Tuesday, March 26, 2013


 In Anticipation
Accidentally heard name of the place somewhere on net and apart from this the only information that we had was that this place is somewhere near Sariska reserve forest. So, after a rocky and enriching drive through the desert forest of Sariska on a lovely winter morning, as we set for the unknown and mysterious Bhangarh , we literally had no idea where we were heading to. Although, we had number of explorations in the past where we were not equipped with enough knowledge of the place, accommodations etc. but I bet this one was complete blank. Surprisingly none of the locals we asked around Sariska could give us any proper information about the place or distance……a desperate attempt to bind together the various broken information finally helped us heading for a supposedly right direction.
So real yet so strange

Four of us on the old and trusted friend my Alto LX started with the maximum speed possible. But very soon the ‘highway’ nature of the road turned into a slow bumpy ride. A sunny winter day, the more we went more we found population decreasing, only some occasional view of village women with their colorful attire carrying stones, sand and digging while some fat men sitting on chair smoking.  With the sun right on the top of our head we were felling hungry already. Still no sign of the Bhangarh at any of the direction board or milestone (hardly there were any) we stopped by a dhaba like structure after around two hours drive. As feared, here also the people have never heard about Bhangarh and we left just after a rather forgettable lunch with mixed anticipation.
As the Sun slowly leaning towards the horizon we found ourselves on a narrow country road, occasional camel cart and small village huts…….like a invisible magical wall we found ourselves driving through a completely different world…….right through the hearts of the day to day life a remote Rajasthan village …far away from the modern life and cities…..women busy in their day to day work….men and aged people chatting on the veranda …..under a monster tree a villagesarpanch with huge white mustaches talking circled by the excited villagers……and you can easily make out you are not in a Bollywood film-set and everything around is much so real and yet so strange and different from what we see in our regular life.One look at the meter and we knew out initial estimation of Bhangarh being around 30/40 km from Sariska went for a toss and we have already crossed over 30 km……..and I was sincerely doubtful how far the remaining petrol can carry us…..as finding a petrol pump amongst these tiny village paths was as good as finding kangaroo at Saiska forest….. (And moreover, we have not found even a tractor for the last 45 minutes.) A strange passion and anticipation kept us going and how I back my decision today, as we will always cherish that experience and feelings in life. One good thing came out by that time, we were ensured finally by a 10/12 years kid out to ride his goats’ that we were indeed going towards the right direction and all we needed to do was to find Ajabgarh first. Slowly , even the tiny villages and occasional villagers disappeared and all we had picturesque landscapes all around rocky uneven grounds , small grasses and age-old tress. 

Doomed Village on the way
As we drove towards Ajabgarg and beyond it, we spotted some house like structure from a distance, anticipating another small village on the way after a long time we were eager to find some people. And hardly had we known a unique experience awaiting us. Indeed, it was a village but with the entire village was doomed and devoid of any living thing. The houses made of clay and stones were all looking mystic and haunted and where ever there is a door left undestroyed was locked from outside.

Tired and excited a chilling wind passed through our spine as we drove passed a complete village without a single heart beating. Around 3 km from the village Alto 2807 was made a sudden stopped. There lied a ghostly tree, around 100 years old as it seemed, on a side of the road and this was not what made us stopped; but a very small kid was sitting below the tree out of nowhere. Finding someone and more so a kid so small at the given situation was so unexpected that we were thrilled. We were amazed to see the kid did not utter a word in spite of our repeated asking and probing. He stayed unmoved. Confused, after some clicks of him and the place we continued our amazing journey.

 The next stop was due to a over flowing local river, water flowing right across the road took us some time to decide weather our can take it…and as always it did not disappoint us a bit and crossed the location comfortably. 
And thus we reached Spooky Bhangarh
A good 72 km though that unforgettable journey finally enabled us to reach Bhangarh…..we were more than pleased to find a couple of more travelers and a few locals there. A place worth all those stress and hard work had every reason to be called the most hunted place in this south Asian country. Monkeys and Indian langoors had been living with a perfect symphony with the spirit (and spirits?) of Bhangarh for ages. 
An entire township planned somewhere in the pages of History, hidden at the most interiors of Rajasthan were truly magical. As the sun touches the horizon, a mystic light all around, you would definitely love to believe all those story and magic standing at the foothills of Great Bhagrh fort.
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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

2012 - An year of craziness

2012... when I reflect on the year that's gone... I see 12 months of total craziness. Travelling from hot to cold desert, from peaks to plateaus, haunted places to eternal pilgrims; Enjoying every weather to the fullest.. be it getting wet in rains or sweating myself to scorching hot sun in the desert... or shivering to the deadly winter I did it all. Every day of the year was different... every experience made me learn something new and every journey helped me find myself little more.

Apart from my travel adventures that includes gliding above Dhauladhar ranges... conquering the highest motorable road... finding mysteries at spooky Bhangarh.... mingling with tribals at Pushkar... getting wild in jungles of Bengal, there are many other milestones that made 2012 a significant year in the journey of my life. I officially started organising travels for likeminded people; got my travel stories published in various national and international publications including national geographic, Discover India, Terrascape, Alive and Women's Era; did my first independent photography assignment; organised photography event and much more...

Hoping 2013 to be even crazier!

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