Dear Friends, today I would take you through to one of my fascinated trips I made to date. It is about a haunted place called Kuldhara in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. Kuldhara is an abandoned village and It is believed, it was established around the 13th century. It used to be a prosperous village once inhabited by Paliwal Brahmins. It was abandoned by the early 19th century for unknown reasons, possibly because of dwindling water supply, or as a local legend claims, because of persecution by the then Jaisalmer minister Salim Singh. A 2017 study suggests that Kuldhara and other neighbouring villages were abandoned because of an earthquake. So you are free to accept any story behind this village for its disappearance. Over the years, Kuldhara acquired a reputation as a haunted site, and the Government of Rajasthan decided to develop it as a tourist spot in 2010.

The former village site is located about 18 km south-west of the Royal city of Jaisalmer. The township was centered around a temple of the mother goddess. It had three longitudinal roads, which were cut through by a number of latitudinal narrow lanes. The remains of a city wall can be seen on the north and the south sides of the site. The eastern side of the town faces the dry-river bed of the small Kakni river. The western side was protected by the back-walls of man-made structures.

The Kuldhara village was originally settled by Brahmins who had migrated from Pali City to the Jaisalmer region. These migrants originating from Pali were and so-called Paliwal. Tawarikh-i-Jaisalmer, an 1899 history book written by Lakshmi Chand, states that a Paliwal Brahmin named Kadhan was the first person to settle in the Kuldhara village. He excavated a pond called Udhansar in the village. The ruins of the village include 3 cremation grounds, with several memorial stones.  Ruins of 410 buildings can be seen in the former village. Another 200 buildings were located in the lower township on the outskirts of the village.

Lakshmi Chand’s Tawarikh-i-Jaisalmer provides statistics about Paliwal population and households of several villages. By the 19th century, the village had been deserted for unknown reasons. Possible causes proposed in the 20th century include lack of water and the atrocities of a Minister.

The historical records suggest that the population of the village declined gradually: its estimated population was around 1,588 during the 17th-18th century; around 800 in 1815; and 37 in 1890. However, a variation of the legend claims that the village was abandoned overnight. According to this version, the lecherous minister Salim Singh was attracted to a beautiful girl from the village. He sent his guards to force the villagers to hand over the girl. The villagers asked the guards to return the next morning and abandoned the village overnight. Another version claims that 83 other villages in the area were also abandoned overnight.

After reading this article you too are thinking of spending at least a night there in Kuldhara but would like to tell you that the administration does not allow anybody to stay there at night. Yes you can go there in day time and can explore it as much as you want . There is another place named “Kabha Fort” which is also considered as a haunted fort. It is some 2 km before the Kuldhara village.

How to reach: There is no direct bus available from Jaisalmer to Kuldhara but share jeep runs every 1 hour. I would suggest you to hire a jeep for this place so that you can save your time and can explore this place. Shared Jeeps are available from Hanuman Chauraha ( Crossing).

What to Eat: If you are in Jaisalmer, do not forget to have a taste of Mirchi Vada