Rajasthan displays a picture of mystifying desert kingdom with many glorious forts, palaces and villages. Apart from this, Rajasthan has a marvellous history, culture, and legacy. This state has many renowned tourist places. But one more thing can be added to Rajasthan; its various abandoned and haunted places, palaces and villages. One such place worth mentioning is the village of Kuldhara. This village is located 18 km (approx) west of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.
No one lives in Kuldhara, as well as its adjoining 85 villages, as these are believed to be cursed. Kuldhara was once a very lively village of the Paliwal Brahmins. It is believed that all the residents of Kuldhara village, as well as residents of adjoining 85 villages abandoned their homes overnight in 1825. The ancestors of these villagers had been residing in these villages since 1300. It is believed that they left on the day of Rakshabandhn and that is why some of the Pali Brahmins do not celebrate this festival. There is no clue to where the residents went, but some believe that they had gone to a place near Jodhpur.
The Paliwals were skilled farmers and were a very knowledgeable community. They knew the technique of cultivating water intensive crops like wheat in a desert. They were well settled in those villages. But, the question remains, why did they abandon their homes and that too overnight? This mass migration has a story behind it and according to the story, there lived a Diwan of Jaisalmer, Salim Singh, who fell in love with the daughter of the village’s chieftain, as she was extremely beautiful. He wanted to marry the girl and threatened the villagers with heavy taxes if he wasn’t allowed to marry her. Self respect and honor were above all materialistic belongings at that time and to protect these, the chief’s of all the 84 villages decided to leave the place. They took away what they could carry and left behind a curse -that any person who attempted to settle down in the village would die. Hence no one dared to live in those villages and so Kuldhara village is also known as the Ghost Village.
The first look of the village is very haunting and sad with ruins all over. On reaching this village, you will be welcomed by a sand stone gate built just before the village was abandoned. Once in the village Kuldhara, you will feel as if you have stepped into an entirely different world. Wide dusty roads and sand stone houses on either side of roads depict the architectural marvel of the Paliwal Brahmins. Few houses have been restored and these restored houses display courtyards, kitchen, along with other rooms. The Kuldhara village also has temples.
Once a prospered village, Kuldhara has now turned into a place full of ruins all over, carrying a curse. Though it is not a very popular tourist place but, travel enthusiasts love to visit Kuldhara.