Header Ads

In search of Ghosts in Haunted Village - Somanathahalli

Trip Ouline:-

7 Ghost Riders started from KR Puram railway station on 8th March 9pm. As expected train came by 9:10pm & everyone boarded the train. Started speaking with each other. Cracked lot of jokes on ghosts & their stories. Had nice time in the train & slept late. Everyone woke up by 6:30am & again started chit chatting. Reached "Karnataka - Hyderabad aka Gulbarga" by 9:30am. Meghraj got their TATA Sumo & went to their home. Everyone freshen up & started to roam around Gulbarga.

Visited Anjaneya Temple, Buddha Vihar (Pic 1), Khwaja Bande Nawaz Dargah (Pic 2), Haft Gumbaz (Pic 3) & Gulbarga Fort (Pic 4).

Buddha Vihar: Felt peaceful after going there. We can see & hear birds sounds which is so nice. Statue of Buddha is good & dome looks awesome from outside.

Khwaja Bande Nawaz Dargah: Main doom of dargah has religious inscriptions & look was superb. Couldn't take picture of it.

Gulbarga Fort: It was one time watchable one who likes history. There was big Canon on top of watch tower. Everyone sat, stood on that & took pictures.

Now comes real event Somanathahalli:-

Somanathahalli is small village on banks of Bhima river on way to Yadgir (30kms from Gulbarga). Village is 3.2kms away from main road. Need to go on foot through mud road to reach the village. If your lucky, you will get auto in the morning.

How we spent time in Haunted Village:-
We took bus to reach the village. It took nearly 1hr to reach the bus. No one has clue about the existence of village - Passengers / Conductor. After explaining nearby places, one passenger gave info. He asked multiple times why we are going to that village. Told that, we are going for friend marriage. Our stop came & got down of the bus. It was pitch dark & couldn't see any lights. Saw a sign board for village with 3.2kms distance. Started walking on mud road & noticed white cloth on bush. Cracked jokes on it as it is ghost. No lights seen after walking, thought that no villagers will be there. Soon we saw 2 vehicles coming in same road & thanked god. One tractor & Toofan vehicles stopped & enquired about us. We told that, we are from THE HINDU paper & came on research about ghosts.

After 1hr walk, we reached the village & welcomed by dogs. Villagers asked lot of questions & we told same story as Reporters. They told that we have abandoned houses on other side of village. Youngster villagers guided us to houses.

After roaming through the isolated houses, we sat for sometime. There comes an elder villager enquiring about us. Once Meghraj started speaking with them in Kannada, they shared the story - Here it goes.

Ghost Story:-

In the village, there is a landlord who had house in this village & nearby town. One old woman used to take care of house. One day, tiger came into this house & woman escaped from it. Villagers came to know about it & want to capture/ kill it. Every1 goes to see it & one lady goes near the entrance door, sneaks in. Tiger will be infront staring. Suddenly it jumps onto woman & kills her. After seeing this, villagers decided to kill the tiger as it might kill some more villagers. Few villagers keep nets at front door, others started throwing stones on tiger from back door. It ran through front door & got struck in net. Villagers killed the tiger & buried it in same building. After some days, 2 villagers died unexpectedly from same house lane. Villagers believe that tiger became ghost & because of this sudden deaths are happening in village. Most of the houses are vacated in that lane & no one goes dares to go late night.

They told that, they will arrange food for us. We told that, we got it. They told that, we can sleep on their house terrace which we accepted. We went & relaxed for sometime. They got Pillows, Carpet & mat for us. We started cracking jokes on ghosts. We went back to houses @ 12am midnight in search of ghosts. Took pictures on the way & came back after 1 hour, spoke some more time seeing the stars.

Woke up early morning 5am & walked back to main road to reach Gulbarga. As it is early morning & no bus stop, we didn't get bus for 15 mins. Later, lorry stopped & we boarded onto it. Reached Gulbarga & had breakfast. Went to Meghraj home & freshen up. Started towards Bidar.

While going, we spoke about previous day fun moments - jokes. On the way, tyre got punctured & it wasted 2hrs of time in making vehicle ready. Also got to know that, we came in wrong route. Finally reached Bidar & went to Gurudwara.

Bidar Fort: To roam this fort, it takes 5-6 hours minimum & we have only 1 hour of time. Fort is of 5.5kms with thick walls covered. This place should be watchable one. Went & saw the museum & mosque which are awesome. Took pictures at 3 entrance doors, mosque, fort.
In the museum, we have very big pistols which we took pictures (which is not allowed). Garden was very good at Solah Khamba Mosque. Spent some time there & started back on correct highway. On the way, we had lunch @ Noor Dhaba which was very good. Mutton biryani was awesome. We saw Karanja Reservoir. While returning, tyre got busted & we changed the Tyre in 3 minutes. Reached Gulbarga, however missed train @ 6:50pm which goes to Yadgir. After lot of discussion, hired Toofan & reached Yadgir by 10:10pm. Boarded Garibrath Express @ 10:40pm & relaxed in the train. Everyone snoring in the train & we couldn't sleep for sometime. Finally we slept after tiring day. Reached Bangalore by 7:30am.

Wished everyone & dispersed to respective locations. Lot of experience in this event with lots & Lots of fun.

Thanks Giving:-

# Meghraj Bhai should be thanked million times. Without him, this event wouldn't be successful. He is there from 1st to last minute of the event. Can't mention things he has contributed to the event - They are many. Thanks aton Meghraj Bhai :)
# Thanks to all Somanathahalli villagers for their kind & caring hospitality.
# Thanks to Saajan Bhai whom we dont know. However, he is Joker of complete event.
# Thanks to 6 Ghosts of this event - Who made it so wonderful.

Hoping that, we will meet each other in future events. Take care :)

Written By      : Chaitanya Adusumilli
Main Blog       : Adusumilli 2 nature
Organized By : Virander Sirohi
Date of Event : 9th-Mar, 2013
Place             : Gulbarga, Bidar, Somanathahalli
Pictures         : Chaitanya. Santosh

Been There, Done That, Came Back Alive

The Hindu Bureau

I. Genesis
                    While waiting for the train on KR Puram station, I casually ask Viru by what means did he reach the station. His straight face reply was that he walked all the way. I instantly knew that I was in for a weekend of Viru-isms, a term that in my book has come to encompass a deadly concoction of double entendres, absurdist humour, and physical acts of playfulness and inexplicable bursts of energy. Viruism is something you make fun of at first, but fall-for soon enough. And boy, I was right!

 It all started when I discovered the much publicized Grave Encounter Trek (also covered by this paper), which I later confirmed on imdb, happened to be based on a movie title. Of course, there were more challenging aspects of the Beginning such as booking tickets on Tatkal, which was meticulously overcome by Viru. In his victory speech, besides thanking Family and Friends, Gods and the Ghosts, Viru also claimed that his achievement was no less than winning a noble prize.
 Other major prep was in gearing us in self-defence- pepper spray (we ended up settling for volini instead) and knives. Since no one could turn up with a gun, I settled for a beloved book of poetry, my only hope on such occasions. Thus began our journey of the unknown. 
There were other outrageously comic moments of misunderstanding and misinterpretation at the beginning of this journey, a comedy of errors if you will. For example, the time when our Tamil speaking friend Kamlesh had a face off with a Marathi couple. Recounting the details here will be extraneous and out of context. 

II. Everyone's Man of the Moment
Also meet, Meghraj. Everyone's man of the moment. Meghraj, better known as Saajan Bhai (or will be known as henceforth), is the most powerful force to reckon in these badlands of Gulbarga-Bidar. He is the one who gets things done here, is above all the law, people respect and fear him in equal measures. The guy is an expert in assuming false identities (more on this later) and uses languages to his advantage. He is the god-fearing, anti-matrimonist soul who has everything-gadi (tata sumo), bangla (with farms), white safari suit and most importantly an affectionate Ma. None of our shenanigans over two days were possible without him, and hence a special award of excellence for him. 

III. A Day Goes By
The first day at Gulbarga was spent essentially preparing for the night that was to come. There were desperate attempts by a certain someone (let’s call him saajan bhai) to seek blessings of all the gods, not wanting to take any chances. In between all this, there were moments I would be amazed at the diverse cultures we inherited, all the intermingling of architectural styles and seeming ease with which we seem to cruise around a TATA Sumo in the narrowest by-lanes of the city. On other moments, I would find my serenity inside the quiet of a Buddhist prayer room or the verandah of a Dargah. This country does work by keeping a lot of faith!
There were also good measures thrown in to look for signs and portents- thus was discovered the poem of the day with signs of death and eternity, another imagery of a half born women staring through one's own face in the mirror. All this added to the thrill and kept things interesting. 

IV. EK Thaa Tiger
A long bus ride dropped us close to the haunted village long past twilight. As we made our way through the trail, we were dabbling in existential uncertainty. Then came this idea of posing as reporters from The Hindu, if confronted by any one because telling the truth about us being there just for the kicks didn't seem a very bright idea. Following dim flickering lights on a moon-less night, moving past uncertain silhouettes on a scorpion-laden path, we reached the small village, which we immediately identified as the inhabited part of Somanathahalli.

The members of the village immediately invested in us, and were more than eager to share their story of the haunted village, The credit again goes to Saajan Bhai for playing the part of a reporter with flair, and making others fit into different roles.
 Although, the villagers were competent story tellers with dramatic pauses and what not, I will be into the whole brevity thing, thereby keeping it concise. The story goes something like this: The landlords of the village owned a large house (haveli), the house had been empty (circa 1962) since the landlords family had moved out,when an escaped tiger started occupying the house. A curious lady wanted to see the tiger, and curiosity was killed by the cat (if I may put a spin to the aphorism). The tiger was killed and buried in the same haveli. It was assumed that the tiger would come to haunt the villagers. A couple of unnatural deaths in the neighborhood confirmed the fears of the suspecting villagers, and one by one they all fled the village. This exodus happened about 15 years ago. The remaining gaaonwale still do have a palpable fear of the supernatural in the deserted parts of the village, but deny having seen a ghost and refute believing in any such 'thing' anymore. They were not pleased with the speculations about their villages being haunted,and rightly so, as this means a state of perpetual neglect by authorities. Social boycott by other villages in matters such as marriage, compounded the woes of people of Somnathahalli. Matters were made worse by sensationalist media such as TV 9, the reporters of which had, on a previous occasion, made the children act for TV, in a manner that would imply they were under demonic possession.

However, when it came to actually visiting these 'haunted' sites at the stroke of midnight, villagers decided to stay away. All of them had their reasons, for example this one gentleman was threatened by his angry mother to back off or he would have had his leg broken off. Exploring the dilapidated, ruinous houses without any assistance was thrilling: We visited the landlord's haveli, followed by a number of smaller houses. Some of them were locked, still others were accessible and had a few things of questionable utility inside. Few of the bricks used in construction of these houses were dangling dangerously, there was a wild growth of thorny bushes all around, eerie silence that was broken occasionally by movement of cats lurking in the background, which strangely made the milieu appear even quieter. This made for an interesting hour of exploration. 

One thing I had missed in this narrative was that during the course of the story-telling hours, the villagers constantly offered us food. In the end, they also arranged for us a  nice place to sleep on one of the roof-tops. I think it were these and many other such acts of love and kindness and uninhibited humanity, that triumphed and transcended all supernatural forces, good and bad. 

V The day I look at my face in the glass and see a half-born woman
Early hours of a new dawning. Watching the sunrise bending through the clouds from the back of a truck while the melodies of wind cast an overwhelming effect on us. This joy ride brought us back to Gulbarga, and onwards to another journey to another city in another space and for another time. Driving at tops along the long, unwinding highway exposed me to some of the most quintessentially beautiful portraits from the country side. The fields, the flowers, the cattle,the plough, sugarcane, truck-loads of them and those genuine shy smiles that greeted us everywhere. A flat tyre and a couple of hours later, we were in Bidar, another of those eternal towns. The fort and the faiths held our imagination again. On the journey back, a nutritious mutton biryani meal beckoned us. After the food, I had the epiphany of what wikipedia page on this region had always said ' They make their Biryani differently' or something to that effect. They really do know their Biryani! Another tyre burst and a missed connecting train later, we applied ourselves and managed to start the train journey back to Bangalore. 

 Like it happens with all the good things that come to an end, I had a bitter-sweet feeling in my heart while sitting on the train, staring out of the window into dark nothingness. It was the solemn realization that the trip had come to an end, along with the happy memories of it having lasted at all in the first place.  

Post Script: Question: How many ghosts does it take to fix a flat tyre in under three minutes? Answer: 7

All views expressed by the author are personal. 

Written By      : Aniket Panda
Organized By : Virander Sirohi
Date of Event : 9th-Mar, 2013
Place             : Gulbarga, Bidar, Somanathahalli


  1. Wonderful ghost search and am proud of being visited Bidar which is my native place!!!


Bangalore Trekking Club©. Powered by Blogger.