Some 20 km from the desert town of Jaisalmer lie the ruins of a 13th century village called Kuldhara. As one enters the place, one is immediately enveloped in an eerie silence along with prodding curiosity and a genuine admiration for whatever remains of the yore.
Legend has it that a total of 600 Paliwal Brahmin families spread over 85 small hamlets used to live here. Despite dwindling agricultural produce, the Minister of Jaisalmer, Salim Singh refused to reduce taxes. One fine day, he set his eyes on the daughter of Chief of the community and sent his guards to fetch her. The Brahmins asked them to return the following morning. At night, a Mahapanchayat of all 85 hamlets was called and it was decided that they all abandon the village at once. Nobody knows how or where the 1000 or so people suddenly disappeared. Before leaving, they cursed the land saying that it will never be inhabited again. Ever since, whoever has tried to settle down here, has experienced paranormal activities including strange sightings, sounds and touch. A team of 18 led by Gaurav Tiwari of Paranormal Society of India spent an entire night here in 2013, and used Lasers, K-2 equipments and cameras to try and explain the strange activities, but not to much avail.
Apart from the spooky story, one is also thrilled by the wonderful drainage systems, houses, architecture, water conservation techniques, and the very noticeable temperature difference of upto 10 degrees from the surrounding areas. The mobile networks and radios don’t work quite well here, and the houses seem to have a connected acoustic technique much like our telephones today. The acoustics of the entire place is quite admirable as one can perceive approaching vehicles much before they arrive with shocking clarity.
The state of the houses clearly tell us that they were abandoned suddenly, in the middle of a thriving life. Some theories suggest that there was a massive earthquake and drought that gobbled up the entire civilization here. However, there were no skeletons found in any excavations. More so, the ruins don’t show any evidence of destruction. One of the houses here has small shelves for little mud lamps, another has a cartwheel, another has wall paintings and still another has a kitchen complete with ghatti- where you crush wheat into flour manually. One of the houses has a staircase that spirals down into what would have been a step-well but now is a dark dumping ground for whatever wrappers the people just ate off, and don’t want to carry to a dustbin.
The village was developed with proper planning. Every ruin suggests that the houses were all East-facing. The houses were equally placed and there was enough space and adjustment for a child-friendly neighborhood.
The Govt of Rajasthan has only recently in 2010s declared it an archaeological site.
For all its haunted reputation, humans have the incorrigible audacity to throw spit, plastic waste, and engrave walls with couple names, urine and dirty finger prints. In case you plan to visit Jaisalmer in near future, you may want to drop by here before sunset. And in case you do that, for ghosts’ sake DO NOT LITTER.