India lives in her villages

Bhandarej - Bhangarh Palace

Prior to Jaipur, Amber, and Bhandarej, the capital of the Kachchwa rulers was Bhangarh. The history of the village as recounted by the locals is as follows:

A Raja was once hunting some wild animals with his bodyguards in search of a wild pig. Over his many attempts to shoot the animal, he destroyed the crops of many farmers. Ultimately, one girl asked the King not to enter in her field and destroy the crops. Instead, she entered in her field, threw a stone with the help of a “Gophia,” and managed to emerge from the fields pulling the dead wild pig. The King was surprised to see the courage and intelligence of the girl. After being enticed by her beauty, he married the rural girl and named her Rani Ratnawati.

One day, the King and Queen were playing a game called “Pasa.” During this game, drops of water fell from her golden bangles. The King asked how and why this was happening. The Queen tried to ignore his questions but eventually answered and said that a businessman from Bhangarh started to travel by ship from Mumbai and his ship was in danger. He asked her for help, she helped him, and she said he was then able to safely continue with his travels.

Some thought that Rani Ratnawati may have developed these special powers due to her worship of the Goddess Durga. The King was wary of her powers and intentions and became worried that she may be a threat to him and his kingdom. To confirm his doubts, he called upon a Tantrik from West Bengal . The Tantrik confidently said that the Rani indeed had strong powers and that nothing could be done to her within the fort without some intervention. He then gave the King vial of magic oil and instructed him to have it applied on the Queen's hair before sleeping so he could kill her in the night. The Queen's maid servant was told to apply the magic oil but she tripped as she walked towards the room and all the oil spilled onto a large stone. So she applied normal oil to the Queen's hair but did not inform the King of the mishap. Later that night, the stone that had the magic oil all over it moved and crushed the Tantrik. When the Rani heard of the story in the morning she was furious at her husband for doubting her and leading an innocent person to his death. She decided she would no longer live with him and asked all inhabitants of the palace and adjoining colonies to leave within 24 hours or face a similar fate to the Tantrik. No one knew where the Rani disappeared to after giving this order but her warning was heeded and the Bhangarh Palace , temple, and surrounding colonies remain vacant even today.

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Tourist Feedback

The highlights for me were definitely the step well and the camel ride. It was a real pleasure to be able to discover places that I hadn't heard about from the major guide books.

....Guy Collender
There is much beauty in the simplicity of village life. I had a great time eating, dancing, and speaking to everyone there – I would love to visit again and take all of my friends.

....Rajat Julka