If you like stories of eerie places or unexplained phenomena, the story of Kuldhara is going to intrigue you. Kuldhara is a small village (more like a village community) located 15 kilometers west of Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer city. This small village community comprised of a total of 85 villages. Kuldhara was first established in 1291 by Paliwal Brahmins. These people were very benevolent and had a very strong business acumen. They were also great farmers. As a matter of fact, they were extremely talented farmers and knew how to cultivate water-intensive crops such as wheat in the arid atmospheric condition of Rajasthan desert. It was because of this ability to grow bumper crops that they prospered.
The developed a very planned town with wide streets running in grids, a garage kind of opening into the adjoining streets was there for cart parking and the village community was complete with two-storey buildings, beautiful temples and even underground structures. Today however, entire Kuldhara stands in its ruins for nearly last two centuries. All that can be seen there are crumbling stone structures and ruins that give the feeling of an eerie movie set.
What happened to the people there who lived there for more than 500 years? Legend has that the then state minister of Jaisalmer, Salim Singh one day visited Kuldhara and fell for the beautiful daughter of the chieftain. Salim Singh wanted to marry her and threatened the people of the village community that if they don’t give that girl to her, he would forcibly take her away. Another version of the story says that Salim Singh threatened the people with excessive taxes. Whatever the case be, people of Kuldhara weren’t happy about this threat. So, the chieftain called for a meeting with all residents of 85 villages together and decided that they won’t give Salim Singh the girl he demanded. That very night, all resident villagers left and disappeared in thin air. No one saw anyone leaving and no one knows where they went. They just vanished in a single night. The folklore says that before they left Kuldhara in 1825, the cast a death spell on the village according to which, anyone who tried to inhabit the village will die. Since then, no one has ever inhabited the place and a ghostly silence lives in the cursed village of Kuldhara.
The other version of the story says that the prosperity of the Paliwals attracted Mughal attention and the Mughals invaded on the evening of Raksha-bandhan. As per this version, the Mughals dropped animal carcasses in the drinking water wells of Kuldhara and many of the residents of the village community became martyrs while fighting the Mughals. At night when the war was at halt, the villagers migrated somewhere else without anyone noticing the exodus. This second version however is not very authentic because it seems unlikely that Mughals will be invading a village community of Brahmins who mostly excelled in agriculture.
30 men were sent by Delhi’s Paranormal Society to Kuldhara in 2013 to investigate paranormal activities. Not surprisingly, the team claimed paranormal haunting amongst the ruins. They reported of hand imprints of children on their cars and even of haunting voices and moving shadows despite the fact that not even a single soul was present in the village community apart from those 30 people who spent a night in the village. One of the team members even claimed of feeling a touch on his shoulder at night while sleeping. The team even reported sudden fluctuations in temperature in the deserted ruins. Whether the claim of the team is authentic or not is subject of debate but it is true that the ruins of cursed village of Kuldhara give a very eerie and haunting feeling. The moment someone enters the village area, an uncanny silence looms that is definitely not normal.
Some restoration work has been carried out by the government and some of the two-storey buildings have been fully restored but no one lives in that place. So, what happened there? How did the 1500 people of cursed village of Kuldhara vanish overnight without anyone’s notice? It is a mystery that is never going to be solved and this migration of 1500 people will remain as one of the most mysterious human migrations in history of mankind.
All images used in this article are intellectual properties of Tomas Belcik, Chandra and Lucia Sanchez from flickr.