Rajasthan is a famous tourist destination particularly for its ancient buildings and the traditional life of the royals. But ancient buildings almost always carry a story and not all are pleasant. Being populated for over 1000 years, Rajasthan is a ground for several folk tales and incidents that most likely happened in real life.
1. Rana Kumbha Palace
Considered as one of the scariest places in India and the most haunted in Rajasthan, the Rana Kumbha Palace is located in the famous region of Chittorgarh. The background behind the numerous tales of screaming ladies and unearthly noises is terrifying too. It is said that when Alauddin Khilji, Sultan of Delhi, attacked this palace, the Queen, Padmini, and her 700 female followers burned themselves as a protest. Several incidents of unexplained noises and activities have been reported in the palace grounds, pertaining to this haunting. People have dared to stay behind in the palace grounds at night, to check for the reality behind the legends, and in most cases, the ghost did not disappoint and left them with an unforgettable scare, particularly a woman appearing in ancient royal attire.
2. NH-79 Dudu Village
In a land of kings and infamous palaces, a particularly spooky road ranks above them in the level of scare. Locals call it the road that demands blood, the Ajmer-Udaipur highway is famous in Udaipur, Rajasthan especially in the village regions. The Dudu village located nearby to the road is the venue of several hauntings for many decades. In the ancient times, to oppose the child marriage of her baby girl with a 3-year-old toddler, the mother ran towards the now-infamous highway to ask for help where a vehicle fatally clashed with her and her child. Since then many unsuspecting drivers, driving down the Ajmer-Udaipur highway (NH-79), have said to have encountered the ghost of a lady carrying a baby in her arms, who sometimes appears in their vehicle only to sit still.
3. Nahargarh Fort
Located in the Pink City of Jaipur, Rajasthan, Nahargarh Fort are perched upon the length Aravalli hills. The fort is secluded from the rest of the city and the high walls of the fort add to the disconnection. The love of the king Sawai Raja Man Singh for his creation was undying and locals claim that his spirit hasn’t left the fort yet despite being unused for many centuries, except for tourist tours. While Amer Fort and Jaigarh Fort were also built along with this one, but the Nahargarh Fort, in particular, remains haunted by his ghost, even causing the mysterious death of the owner of a restoration organization.
4. Brij Raj Bhavan
Once a grand mansion, Brij Raj Bhavan in Kota, Rajasthan now serves as a heritage hotel which is claimed to be haunted by a British soldier. Major Burton was an employee of the East India Company and was killed during a mutiny alongside his family by Indian militants at the Bhavan. The hauntings seemed to have started right after the capture as the Queen of Kota, who lived there, claimed to have seen the spirit of the dead Major, roaming the long corridors. While the spirit is harmless, it certainly takes the sleep out of the nighttime security guards.
5. Kuldhara Village
Once a prosperous village, Kuldhara is now an abandoned ruin in the Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan. This formidable village has an old legend that explains the abandonment, that a cruel local minister named Salim Singh wished to marry a village girl despite opposition from the villagers. One night before the minister could send soldiers to capture the girl, the villagers fled the place overnight and gradually leading to the village’s decline. While the locals do not believe this ghost story, a team from the Indian Paranormal Society spent some nights there and reported unnatural figures and noises among the ruins. They claim to have black-boxes and recordings of the voices of the dead villagers. 4
Legend has it that the ancient king that ruled this land was callous towards his starving public and many villagers, including witches, cursed the king and the barren land. While this is a famous tourist spot near Jaipur, the tourists claim to hear the souls of the dead villagers who ask desperately for help. And the witches make an appearance on the roads of Jagatpura late at night, terrifying the unsuspecting passersby.
7. Bhangarh Fort
Bhangarh Fort is a well-preserved fort in the Aravalli Hills of Alwar district in Rajasthan. In contrast to the scenic views of the green hills and serene atmosphere, the legends surrounding this place are chilling. A tantric living in the fort region wished to marry the queen Ratnavati, but when he tried to lure her with a love potion, he was mysteriously crushed by a rolling boulder. While the tourism surrounds more on the many temples of the region, there are other folk tales surrounding wizards and sages that add to the mystery of this fort. People have claimed to hear clanking bangles and the cries of the woman within the fort, while the outer surroundings turn eerie and spooky at night.
Sudhabay is located in Pushkar, Rajasthan and technically it is not haunted round the year like other places on this list. But on one particular day of the year, the lake and its surroundings are swarmed by people who believe to have been possessed by evil spirits. The possessed attempt to cleanse themselves of the evil by bathing in the holy waters, and it soon turns into a mass exorcism with some ghastly sights. The Ghost Fair is only for the brave and even the ones who do not believe in such things may change their mind after witnessing these horrific events.
9. Jal Mahal
As the name suggests, Jal Mahal is a beautiful water palace in Jaipur and remains a popular tourist spot till date. The palace stands in the Man Sagar Lake with 4 of its stories submerged in the lake. While it was neglected for nearly 200 years, the water inhabited much of the palace and locals claim that the king’s ghost-infested the place too. Despite being serenely placed and intricate in its design, no one dares to visit it after sunset, hoping to avoid the strange screams and noises that occur in the floating palace.
10. Delhi Jaipur Highway
Late-night travels have accounted for most of the horror stories ever told, and roads are no exception especially the highways. The busy Delhi Jaipur Highway is said to be haunted by the spirit of a woman who died in an accident on this stretch. The pedestrians and drivers have reported a strange woman in a red saree, appearing and disappearing on the sides on this highway. It could be hearsay but not many are willing to risk it.
Being overrun with ancient architecture and forts, cities of Rajasthan are filled with both local and regional tales of hauntings. Except for the roads, you might not be able to access the places at night to witness the paranormal activities yourself, but the locals will tell you all the tales you need to hear.