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This blog captures the life experiences of the Enigmatic India team in the beautiful and enigmatic country of India.We capture our experiences through our writings, photos and products that depict the very essence and fabric of India.Through this platform, we invite you to join us in our journey as we explore.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Trip to the ghost town of Kuldhara, Rajasthan

Entrance to Kuldhara
Eight hundred years ago it was the time of Kings, Queens and Ministers.  The Diwan(Prime Minister) was the virtual ruler of the state, who could increase tax, confiscate property and expel  a citizen from the state etc.

One day while riding through the village Kuldhara17-18 Kms from Jaisalmer), the Diwan of Jaisalmer “Salum Singh or Salim Singh” noticed a beautiful girl proceeding towards the village pond. He was the Diwan, he could have anything he liked and why not marry this girl who was the daughter of the village chief (Mukhiya). Only the wishes had to be expressed and Salim Singh sent words to the village Mukhiya through his soldiers.

Seems freshly painted
The inhabitants of Kuldhara were primarily Paliwal Brahmins who migrated from the Pali region and it is said … the name Kuldhara is said to be derived from the word “Kuldhar”, which is a sub-caste of Paliwal Brahmins as per some devali(memorial stones) inscriptions at the site .

As the story unfolds, Salim Singh despite his wealth and power was relatively low in the social order because of the caste factor. The Mukhiya was in two minds – whose side he should take i.e. his clan, caste and social respect or the wealth and power of the Diwan. He consulted the elders of the village and all of them were proud of their social ranking and advice was obvious…”We shall not give our daughter in marriage to a man from lower caste” .

What about the wrath of the Diwan – suppose he imposes ten times more tax, suppose he asks other villages not to have trade/business with us, suppose the road to the village is cut-off.  The villagers feared severe reprisal, but they stuck to their self-respect.  They quickly gathered their effects and left after sunset. By the time the Diwan got the news they were safely away and the agents of the Diwan couldn’t trace them and till today nobody knows where they went. It is also believed that before they left Kuldhara, the villagers laid a curse on the village that no one will be able inhabit this place for year to come.

While narrating this story our guide was also steering us through the ruins of this village which had of a few hundreds of houses,  In many of them the roofs had given away due to the non-maintenance for few centuries and in many the doors and windows were missing. 

The site is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India(ASI) and one has to pay entrance tickets and after sunset tourists are not allowed inside this place like all sites maintained by ASI except some forts where there is sound and light shows.

The guide quickly adds,” Shahib  quite a number of ghosts roam these places after the sunset. It reminded me of a video  had seen a few years ago of a paranormal investigation conducted by the GRIP team. To strengthen his claims, the guide shared that some tourists from Bengal had come and stayed overnight and some of them felt being pushed in their backs. Well not sure of these claims, however our guide insisted it was true.

So much about the ghost town of Kuldhara and we had to reach our next destination before evening. With so many questions still in our mind about why this happened, we bid farewell to the ruins.

(Contributed by Jayashree Mishra)

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