There are many haunted places in India but the desert land of Royals stands distinguished from the world with its augmented architectural grandeur whose beauty remains unmatched. Through centuries it is celebrated as a battlefield that demonstrates sheer courage and valour of the greater men and women and is a remnant of the true palatial-era beauty of India by virtue of its well-preserved illustrious forts, monumental complexes and alluring temples. However, no one can deny that there is an inherent eeriness in its majestic forts and palaces. While on one side they are absolutely stunning in every detail they possess, they also begin to conquer our minds with fear as the night rolls. Haunted places in Rajasthan are quite a dilemma in themselves; they lure you with their ornate charm and vivid stories into a trap that might be hard to escape or are they just trying to protect themselves against the feisty humans that selfishly encroach upon anything and everything mercilessly?
Let us find out with this list of 12 haunted places in Rajasthan:
Image Credits: Saad Akhtar.
Acclaimed to be the most haunted place in Rajasthan, Bhangarh still observes a plethora of visitors each year. Undoubtedly the mystery of Bhangarh is enticing enough for you to take the risk of visiting it. Imagine a whole town that has run into shambles and ruins, deserted for centuries and surrounded by unknown mystical aura; such setting alone is enough to give to chills down the spine. The Archaeological Survey of India has officially prohibited entry in the premises between sunset to sunrise with legal obligations.
According to a legend, a sage named Baba Balnath had warned that if any building would be constructed taller than his house or would cast a shadow on his house, the city would face his wrath. In later years, a prince reconstructed the palace which would cast a shadow over his house. Subsequently, he cursed the whole town. Another story relates a sorcerer who loved princess Ratnadevi to have cursed the town. One day while the princess was shopping scents, he treacherously wanted to give her a love potion to make her fall in love with him. But the princess got aware of his uncanny plans and despised him. Saddened by his fate, he cursed the town to seek revenge. Only a curse could have led to this state of the city.
There was an incident when some boys trespassed at night and later they were found dead in a room with no doors or windows the next day. The locals claim to have experienced several incidences like crying noises, sounds of bangles and music, unusual scents from the palace, strange lights etc., that suggest of the supernatural existence. Inviting enough?
Once upon a time, the desolated town of Kuldhara was known to be the dearest abode to the wealthy Paliwal Brahmins who could cultivate crops even in the desert land; when it embraced human life and its existence and ushered warm greetings to its visitors with the open arms. Just 17kms from Jaisalmer you find this town with about 410 wrecked houses, a recently restored temple and 3 cremation grounds. You can feel the eeriness while looking at the stone ruins all scattered and the wilderness that emerges from them wondering what could have happened at this haunted place in Rajasthan.
The story goes as follows; the Paliwals who occupied this land from the 13th century were already living under misery with their autocratic ruler; when he laid his vicious eyes on the chief’s daughter. They were given no choice but to accept his marriage proposal. Eventually to put an end to his atrocities the whole community decided to leave the town with a curse that would lead to this horrific devastation. Over a single nightfall, the entire city was abandoned leaving no one but the cursed ruler behind. Now they say that when the night rolls over, the unpleasant spirits and ghosts walk on the face of this land. No one could decipher the exact cause of abandonment. While some say that it was the water scarcity, some say it was due to an earthquake. Nevertheless, the town was never occupied again and continues to be the site of bizarre myths and stories.
No major ghostly encounters have been recorded, but the visitors often complain about a discomforting feeling coupled with deafening silence and feeling of been followed by someone.
In the premises of Chittorgarh palace stands an architectural masterpiece, the Rana Kumbha Palace, held under the clenches of grievous past. The palace has been the site of 3 heart shaking Jauhars - a ritual of self-immolation that brave Rajput women and children performed when defeat in war was evident, to protect their honour.
The very first Jauhar led by Rani Padmavati. When the Rajput forces were on the verge of defeat, she jumped into burning sea of flames relentlessly accompanied by 700 women who could not have their pride and honour shattered. The palace never rose up loud from the ashes like before and still bears the screams and mourns of the deceased. Thus, this too is one of the most haunted places in Rajasthan.
People have accounted of hearing screams and voices of women asking for help. An incidence had been recorded when a group of boys exploring the palace at night spotted a woman dressed royally in red with scary burns all over her body lurking in the dark. The discomforting silence in the premises says it all, and you cannot help but relate to the agony of these women who just wanted to protect themselves.
Image Credits: Deep Goswami.
Located in the most picturesque setting, the fort of Nahargarh is adorned explicitly with the best of features of Rajputana architecture that merges with the mighty Aravalli hills and offers the most astounding panoramic view of the whole of Jaipur, especially when accompanied by the open skies turning yellow, orange and red.
The fort constructed as a summer and hunting retreat for the royal family discretely in 1734 A.D. by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II was original to be named as Sudarshangarh. However, during the construction of the fort, there were many hindrances believed to be caused by the spirit of Prince Nahar Singh Bhoomia who continuously harassed the workers of the site. After a series of rituals performed to pacify the ghost by a learned magician, the ghost agreed to leave the fort but on the conditions that a temple shall be constructed in the fort premises devoted to him and that it shall be named after him. After this, the construction was resumed and completed with no obstructions.
Today the fort remains quite peaceful and is a popular destination for hosting weddings, but you still cannot thin out the innate spookiness when strolling alone along the hallways, especially at night. Welcome to another haunted place in Rajasthan!
Brijraj Bhavan, a beautiful palatial mansion located in Kota in southern Rajasthan, is a heritage hotel today that hosts quite a few visitors each year. But do the guests know that they are sharing the premises with an old resident of this haunted place in Rajasthan?
The family of an Englishman- Major Charles Burton used to happily live in this mansion before they were all unpleasantly killed by the Indian revolutionaries during the Indian Mutiny of 1857. Since then the ghost of Major Burton has been seen taking strolls of his beloved abode. The Queen of Kota who gained control of the place after the incidence has also reported to journalists of having seen the dead Major.
The otherwise ghost of Major Burton likes to occasionally slap the night watchmen reminding them of their duties. The staff has also heard warnings in distinct English and experienced the uncanny presence of someone at night. So don’t be scared or surprised if you encounter a mid-aged British gentlemen strolling in the hallways of the hotel but just greet him well!
Jagatpura located in Jaipur district of Rajasthan is famous as a usual looking residential area where the living co-exists with the witches. Well not exactly in peace though and that's why this is one of the creepiest haunted places in Rajasthan.
The tale goes that as the ruler of this area was unkind and deceitful to his subjects, many people died resentfully of misery and starvation. Their ungrateful spirits still roam and haunt the lanes of the village.
People living in the area have encountered such old ladies in typical attires dressed in worn out white saree and grey-white hair flowing over grim looking faces late at night. The residents avoid stepping outside alone post sunset. There is no solid proof of such occurrences though, and many believe these are just made up stories due to the typical classical portrayal of the ghost borrowed from Indian films.
Sudhabay near Pushkar is not a regular site troubled by the unholy spirits but on the contrary is a place where people come to get free of them. If you are willing to have close encounters with the spirits caught up in the world of the living, then you won’t be disappointed if you visit this haunted place in Rajasthan on the day of the Ghost Fair!
Every year it hosts a fair where a series of strange rituals and traditions are performed on the supposedly possessed people that bring discomfort by merely watching them. People troubled by evil souls come in large numbers on this day to bath in the holy waters that drives away all impure, unholy entities and strips one’s body free of evil possessions of all sorts.
The holy chants and bells accompanied with the loud screams and grins of the affected people would give you nightmares for at least a fortnight. The locals bathe in the well on usual days to stay protected. People believe that the spirits who have angrily left their old hosts by forceful exorcism are in search for new ones. So beware! It would take a brave heart to even enter this location which is undoubtedly one of the most haunted places in Rajasthan.
This temple in Mehendipur in Dausa district of Rajasthan is primarily devoted to Hindu God, Hanuman, along with two other deities and is a site where one can experience the Hindu exorcism rituals in full swing.
The temple is flooded with people at all times and exorcism is performed on all days, unlike Sudhabay. It has 4 chambers or halls dedicated to different deities, each treating a different level of evil possession. Once you enter the temple you feel every emotion from sorrow to fear, and from anger to discomfort. You see some people crying out loud to go home while they are beaten up inhumanly like animals, while some are seen pronouncing threatening words clenching teeth in anger unaffected by the beatings and then there are also those who are stuck in uneasy poses like statues while the priests perform innumerable weird cleansing rituals. The temple is believed to have divine powers to strip off the most strongest of black magic and to turn atheists into believers.
Soon your head becomes heavy with all the negativity around and you try to escape the halls breathing heavily, but it takes a while. And when you are finally able to leave the temple, the thousands of screams and shouts in different voices still reverberate in your ears.
An absolutely magnificent piece of construction, Chand Baori located in the village of Abhaneri in the Eastern part of Rajasthan is the deepest stepped well in the world with unmatched beauty and bewitching details in every corner and fringe. With every ray of sun falling upon its intricately planned steps, the 13 storey deep well creates some amazing visuals with light and shadow each hour of the day.
You might think it would take several years to build such a marvel, right? But the locals share a story that states that the well was magically created in just one night. The construction was commissioned in 800 A.D by a Chauhan ruler, King Chanda to harvest water which soon became a recreational spot open to all that observed entertainment performances and dances. They believe that the well is dwelled upon by a mystical Jinni who would not allow you to take the same set of stairs you used to climb down.
People mention unexplained eeriness in the premises of this haunted place in Rajasthan. As you climb down with rising echoes of squirming bats and pigeons with sudden rising cold in the air, you go in the state of fright with your heart pounding faster as you take the next step. No acclaimed paranormal sightings have been recorded.
The temple complexes in Kiradu of Barmar district of Rajasthan dating back to the 11th-12th century are adorned with an intricate artistic charm of numerous rock-cut sculptures, carvings and embellishments and are known as the Khajurao of Rajasthan. The group of 5 temples that would have once been the centre of hustle and bustle is now distorted in pitiful shambles.
Apparently, a sage had cursed the residents to turn into stone. To reinstate the safety and prosperity of the town against foreign invaders, the king had invited a learned sage. Soon when the kingdom had grown prosperous, he decided to leave. Then, the residents slowly turned ignorant towards his disciples that had been left behind by him. One day when he fell ill, no one but a woman who was a potter’s wife treated him well. When the sage returned he soon came to know about his disciple’s plight and he ushered his wrath on the residents. The potter’s wife was spared from the odious curse. The sage told her to leave the town and never look back; however, when she turned behind out of curiosity she also transformed into a lifeless stone. A temple is found at that spot about 1 km away from Kiradu.
The villagers believe that the curse still turns those into stone who are found to be lurking in the village after dusk. No one till date has even dared to check if the curse still works!
When Adarsh Vidya Mandir was set up in the Alwar Palace in Mount Abu that was the summer retreat to Maharaja Vikram Chand of Udaipur, little, did they know that were reconnecting with the dead?
The all boys' school premises had once experienced the horrendous deaths of around hundred innocent men who served the King. When the King’s beloved wife was suspiciously murdered by someone while she was taking a stride through the palace grounds that is currently being used as the football ground, he was completely devastated. In deep anger and agitation, he called all his servants from cooks to guards for investigation; but no one knew anything about the murderer. At last the remorseful king brutally killed each one of them. They say that the unsettled spirits of these men haunt the palace.
Students have mentioned of being followed by spooky shadows, getting hit by invisible entities and encountering unnatural beings in long robes moving around the school premises especially around a tree. There have been quite a few instances when they were harassed by the unknown entities even in bright daylight. The hostel students fear from stepping out at night. Some of them have also reported of having seen flying black shadows lurking in the dark.
NH-79 near Dudu Village in Rajasthan is haunted by the spirit of a mother who wanted to save her infant child and is still asking for help.
Popularly known as the Ajmer-Udaipur highway this haunted place in Rajasthan is one where a young mother tragically died with her child after getting hit by a vehicle while crossing the road. She was running away from her house with nothing but her five days old daughter to prevent her child marriage to a 3-year-old boy. Since then her spirit is bound to the highway.
The travellers have repeatedly spotted a lady drenched in blood with a baby in her arms asking them to wait and help along a particular stretch of the road. She hasn’t harmed anyone for her spirit seeks for peace and is just left unsettled and tied with the highway. There was once an incidence reported where she rode in a visitor’s car in the back seat for 15 minutes and guided them out of the village and then just disappeared. Not that mainstream for a typical Rajasthani road trip endeavour, right?
So the land of colours, culture and mouthwatering food are not the only ways to describe our beloved Rajasthan as it still remains a place where past has found a way to co-exist with the present. There may be many such hidden tales and mysteries that emerge from the ruins, but these 12 stories have been heard and discussed every now and then. There is definitely no firm base that supports these incidences and hauntings. This article is just based on the popular myths, beliefs from local folklore and several online accounts of the visitors. Nevertheless, none of these stories has seemed to diminish the glory of these places and in fact they add are added assets that captivate the visitors from all over to explore these mind-boggling mysteries.
So look no further to quench your thirst to decipher the mysteries of past and plan your next trip! You can also read about haunted places in Jaipur, haunted places in Mumbai or haunted places in Kolkata.