As the darkness falls, bustling lights seems to fade away and appears only at a distance, you are at one of the spookiest states in India, Rajasthan! Exploring the state of royals and ancient buildings, I was encapsulated by the stunning views of monuments, forts and deep wells (Baudi in Rajasthani language) when a crisp breeze accompanied me quietly and I knew that I was standing in the fort of Bhangarh. The entire journey of mine in Rajasthan became worth remembering for the rest of my life but then, I also embraced the serene quietness the state offers its visitors. About Rajasthan, I can say that besides one of the favourite tourist destinations worldwide, it has various haunted places that can easily spook nightmares of people. If you are curious to know about paranormal activities or real ghosts, do read the following blog and explore 9 most haunted places in Rajasthan.
Most Haunted places in Rajasthan no. 1 Bhangarh
My sense of direction has always been disastrous since childhood. I can still recall the night I was standing in the remote area of Bhangarh to meet one friend living near the lakeside. I hired a cab and set off with a map in my hand. I was going perfectly until I felt myself in the middle of a remote village which made me realise that I was on an incline. Unfortunately, my poor sense of direction and childhood friendship made me travel in one of the most haunted places in India! Bhangrah is located in Alwar district and was built by Madhav Singh in the 17th century. He was the son of the king of Amer. The Bhangarh Fort is the most important palace of the village which has not less than 9000 houses. Many legends about the fort have made me travel to the fort and since my childhood friend also stays nearby, I was determined to visit the palace. To my amazement, I saw that a signage outside the fort complex suggested not to stay in the fort after sunset by Archaeological Survey of India. Though the fort complex was marvellously planned, some of the ruins made the entire place look like a spooky area.
The empty temples and ceiling-less houses confirm that Bhangarh has some spooky incidents behind it. Being asked, my friend, narrated the story behind this 200-year-old cursed fort and a sinful magician who loved the princess of the fort. To win her, the magician tried using magic water on her but as the princess learnt about it, she threw the magical waters behind a boulder that rolled on the magician himself and crushed him till death. When the magician was lying in his death bed, he put a spell of the fort that ones who will live here will die. This made the fort remain empty till date. Even today, people living nearby can hear strange voices coming out of the fort including the sound of footsteps and women screeching.
Most Haunted places in Rajasthan no. 2 Kuldhara
The next morning, I along with my friend headed towards Kuldhara which is some 687 kilometres from Bhangarh fort. The haunted story behind Kuldhara made me curious enough to ask my driver more about the unfathomable legend. One can reach Kuldhara from Jaisalmer very easily to explore the ghost town! Deserted palaces in Rajasthan has always been occupied by evil spirits who either die during childbirth or due to tortures made or because of attempted suicides. The ghosts usually target male members to take vengeance and remains hideous most of the times.
Personally, I did not encounter any evil spirit myself in Kuldhara, many real ghost stories kept me awake even during midnight hours. On reaching the village, I came to know that Kuldhara is an abandoned village since the 18th century. Local people say that villagers living in Kuldhara used to pay their taxes to a corrupt minister named Salim Singh. One day when the minister visited the village and eyed on the village chief’s beautiful daughter, he claimed her immediately. The minister threatened the villagers that if they do not hand over the girl to him, he would impose increased taxes on them. To save his daughter from the minister, the chief along with 84 other villagers decided to leave Kuldhara at once. Till date, no one knows where did they go as no one saw them leaving the village in real.
Most Haunted places in Rajasthan no. 3 Brij Raj Bhawan Palace
Moving chairs and sound of knocking doors have always been heard and probably one of the most haunting experience is sound of a giggling child! The only haunted experience I felt in Brij Raj Bhawan in the eerie sound of rustling keys while the guard struggled to open one of the chambers. For the ones who are unaware of the legend behind Brij Raj palace, it is a heritage hotel. But, several mysterious and spooky incidents of an English soldier, Major Charles Burton is narrated in and around Brij Raj Bhawan Palace.
As Rajasthan has always been one of the major princely states in India, this palace was no exception to royalty. Once belonging to a royal family, this palace was taken over by Major Charles Burton during British raj in India. Later, he with his family was killed by a few Indian militants (sepoy mutiny of 1857) and till date, the ghosts of Major and his family reside in the palace. The palace has now transformed into a beautiful place and a heritage hotel. However, the guards of the palace report that they can hear the chilling sound of a man speaking in English and whenever they try to sleep during duty hours, the ghost will slap them to remain awake! Though the spirits never harm any guest, many of them feel oppressive and feel strangely while staying in the palace for a longer time. I believe that the ghosts of Major haunts the palace to get retribution.
Most Haunted places in Rajasthan no. 4 Jal Mahal Palace
I came across several haunted stories of Jaipur, Rajasthan and almost everyone seemed similar to me. As I headed towards Jal Mahal Palace, it seemed mysterious as no one knows why was the palace built. The name Jal Mahal was given to the palace as it is partially submerged in Jaipur’s Man Sagar Lake. This palace is 300 years old and was once a place used for holiday retreats by kings. The reason behind building this floating palace is although unclear, one could envisage the marvellous creation of a four-storey building constructed below the lake. The top floor remains exposed to people and acts as an epitome of man-made beauty. The balconies are carved artistically and terrace is an engineering marvel itself. Many people say that the palace was abandoned at the time when water started seeping into the sandstone walls. Many people often hear the sound of screams and dance from inside the palace and dare not go near it after sunset. This has made Jal Mahal an eerie place, full of mysterious episodes due to which it comes under the list of most haunted places in Rajasthan.
Most Haunted places in Rajasthan no. 5 Rana Kumbha Palace
When the night approaches, the last of visitors slowly descend towards the exit of the fort of Rana Kumbha Palace. I passed where overgrown and weathered mosses reveal how long they have been there. The story behind the palace made me stand in stillness and solace amidst the beautiful piece of shade where Rani Padmini and 700 other women committed self-immolation. The grand fort of Rana Kumbha Palace within the Chittorgarh Fort is one of the best historical and architectural marvels in India. Since this place is a popular tourist destination and remains overcrowded, most of the people never feel that it can be haunted. According to history books, Allaudin Khilji, the Sultan of Delhi fell in love with Rani Padmini and after killing her husband, he tried to enter the palace to abduct the queen. Till date, it is said that the spirits of her and 700 women meander in the palace complex. Many witnesses reveal that they have seen a lady wearing a royal costume with a burnt face, asking for help.
Most Haunted places in Rajasthan no. 6 Nahargarh Fort
As I approached the main gates of Nahargarh Fort, the golden sun rays washed the palace and the sound of squirrels and birds filled the air where the spirit of Nahar Singh Bhomia lies. I started taking pictures of this beautiful place located at the Aravalli hills edge and soon heard a sound of drums from distance. On asking about it from the locals, I came to know that the fort was initially known as Sudarshangarh and as the excavation started for building the fort, spirits of Nahar Singh got hurt and upset. This made his spirits haunt the site. The king decided to change the name of the fort to Nahargarh but the spirit remain unpeaceful till date. A few years back an engineer tried renovating the fort but was found dead. People say that the mystery behind his death is unknown while few say that whoever tries to come up for renovation, the spirit haunts him and eliminates in the end. Do visit this place to get a glimpse of mesmerising views of Jaipur as well as paranormal activity at the same time.
Most Haunted places in Rajasthan no. 7 NH-79 near Dudu Village
After visiting and listening stories behind forts and palaces, I decided to explore the Rajasthan villages by road with a self-guiding map. Astonishingly, I came across a highway that asks for blood! Near Dudu village, NH-79 is considered as one of the most haunted places in Rajasthan. Out of curiosity, I asked the man sitting next to me in a roadside stall about the legend behind the highway. He narrated that the haunted story behind the highway is dated back to those times when child marriages were common in India. In the village, a five-year-old girl child was forced to marry a three-year-old boy. When the mother of the girl opposed this marriage and ran to seek help, she along with her baby got hit by a vehicle and died instantly. It is said that their ghosts still haunt the road of NH-79 where she ran and asked for help.
Most Haunted places in Rajasthan no. 8 Jagatpura
The next day I headed towards Jagatpura which took me five hours to visit this haunted place in Rajasthan. I saw a large water reservoir and an eerie house near the village where a couple of people and a priest were sitting with a cup of tea. The whole atmosphere looked straight and my driver felt uneasy somehow. I would have never thought that a densely populated place will be haunted. It is believed that witches come at this place at night and haunts people walking in the roads. Many people have encountered a woman draped in white saree along with the crackling sound of metal which is the reason not many people step out of their homes during night time. The land was once ruled by a greedy and egocentric king who made the villagers die out of starvation. The spirts of the villagers haunts the place till date and although being serene and calm during day time, it turns spooky in the moonlight.
Most Haunted places in Rajasthan no. 9 Sudhabay
The spooky story behind Sudhabay beside Pushkar added a thrill to the end of my journey. The haunted story behind Sudhabay can be one of the reasons why people do not visit this place more often. The village celebrates ‘Ghosts Fair’ annually when people from all over India visit this place to get rid of evil spirits and ghosts from their body. This place is however blessed with a sacred lake where residents take a bath to stay protected from ghouls and ghosts floating around this place. The Ghost fair consists of a varied bunch of people performing unusual rites and chanting that may give goose-bumps to the novice. If you ever wish to see how exorcism is performed, do visit one of the haunted places in Rajasthan i.e. Sudhabay especially when the Ghost fair takes place. Make sure that you take a dip in holy waters of the lake to avoid carrying evil spirits back home with you!