Kuldhara is a cursed ‘village of death’. Kuldhara story is one of the weirdest and inspiring stories one would have ever heard. About 15 Km. west of Jaisalmer a city in western Rajasthan lies the ruins of a village which was called Kuldhara. The first sight of Kuldhara village, more a town actually, sends one imagination running to the time it may have been inhabited. A well planned settlement, the straight and wide streets ran in grids with houses opening into them. All design elements kept both aesthetics and utility in mind. A kind of a garage opened into the streets to park carts in. Temples, step wells and other structures were all signs of sound development over the centuries.

Kuldhara

TWO hundred years ago, an entire community vanished overnight.

Nobody saw them leave, or figured out where they went. But as the 1500 villagers abandoned the town of Kuldhara, India, it’s believed they left behind a curse bringing death to anyone who tried to inhabit it. So to this day, few dare to tread here, and even fewer dare to stay the night. Just why the residents left remains a mystery. Legend has it that Salim Singh, the minister of the state of Jaisalmer, fell in love with a beautiful girl upon visiting the village and wanted to marry her, threatening the locals if this was denied. So the girl’s father, the chief of the village, abandoned the town along with people from 84 adjoining villages.

Kuldhara

Kuldhara

Kuldhara

Kuldhara was the name of the largest village in this community consisting of 84 villages.  The village was established in 1291 by the Paliwal Brahmins and was a rather prosperous community due to their ability to grow bumper crops in the rather arid desert.  Paliwal bhramins were a very prosperous clan and were known for their business acumen and agricultural knowledge. But one night in 1825 all the people in Kuldhara and nearby 83 villages vanished in dark. Why did the villagers decide to leave their settlement after having lived there for more that 7 centuries.

Kuldhara

Kuldhara

Kuldhara

Another theory has it that a war erupted, forcing the evacuation. Either way, what remains is a fascinating glimpse of the past, with crumbling homes and underground structures remaining. Last year Delhi’s Paranormal Society sent a team of 30 people to stay the night in the eerie abandoned village. They claim (somewhat unsurprisingly) that they detected mysterious moving shadows, haunting voices, hand imprints of children on cars and one even claims he felt someone touching his shoulder from behind, but nobody was there. They also claim they detected a sudden rise and drop in temperature.

Kuldhara

Kuldhara

Nobody knows where they went but it is believed that they settled near Jodhpur another city in western Rajasthan. Though nobody knows exactly how they did it, everybody in all of the 84 villages completely disappeared that very night.  Nobody saw them leave or figured out where they went – they simply vanished.  It is believed that they cast a curse over the village as they departed that would bring death to anyone who tried to inhabit the land.  It is likely that this is the reason why so much of the ancient village still remains (though mostly in rubble, but not stripped for materials). The crumbling brick structures span out towards all directions and a ghostly silence is all that lives on there. There are still some two storey houses that are intact and the awestruck tourist can well visualize how life went on in Kuldhara, ages ago.

Kuldhara
Today the ruins of these villages can still be seen in western Rajasthan and are now tourist sites. The government today maintains the ruins as a heritage site. A walk through the village is akin to wandering onto the sets of a ghost movie. Only, this one is for real. Any one who is planning a visit to Jaisalmer should keep aside a few hours to catch this haunted setting in the eerie desert backdrop.

Other relevant links:

Indian Paranormal Society, Kuldhara Investigation Full Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EV2xzb4EUL0

http://archive.indianexpress.com/news/a-forgotten-city/638864/

http://archive.patrika.com/article/kuldhara-village-a-true-story-of-haunted-village/49016 (in Hindi)

Getting there:

Jaisalmer is well connected by air (Jodhpur, 285km is the nearest airport), rail and by road. Kuldhara is 18kms towards the west and can be accessed by a cab from Jaisalmer.

So would you dare to visit?


International Womens Day

Image  —  Posted: March 8, 2015 by jailive in Uncategorized


Mobile World Congress is in full swing today and Microsoft woke the press up early to discuss new features coming to their smartphone and tablet space. Top of the bill, presented by Stephen Elop, are the new Lumia 640 and Lumia 640XL devices. The regular 640, with it 5-inch HD display comes as the upgrade from the 630, whereas the 5.7-inch XL version sits as the move up from the large Lumia 1320.

Lumia 640

Lumia 640

Both devices will be available in 3G and LTE versions, with single and dual SIM in both of those depending on the market. The 640 uses a Snapdragon 400-series quad core processor at 1.2 GHz featuring Gorilla Glass 3, 1 GB of DRAM and 8 GB of storage. One might expect SD card support to come as standard, although a short hands on with the device failed to find one. The rear 8MP camera was described as a wide angle lens (although no numbers were given), with auto-HDR and dynamic LED flash. The battery weighs in at 2500 mAh also. Pricing for the 3G model starts at 139€ with the LTE version at 159€.

The 640 XL was described as ‘a slim 9mm’ with similar specifications to the smaller model but at 5.7 inches, namely a 1280×720 screen but the battery is pushed up to 3000 mAh. Internal specifications were not discussed, but the rear 13MP camera features Zeiss optics. Pricing starts at 189€ for the 3G model with LTE at 219€.

Both devices will ship with Windows 8.1 but will be upgraded to Windows 10, with Microsoft going all out to encourage Windows 10 across all of its future devices when available. The 640 and 640XL will also come with one year of Office 365, allowing installation on one PC and one other device as part of the deal. It also comes with 1TB of One Drive storage and 60 Skype World minutes.

Microsoft universal portable keyboard

An interesting element to the launch, especially with the ‘seemless feel’ push of Office across all different sizes of devices, was the Microsoft Universal Portable Keyboard. Barely bigger than a wallet, it is designed to fit into an office bag and be able to connect seamlessly via Bluetooth. No pricing or date was announced, but the focus was more on the office environment.

Microsoft Surface Hub

Microsoft Surface Hub

One demonstration that took me (Ian) by surprise was that of the Microsoft Surface Hub. This was an 84-inch display, normally the size used by large scale demonstrations, but this featured 4K resolution at 120 Hz as well as touch screen functionality. Naturally my thoughts drifted towards a TN type panel using MST, although taking the typical wide-angle test for TN panels was confusing as color consistency remained the same – it seems like they are using some kind of IPS display, which seems odd at 120 Hz.

The combination of 4K and 120 Hz and possibly IPS is mind boggling, which pointed me more towards an MST arrangement – either two panels or four. We managed to ask one of the product managers for the Surface Hub about this, but he was unable to give that information until launch. One of the demonstrations of the device featured a white-board scenario, as well as writing on office presentations. Anything written on the screen was recreated back to the controlling Surface tablet, and the tablet user could write as well, or what Microsoft calls ‘ink-back’. In a similar vein, ‘swipe-back’ to allow both users to change slides was demonstrated. The Surface Hub is linked to Windows 10, and we were told to expect more details at Windows 10 launch, along with another version at 55-inches but with 1080p resolution.