Winter is the right time to explore places around Delhi, especially Rajasthan. It is cold but sunny and best to do outdoor activities. There are some excellent places around Delhi for short trips and Bhangarh Fort is one of that place. We combined Bhangarh fort with heritage hotel, Sariska Tiger Reserve because all these places are close by.
I planned a trip to Bhangarh, Sariska and it’s surrounding area. We planned to go over the weekend for 3 days. Bhangarh Fort is India’s most haunted place.
We hired a cab for the complete trip because public transport is not an option. I usually travel solo or with a friend or with my parents but this trip was a bit different because I was traveling with 3 adult and 1 hyperactive child. I planned and booked the cab & hotel for us. We started from Delhi at 6.00 AM.
We took highway number NH 8 and before Alwar, we left the highway and taken an inner road. We drove through the town of Alwar. Our first stop was Siliserh Lake. It is surrounded by thick forest and magnificent cenotaphs on its embankment. Here we rented paddle, boats to explore the lake, paddling is a laborious job but its fun at the same time. We paddled for a while and then let our boat drift in wind direction for a while as admired the surroundings. It was nice fun, we had kind of raced and teased each other from our boats but after some time we got tired so we paddled back. There are an RTDC hotel and restaurant on the edge of the lake, so we had some snacks and drinks here while enjoying the peaceful surroundings. There is nothing to talk about the food we had here. From here we proceeded toward Sariska wildlife century, where we booked our hotel for overnight stay.
Our first stop was Siliserh Lake. The lake is surrounded by thick forest and there are magnificent cenotaphs on its embankment. We rented paddle boats to explore the lake, I personally like paddle boat because I am able to control the pace for boating. We paddled for some time then let our boat drift in wind direction for a while as we enjoyed being in the middle of the lake. We spent more than half an hour in Lake and we came back to shore. There is an RTDC hotel and restaurant on the edge of the lake. We had some refreshments while enjoying the beautiful surroundings. After spending some time here we proceeded for Sariska wildlife century, where to we have to stay overnight.
We checked into our hotel and decided to book the evening safari. In Sariska Tiger Reserve they allow private cars but wildlife sanctuary is best explored in open Jeep. We booked the Jeep and had lunch in the hotel. We relaxed for some time and got into our jeep for safari. Sariska Tiger reserve is now home to 11 Tigers but sightings are still difficult because of the undulating terrain and vastness of the jungle. We were able to see other animals like Chital, hyena, Neel Gai, Wild Boar, Sambar, jackals, and langurs but no tiger spotted, there was no sign of Tiger 😉 (People who been to Tiger Reserve, will understand how guides create the atmosphere that Tiger is somewhere near and we can spot anytime but most of the time we are not able to spot). There is one big water body in the park, which is not too far from the main gate and here we have seen crested Hawkeagle, Goldenback Woodpecker, Pied Kingfisher, Lapwings etc (I can’t remember all the names).
The forest is dotted with an old fort and temple, they are now in ruins and some are visited by locals on some on auspicious days. Inside the Sariska Reserve, there is a temple of Hanuman at Pandupol Fort Kankanwadi, it is one of the main attraction and views from the top is nice.
We came back to our hotel and enjoyed the enjoyed peaceful surroundings. There was nothing to do in the evening.
Next morning we went for the morning walk in the surrounding area and seen many birds & collected some wild berries. After breakfast, we checked out from the hotel.
We went to the Sariska Palace, which is another attraction in the area and situated just outside the forest gate. They had converted it into a hotel but they allow visitors also in some parts. There are entry and camera tickets for visitors. We saw the royal collection on display for the public.
Next, we left for a most important place of this trip, India’s most haunted place Bhangarh fort. The fort was established in 1573 during the rule of Raj Bhagwant Das as the residence
According to one story, the fort was established in 1573 during the rule of Raj Bhagwant Das as the residence of his second son Madho Singh. During the famine of 1783, the town was abandoned and has remained a ruin ever since.
The other myth is that the charm and beauty of the princess of Bhangarh Ratnavati were matchless in all of Rajasthan. At eighteen years of age, the princess started getting matrimonial offers from other states. In the same region, there lived a tantric, who was well versed in the occult. He was named Singhia, he was desperately in love with the princess knowing that he would never be allowed to even see her, let alone meet her. One day, he saw the princess’s maid in the market buying scented oil for her. Seeing this, he got an idea by which he could meet the princess. He used his black magic and put a spell on the oil which would hypnotize the princess by her merely touching the oil, and then she would surrender herself. The princess foiled this plan though. She had seen the tantric enchanting the oil, and she, therefore, threw it away. As soon as the oil touched the stone, it started rolling towards the wicked tantric and crushed him. While dying, Singhia cursed the palace with the death of all who dwelt in it, without any rebirth in their destinies. The very next year there was a battle between Bhangarh and Ajabgarh and Ratnavati died and after that everyone left the fort.
The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) had put up a signboard at Bhangarh fort gate stating: “Entering the borders of Bhangarh before sunrise and after sunset is strictly prohibited.” Some people who visited Bhangarh at night affirmed that there is a strange feeling in the atmosphere, which causes symptoms of anxiety and restlessness but we had experienced nothing. The ruins are beautiful & tranquil and well worth a visit. What remains though, is only the shadow of a once beautiful fort complex. One interesting thing I noted here that local people offer cigarettes at “jin preat’s” temple, which is located at the top of the fort and for us, it was a bit amusing.
By the time we finished seeing Bhangarh fort, we were very hungry. Unfortunately, there was no restaurant or eating joints around it. We found a very very small shop in the nearby village, where we managed to get roti, dal, and sabzi. It was a basic place with benches and tables. But there was no other choice so we ate here. My advice is to carry your picnic lunch and snacks when you visit Bhangarh.
After our breakfast, we checked out.
On our return journey, we stopped at Fort and palace of Tijara, which was first initiated in 1835. Unfortunately, the early death of the king prevented him from completing the monument. So it remained incomplete, there are three separate palaces within a half-fortified wall. Then the Neemrana group of hotels took over. Now it’s private property and converted into a heritage hotel. It is situated on top of the hill in the middle of nowhere. It had rained in the morning so our ride was bumpy on a muddy road. The view from the top of the fort is interesting. We had tea while it was drizzling outside.
After spending some time in Tijara Fort, we proceeded for our return journey. On the way, we happened to see a beautiful procession of Jain guru in Tijara Town.
By evening, we reached home. It was a short and sweet trip but memories of wild and heritage from it will last forever.
How to Reach Bhangarh Fort –
Delhi to Alwar is 170 Km – Alwar to Sariska Tiger Reserve is 30 Km and Sariska to Bhangarh is 40 Km. There is no public transport available. So having a taxi for the complete trip is only option.
Things to Remember –
Best time for Tiger Safari in Sariska is early morning or evening.
There are no resturants near Bhangarh fort, so carry your packed lunch.
Wear comfortable shoes because the path to the fort is made with uneven stone and slightly elevated.
The best time to visit these places is between November to March.