Go Find Your Ghost at Kuldhara - Haunted Village

How more than 1000 people disappear in thin air with no trace? How can anyone simply abandoned their houses suddenly and if its entire village of 400 houses then surely there must be a valid reason? 

Kuldhara village in Rajasthan was once a prosperous village, established in 13th century by Paliwal Brahmins. It was abandoned in the early 19th century because of unknown reasons. Now, this abandoned village has acquired the reputation of India's one of the most haunted places.

Is it just because of 400 + ruined abandoned houses or are there any paranormal activities going? Because it's tagged as the most haunted place now this place attracts lots of tourists and regular hangouts for many paranormal investigators.

To find this out I decided to explore Land of kings "Rajasthan" northern side of India. This village is located 20 km from Jaiselmer city. Jaiselmer lies in the heart of Thar desert also known as Golden City. The town stands on a ridge of yellowish sandstone and is crowned by the ancient might fort. I was there for three days, after exploring fort and city, decided to visit Kuldhara.

Before that, I had already heard read and watched dozens of online contents publicizing hauntedness of the village but I wanted to examine the actual and not the fictional aspect of its current dilapidated condition.

From Jaisalmer we booked a cab and told cab driver about our destination. Once we crossed Jaisalmer airport, things suddenly started to change. Dusty, empty road, noticed no vegetation along the sides of the road, no human existence. One or two motorcycle and cars passed by. I thought this sets the perfect scene and we are ready to experience spookiness of Kuldhara.

Cab driver was in the mid 30’s , bit hesitant initially but later started talking. We asked what he think about Kuldhara, what’s the story behind it. He told us his version of Kuldhara and folklore that all the people in Jaisalmer are aware of it.

Folklore the village got abandoned suddenly one night.

Many years ago, we don’t know when exactly but its early 19th century. At that time Minister of the Jaisalmer state for Kuldhara was Salim Singh, Some say his name of Zalim (cruel) Singh. Salim Singh was said to be a bad character and violent. 

One day his eyes fell on one of the extremely beautiful village girls. So, he inquired about her details and went to her house. He asked her father to marry her to him to which girl’s father refused as the girl was of brahmin origin while Salim was of lower cast not even Rajput. Salim Singh did not like the answer. He gave the villagers only one day to accept his proposal or else he will come again tomorrow and will take her away. Girl's father who also happened to be headman of the village immediately called in for panchayat (village council) in which all members village participated. They all decided in consensus to abandon the village overnight leaving everything behind. 

They left and cursed the village that it will get ruined and nobody would settle in here again.

But no one knows where they went, they left no trace. How come exodus like this not noticed by anyone else. For generations now, no one knows where the Paliwals have resettled. Not a single person outside of Paliwal community saw them leaving, whether they left the village or vanished.

Hardly 45 mins drive from Jaisalmer we reached Kuldhara. From distance, I could see some ruins but I also see many cars, motorcycles. Well its now a tourist hotspot. There is an entry gate, we paid the fee and got “go find your ghost” kind of look. From the entry gate, another 5 mins drive and then you will reach the entrance of Kuldhara village.

The driver parked his car there and gave us directions to explore the village. We could see well-maintained footpath and signboards. Initially, we saw well-maintained buildings and puzzled is it not ruined. Later realized Govt of Rajasthan and ASI building this as a tourist place, recreated some of the buildings and homes of Kuldhara. Once you pass then you could see ruins all over. Climb atop a house to have a rooftop view of the whole area.

The village has as many as four hundred structures overall with a temple which is almost aligned in the center few administrative houses of that section of the society. From the architecture point of view, the villages were planned like a modern-day row housing that five main roads and narrow lanes connecting each road. However, all you could see it now is abandoned houses, ruined walls.

Bird's eye view (source - google map)

There was litter all over the place. Noticed that there is no restriction on carrying food or plastic bottle insides and there is no one cleaning.

The information board at the entrance is an interesting one, it says people abandoned the village almost overnight attributed to various causes, ranging from persecution by Salim Singh, to drought and earthquake. Persecution by Salim Singh could be the folklore told by Cab driver. Another reason could be the drought that I found more genuine.

Some studies claim that abandoned was not of a sudden infect it was a gradual process due to the scarcity of water. People of Kuldhara were agriculturist and the river Kakhi was the main source of their livelihood. It was a seasonal river and when it went dry, people would use the groundwater with the help of wells and step wells. By 1815 AD the river as well most of the wells were dried up. The whole area is a huge part of the Thar desert where the temperature can rise to fifty degrees centigrade. With few of the tribal settlements which can be found in part that the deep underground water is available otherwise, this area is completely barren.

By the time I reached it was close to 4 pm and many tourists were leaving the place. Earlier people were laughing, mocking villages, playing pranks with their friends. After 30 mins I could sense some calm and peace in the village. To explore every nook and corner you will have to walk, walk, and walk.

I sat down in one place while two of my friends were taking pictures at distance. This gave me time to think,

Why such a nice and well-planned village was left ruined?
Why no one ever thought to stay and re-build the village?
How could this place be haunted?
Am I surrounded by the ghost, looking at me and waiting for the dark night?
Will it be there any paranormal activity at night?

I didn’t want to explore the area in the night, neither trying to prove or disapprove various paranormal investigator’s claim of this place being haunted.

As I said there are so many contents available online, youtube videos, investigation videos. Frankly, I found most of them fake and trying to be sensational. Unnecessary drama, running around in the night and without any proper investigation, they claimed this place is haunted. Paranormal investigators claimed they have detected mysterious moving shadows, haunting voices and one investigator went ahead by claiming he felt someone touching his shoulder from behind, but nobody was there.

Whether this place is haunted or not, I can’t say without doing any full proper investigation but one thing that I always believed and have full faith is my feeling and intuition. This can’t go wrong with me. No negative energy, no feeling of being watched. What I felt seating there alone was pure calm. With so much of ruined buildings, remote areas, no electricity, no proper lights, middle of thar desert, windy condition this place in the night can easily make people mad.

So are you ready for madness in Kuldhara ? Go find your ghost!!

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