The Forsaken Village – Kuldhara

Ghosts! What comes to our mind as soon as we hear this word? The last horror movie we watched or the last vampire story we read! But it is not too often that we can recollect a lively experience of visiting a ghostly-land unless in a dream, do we? I do… Let me take you to a village in Rajasthan which is still haunted by its own native people, going by the myth.

Kuldhara is a village that lies on the western part of Rajasthan, about 17km to the west of Jaisalmer. On the way to the city of Jaisalmer, a dusty road on our right, lead us to the mysterious village which is now survived only by its ruins. The aesthetic structure of the village seemed intriguing and quite sophisticated for the ruins remaining now. But the legend has it all, enough to quench our questions.

Kuldhara is the largest village in the region that comprises of 84 small villages. This village is said to be inhabited in the 12th century by a prosperous Brahmin community from The Kingdom of Pali, by the name Paliwals. They took refuge in the vast desert land trying to flee from the unbearable atrocities of the ruler of Pali, then. With their sharp intellects in the fields of business and agriculture, the Paliwal Brahmins designed the village aesthetically. From what remains now, we can imagine a village with straight and spacious roads running in grids, a garage to park vehicles like carts, temples, step walls, and other utility-based buildings made of brick. All these infrastructures talk about a development well ahead of time.

But what made nearly 1500 villagers from all the 84 villages to evacuate the region in a single night? Here is what the Legend comes with…

In the year 1825, Salim Singh, an evil minister from the ruling party fell in love with the daughter of the local Chieftain. The Chief denied the Dewan’s request of his daughter’s hand in marriage, on account of his evil nature. So the minister muttered a deadline to the village authorities to come up with a marriage date or he would rather forcefully abduct the Chieftain’s daughter. He also threatened them of huge tax and other serious consequences if they dared to resist. Hence, all the villagers migrated from the village in a single dusk, just to shoulder their pride.

Another story goes about stating a war that broke out between the Paliwal Brahmins of Kuldhara and the Mughal forces. The Paliwals were said to put up a spirited fight and the Mughal Commander ordered his troops to throw down animal flesh in the wells of the village, which caused the villagers to migrate. But then, as they evacuated, the villagers are said to have cursed the village with death and drought, and no ever man could inhabit the place from then. The Delhi Paranormal Society sent a 30 member research team to the eerie village in 2013. But even as per the research papers, all that they claim are mysterious shadows in motion, terror oozing voices, children’s handprints in cars and sudden fluctuations in temperature.

Till date, the village remains forsaken and haunted by a strange and spooky silence. The forlorn air cries pity and the region is now guarded by the Architectural Society of India (ASI), denied from habitation.

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