Unfolding the Haunting Mysteries of Kuldhara

Haunted locales and their centuries-old stories have piqued people’s interest and curiosity. However, if you visit these haunted locations and speak with people about the previous events that still come to life when cold nights descend on the town, you may be scared to death. Seventeen kilometres from Jaisalmer is the town of Kuldhara, which was formerly prosperous but is now in ruins, with only a few run-down open buildings remaining. 

Kuldhara’s desolate, small, and ancient lanes are the basis of mythology, eerie folklore, and stories of ghosts and paranormal activity. One of the best ways to travel to the village is by availing car rental services in Rajasthan. However, the haunting settlement has been abandoned since the early nineteenth century. Since the 13th century, it has been the home of a flourishing community of Paliwal Brahmans. However, roughly 200 years ago, the inhabitants of Kuldhara left overnight. But why?

History of Kuldhara

It was previously a prosperous community inhabited by Paliwal Brahmins, established during the 13th century. The majority of the inhabitants were agricultural traders, bankers, and farmers. It was abandoned by the early nineteenth century for reasons unknown. It may be due to depleting water supplies, an earthquake, or as a local folklore states. However, locals believe it is due to the atrocities committed by Jaisalmer State Minister Salim Singh. 

The proposal of Salim SinghAround 200 years ago, the villagers were terrified of only one person: Jaisalmer’s Diwan (Minister), Salim Singh. They had to pay him the taxes levied on them because he was the minister. When Diwan came to collect taxes in the village, his gaze was drawn to the beautiful daughter of the Mukhia (Chief). The villainous Diwan fell in love with the girl and plans to marry her. He declared that he would raise taxes on the entire town if he were stopped. He asked the villagers to make all preparations for the wedding and left.

The villagers did not want the daughter to marry the monstrous diwan. So they needed to move immediately. The village chief was aware that the evil minister would kill every Paliwal Brahmin in Kuldhara and the surrounding villages if he refused to give his daughter’s hand to him and fled with just his family. So the Mukhia determined that the entire community would flee Kuldhara and the surrounding 84 villages. 

He dispatched messengers to notify everyone, and that night, all the inhabitants fled their land with bitter hearts and left a curse behind as per which no one will be able to settle there ever. No one knew where so many people had disappeared. Since that day, the village lies abandoned, and over the years, it has slowly turned into ruins. It’s still a mystery how so many villagers vanished in one night.

Ghostly spirits currently haunt the deserted village

The curse appears to be active since anyone who attempted to settle in the community left soon after encountering strange occurrences. Many visitors who came on the Rajasthan trip slipped into the area and had odd experiences that sent shivers down their spines. 

A team of paranormal researchers visited the village. They stayed overnight with high-tech gear to track the presence and activity of supernatural powers. A team member stated that he discovered scratches on his car in the morning, which is impossible to believe given that no one else around saved them. Another member had a similar unusual experience of being touched from behind and finding no one staring back. They also followed some moving shadows and quiet sounds calling and chatting.

Other theories behind the haunted village of Kuldhara

Wealth protection

There are various tales of how the village of Kuldhara was abandoned and became haunted, even though the tale of Salim Singh and the Paliwal Brahmins is quite well known. Another well-known legend claims that the Paliwal Brahmins decided to leave the country overnight one fine night after paying a heavy tax to the king out of concern for their wealth.

They buried their cash in the community, intending to return and take the money with them someday. They never returned, though, for unclear reasons. Eventually, they died far from their homes and wealth after living as nomads. As a result, their spirits returned to their home in the afterlife.

This way, it is assumed that their spirits inhabit their home, which they loved but could not dwell in while alive. Some claim that no one could ever dwell in that village because their spirits guard their wealth.

Scarcity of water

Although the myths above are popular among the residents, other historians believe that the community was abandoned due to a lack of water and that it happened gradually rather than suddenly. Kuldhara had a river that ran through the village. However, it gradually began to dry over time, and groundwater levels began to fall dramatically. As a result, the residents were obliged to seek alternative residences.

They couldn’t exist without a reliable water source close to their home. Thus, the haunted village of Kuldhara is not truly haunted but rather a place that gradually became an abandoned community due to a lack of water.


Unfolding the Haunting Mysteries of Kuldhara

Some scientists put forth a hypothesis that investigated the paranormal activity in the village of Kuldhara. They claimed that a sizable earthquake was to blame for forcing the residents to relocate. According to them, the way the buildings collapsed and the roofs of every building indicate that a significant earthquake was the only possible cause. Since there was extensive damage from the earthquake, it was simpler for the inhabitants to find new housing and begin a new life than to rebuild everything completely.

The explanations advanced by scientists and historians make more sense to the logical brains that don’t believe in ghost stories or supernatural forces.

The Horror Continues 

The village is one of the most enigmatic places in India due to the countless ghostly encounters it has witnessed and the terrifying paranormal tales that have been told there. In the middle of the golden dunes, the settlement still appears deserted. The village has also served as the setting for several Bollywood films, the most well-known being ‘Agent Vinod’. Today, the village is under the purview of the Archaeological Survey of India and is open to tourists for exploration from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The village’s mystery remains unsolved and tangled even after numerous detailed studies. This only leaves you with the option of visiting the location, experiencing the tranquillity of the desert, admiring the beauty around you, and returning with your theory about what would have happened. The Paliwal Brahmins’ architectural feat is depicted by wide, dusty pathways and sandstone buildings on either side of the highways.

When you arrive at this settlement, you will be greeted by a sandstone gate created soon before the village was abandoned. A local older man who left the abandoned town may be waiting for you at the entrance of Kuldhara village if you intend to visit soon. He will be happy to answer all of your questions regarding this location. The easiest way is to download a safe and trusted car booking app so that on your way back, the only thing on your mind is all the memories you will carry throughout your life!

Things to Remember

  • Kuldhara village is open to tourists for exploration from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • The village charges an entry fee of INR 50 if you drive in and INR 20 if you walk around the entire complex, which is open until 5 p.m. 
  • A double room at the desert hostel costs roughly INR 2,000, and a dorm bed costs INR 499. Meals are prepared to order and range in price from INR 150 to 350 each meal.

Best time to visit Kuldhara

The best time to visit Kuldhara Village is between October and March, when the weather is cooler, and you can go sightseeing without becoming weary. 

How to Reach Kuldhara

The only and most convenient way to travel to Kuldhara Village is by car. It is around 20 kilometres (12.5 miles) from Jaisalmer and takes about half an hour to get there. You can easily hire a taxi from Jaisalmer to explore the spooky village in all its glory.

Last Updated on January 18, 2024 by Swati Deol

A quick summary
Unfolding the Haunting Mysteries of Kuldhara
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Unfolding the Haunting Mysteries of Kuldhara
Haunted locales and their centuries-old stories have piqued people's interest and curiosity. However, if you visit these haunted locations and speak with people about the previous events that still come to life when cold nights descend on the town, you may be scared to death. Seventeen kilometres from Jaisalmer is the town of Kuldhara, which was formerly prosperous but is now in ruins, with only a few run-down open buildings remaining. 
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About the author

Shabari, a modern-day wanderer, seeks out the hidden stories within the world's serene landscapes and vibrant cultures. She views each person as a living, breathing tale, a unique signature in the grand narrative of existence. With an insatiable curiosity for local customs and traditions, Shabari explores the rich drapery of humanity wherever her journey leads. Her passion is to unravel the secrets of tranquil temples, scale majestic mountains, and share the ancient wisdom they hold. Join Shabari on her quest for solace amidst the world's quiet corners and let her writing transport you to the heart of these captivating adventures.

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