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