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Dark Tourism in India | Top 11 Forbidden Wonders Destination

Dark-tourism-in-India-Dhanushkodi-Rameshwaram

Unlike any other unique experiences around the world, we’re also delving into the mystical temples and ancient ruins that hold secrets older than time itself.

Why is Dark Tourism in India a Unique Experience?

Dark tourism in India is like nothing else you’ve ever experienced! Its captivating blend of history, mystery, and culture will take you on an unforgettable journey. And you know what’s truly fascinating? These dark tourist spots are often tucked away from the usual tourist trails, making the experience even more authentic and offbeat. It’s like stepping into a world where the past comes alive with every step.

Dark Tourism Sites in India:

From historical monuments that give you goosebumps to mystical temples that feel like magic, India’s got them all! These are the most popular dark tourism in India sites.

1. Jalianwala Bagh, Amritsar, Punjab

Dark-tourism-in-India-Jalianwala-Bagh-Amritsar-Punjab
Image Credit: Hindustan Times

History:

Jallianwala Bagh, a solemn ground in Amritsar, Punjab, holds a profound place in India’s struggle for independence. On April 13, 1919, during British colonial rule, a horrific massacre occurred at this very site. Thousands of peaceful protesters had gathered here to protest against the oppressive Rowlatt Act when British troops opened fire without warning.

The indiscriminate firing led to the loss of hundreds of innocent lives and left a scar that still resonates with the nation today.

How to get there:

If you’re arriving by air, you can hire a taxi to the site, which is approximately 13 kilometers away. And If you’re traveling by train, take a short auto-rickshaw ride from the Amritsar Junction railway station to Jallianwala Bagh, near the famous Golden Temple.

What to Expect:

Prepare to step back in time and relive a significant chapter in India’s struggle for independence at Jallianwala Bagh. The bullet marks on walls and a well tells the story of innocent lives lost during the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre. It’s a place that makes you think about the value of freedom.

2. Cellular Jail, Port Blair, Andaman, and Nicobar Island

Dark-tourism-in-India-Cellular-Jail
Image Credit: Wikipedia

History:

Constructed in the late 19th century by the British colonial administration, Cellular Jail, also known as Kala Pani was a high-security prison designed to imprison political prisoners, especially freedom fighters who fought for India’s independence. The jail’s architecture is unique, with seven wings radiating from a central watchtower. Each wing consists of individual cells to isolate prisoners, making communication nearly impossible.

The prisoners suffered harsh conditions, forced labor, and severe punishments, earning it the reputation of one of the most dreaded colonial prisons.

How to get there:

To reach Cellular Jail, you can travel to Port Blair, the capital city of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Port Blair is accessible by air and sea from major cities in India, such as Chennai and Kolkata. Once in Port Blair, you can hire a taxi or take a local bus to reach the Cellular Jail – dark tourism in India, which is located in the Aberdeen area.

What to Expect:

Visiting Cellular Jail is not just an educational experience; it’s a profound journey of empathy and understanding. As you’ll explore the cells and corridors you’ll feel the hardships endured by those who were imprisoned here. Cellular Jail evokes solemn emotions and also serves as a powerful reminder of the resilience and courage of the Indian people.

3. Skeleton Lake (Roopkund), Uttarakhand

Dark-tourism-in-India-Skeleton-Lake
Image Credit: Moxtain

History:

This spot high up in the Himalayas has a jaw-dropping history – brace yourselves! Okay, so here’s the deal: they found a lake filled with ancient human skeletons! Say what?! Yup, it’s true! Scientists say these bones are over 1,000 years old and belong to a bunch of mysterious travelers.

I mean, talk about an Indiana Jones moment! And you know what makes it even crazier? They think it could be a group of warriors, a pilgrimage gone wrong, or maybe even an ancient dance party – dark tourism in India – okay, I made that last one up, but who knows, right?

How to get there:

First things first – hop on a plane or train to Delhi, India’s buzzing capital city. From there, grab a ticket to Kathgodam, a charming town in Uttarakhand. Now, the real fun begins! I remember taking a thrilling road trip through lush green forests and winding mountain roads to Lohajung, the base camp for Roopkund.

And hey, if you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can even trek your way to the lake! Just don’t forget to pack your best hiking shoes and some snacks – trust me, you’ll need ’em!

What to expect:

People say that when the ice melts, you can see ancient skeletons peeking out. Scary! Right? It’s like a real-life mystery movie! Some adventurers claim they heard whispers from the past as if the souls beneath the ice are trying to tell their story. I heard whispers that these skeletons are restless spirits, roaming around the lake at night. Some say they dance under the moonlight, and if you’re brave enough, you might even hear their bony footsteps! female solo travel blog, Female Travel Blogs, budget travel tips, Best Trips for Solo Female Travelers, Best Places for Solo Female Travel, dark tourism,Solo Female Travel Destinations

4. Bhangarh Fort, Rajasthan

Dark-tourism-in-India-Bhangarh-Fort
Image Credit: Vargis Khan

History:

Bhangarh Fort, with its grandeur and splendor, was once a bustling town thriving under the rule of the charming ruler, Madho Singh. One legend says the curse turned the whole town into ruins, leaving the fort deserted and haunted. Since then, locals say that no one dares to stay within the fort premises after sunset.

There is a local belief that any building constructed near Bhangarh Fort collapses due to the curse.

How to get there:

Once you reach Jaipur, the vibrant Pink City of Rajasthan, it’s an approximately 90-kilometer journey into the land of mysteries. I remember taking a bumpy but exciting ride through the beautiful countryside of Rajasthan to reach this haunted wonderland – dark tourism in India.

What to expect:

People have said they felt sudden chills and saw shadows dancing in the moonlight. Some visitors claim to have seen shadowy figures wandering around the ruins of Bhangarh Fort at night.  Some who have visited Bhangarh Fort claim to feel an overwhelming sensation of being watched over. As if someone is following their every move, sending shivers down their spines.

5.Agrasen Ki Baoli, Delhi

Dark-tourism-in-India-Agrasen-Ki-Baoli
Image Credit: Delhi Tourism

History:

Alright, get ready to dive into the intriguing world of Agrasen Ki Baoli! This mind-blowing stepwell in Delhi has a jaw-dropping history dating back to ancient times. Legend says that it was built by the legendary king, Maharaja Agrasen, way, way back – like before your great-great-great-grandma’s time! But wait, here comes the mysterious part – dark tourism in India, some say it’s much, much older, and might’ve been here since the age of dinosaurs (well, maybe not that old, but close!).

People back then used this Baoli (fancy word for stepwell) to quench their thirst and chill in the shade. Cool, right? According to a tale, the water in Agrasen ki Baoli is said to be haunted, and some have reported feeling an inexplicable urge to jump into the well.

How to get there:

To reach Agrasen Ki Baoli, head to Hailey Road in Connaught Place, Delhi. Now, don’t worry if you’re not a human GPS like me – just ask anyone in the area, and they’ll happily point you in the right direction. From the hustle-bustle of Connaught Place, you’ll soon find yourself stepping into the serene and mysterious ambiance of the stepwell. It’s like stepping back in time – well, sorta!

What to expect:

As you descend the ancient steps, you might feel a sense of mystery in the air. Some folks say they’ve heard faint whispers, as if the past is reaching out to them. Visitors claim to have heard mysterious whispers and faint voices echoing from the depths of the Baoli, even when no one else is around. But don’t worry, it’s not the ghosts trying to chat; it’s just the wind playing tricks!

6. Kalighat Temple, Kolkata

Dark-tourism-in-India-Kalighat-Temple
Image Credit: Kolkata Tourism

History:

This ancient temple is dedicated to the fierce goddess Kali. It is said that the toes of Goddess Sati, wife of Lord Shiva, fell right here, making it a sacred spot. The image of goddess Kali was found with her right toe mysteriously sticking out. Despite several attempts to push it back into place, the toe always returned to its original position. This was considered a divine sign and led to the consecration of the temple with the image in its unique form of dark tourism in India.

Since then, people from all corners of the country flock here to seek blessings.

I heard from locals that Nishi, the temple ghost, roams around at night, keeping an eye on the temple.

How to get there:

From Kolkata’s hustle-bustle, just hop on a local bus or hail a taxi. Trust me, you won’t miss it – the temple’s right in the heart of the city, like a shining jewel amid the urban chaos.

What to expect:

At Kalighat Temple, you might feel intense energy and witness intense rituals dedicated to the powerful goddess Kali. People say the atmosphere crackles with energy as they seek blessings from the fierce goddess Kali. It’s like being part of a spiritual carnival – exciting and electrifying!

7. Dhanushkodi, Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu

Dark-tourism-in-India-Dhanushkodi-Rameshwaram
Image Credit: Tripoto

History:

Dhanushkodi was once a bustling town with houses, schools, and a railway station. However, in 1964, a massive cyclone struck the region, destroying the entire town and leaving it uninhabitable. Today, the remains of the town can be seen, with abandoned buildings, adding to the haunting ambiance of the place.

According to Hindu mythology, Lord Rama, along with his army of monkeys, built a bridge of floating stones from Rameswaram to Sri Lanka to rescue his wife Sita from the demon king Ravana. This bridge is known as Ram Setu or Adam’s Bridge.

Some say that if one throws a stone into the water, it will never sink but instead float on the surface, defying the laws of physics.

How to get there:

To reach Dhanushkodi, you should first head to Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu. From Rameshwaram, hop into a jeep or van – it’s like a thrilling desert safari, but instead of camels, you have sandy dunes to conquer! 

What to expect:

I visited Dhanushkodi, and the deserted town felt like a portal to the past. The tragic history of the cyclone that wiped out the town might make you feel a sense of sorrow. People say the ghosts of the cyclone’s victims still haunt Dhanushkodi at night.

When I was there, I couldn’t help but feel a mix of sadness and wonder – it’s dark tourism in India experience you won’t forget!

8. South Park Street Cemetery, Kolkata

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Image Credit: The Concrete Paparazzi

History:

The South Park Street Cemetery was established in the late 18th century during British colonial rule in India. The cemetery was primarily reserved for British expatriates and officials who had settled in Kolkata. One of the most famous tales of South Park Street Cemetery is about a tombstone with an inscription that reads, “The wages of sin is death.”

It is said that those who touch or disturb the tombstone will be cursed with misfortune and even death.

How to get there:

If you’re already in Kolkata, you can take a taxi or use public transportation like buses to reach the Park Street area. The cemetery is located near the Park Street Metro Station, so taking the metro is also a convenient option. Once you’re in the vicinity, you can quickly find the entrance to the cemetery.

What to expect:

People who’ve explored this graveyard say it’s like stepping into a real-life ghost story. Many people claim to have heard mysterious footsteps and whispers while wandering through the cemetery. Some believe that the spirits of the deceased still roam the grounds, guarding their final resting place. this is one of the best dark tourism in India sites.

9. Kuldhara Village, Rajasthan

Dark-tourism-in-India-Kuldhara-Village
Image Credit: Unsplash

History:

Kuldhara Village was once a prosperous and thriving community of Paliwal Brahmins in the 19th century. However, the village faced a terrible fate due to an unjust ruler’s tyranny. The story goes that the local ruler, Salim Singh, who was known for his tyranny and desire for the Paliwal Brahmins’ daughter, levied heavy taxes on the village. Fearing the ruler’s cruelty, the villagers left behind their homes, belongings, and fields, vanishing without a trace.

Many believe that the Paliwal Brahmins cursed the village to remain uninhabited forever, and anyone who attempted to settle there would face misfortune and encounter malevolent spirits.

Since then, the village has remained abandoned, and its buildings now stand as haunting reminders of its past.

How to get there:

To reach Kuldhara Village, you can travel to the city of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, which is well-connected by road and rail. From Jaisalmer, you can hire a taxi or take a local bus to Kuldhara, which is about 15 kilometers away.

What to expect:

At Kuldhara, you’ll step into a ghost town frozen in time. The empty streets and abandoned houses might give you a spine-chilling feeling of being watched. Visitors claim to have witnessed mysterious footprints appearing and disappearing on the sandy streets of Kuldhara.

Some believe that these footprints belong to the spirits of the departed villagers, roaming the village in search of peace.

10. Dow Hill, Kurseong, West Bengal

Dark-tourism-in-India-Dow-Hill-Kurseong
Image Credit: Travelshoebum

History:

Dow Hill is a serene hill station known for its beautiful landscapes and colonial-era charm. It was once a favored summer retreat for British officers and their families during the British Raj. Dow Hill is known for its spooky tales and chilling folklore, especially centered around the Dow Hill Girls’ School and the nearby forested areas. One of the most famous tales revolves around the headless ghost of Dow Hill. Locals and visitors claim to have seen a headless ghost wandering through the forested areas, especially near the Victoria Boys’ School. The ghost is said to be that of a young girl who tragically lost her life in the forest. Some have claimed to hear the sound of footsteps echoing in the empty halls or glimpsed a fleeting shadow out of the corner of their eyes.

How to get there:

To reach Dow Hill, you can travel to Kurseong, a town in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal. Kurseong is well-connected by road and rail to major cities in the region. From Kurseong, you can hire a local taxi or take a shared jeep to reach Dow Hill.

What to expect:

At Dow Hill, you’ll find yourself amid a hauntingly dense forest with tales of ghostly sightings and strange occurrences. People have reported hearing footsteps and whispers, even when no one is around. While not everyone experiences something scary, the foggy surroundings and creepy tales might give you an adventure in the haunted hills. 

11.Kamakhya Temple, Assam

Dark-tourism-in-India-Kamakhya-Temple
Image Credits: Travel Dreams

History:

The Kamakhya Temple, located on Nilachal Hill in Guwahati, Assam, is one of the most revered and ancient temples in India. It is said that when Lord Shiva was in deep meditation after Sati’s death, her body was dismembered into 108 pieces by Lord Vishnu’s Sudarshan Chakra. These pieces fell at various places across the Indian subcontinent, and the Kamakhya Temple is believed to be the place where the womb and genitals of Sati fell. During the Ambubachi Mela, it is believed that the underground spring within the temple turns red, symbolizing the menstruation of the Goddess Kamakhya. There is also a belief that the temple’s head priestess, known as the Deodhani, can predict the future.

However, if she reveals her prediction to anyone, she will die. Thus, the Deodhani is said to live a secluded and secretive life within the temple premises.

How to get there:

To reach Kamakhya Temple, you can travel to Guwahati, the largest city in Assam, dark tourism in India. From Guwahati, you can hire a taxi or take a local bus to the temple, which is situated atop Nilachal Hill, offering panoramic views of the city and the Brahmaputra River.

What to expect:

Some visitors have felt an electrifying energy as if the goddess herself is watching over them. Legends tell of powerful goddesses and sacred rituals that might send shivers down your spine. Some have claimed to feel a strange energy surrounding them as if they’ve stepped into another dimension.

Dark-tourism-in-India
Image Credit: Kashmir Observer

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it, the top dark tourism in India sites. I’ve visited a few places out of them and I’m glad I did! But wait, here’s a little secret – these places aren’t as scary as they seem! Sure, they might give you a shiver or two, but it’s all part of the thrill, right? And the real charm lies in the mysterious stories that surround them. Remember, this dark tourism in India sites comes with a hint of danger. So, I’ve one word for you: never go alone!

Having a local guide by your side is not only safe but also like having your very own storyteller who’ll narrate all the tales while you explore the mysterious sites.

And trust me, you don’t want to bring scaredy cats along. I remember when my friend brought their cousin along – oh, what a hilarious adventure it turned out to be! Every rustle of leaves had them jumping, and every shadow turned into a ghostly spirit! So, keep your ghost-hunting gadgets ready, and don’t forget to have a fully charged phone with you.

Now, off you go, but remember, shhh… you never know what awaits in the shadows!  And always remember to Travel Till You Drop!

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About Jill

Hi, Jill Here

Hi! I’m Jill, a Dallas, Texas girl traveling the world. After a career in the Air Force and touring over 50 countries later, my need to explore keeps going! It’s time to rock & roll and find all those places I never knew I was missing.

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