KULDHARA : The Haunted Village

Kuldhara, the haunted abandoned village, lies some 15 kms west of Jaisalmer (the golden-sand-desert city of Rajasthan). The village inhabited by Paliwal brahmins in around 18th century was a prosperous village. It was a well laid town consisting of 84 villages. The roads laid in cardinal directions were wide and there were separate domestic and commercial areas, temples,  parking spaces and step-wells for the water supply.

The Paliwal brahmins were a rich community because of their business acumen and agricultural know-how. They could cultivate the desert land and keep up an independent food supply to all the villages. The king had levied huge taxes but he was a week king. His minister the cruel Diwan Salem Singh was more active in running the kingdom. The diwan had a roaming eye and a beautiful damsel , the daughter of village head became the object of his fascination. He proposed marriage to the village head but his reputation was not what the Brahmins wanted in an ideal husband for their daughters. The villagers in a bid to save their honor and to escape from the wrath of the diwan wrapped up their belongings and overnight vanished from the village. The diwan sent his men the next day in search but could never find them. The story  also goes that the villagers cursed the village before leaving.

 The villages are now in ruins with a few original construction still holding up but it has now been taken up for conservation and given the status of heritage site. Village head’s house and temple have been almost completely renovated. A short trip from Jaisalmer by road takes the visitors to the now protected site. It deserves a visit to get an idea of the expanse of the ruins which was once a thriving hub of agriculture and business. The stone shelves wedged in walls, some of the artifacts used then, the room sizes, the carvings in sandstone…all are worth a look to imagine what life would have been in those villages back in 18th century.

A new resort by the same name has come up which gives a glimpse of village life and a taste of local cuisine.

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About shoma abhyankar

I like to believe that I am a creative person. I read, write, paint, sketch, rustle up some quick and some elaborate meals for friends and family, love chess, su-doku and scrabble, can hum an old Hindi song tentatively, always stand up for women rights, hate fake people, bugs, roaches, spiders and cigarette smokers!! I graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Architecture in 1998. Soon after, I married an officer in Indian Air Force and have been on move since then. For a brief time of two years when we were posted in Pune, I worked as a junior architect in a firm. Being aware of frequent movement that we would have to live with, I chose to be a homemaker and concentrated on creating a warm and welcoming home for my family. But sitting at home without any creative activity was not my cup of tea. I learnt candle making and soon put up an exhibition at Poona Club when my daughter was barely a year old. I also enjoyed a short stint as a home-based entrepreneur, supplying chocolates and cakes on demand, while we were posted in Bareilly. With an inclination towards writing, I completed a diploma in ‘Creative Writing in English’ from Symbiosis College of Distance Learning, Pune. Then I discovered the blogosphere. Now I hope to not only travel and share my experiences with the world but also to pen a book someday....
Gallery | This entry was posted in Bizarre India, Destinations, Historic India, Rajasthan, Travel India and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to KULDHARA : The Haunted Village

  1. Thanks for the little glimpse and history lesson.


  2. Pingback: The Land Of Royals, Jaisalmer | Astonishing India

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