Kuldhara - A Bundle of Mystyeries
Kuldhara – A Bundle of Mystyeries

It was my second visit to the Golden city of Jaisalmer and a city that offers an enormous number of opportunities to explore really deserve a retreat, from ancient Raj Mahalas to 5-star luxury hotels located in the Thar desert; It has everything that a traveler like me can wish for. And what about an overnight abandoned village? Isn’t it intriguing enough to put it in your itinerary of the places to visit in Jaisalmer? For sure it is an off-beat place, but for those who prefer to avoid the ghettos of tourist and always looking for a place that is still to be explored and has a surreal vibe then Kuldhara village is the best place for them in Jaisalmer. The village stands still in the boiling temperatures of the desert with thousands of stories buried under its dusty ruins.

Remains of once glorious buildings Kuldhara
Remains of once glorious buildings

Kuldhara is 27 km away from Jaisalmer city and one of the ‘must-see’ places to visit in Rajasthan, it doesn’t have any public transport service, but you can easily reach the village by road if you have your vehicle or can go with the rental options that are readily available in the city. The village is located in the heart of the Thar desert so you should carry everything that you need to survive the heat of the desert.

Roads with sand almost covering them
Roads with sand almost covering them

We started our journey early in the morning so that we have enough time to explore the village and came back to the city before it gets dark, Kuldhara is surrounded by some local villages only, so the nearest place where you can stay in Jaisalmer city itself.

The monument with the Story
The monument with the Story

Kuldhara city is known to exist from some 700 years. This city was inhabited mainly by a brahmin community known as Paliwal. The real reason behind the story of Kuldhara village is still not cleared; some of them say that as the wells went dry and water was in utter scarcity, people left this place. Some say it was an earthquake. According to local legend, the story goes some thing like Salim Singh who was a minister at Jaisalmer was the reason behind people desolating this village.

Local lads ready with the story about Kuldhara
Local lads ready with the story about Kuldhara

Just before the last turn, we meet these local school guys who were stopping the visitors to listen to the story behind the village just for one rupee, that was a fair deal to us anyway. The story they told us was  that Salim Singh wanted to marry a girl of the Paliwal Brahmins and threatened them to kill the whole community if they don’t obey his wish, but the Brahmins were opposed to this inter cast marriage as Salim was not a Brahmin so they decided to leave everything behind and escaped overnight. That sounded like an “escape for honour” to me.

Ruins which have stories hidden
Ruins which have stories hidden

The place has nothing but the remains of the houses that were used by the Paliwal brahmins. While walking on the one-kilometre-long dusty path of this blighted village, I contemplated about the reasons behind the escape. If it had been an environmental calamity then why only this village was the victim and if you believe in the “Escape for honour” story then the place will haunt you somehow. I was sitting on one of the abandoned houses and thinking about the families that escaped overnight just because of some cruel king. Where did they head? How hard would it have been for someone to leave everything behind? Did they manage to re-establish their community? There will be thousands of questions that will pop-up in your mind once you step in here and many will remain unanswered.

Local People ready to offer information!
Local People ready to offer information!

A local old man who himself belong to the community that escaped, he live in a nearby village. If you are planning to visit here soon, then you will surely meet him at the entrance of the Kuldhara village and he will be glad to clear all your doubts about this place if you are crazy enough to believe him and ignore all other reasons and stories behind the Kuldhara village.

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