Kuldhara is a village in the Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan. The village is abandoned and ruins of the same can be seen here. The village has a history and it goes back to thirteenth century when it is said it was established. It was once occupied by Paliwal Brahmins, who were wealthy. It was a prosperous village and was abandoned overnight. The story goes like this. There was a chieftain who set his eyes on the daughter of chief of the village. The villagers were given one day time to handover her daughter to him, whom he wanted to marry. Villagers decided not to cede to his demand and decided to abandon the village overnight. Where they went is still a mystery. It is believed that the village since then is haunted as it carries curse of Paliwal brahmins.
The village is now a protected site and is maintained by Archaeological survey of India.
While our stay in Jaisalmer, we decided to visit the village in the morning while going to Tanot. It is about 35 kms from the city on the road to SAM sandunes. Midway towards SAM you have to take a detour towards left on barren road, ride about 8 kms and you see another board pointing towards left, and then you see the ruins of the village.
As we approached the entrance a man appears from nowhere with a smile on his face. He introduced himself as ticket man. We took tickets for the vehicle Rs.90 and entered the barren land. You can drive right inside the village. There is no road inside only a dirt track but it is motor able.
Whenever I visit a city I like to see and experience everything….. Food….the city itself….Local Life…. And yes the Heritage. We human beings are wanderers by nature, though we have formed societies and colonies and concrete jungle which we call home. Given an opportunity, I don’t think any of us will refuse to roam and travel around the world. Kuldhara is one such heritage site in Jaisalmer which one should visit and experience. It does not take much time. it gives a glimpse of how our ancestors lived and what hardship they faced. It opens thought provoking side of ours and gives our brain an opportunity to store another experience in its huge storage.
There are no official guides in the area. When you enter the abandoned village you will see small children’s of nearby village who act as guide for a small amount. They will tell you many ghost stories and also story of a foreigner who brought some machines to search for hidden treasure of Paliwal Brahmins and how he was caught by government authorities. It is still believed that huge treasure of Paliwal Brahmins is buried beneath many houses.
Archaeological survey of India have renovated two houses to its original state in the ruined village for us to see and experience the real life. I will let some of the pictures to do the talking…..
The house re beautifully made and they display the grandeur of the community as is talked about in the history. they are well planned and airy.
The village is said to be haunted and it is said that ghosts roam here in the night. thought we did not feel anything unusual. We met a young tourist from Europe who was along with her mother. She did inquire us about the ghosts and was sad that she did not encounter any.
There is also a Jurassic Cactus park close to main gate inside the village, which one can visit while coming out. There is no separate ticket for the same. The park is not well maintained and houses many species of cactus. We did here some strange sound inside (could be Russel Viper), so be careful.
The entire visit took close to 2 hours. There is no shops, canteens in and around the village and also en route to the village, so carry your own while visiting.