Jaipur: Bhangarh, a deserted town in Rajasthan, was established in 1613 by King Madho Singh, son of great Mughal general, Man Singh of Amber.
Bhangarh was abandoned soon after being built and supposedly after it was cursed by a magician.
In ignorance Ajab Singh, the grandson of Madho Singh, raised the palace to such a height that the shadow reached the forbidden place.
Local residents say, it was then that the devastation of entire town of Bhangarh took place.
Local villagers claim, whenever a house is built there, its roof collapses.
People say that nobody returned who stayed there after dark.
Entry to Bhangarh is legally prohibited between sunset and sunrise. A signboard posted by ASI (Archaeological Survey of India), specifies the instructions.
While the board is written in Hindi, the instructions on it roughly translate into: "Entering the borders of Bhangarh before sunrise and after sunset is strictly prohibited. Legal action would be taken against anybody who does not follow these instructions".
According to legend, the city of Bhangarh was cursed by Guru Balu Nath, sanctioned the construction of the town on one condition, "The moment the shadows of your palaces touch me, the city shall be no more!"
When a descendant prince raised the palace to a height that cast a shadow on Balu Nath's forbidden retreat, he cursed the town. Balu Nath is said to be buried there to this day in a small samādhi.
There exists another myth. This is the legend of the Princess of Bhangarh, Ratnavati. She is believed to be one of the jewels of Rajasthan.
On her eighteenth birthday she began to get offers of marriage from other regions. In the area lived a tantrik, a magician well versed in the occult, called Singhia, who was in love with the princess but knew that the match was impossible.
One day Singhia saw the princess' maid in the market. Local fables say, he used his black magic on the oil she was purchasing so that upon touching it the princess would surrender herself to him.
The princess, however, seeing the tantric enchanting the oil, foiled his plan by spilling the entire magic oil on the ground.
As the oil struck the ground it turned into a boulder, which crushed Singhia, says the fable. Dying, the magician cursed the palace with the death of all who dwelt in it.
The next year there was a battle between Bhangarh and Ajabgarh in which Princess Ratnavati perished.
Legends say, there are ghosts in Bhangarh and that is why entry is prohibited for tourists in the fort after sunset and before sunrise.
The locals believe that princess Ratnavati has taken birth somewhere else and that the fort and the empire of Bhangarh is waiting for her return to put an end to the curse.