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Not far outside of the city of Ubud in Indonesia is a fantastical archeological site known as Goa Gajah, or “Elephant Cave,” although visitors could be forgiven for finding this name confusing given the wild-eyed demon maw that serves as a front door.
The ill-fitting monicker comes from a complicated trickle down of translations relating to the temple cave throughout history that may have alluded to elephants at one point.
However there does not seem to be any actual pachyderm imagery anywhere on the site. Instead the facade of the cave is carved into a surprisingly menacing devil’s face with wide eyes staring over the doorway that acts as its screaming mouth.
All around the monster’s face is what seems to be a boiling sea of flames.
Flanking the frightening frieze are smaller sculptures of creatures that have eroded with time.
Colorado, San Isabel National Forest – the heart of what many call Cowboy Country. Yet stray of the beaten path and you come across Bishop castle – a 160-foot high structure that weighs in at an estimated 50 thousand tons.
Incredibly, it is the work of a single man – Jim Bishop. Strangely though, if you are a tourist to the state, you will not find a mention of Bishop Castle on any official brochure.
That’s a shame because the place is magnificent. You might be forgiven that for believing that you had stumbled upon the home of the Colorado branch of the Addams family or perhaps a set mock up for a Tolkien inspired movie.
With the wrought iron, dragon’s head and formidable masonry it even has the look of a post apocalyptic stronghold for survivors. Yet it is a family home.
It has lain abandoned for the best part of 400 years and is said to be the most haunted place in India.
Situated between the cities of Delhi and Jaipur in the state of Rajasthan the true reason for its abandonment has been lost to history, though there are several legends surrounding its fate.
Even today no-one is allowed to enter the ghost city of Bhangarh after twilight – it is said that if they do they will never return.
Image credit Flickr User Saad.Akhtar
Within the grounds there are still majestic temples to major Hindu deities: Shiva, Lavina Devi and Gopinath are represented among others but the throngs of worshipers who clamoured for entrance to the temple are long gone.
The town was first built in the reign of Bhagwant Das, a powerful maharaja, in 1573.
It is said that a local guru was asked for permission to build the city.
Read further via Bhangarh – India’s Haunted City ~ Kuriositas