A little more than 20 Km to the west of Jaisalmer, there is a village named Kuldhara.
As I reach there from dusty roads, I notic the scant presence of human existence. The vegetation is minimal. The afternoon sun is hot like furnace when I reached the destroyed gate of the town. Kuldhara stands barren and a mysterious silence widespread all around. This village was deserted with its people 200 years ago.
How A Prosperous Village Changed To An Abandoned Old Site
I notice presence of 2 shepherd boys and for a sum of Rs. 20 they portray the legend and curse of Kuldhara to me.
In an era of powerful kings and ministers, about 200 years ago, Kuldhara was home to the Paliwal Brahmins. It was the time of Salim Singh, the Diwan of Jaisalmer, who was famous for his turpitude and unethical tax-collecting methods, set his eyes on the beautiful daughter of the village chief. The Diwan was blindly bent on having the girl and he told the villagers if they came in his way he would impose huge taxes on them.
Because of the fear of Diwan, the residents of the entire village run away on one dark night, leaving behind their homes and everything of them. Kuldhara was forsaken by its very own people. No one saw the thousands of villagers left away the village. For generations now, no one knows where the Paliwals have relocated. All that is known is they cursed the town when they left – that no one would ever be able to settle down in Kuldhara again.
Curses To Kuldhara Stays True As The Village Is Uninhabited Till Today
The houses are almost in the same condition as they were left behind by their resident. As I mount the steps of one such home, I can see the entire expanse of the village. Lanes and brick homes, which are equidistant from each other, are neatly laid out.
I spot a little temple in the middle of a bunch of houses. Its walls have small nooks that once held tiny little lamps.
As the sun sets across the sand dunes, the gates of Kuldhara are closed by the locals of the neighbouring villages.
People have Belief that the ghosts of Kuldhara still haunt the place
A sudden chill sweeps over me. Was that because of the uneasiness of the place or the cool evening breeze of the desert? I’m not quite sure. But the legend and curse of Kuldhara definitely leave me fascinated.
Kuldhara today is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India as a heritage site.