Whether it be the unnatural silence in the air, or the legends of paranormal activity that make rounds here, Kuldhara definitely has an eerie aura to it. Set a little more than 15 kilometers away from the city of Jaisalmer, this one village remains abandoned for more than 200 years. People visiting Jaisalmer often make it a point to add it in their itinerary and if you one of them, don’t forget to include it while you plan your trip too.
Kuldhara is known not only for its abandoned, ruined state, but the story of 1,500 people miraculously disappearing overnight. This strange event makes little sense, and the mystery continues to intrigue tourists even today.
A prosperous village in the 13th century, Kuldhara was self-sufficient, modest and cultured, which can be seen even today. The architecture of the houses still boasts of intelligent methods of storage and rain water harvesting. Many legends surround the abandonment of the village. While the latest may be that it was due to an earthquake, the perfectly preserved houses tend to question this theory. For the ruins, however, it seems more plausible.
But what has made this site so famous is its story. Home to the Paliwal Brahmins, the village dwelled happily in its limited boundaries, till the fateful day when the Diwan of the village, Salim Singh, eyed the village chief’s daughter to be his wife. Infamous for his unfair taxing, the village protested against him, with no avail. The chief then asked the guards to come the next morning, and the entire village disappeared overnight.
Another legend says that the neighboring 46 communities stuck with the Paliwal Brahmins and accompanied them that night. The question that arises is that with so many people travelling through the barren golden land of Jaisalmer, how could they be so discreet? Where did they go? Where did they settle? Did they make it? No one knows. The only thing that people here will tell you is that this land is cursed. Cursed by the Brahmins that never can there be settlement here again.
A tour through the village is quite an experience. Apart from the whistling of the desert breeze, and the low chatter of fellow tourists, you will hardly hear a sound. The entrance to the site has houses on both sides. Mostly ruined, the broken sand bricks work as an introduction for what is in store for you next.
The center of the village has houses in better conditions. You can check out the pillars of the houses that are actually hollow and were used to store grains, and the open pipes that were set along the perimeter of the roof, leading to the water reservoir under the house.
Amongst these modern designs, is a small temple that stands alone. Unlike any other temple in the country, this one remains empty. The small holes in the walls mark the places where the temple lamps were kept, and the circular design points to where the deity once rested. Adding to the eeriness of the village, this temple is beautiful, yet a little odd. Take your time exploring the village, and make sure you go to at least one terrace, to view the entire place!
Rajasthan is one of the best tourist destinations of the country, and Jaisalmer is like its hidden surprise. Use the best trip planner to plan your trip to Rajasthan, and don’t miss out on the haunted village of Kuldhara!