Devi, who has been running a water stall outside the monument premises ever since she got married. “They are all there. But we are not scared. We have our temples,” she says.

Oldest shop out side the Fort premises, only changed its face with time, ran by Sunitia Devi
Oldest shop out side the Fort premises, only changed its face with time, ran by Sunitia Devi


Sunitia Devi with her musical Gang !
Sunitia Devi with her musical Gang !


Local Routine Visitors
Local Routine Visitors


A hanuman temple at the gate of Bhangarh temple
A hanuman temple at the gate of Bhangarh temple


Jot Singh a local says “Welcome to the real city of jinns,Ghosts, and Chudail” Tantric still try to come inside the fort at nights to perform black magic as place is found to be suitable for the black magic.etc…Jot Singh showed us that place where he fought with a notorious jinn and defeated him. He too practice Black Magic to influence and control jinns and spirits.He encountered more than 200 spirits in last 20 years. He added, only few spirits are notorious otherwise most of them are good and of helping nature . I took complete address and contact number of Jot Singh, he would be of great help to me later.

Jot Singh
Jot Singh


People performing some ritual !!!
People performing some ritual !!!


Bhangarh was deserted overnight…..hmmmm

This tree has a face ... Look carefully - Two Eyes and a Nose…no photo shop, caught by IR camera in complete darkness.
This tree has a face ... Look carefully - Two Eyes and a Nose…no photo shop, caught by IR camera in complete darkness.

"There is a belief about Bhangarh that the place is haunted and no one dares to go after sunset there, if you do, you do not return”…hmmm…
Can’t we get an overnight stay permission from Archaeological department, I asked the professor, Professor smiled and replied Derrick can make the ‘arrangements’, he spent many nights at such places all over the world.
Just because I wanted to experience all such things …..some scary and wonderful moments of my life in such atmosphere, I visited…. this site…. I prepared a lot for this venture, Derrick understood my enthusiasm ...... that…. we decided for an unethical practice……Derrick looked at me....I said ....please go for it....
Derrick bribed five hundred bucks to the senior guard and he allowed us to stay at night at our risk…risk of the legal action and the spooks both. …Ok , I don’t mind I said.,,,we will see....

We roamed all around Day & Night too… we entered into the palace in late evening, awesome in starting but palace was not maintained, stinking badly ... we covered our nose, it was really horrible…. some hidden places were there… stairs going down which was blocked by stagnant water…. we did not dare to enter into the water I put my 4 ft long walking stick into the water and did not find the base….it was like a blind tank…might be a bathing tank for the queen.…we have seen almost all the places in and out of the palace, we trod whole night but didn’t find anything like ‘that’.

Stairs going down, if you see carefully this pic shows a face.
Stairs going down, if you see carefully this pic shows a face.


Bhangarh fort…. is really interesting, mesmerizing, awesome in moonlight
Bhangarh fort…. is really interesting, mesmerizing, awesome in moonlight



Yeah, Bhangarh fort…. is really interesting, mesmerizing, awesome and what not in moonlight but terrifying, dangerous too because of wild animals I encountered with like poisonous snakes, bats, rats  etc…..snakes slither along rocky corners. I was about to put my foot on one baby snake, it was  shining black with some stripes I saw in torchlight, it did not reacted and silently climbed up to the crumbling palace into the dark hallways, I was greeted by the smell of dead bodies and gunpowder even today. Bat droppings apparently smell of war. I found a secret passage guarded by very light orange and silver like markings, color was not very clear in torchlight. And rats…… ufffssss…. bigger than my Kitty (pet cat), I had seen such big rats on many Islands of Lakshdeep .... how they migrated from there, I was thinking..... There were many dangerous and poisonous creatures but there was no ghost. Derrick tried a lot....we went in every possible Den and almost every secret place. I was disappointed...my arm guards....Rudraksha mala,... Iron Ring and knife..torch ....cigarette lighter( I put on sometimes....were really working....keeping spirits away from us ?????

Stairs going up to...nowhere.
Stairs going up to...nowhere.


I asked Derrick… if ghost is there, so how come guards are alive, why ghost didn’t turn up in the day…is he/she scare of us?
Derrick smiled and said …. Human is the biggest ghost, human needs money, blood, sex, bribe, and many other things. Basically it seems a picnic spot in day time. I don’t find any smell (?) of ghosts here. So enjoy each and every movement of nocturnal life and take thrilling experience and memory from here for lifetime.



This is, supposedly, the only place where the ghosts do now wander - per the locals there.
This is, supposedly, the only place where the ghosts do now wander - per the locals there.


These trees witnessed the making of history and changing of geography here.
These trees witnessed the making of history and changing of geography here.


These trees witnessed the making of history and changing of geography here.
These trees witnessed the making of history and changing of geography here.


Sariska
Sariska


Looks like...the preacher (monkey) and its deciples
Looks like...the preacher (monkey) and its deciples



“Bhangarh is on several lists of ‘the most haunted places in the world. I agree but …..“These rumors are rubbish” says superintending archaeologist, Jaipur circle, ASI. “The ASI is the official government body in charge across India of all the monuments and ruins, every monument in the country has the same sign. It has nothing to do with ghosts or spirits,” he insists. “All that is rubbish,” he repeats. It’s the wild animals that make the area dangerous. Its proximity to Sariska makes it a haunt for foxes, panthers and even tigers at night”.
Besides, he adds, “Our guards patrol the area at night too but no incident has ever occurred !” But several people have come screaming out “ghost”. There have been deaths. “It’s because people try to enter the ruins from the hills at night, the boulders are loose, people fall !” he says.

Excavation Site
Excavation Site


Imagine the Heights by comparing with the size of Trucks...
Imagine the Heights by comparing with the size of Trucks...

“OK, I agree entry to Bhangarh Fort or any other historical or excavation site is legally prohibited between sunset and sunrise as per general rule, but why the Archaeological Survey of India doesn't have an office here inside the premises though government rules state that every historical site must have an office of the ASI. Here the nearest one is one kilo meter away — what could be interpreted……I smiled ……. "maintaining enough distance between officials and the spooks”…………..he preferred to be paused ………… I further added “Actually Ghostly sightseeing are always debatable though most of the information about the fort…town is still a mystery…some is highly touted … Many times the local shop keepers use this as a good marketing gimmick to allure enthusiasts tourist like me to explore their places…..

Chhatri
Chhatri


…. or this may be just an over-exaggerated thing by ASI itself  to KEEP THE PALACE protected and untouched from the antisocial elements or for the same reason as shopkeepers, these days nobody cares of any historical monuments but there are many tourists who want to visit haunted places only and this is one of that kind which could generate revenue for govt. too.
may be….. the officer said with mysterious smile.

I did not mention our night venture there inside the fort. If somebody had seen us moving with blinking of torch and heard whistle sound which I used to get rid of rats and pigeons at night in palace would have thought of ghost and spirits roaming in Palace.
I understood “the secrets of the paranormal world”. But.............photographs taken by me in night by IR Camera tells another story...... I shall contact expert later on.......



A spooky place with a tree branching out of it
A spooky place with a tree branching out of it


Bhangarh was a good experience.. Not sure if it was Haunted. Even if it is …. In spite of all odds, it is worth a visit.

Ghost…..ufff ….Goat which is caught by my IR  camera even in night so clearly. I saw this goat in day time also so I didn’t scare….. otherwise…...
Ghost…..ufff ….Goat which is caught by my IR camera even in night so clearly. I saw this goat in day time also so I didn’t scare….. otherwise…...


series of doors in the gallery of a Palace
series of doors in the gallery of a Palace


I don’t know what is that figures .It was not visible through naked eyes due to darkness. They might be like us….or…r…r…r…!!!!
I don’t know what is that figures .It was not visible through naked eyes due to darkness. They might be like us….or…r…r…r…!!!!


It was more than satisfactory. I am really thankful to Derrick for taking me to this Real Unseen Place in Rajasthan in my country.




Ruins of Bhangarh Fort
Ruins of Bhangarh Fort



I think I must go there again for my next video shoot…


Time to get back home... going out
Time to get back home... going out


Bye Bhangarh... Strange place with a Wonderful Past but no Future
Bye Bhangarh... Strange place with a Wonderful Past but no Future



This female seems to be carrying more stuff on her head than my jungle bag in the taxi…..
This female seems to be carrying more stuff on her head than my jungle bag in the taxi…..


This route does not go anywhere
This route does not go anywhere


I mean it, Your feed back shall be appreciated ---Sonia Singh
I mean it, Your feed back shall be appreciated ---Sonia Singh



I'm in train now getting back to my home, refreshing my memories on this awesome …mesmerizing …..palace…. fort of  Bhangarh….. it is 00.46 hrs mid night, intervening night of 13th and 14th, my co-passengers are in deep sleep ….. Suddenly my cell rang…. it was Derrick……apologizing for not coming on scheduled date……..11th November 2013......
SILENCE....
Om Shanti...Shanti...Shanti...
SILENCE.... Om Shanti...Shanti...Shanti...


Sonia Singh
14th November 2013
Crossing Rajasthan Border ( I can’t see what exactly is this place)



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