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Stories behind some mysterious places in India

Updated on February 3, 2022
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Rushali is a Tourism and Hospitality Management graduate. India-Oman-UK

Kuldhara - Rajasthan

A prosperous village situated 18 km south west of Jaisalmer and said to be established in the 13th century, today lies in ruins, abandoned; with an eerie atmosphere. Several stories behind the village being abandoned in the 19th century, have been put forward. The locals have a legend related to the cursed village of Kuldhara.
The village was home to Paliwal Brahmins. The Diwan of Jaisalmer was a cruel person and levied heavy taxes on the poor villagers. This along with the extreme scarcity of water lead to the villagers deciding to leave the place.
Another story has it that the Diwan Salim Khan had laid eyes on a young girl from the village. Since Paliwal Brahmins upheld their cultural values, they were against his decision of marrying the girl. Asking the guards send by Salim to return the next morning, the villagers abandoned Kuldhara completely, while leaving a curse behind that the land can never be re-occupied ever again. Recent experiences of paranormal activities have lead to the place being popularised as a haunted location.

Chiktan Palace - Chiktan Village - Kargil

About 75 km from the border village of Kargil lies the ruins of this once majestic fort. Tahtah Khan, the Prince of Baltistan built a small palace in the place in the 8th century. The majestic palace was later built in the 16th century by Balti craftsmen under the King Gyalpo Tsering Malik. The architect, Shingkhan Chandan was bought from Khapuio(now in Pakistan). It took 9 years to complete the castle and according to folklores, the palace had a revolving hall inside. The king was impressed but the minister suggested that the architect be killed or his hands cut off so he can never recreate the masterpiece. The king felt that this was legit. Wife of Chandan, aware of the King's plans send a cryptic message to Chandan who was at Skardu, his hometown at the time.
Chandan decided that he had to go back for his wife but after a considerable amount of time. When he returned he destroyed the base (a wooden block) which supported the revolving hall. This lead to its original grandeur being tarnished and later it was abandoned. Today due to the negligence over time, it lies in ruins.

Talakadu - Mysore - Karnataka

Talakkad is a temple town situated on the banks of river Kaveri. Despite being a prominent historical location, what attracts tourists to this location and the story of a curse behind somewhat 30 temples that lie buried beneath sand as seen today. The place has been ruled by the Cholas and Hoysalas.
Sri Ranga Raya of the Vijayanagar family of Srirangapatnam, after falling prey to an incurable disease, came to Talakad to offer prayers at the temple. Hearing of the ill health of her husband, Alamelamma, came to Talakad to see him one last time, leaving behind the government of Srirangapatnam. But King Wodeyar of Mysore had his eyes of the jewels that Rani Alamelamma had in possession. Hence, he deployed his soldiers to Talakad to bring the queen. Rani therefore threw the jewels in the river and drowned herself but not before uttering a three fold curse : "Let Talakad become sand ; let Malangi become a whirlpool ; let the Mysore Rajas fail to beget heirs". The curse is proved and widely believed since the Wodeyar dynasty didn't have a rightful heir since the 17th century and the once vibrant temple town now rests submerged under sand.

Unakoti - Tripura

Unakoti hosts an ancient place of Shiva pilgrimage. It is said to date back to 7th centuries or even earlier. Filled with one less than a crore stone carvings the location has two mythological stories attached to it.
According to Hindu mythology, one crore gods and goddesses including Lord Shiva halted at this location while on their way to Kashi and told them to set out for Kashi after after getting up before the sunrise. But the gods and goddesses failing to do the same enraged shiva and he cursed that all the others be turned into stone images. Hence today we see unakoti stone images at the location.
Another story that is around suggests that a blacksmith named Kallu wanted to live with Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathy on the Mount Kailash, the place where Shiva is said to live. Upon hearing the same, Shiva bet the blacksmith that he would have to make a crore stone images of him overnight to stay with them at the Kailash Parvath. But when counted in the morning the stone images were one less than a crore, hence the name.
The place lies abandoned, but under ASI, development of the nearby areas have been considered to maintain the location.

Bhangarh Fort - Rajasthan

Built in the 17th century by Man Singh I, who was one of the Navranta's(Nine gems) of Mughal ruler Akbar's court, for his brother Madho Singh, this location is said to be the most haunted in India. It was named after Bhan Singh who was the grandfather of Madho Singh. The ASI(Archeological Survey of India) has put up a notice restricting visitors at the fort after sunset. Two legends are associated with this haunted site.
The first story revolves around a sadhu/hindu saint named Baba Balaknath who demanded that all houses/buildings nearby his house should be smaller than his own. If the shadow of any taller building falls upon his house, it would lead to the destruction of the town. Man Singh I went against this condition which resulted in the flourishing town becoming a ghost town overnight due to the curse of Balaknath. Everyone fled the town fearing destruction. The curse remains till date as the vicinity of the fort witnesses eerie sounds of ghungroos (anklets) and laughter after dark.
The second version states that a tantrik (black magic wizard) named Singhia/N.K. Sinha fell in love with Rani Rantavati, the Princess of Bhangarh. One day the 18 year old princess went shopping for ittar(perfume), Sinha taking advantage of this offered her a love potion that would make her fall in love with him. The Princess well aware of the Tantrik's crookedness, threw the potion on a boulder nearby which rolled towards the Tantrik, crushing him to death. But before dying the Tantrik cursed Bhangarh and told that it will see destruction and no one can stay in its vicinity. Since then the town had seen Mughal invasion and attacks. The town of 10,000 people was left in ruins while the residents of the fort were all killed or saw mysterious deaths, thanks to Tantrik's curse.

© 2018 Rushali Prasad


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