For the night is dark & full of terrors; enter at your own risk: Haunted forts of India

Creaking wooden floors or swaying windows don’t create as much noise as silent hallways do. When it’s dark outside & no tourists are allowed inside, the fort becomes dead quiet. In that eerie silence, you can hear the cries & soul-stirring screams of a young boy asking for help, “Kaka mala vachwa” (Uncle, save me).

Locals say that on a full moon night, they hear these noises coming from inside the fort. It’s believed to be the pain-stricken spirit of Narayan Rao, who was hacked to pieces inside the fort. 300 years later, the fort still stands in a dilapidated state and is believed to be haunted.

Welcome to the last post of Theme 2: “Haunted places in India that turn touristy during the day”.

To access the first two of posts of Theme 2, click on links shared below:

Blog 1: Stories of Stepped Stairwells: Dare to step alone?

Blog 2: Haunted places in India that turn touristy during the day

In this post, we will talk about three such forts/ fortresses of India that are visited by locals and tourists ordinarily, but then these ticketed monuments are shut down after sundown.

Entry is strictly prohibited in these forts after it gets dark.

Want to know why? Read on…

1. Shaniwar Wada, Pune

Built in 1730 as a residence for Bajirao (of Bajirao Mastani’s fame), Shaniwar wada was a royal fort – embellished with architectural prowess everywhere. This 13-story palace had scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharata painted on its walls, 16 petal lotus-shaped fountains & rainbow-coloured arrangements inside the premises amidst many things. It was supposed to last a lifetime, singing tales of the valour of Maratha empire.

Image credit – Life on Weekends

It did last through the centuries, but endured a lifetime worth of betrayal & blood bath. This is the same fort where a young Narayanrao was murdered and hacked to pieces by his relative who eyes his Peshwa’s position.

Approximately a decade later, the fort caught an unexplained fire losing much of its parts.

Today, it stands with its remains allowing tourists to enter its premises during the day. At night, it remains closed. But then on some days, people outside the fort hear the screams of a boy asking for help, and unexplained noises. It becomes painful and noisier on full moon nights.

Visit between*: 9:30 am – 5:30 pm
Ticket Price (Indians): INR 5
Ticket Price (International Citizens): INR 125

*indicative visiting time; might change by an hour depending upon the season or the day

Image credit – Life on Weekends
Image credit – Life on Weekends

2. Bhangarh Fort, near Sariska Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan

If you live in India, chances are that you have heard of Bhangarh fort. There would be at least one person in your circle who had attempted to stay the night inside the fort, or knows someone who has attempted this dangerous feat – only to run away from there in the nick of time.

Bhangarh Fort is one of the most haunted destinations in India. It attracts paranormal experts, supernatural enthusiasts & plain fools all the time – from all over the world.

Image credit – Life on Weekends

Through a deserted village, when you reach Bhangarh, there are many things that freak you out. First, the homes with no roofs. No house has ever been able to withstand a roof. Even if the villagers try to build it with all their might, it just comes all crashing down and results in terrible accidents. Second, the strange ruins that might catch your fancy at first but would spook you immediately after. And third, the fort itself that is believed to be infested with spirits after sundown.

Loud screams, sounds of wailing women, inexplicable lights, pungent smells, nearing steps of someone wearing an anklet, strange shadows…people have seen & heard it all inside / outside Bhangarh fort. It’s said that if you stay the night inside the Bhangarh fort, you don’t live to see the next day. While this might or might not be true, there’s a warning from ASI outside the fort that strictly prohibits entry inside after sundown.

Image credit – Life on Weekends
Image credit – Life on Weekends

And yet, curiosity gets the better of many of us…and we find ourselves figuring out ways to enter inside only to abandon the plan midway at the first sight of something strange.

Would you dare to experience it yourself? I hope, not!

Visit between*: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Ticket Price (Indians): INR 25
Ticket Price (International Citizens): INR 250

*indicative visiting time; might change by an hour depending upon the season or the day

3. Chunar Fort, Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh

At a distance of approximately 30 kms. away, there exists this ancient fort that’s believed to be constructed in the eleventh century & then later improvised in the sixteenth century. This fort has seen the rise & fall of many kings, dynasties, battles, wars & aftermath. But unlike other forts such as those of Mewar & Marwar region of Rajasthan that fill you with joy & wonder, this one leaves you a bit unsettled.

Frequented by college students & couples, this place is teeming with people during the day, but then you don’t have to stick around till night to sense that something is not quite human-friendly about this fort. There are several structures inside the fort such as the well, and the Mandapam – that leave you really unsettled when you visit those spots. You can sense a weird energy that’s unwelcoming and wants you out of the premises immediately.

Image credit – Life on Weekends
Image credit – Life on Weekends

I felt it. I remembered all the horror stories and accounts of paranormal that I had read about Chunar fort on internet. And may be, it was that, or my mind cooking stories, or my sixth sense (if there is such a thing) picking up cues…I felt as if we must leave the premises as soon as possible and be on our way to where we wanted to be.

By the way, it’s said that you are not supposed to eat non-vegetarian food if you are inside Chunar fort. And people who do, meet with terrible fate.

Chunar fort is believed to be haunted. Whether it’s true or not, it’s surely not a welcoming place. If you don’t believe me, plan a trip (sic).

Image credit – Life on Weekends

Visit between*: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Ticket Price (Indians): free
Ticket Price (International Citizens): free

*indicative visiting time; might change by an hour depending upon the season or the day

With this, we have closed down Theme 2 of our campaign, ‘Rediscover India, Incredible India’. Read more about this campaign here.

We will meet next week with a new theme. Till then, keep travelling. Feel free to drop in your suggestions for the next theme.


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