Are you a person who’s up for spooks? If yes, make your way to the deserted desert village of Kuldhara in Jaisalmer. But what’s it all about? Let’s explore this ghost town and find out.
There are a lot of legends behind the phenomenon of Kuldhara and this is one of them:
The Kuldhara village was established in the 13th century and was a rich bustling civilization inhabited by the Paliwal Brahmins. It’s said that in the early 19th century, one fateful night the entire community left the village never to return. Not only Kuldhara, but 83 other villages are said to have deserted their homes overnight.
The state minister at the time, Salim Singh was atrocious and unjust and disliked by the Paliwal Brahmins. He wanted to get married to a girl from the community who caught his fancy and to oppose this, the Brahmins are said to have left overnight and also put a curse on the village that no one will be able to occupy it again. Those who tried have experienced paranormal activities owing to which the village continues to be abandoned to this day.
It’s also said that a lot of gold is buried in the abandoned site. However, the locals who live in the vicinity of Kuldhara do not agree to it ever being a possessed town.
Kuldhara is now a well-maintained tourist attraction and the government has renamed it Kuldhara - The Abandoned Village. A few of the houses and the temple in the center of the village have been restored to give insight into how it must have been then and spots to take pictures from.
The area does have an abandoned eerie feeling to it but it has more to do with the thought of knowing this deserted overnight and trying to comprehend it. So whether the story is true or not, it does play on your mind and makes Kuldhara worth a visit when in Jaisalmer. And the fact that it is en route to Sam Sand Dunes makes it all the more accessible.
Another interesting place near Kuldhara is a desert hostel that is right behind the walls of the abandoned city. The desert hostel is a calm oasis where you can certainly stop and smell the coffee (or chai in this case!). If you want to experience the desert and yet not spend the night on the sands and not in tents, then this is the perfect alternative. They have these spacious huts with double/single beds and also a hut with dorm beds which makes it a place for everyone who wants to unwind.
The hostel is an experience in itself as you’re transported to a village inside a village and have nothing to do except laze on hammocks, walk around the fields, and just soak in how precious life and simple joys in life are. You can curl up in blankets and sit around the bonfire in the evening before enjoying a delicious dinner and resting for the night warmed up in your room or brave the chill and watch your face light up under the starry night sky.
Kuldhara village has an entry fee of INR 50 if driving in with a vehicle and INR 20 if you walk it out the entire complex and it is open until 5 pm. The desert hostel costs around INR 2,000 for a double room and INR 499 for a dorm bed. Meals are prepared as per requests and cost between INR 150 to 350 per meal.
Being so close to the abandoned village your mind will certainly fill you with sinister thoughts. Put them to rest and enjoy the beauty of the place as there is nothing ghostly about Kuldhara, or is there?
Kuldhara is said to be abandoned in the 19th century because the tyrant minister of the Jaisalmer State, Salim Singh, took a fancy to one of the village girls. The villagers didn’t approve of it and abandoned the village overnight.
You can hire a cab from Jaisalmer which would drop you off at the entrance of Kuldhara. Jaisalmer, on the other hand, is well connected via air, train, and road.
Kuldhara is about 20 km away from Jaisalmer, and you can easily get cabs that will take you to the ghost town.
Kuldhara in the state of Rajasthan is among the best known ghost villages in India.
Considering Kuldhara is right in the middle of the Thar Desert, the winter months of November to March are the best time to visit this ghost village as the weather is milder. The summer months are best avoided.
Being a tourist spot, Jaisalmer has no lack of hotels and resorts. Check out Unstumbled’s curated list of hotels in Jaisalmer to choose what best suits your tastes and budget!
No, cab services like Ola and Uber aren’t yet available in Jaisalmer.
The gates of Kuldhara are open every day between 8 am to 6 pm. If you wish, you can stay overnight at the nearby desert hostel.
Sam Sand Dunes is one of the most popular places in Jaisalmer where you get to see the beauty of the Thar Desert’s sand dunes. It’s about 38 km away from the city center and 41 km away from Kuldhara. You can stay the night here at one of the many camps under the canopy of stars, and in the day, tap into your adventurous spirit by going dune bashing.
Kuldhara has earned a reputation for being haunted, but there isn’t anything that proves it.