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Borra Caves

Borra caves are located in the Ananthagiri hills of the Araku valley of the Visakhapatnam district in Andhra Pradesh, India. Caves are said to have originated from Gosthani river which flows through this caves. The caves were created due to flow of river over the limestone area.

Images Credit: bharatdiscovery.org

Image Credit: panoramio.com

The Caves, one of the largest in the country, at an elevation of about 705 m (2,313.0 ft), filled with impressive speleothems ranging from very small to big and irregularly shaped stalactites and stalagmites formations. Karstic limestone structures inside the cave extending to a depth of 80 m (262.5 ft) which is considered as the deepest cave in India.

The caves were discovered by William King George of the Geological Survey of India in 1807. The tribals who inhabit the villages around the caves narrate several legends. The popular legend is that a cow, grazing on the top of the caves, dropped 60 m (196.9 ft), through a hole in the roof. Thecowherd while searching for the cow came across the caves. He found a stone inside the cave that resembled a Lingam. The village folks believed that the Lord Shiva protected the cow. Since then they have built a small temple for Lord Shiva outside the cave. 

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The Bhangarh Fort - The Most Haunted Place In The World

The Bhangarh Fort is located at the edge of  Sariska forest in Alwar district of Rajasthan. Built in 1613, the Bhangarh fort is thought to be the most haunted place in India. It’s the only ‘Legally Haunted’ location recognized by the Indian Government. Entry to Bhangarh is legally prohibited between sunset and sunrise.

Bhangarh Fort

A signboard posted by ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) is written in Hindi

A signboard posted by ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) is written in Hindi says "Entering the borders of Bhangarh before sunrise and after sunset is strictly prohibited. Legal action would be taken against anybody who does not follow these instructions".

A number of legends regarding the lonely historical buildings exist, but two stand out above the rest.

One legend speaks the city of Bhangarh was cursed by the Guru Balu Nath. He had sanctioned the construction of the town on one condition, “The moment the shadows of your palaces touch me, the city shall be no more!” When a descendant prince raised the palace to a height that cast a shadow on Balu Nath’s forbidden retreat, he cursed the town. Balu Nath is said to be buried there to this day in a small samadhi.

In second prominent legend, Singhiya, the wizard who was adept in black magic fell in love with theRatnavati, the princess of Bhangarh who was very beautiful and had suitors to marry her from many royal families of the country. One day while the princess, 18 years of age, went shopping with her friends and was buying Ittar(scent). The wizard saw this and replaced the scent with some potion in order to ensnare the princess. He offered the potion to her so that she took a liking for him and marry him. However, the princess saw through the wizard's trickery and when he offered her the bowl of potion, she threw it on a big boulder nearby and as a result the boulder started rolling down towards the wizard and crushed him. Before he died he cursed that Bhangarh would be destroyed soon and no one will be able to live within its precincts. Subsequent to the curse Bhangarh Fort was invaded by theMughals from the north and the city was surrounded and sacked; 10,000 people lived in the fort city at that time. All the people in the fort including the princess were killed. The present state of the fort is attributed to the curse of the wizard and people believe the ghosts in the fort are that of the princess and the wizard. Since from that day at the night time there are some paranormal activities are said to take place, some people have reportedly died by these paranormal activities.

A group of investigators also visited the town from night to early morning, disappointed to know that no paranormal activity was accused of. They also stated: "We tried to communicate to any existing spirits and asked them to manifest for us or do anything which can make us believe that they existed. Nothing happened."

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Mummy of Sangha Tenzin - Well Preserved Mummy of Buddhist Monk

A Buddhist monk, Sangha Tenzin,  was mummifying himself in Gue,  a remote village in Indian state Himachal Pradesh, to save his village from a plague of scorpions. The monk is probably the only mummy in India to have undergone natural mummification.

Image Credit: coolinterestingstuff.com

Though the mummy is dated to be almost 500 years old, it has a certain air of freshness. The lama seems lost in contemplation as he looks over the valley. Chances are it’s the clean air and cold that contributed to the excellent state the mummy is in — with hair and teeth well preserved. The silk robes on him seem to conceal the tremendous power and will that he must have had to undergo the mummification process.

Natural mummification is an extremely difficult process in which the body is made to react in such a way that body fats and fluids reduce at a constant rate and the organs that can decay are reduced in size. A special diet is given towards the end to preserve the meat on the bone. The body is kept in a posture where the monk can continue to meditate, by using a restrainer around the neck. 

It is believed that when Sangha Tenzin's soul finally left his body, a rainbow appeared across the sky and the village was rid forever from scorpions. 

Source: thehindu.com
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Kalavantin Durg - World's Most Dangerous Fortress

Kalavantin Durg (also known as Kelve Teen or Kalavantinicha Sulka) is located on the northern edge of the Prabal plateau between Matheran and Panvel in the Indian state of Maharashtra, at an elevation of 2,300 feet in the Western Ghats. It is also visible from the Mumbai-Pune Express Highway.

Image Credit: Rohit Gowaikar @ Flickr

According to legend, Kalavantin Durg is believed to have been built for a queen named Kalavantin during the time of Buddha or around or before 500 BCE.  

The fort is accessible through steps that were cut into the rock of the hill and looks quite impressive feat. Kalavantin Durg is also called the Climb to Heaven. No rail on the edge and no ropes on the wall, God forbid if you have vertigo. Worst of all, the hardest part is coming down. Kalavantin worthy Durg fort is considered the most dangerous in the world.

Since Kalavantin Durg is at such a height you can see the Peb, Chanderi, Matheran, Karnala, and Ershal forts and The City of Mumbai also visible.

On every Shimga Festival of Holi locals from Machi-Prabal Village dance on top of the fort and they consider it a part of their culture and heritage so a good time to visit this fort would be the Holi Season.

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Mysterious Skeleton Lake of Roopkund, India

In 1942 a British forest guard in Roopkund, India found skeletons of about 200 people in a frozen lake, some 16,000 feet above sea level, at the bottom of a small valley.

Image Credit: aberrantwanderers.com

Initially, it was believed that these were the remains of Japanese soldiers who had died of exposure while sneaking through India. Upon examination team of investigators sent by British government later realized these bones were not from Japanese soldiers as they weren't fresh enough.

Many theories were put forth including an epidemic, landslide, and ritual suicide. For decades, no one was able to shed light on the mystery of Skeleton Lake.

However, a 2004 expedition to the site seems to have finally revealed the mystery that all the bodies date to around 850 AD. Evidences suggest that group was comprised of pilgrims and shorter group of locals heading through valley. They trapped in the valley with nowhere to hide or seek shelter, the "hard as iron” cricket ball-sized (about 23 centimeters) hailstones came by the thousands, resulting in the travelers' bizarre sudden death.

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