Bhangarh Fort: The ‘most haunted’ place in India?

News4u-Travel Desk- How many of us believe in ghosts? Do they actually exist? Can they be felt? Believers will reply in affirmative and non-believers will perish the thought. But everybody would like to take a trip to THE den of the ghosts and such was the trip to Bhangarh, considered India’s “most haunted” place.

Although it is a 300-km drive away from Delhi, yet a handful of people know about it. We started driving towards Bhangarh from Delhi early morning, expecting the journey to last not more than four hours. As not many people frequent the place, we did not have any first hand information and took guidance from a map and distance measurements available on the internet.

After crossing Gurgaon we proceeded towards Bhiwadi and turned to Alwar district in Rajasthan. Till this point we did not encounter any problem; it was a nice long drive and a little anxiety about what we would encounter at the fort.

From Alwar, as we crossed the Sariska reserve, the weather conditions changed. The sky became completely dark and in the afternoon it seemed like 7 o’ clock in the evening. Dark clouds started descending over the Aravalli range and both melted into each other.

The weather condition was becoming hostile the more we approached the fort. To add to our plight, we bumped our way over at least two kilometres where there was no asphalt on the surface.

After crossing Ajabgarh, we entered into Bhangarh territory. It started raining profusely. It rained so much that visibility was down to 500 metres. Luckily we were carrying umbrellas and so without wasting a minute’s time, we jumped out of the car and entered the fort. The lush green grass in the fort and its adjoining area surprised us. It did not at all seem like a place in the desert state of Rajasthan. There were many local tourists who came in groups, mostly youngsters. The dilapidated fort and the ruins welcomed us.

As we entered we found a Hanuman temple right next to the main gate. The sprawling premises has more than half a dozen temples: Hanuman Temple, Gopinath Temple, Someswar Temple, Keshav Rai Temple, Mangla Devi Temple, Ganesh Temple and Naveen Temple and a very strategically positioned Purohitji ki Haveli. It left us wondering how ghosts stay in a premises where there are so many temples!

A young tourist, Babulal, who was in a group of 10, said: “We all have come to see bhoot bangla (the fort of the ghosts)! We have heard about this place a lot and hence thought of coming once.”

As we entered, we saw a Dancers’ Haveli and Jauhari Bazar. All dilapidated now, but locals say paranormal activities are observed in these places at night. Further down the sprawling expanse of the fort was the Gopinath Temple, crossing which we reached the Royal Palace. It is located at the farthest end of the fort area.

The architecture of the buildings and the fort speaks volumes of the talent and acumen of the people during the rule of Bhagwant Das who established the town in 1573.

There are many myths about the place. It is believed that the entire township was obliterated in a day. But no written evidence has been found till date.

Against the backdrop of the Royal Palace stands the Aravalli Range. Bisram Nath, who works in the Someswar Temple said at times wild animals come down from the mountain ranges at night. “A few families like ours stay within the premise. We stay near the Ganesh Temple. The biggest problem is that the area does not have electricity.”

The Archeological Survey of India has put up a board on the fort gate that it is prohibited for tourists to stay inside the fort area after sunset and before sunrise. Locals say whoever has tried to stay inside after sunset was never found.

Standing on the terrace of the Royal Palace one can view the vast expanse of the fort. It has four gates - Lahori Gate, Ajmeri Gate, Phulbari Gate and Delhi Gate. It seems life has come to a standstill in this area.

Like all other tourists, we also left the place before sunset with many questions remaining still unanswered in our minds.

How many of us believe in ghosts? Do they actually exist? Can they be felt?

1. Route: Delhi-Gurgaon-Bhiwadi-Alwar-Sariska-Thanagazhi-Pratapgarh-Ajabgarh-Bhangarh. It’s a nearly 300-km drive. Best to travel in a SUV and always carry a spare tyre as there are stretches where for kilometres there are no petrol pumps or habitations.

2. Always carry some dry food as good dhabas and eateries are rare.

3. Carry a torch with you as the fort does not have electricity and even in day time, a torch will help you to see parts of the fort better.IANS

Bhangarh Fort

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Jakarta

News4u-Travel Desk- Stunning cityscape of the city after sunset Located on the northwest coast of the island of Java, Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia, is one of the world’s greatest metropolises. Nicknamed by expats as ‘The Big Durian’ (a thorny fruit), Jakarta boasts of many marvels. From historic and cultural sites to modern high-rise buildings and swanky shopping malls, the city will keep you enthralled throughout your visit.

Your trip to this versatile city will be incomplete without visiting its flea markets and experiencing its electrifying nightlife.

Attractions include the Indonesian archipelago (set amidst the serene waters of the central lake), bird and reptile parks, museums, performing theatres, monorail, and cable rides, to name a few.

The grand main-entrance to the National Museum of Indonesia
A must-visit for history buffs, the Museum Nasional houses the richest collection of Hindu and Buddhist art of ancient Indonesia.

The Museum Nas ional is known as the “Elephant Building” after the bronze elephant statue in its forecourt. The collections here represent almost all of Indonesia’s territory and rich history. Here you will find prized artifacts like the famous statue of Prajnaparamita (the ancient goddess of transcendental wisdom with intricate carvings).

The towering “Monumen Nasional” at the city square, Jakarta
Located at the centre of Merdeka Square (also the world’s largest city square), the Monas symbolizes the struggle for Indonesian independence.

A flame gilded with 35 kg of gold foil tops this 132 m tall Italian marble tower.

Fascinating 16th century buildings in Old Town, Jakarta

Kota (Old Jakarta), known as “The Queen of the East” and “The Jewel of Asia” in the 16th century, was once the center of commerce for the whole archipelago.

It is home to important historical sites and buildings like the Museum Fatahillah, Wayang Museum, Bank Indonesia Museum, Pasar Ikan ( Fish Market ), Kota Intan Drawbridge and the Sion Protestant Church.

The largest mosque in Southeast Asia, the Istiqlal Mosque is one of the city’s popular attractions.

The grand rectangular prayer hall is a sacred place of worship as well as a center for conferences and seminars.

Jakarta Cathedral

Beautiful ornamentations on the spires of the Jakarta Cathedral

Built in 1901, the neo-Gothic style Jakarta Cathedral towers over the Merdeka Square. One of Jakarta’s best colonial architecture, the cathedral features 60-meter twin spires, an ivory tower with clocks and the church bell.

The cathedral, also called as the Lapangan Banteng, is located opposite the Istiqlal Mosque, a symbol of religious harmony.

Jakarta

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Its official! John Stamos, Caitlin McHugh are dating

News4u-Entertainment Desk- Actor John Stamos has found new love with actress Caitlin McHugh and the two are reportedly dating each other.

The pair recently sparked their romance rumors after they were clicked together getting ice cream in West Hollywood, the People Magazine reports.

It is being said that the 52-year-old actor and McHugh looked very much in love with each other as they linked their arms walking side by side.

The ‘Full House’ actor sported a blue shirt, a pair of light blue jeans and white trainers for the occasion while his lady love opted for a sporty look wearing a navy blue hoodie atop a grey tank top and knee-length leggings.

Last week, Stamos appeared on television show ‘The View’ and dropped a hint that he was dating someone these days but did not reveal the name of his love interest.

Stamos was married to Rebecca Romijn from 1998-2005. (ANI)

John Stamos

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Anti-corruption campaign launched by EU in Afghanistan

News4u-News Desk- The European Union Delegation in Afghanistan on Saturday has launched Anti-Corruption Campaign 2016 in a bid to help Afghan citizens to fight and mobilize government in taking stronger action against corruption.

“Afghanistan’s endemic corruption is crippling the economy and undermining the fight against the insurgency. This threatens past achievements and investments in Afghanistan as well as the future of all young Afghans,” Tolo news quoted EU’s statement.

The statement also said that the campaign will focus on four themes: Corruption and peace; corruption in the judicial sector; natural resources and stability - the threat of illegal mining; and public action against corruption.

Ambassador Franz-Michael Mellbin, EU Special Representative in Afghanistan present during the campaign launch said that every day ordinary Afghans are confronted with corruption’s dark shadow that fills the pockets of the rich while the poor suffer.

He asserted that corruption undermines the Afghan people’s hard-won achievements over the last 14 years, and it is a primary threat to the sustainability and survivability of the Afghan state.

He said that the government should do more and since it cannot stand alone , the citizens should take responsibility in ending this scourge.

The campaign is set to for seven weeks and will culminate with a high-level conference in early May.

A new study by Transparency International in January released results that found Afghanistan as the second most corrupt country among 176 in the world.

The top three were Somalia, Afghanistan and North Korea. (ANI)

Anti-corruption campaign launched by EU in Afghanistan

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Afghanistan thump Zimbabwe to storm into World T20 Super 10s

News4u-Sports Desk- Afghanistan produced an inspiring performance as they progressed through to the main draws of the World Twenty20 after completing a comprehensive 59-run win over Zimbabwe in Nagpur on Saturday.

Electing to bat, Afghanistan made 186 for six in their stipulated 20 overs, thanks to Mohammad Nabi’s quick-fire knock of 52 off just 32 balls.

Afghanistan opener Mohammad Shahzad provided the initial thrust with a 23-ball 40 before his side lost some wickets in quick succession.

However, Nabi constructed a solid 98-run partnership with Samiullah Shenwari (43) to help his side post a formidable target.

In reply, Zimbabwe struggled to build partnerships amidst hovering run rate as they were bundled out for 127 in the 19.4 overs.

Meanwhile, Oman, who stunned Ireland in their first group encounter, will look to continue their giant killing run when they will take on Bangladesh in order to secure the remaining spot in the Super 10 stage on Sunday. (ANI)

Afghanistan thump Zimbabwe to storm into World T20 Super 10s

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Biggest online dating turn-off is `grammatical errors`

News4u-News Desk-: What are the reasons for loneliness even after surfing the online dating sites?

Popular online dating site ‘Zoosk’ reveals that ‘the one thing’ that is responsible for dating melancholy is ‘poor grammar,’ reports News.com.au.

The study surveyed more than 9000 Zoosk singles, looking at the extent to which poor grammar affected an individual’s attraction levels across different age groups.

The survey found that nearly half of singles, almost 48 per cent, considered grammar to be a deal-breaker in online dating. Blatant spelling errors are a turn-off to the majority of singles.

According to this survey, a period at the end of a text impresses singles, with 93 per cent saying that they become happy if they receive a text message with this proper punctuation. First messages sent with an exclamation marks, produce a 10 per cent higher response rate.

65 per cent of women said that poor grammar, either in an online dating bio or after multiple offences, would be a deal-breaker, compared to 40 per cent of men.

People, who use four-letter acronym of prepubescent doom like YOLO and LOL, will see a 47 per cent decrease in response rates. (ANI)

Biggest online dating turn-off is `grammatical errors`

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New ‘AsthmaMap’ brings ‘personalised therapy’ closer to reality

News4u-News Desk- A newly-developed digital map detailing different mechanisms that contribute to the development of asthma has opened the door to personalised treatment more targeted to the type of asthma patients live with.

In other disease areas, the Parkinson’s disease map and the Atlas of Cancer Signalling Network, have already begun the process of integrating knowledge about the involved mechanisms in order to understand the different subtypes of these diseases. The AsthmaMap is the first detailed representation of the different molecular processes involved in asthma.

The current “one-size-fits-all” approach to healthcare, in which there are standard treatments for single conditions, means that many patients take medication that does not improve their symptoms. An emerging field, known as “systems medicine,” is harnessing the use of new technologies to gather big data sets on many patients in different disease areas, to understand how diseases affect people differently.

Lead author Alexander Mazein from the European Institute for Systems Biology and Medicine said that in-depth understanding of asthma means redefinition of asthma subtypes based on the mechanisms that lead to the development of the disease. This translates into more accurate diagnostics, new therapy strategies and the development of patient-focused drugs that can target the different subgroups of asthma

He added, “AsthmaMap is a key step forward in our move towards a personalised approach to healthcare in the respiratory field. While it will primarily be used for research purposes at this stage, we anticipate that once validated, the tool can be used by clinicians as they are treating patients.”

The study is presented in Estoril, Portugal at the European Respiratory Society’s Lung Science Conference. (ANI)

New ‘AsthmaMap’ brings ‘personalised therapy’ closer to reality

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Turkey hits PKK targets in Iraq with air strikes

News4u-News Desk-Turkey’s air force bombarded Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets in northern Iraq this week, killing 67 rebel fighters, the military said today, the first such strikes in nearly a month.

The air strikes, carried out by 14 F-16 and F-4 fighter-bombers, hit camps and other installations run by the PKK, which is designated as a terrorist organisation by Turkey and its Western allies, the military said in a statement carried by local media.

It is the first such operation against PKK bases in Iraq since February 18, when the air force launched raids in retaliation for a suicide bombing in Ankara that killed 29 people, which Turkey blamed on Kurdish rebels.

The Ankara attack, which targeted a convoy of five buses carrying army staff, was claimed by the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), who have been linked to the PKK.

Turkey has in recent months waged an all-out assault on the PKK, which launched an insurgency against the Turkish state in 1984, fighting for greater autonomy and rights for the country’s largest ethnic minority.

After more than two years of ceasefire, deadly clashes restarted last year between security forces and rebels in the Kurdish-dominated southeast.

Last month Turkey carried out artillery bombardments on Kurdish fighters in Syria and threatened to extend the action to include air strikes.

Turkey targeted the People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia, which it considers to be a terror group linked to the PKK despite support for the group from Ankara’s ally Washington.

Turkey hits PKK targets in Iraq with air strikes

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Arun Jaitely addresses RBI Board meeting on financial sector reforms

News4u-News Desk-Finanace Minister Arun Jaitely addresses RBI Board meeting on financial sector reforms. He said there is rationale behind merger and recapitalisation of some banks.

Briefing media persons, he said detailed discussions with members of the RBI Board were held and the rationale behind the various financial sector reforms announced in the budget 2016-17 was explained in depth.

He further added that there was a discussion on disinvestment and initiatives to clean up the bank’s balance sheets.

RBI Governor further said there is a well-defined process to define wilful defaulters.

RBI Governor Dr.Raghuram Rajan said Govt needs to be complimented for displaying fiscal discipline.

Arun Jaitely

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Pak will use F16 against us: Baloch envoy to UN

News4u-News Desk- Baloch representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council and the European Union Mehran Marri on Sunday condemned the move by the United States Government to sell F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, saying that Islamabad would use them against the Baloch population.

“We condemn the sale of any arms and ammunition to Pakistan Government and military, especially F16 with mountainous capabilities because they’re purely used against Baloch population,” said Mehran.

“It is a sad and black day in the history that more weapons of destruction have been sold to Pakistani military. During Bin Laden era, America and European Union heavily armed the Pakistan military to find Bin Laden and eliminate him. But we came to know that Bin Laden was sitting in their lap in Abbottabad,” he added.

Mehran also feared that Islamabad, which has been using the arms and ammunitions against the Baloch, would now use it against them again.

Taking a major step towards finalising the deal, the United States government on March 6 had formally issued a notification on the sale of eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan.

The notification estimates the total cost of the deal to be nearly USD 700 million.

However, India and some US lawmakers are questioning Washington’s move and that if such an arms transfer will help combat terrorism while claiming that the fighter jets will change the military balance in South Asia and will ultimately be used against India.

In a policy justification, posted on the Federal Register, the US administration rejected this assertion. “The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region,” it argued, adding that the aircraft would improve “Pakistan’s capability to meet current and future security threats”.

The administration also noted that the additional F-16 aircraft would facilitate operations in non-daylight environments and “enhance Pakistan’s ability to conduct counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations”.

However, Pakistan has conveyed to the United States that it needs the F-16 jets for counter-terrorist operations which would strengthen the country and promote regional stability. (ANI)

Baloch Leader Mehran Marri

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