More blurred the information that is known about a place, more is the curiosity and mystery surrounding it. India is a country that has quite a few places that conceal a treasure of ancient mythological significance, old charm and mystery for the bold and intrigued. Here are the top seven of them for you to tick on your list of ‘been there done that’. Have guts of steel and that adventure bug in you?
1. Bhangarh Fort, Rajasthan
Believed to be the most haunted place in India, the Bhangarh Fort in Alwar, Rajasthan has several stories doing the rounds. Standing at the edge of a forest, the spooky stories surrounding the fort just refuse to die down. This place draws visitors from all over the country, and is on the list of many international tourists as well. The fort is open to visit during the day time at a nominal fee, and entry is prohibited after sunset – for obvious reasons. It is believed that there is a curse upon the fort, and those who dare to visit it post sunset do so entirely at their own risk. You can reach Alwar by road from Jaipur in a two-hour car drive. Think you have it in you? Make your reservations here.
2. KamakhyaDevi Temple, Assam
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According to several schools of thought, there are over 108 shaktipeeths in India. Shaktipeeths are Hindu places of worship where Goddess Kali is venerated. Kamakhya in Assam is one such shaktipeeth, but it’s no ordinary shaktipeeth - this is a Mahashaktipeeth or a place where a body part of the irked goddess is claimed to have fallen. According to popular belief, this is where the yoni or the genitals of the goddess fell. What adds to the mystery of this place is a phenomenon that is hard to be believe unless witnessed. Believers say that on account of this mythological story, this place experiences the menstrual cycle for three days in a specific month of the year, and when that happens, it is reported that the Brahmaputra River, which flows near the temple, turns red.
3. Vrindavan Gardens, Uttar Pradesh
According to some scriptures, Lord Krishna is believed to have been married to over 16,000 women. Known to be a keen dancer and flute player, there are several temples and gardens that are dedicated to him, where he is said to be doing rasleela, or a traditional group dance. One such place is the Vrindavan Gardens in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. According to legends, the trees in this garden supposedly transform themselves into ‘Gopis’ or women who herd cows, and then they sway and dance with Lord Krishna as he plays the flute. Local people who believe in this legend also claim that no humans or animals can enter the garden post nightfall, and those who have committed the sacrilege of doing so, have been reported to be suffering from some form of dementia. You can make your bookings to experience this mysterious place for yourself here.
4. Adam’s Bridge, Tamil Nadu
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In the Ramayana, Ravana, the King of Lanka abducted Sita - the wife of Lord Rama. To win her back and free her fom Ravana, Lord Rama is known to have assembled an army who helped him build a bridge between the southern-most tip of India and Sri Lanka. This bridge was eponymously named Ram Setu. Despite the fact that geologists say that Rama Setu is built naturally and are actually a chain of limestone shoals, they have failed to provide enough proof to support this, which adds to the mystery of the place.
5. The Village of Twins, Kerala
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This village of Kodinhi is just 35 kilometres from Calicut and is home to around 2,000 families. These families are famous for their large number of twin births every year. The first twin birth occurred in 1949 and ever since then, the number has only kept increasing with time. Currently, the village has recorded 200 twins. The place has been subject to a lot of curiosity by doctors and scientists to determine factors that might be responsible for this phenomenon. They are yet to determine the reason, and have cited the chemical composition of the water as well as the diet of the women of the area as possible factors. Twins, anyone?
6. Ananathpura Lake Temple, Kerala
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It is safe to assume that crocodiles are carnivores, but not the crocodile that lives here. The Ananathpura Lake Temple has a guardian and protector – Babiya, who is reportedly a vegetarian crocodile. The crocodile is believed to consume only the prasad of the temple which is a mixture of rice and jaggery. Babiya lives in the pond surrounding the temple and is said to have been protecting the goddess and the premises. He is known to have been doing so for the past 60 odd years. Another fact that fascinates people is that Babiya is harmless and is claimed to not have eaten any of the fish in the pond he lives in.
7. Hazrat Qamar Ali Darvesh shrine, Maharashtra
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The Hazrat Qamar Ali Darvesh shrine at Shivapur, is a revered place for many. This shrine near Pune has a rock that weighs over 70 kilograms. This by itself is no mystery, but what if we tell you that the rock can only be lifted by 11 men using their forefingers while chanting the name of a particular saint? The rock is believed to be immovable the rest of times and cannot be lifted by anyone else. Another extraordinary phenomenon about this rock is that after the process of 11 men lifting it and chanting the name of the saint, this rock apparently levitates. According to some historians, the rock is over 800 years old and has been in the shrine since the beginning.
Ancient temples, cursed palaces, and the unnatural phenomena existing at these places are hard to explain. Which of these would you like to visit and set your heart fluttering?