Kuldhara- The Ghost Town from Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

by Mridula on January 27, 2012

in Canon D550,India,Photography,Rajasthan,Travel

I know this is a long post but I present Kuldhara Village in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan as a part of Skywatch Friday.

Kuldhara an Abandoned Village at Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

Kuldhara an Abandoned Village at Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

I managed to stay for 2 nights and 3 days at Jaisalmer courtesy Suryagarh Hotel. I was quite excited about the sand dunes in Jaisalmer but I had not even heard of Kuldhara Village before. Legend is that Paliwal Brahmins used to live in the village Kuldhara and they were quite a prosperous lot. The Samant or the King (various people stress one or the other) was giving them a tough time by charging high taxes. Push came to a shove when the ruler developed an eye for the Paliwal Chief’s daughter. The Paliwals decided to vacate Kuldhara overnight along with 84 other villages and Kuldhara is an abandoned village till date.

Temple at Kuldhara, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

There is hardly any account of the place on the net (apart from a few other blog posts) about the village and the stories that the locals tell has minor variations to it. Also the time period when this happened cannot be predicted with certainty. It is said to have happened in 1825 or so. It amazes me how poor we are at keeping records of our history even as late as 1800. Coming back to the present, the entire area is in ruins apart from this temple that has now been renovated.  Both the pictures of the ruins have been clicked by climbing up a few rickety stairs of an old house in the area.

There is an entry fee of Rs 10 per person and Rs 50 per vehicle. There is one old man who lives here as the caretaker. The legend also has it that anyone who tries to live at Kuldhara dies in mysterious ways because the Paliwals cursed it when they left.

Graveyard at Kuldhara? Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

Graveyard at Kuldhara? Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

Our guide for the evening was none other than the owner of Suryagarh and a former Gladrags model Manvendra Singh Shekhawat. He mentioned that after Bombay he found Jaialmer really different and explored the nearby places while the hotel was being made to keep himself engaged. Jaisalmer was quite a transition from being, as he said, “a party boy.”

He knows the area well and takes a lot of pride in showing it. He took us beyond the village to the ruins that you can see in the picture above. When we asked what it was he said it was a graveyard. On a closer look we found inscriptions on the pillars and pictures too. So I said it cannot be graveyard because of that. He then mentioned that the two Chattaries (the bigger structures) are usually found near the graveyards.

Closer Look at the Structures at Kuldhara, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

Closer Look at the Structures at Kuldhara, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

Here is a closer looks at the pillars found at some distance from the village ruins. There was no one apart from our group at this place. And we could not have found it if Manvendra would not have taken us there. He also pointed out to a green patch and said it is full of water whenever it rains. When I asked him if he regretted giving up modeling he said not really as he managed to get closer to the nature only after coming to Jaisalmer.

Pillars with Inscriptions and Statues at Kuldhara, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

Pillars with Inscriptions and Statues at Kuldhara, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

These are the writings and figures drawn on most of the pillars near the Kuldhara village in Jaisalmer. Another member of our team, Pallavi wondered if these could be actually Hindu burial grounds? I had hoped that maybe an internet search would give me some answers but that is not the case, so will leave you with speculations that we had.

Sunset at Kuldhara, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

Sunset at Kuldhara, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

Finally, the sun went down and it was time to head back to the hotel. There was only one other vehicle in this complex and the people were somewhere out exploring the ruins. So it was all peace and quiet at Kuldhara and I was left wondering what really happened to this village.

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Related posts:

  1. Lakhmana Sand Dunes, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
  2. Ladies with a Big Nose Ring, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
  3. A Quick Hi from Suryagarh, Jaisalmer
  4. Lakhmana Sand Dunes: An Experience with Suryagarh, Jaisalmer
  5. Meeting Manvendra Singh Shekhawat at Suryagarh, Jaisalmer

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

HIE January 31, 2012 at 5:58 am

Wonderful pictures of India, thank you for sharing them!

Reply

Mridula August 8, 2013 at 8:01 pm

Thank you HIE.

Reply

R.Ramakrishnan January 28, 2012 at 4:12 pm

The village, the temple,ruins graveyard all look marvelous(and a little eerie) – a reflection of the magnificence that once existed.

Reply

Mridula August 8, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Rama I agree and the legend is amazing as well.

Reply

Neha Topal January 27, 2012 at 10:47 pm

Beautiful pics specially last two…

Reply

Mridula August 8, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Thanks Neha.

Reply

Tatjana Parkacheva January 27, 2012 at 10:37 pm

Beautiful place.

Regards and best wishes

Reply

Mridula August 8, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Thank you Tatjana.

Reply

Lady Fi January 27, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Wow – what a beautiful spot. Amazing to think that it is still abandoned even today.

Reply

Mridula August 8, 2013 at 7:58 pm

It is Lady Fi as Kuldhara is supposed to be cursed.

Reply

Sylvia Kirkwood January 27, 2012 at 11:38 am

What a beautiful and fascinating place! And a wonderful and informative post for the day, Mridula! I love your captures as always. And sky in the last capture is totally breathtaking! Wishing you a lovely weekend!

Sylvia

Reply

Mridula August 8, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Thank you Sylvia.

Reply

Meena Menon January 27, 2012 at 10:57 am

Did the palce give u goosebumps while u were there?

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Mridula August 8, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Meena not duing the day but when I visited again 2013 at night it did.

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Ewok January 27, 2012 at 10:04 am

beautiful shots. so many interesting spots to see in india

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Mridula August 8, 2013 at 7:57 pm

Yes Ewok and I have seen so little till now!

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Krishna January 27, 2012 at 9:53 am

Nice photos with information

thanks for sharing

Reply

Mridula August 8, 2013 at 7:56 pm

Thanks Krishna.

Reply

Akhila S January 27, 2012 at 2:45 am

Interesting Mridula. Must have been a wonderful experience….But, how collects the fees? Govt?

Reply

Mridula August 8, 2013 at 7:56 pm

Akhila there is a guard at the entrance who collects the fee.

Reply

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