Bored of your mundane life and seeking to gratify the adrenaline junkie in you? Here’s a place that can give you the chills and at a reasonable price too!
About 17 km to the west of Jaisalmer is an abandoned village – ‘Kuldhara’, which, about three centuries ago had been home to the Paliwal Brahmins – a prosperous community known for its business acumen and agrarian skills. Legend says that on one fateful night – which happened to be Raksha Bandhan, the Paliwals, along with people from the surrounding 84 villages, left the place unseen and unheard. It was as if every single resident of the Paliwal community had vanished into thin air, leaving behind nothing but their memories and mementos. Nobody saw them leave, and till date no one has discovered any trail of a mass migration to a possible distant land.
The Commute and Stay
The road to the village is a dusty, fairly straight road from Jaisalmer and the place remains open from 8 AM to 6 PM. Nobody is allowed inside after sundown due to the rumored supernatural encounter stories prevalent there.
Entry fee : 10₹ per person
50₹ per person (with car)
For those wishing to stay overnight, there’s a ‘Kuldhara Heritage Resort’ about 5 kmfrom the village ruins providing comfortable rooms and sumptuous Rajasthani Thalis.
The ruins of Kuldhara are a fine example of the architectural excellence of that era and draw photographers and movie-makers to their narrow lanes. Series of meticulously designed, sturdy houses, worn with time, half crumbling away, add to the creepy feel of the place. It is said that disembodied whispers, screams, noises are common at dark hours. In fact, many have witnessed apparitions, heard footsteps, experienced unusual touches and so on.
A common folklore is that Salim Singh, the evil prime minister, set his eyes upon the daughter of the village head and declared he would marry her, with or without her consent. He threatened the villagers with dire consequences if they did not comply with his wishes. Rather than give in to his demands, the Village Council decided to leave their ancestral homes overnight. But before that, they cursed Kuldhara so that no one would ever be able to settle there. True to the curse, the village remains abandoned.
It’s hardly a wonder that the lines between history, folklore, myth and paranoia blur at a place such as this — leaving you with an eerie experience never felt before