The deserted village of Kuldhara is located 18 km south-west of the Jaisalmer city. Once, it buzzed with people and prosperity and now not a soul dares to live there. Let us find out what made the Paliwal Brahmins pack their bags and leave the place one night. It was not something that they wanted to do but they did due to some reason. No one knows what happened? Some blame it on scarcity of water of this deserted area, some say it was due to a cruel land lordship. Other stories suggest that the head of the village had no other way to save his daughter and the whole village moved with him in his support. Wikipedia adds another reason that there was an earthquake in that area and people abandoned it after that.
A lot has been written about the place already but most of the stories which declare it ghostly and haunted may not be true. This is what the local boys had to say whom I interacted with them. When I asked the guard the reason for not letting the visitors inside the area after five. He gave a very convincing answer. He replied, ” No one has been living in the village for years and in such places, one often finds snakes and other insects come out in the open after the sunset. Thus, for the safety of the people, we keep the ruins open only in the day. There are no ghosts and the place is not haunted. I can assure you on that” And I think he completely made sense.
All about my ride from Jaisalmer to Kuldhara
I have lovely memories of the trip. My partner in crime was a dear friend and travel blogger from Chandigarh. We were visiting Jaisalmer for Desert Storm Race and when we had some spare time in our hands, we decided to do a quick tour in and around Jaisalmer. By afternoon, we were on our way to Kuldhara. It was a thrilling auto ride with no other vehicle on the road. For once, we wondered does anyone even go there. It was already 4 p.m. and we thought, would we be allowed? What if it gets too dark before we are back to Jaisalmer? Despite these apprehensions, neither of us wanted to return half way, hence we continued.
When we reached there, there was no sign of human civilization as expected. It was barren as far as eyes could see. Interestingly, there were proper roads on all sides and it looked like a very well planned town. The guard also informed us that the township was centered around a temple. There were proper longitudinal roads, which were cut through by latitudinal narrow lanes. What more could one ask for? But no one knows what caused the abandonment.
Kuldhara – Facts File, How to Travel & Weather
1. As you walk along the ruins of Kuldhara village, you are met by dusty roads and houses made of sandstone walls.
2. It is a heritage site and is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Therefore, the houses look like new.
3. Rajasthan is extremely hot so visit it during October to April.
4. It is very easy to reach Kuldhara from Jaisalmer by road. Take a car or hire an auto.
5. The horror and ghostly stories are not be believed but yes the whole area speaks of a sad story. One cant be without asking, “What went wrong?’
6. The village is considered to be 300 years old. Paliwal Brahmins lived here before it was deserted.
7. The diwan of Jaisalmer, Salim Singh is also partially blamed for the abandonment of the village. It is believed that he is tormented the villagers as well as had an evil eye for the daughter of the village head.
8. The villagers not only left Kuldhara but they also cursed it that no one would be able to settle here.
9. 1500 villagers lived here and not only did this village get abandoned, many neighboring villages also left with them.
10. Kuldhara brings out an interesting and spooky side of Rajasthan.
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