Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Kuldhara : The Abandoned And Cursed Village Of Jaisalmer


Kuldhara is an abandoned village in the Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan, India. Established around 13th century, it was once a prosperous village inhabited by Paliwal Brahmins. It was abandoned by the early 19th century for unknown reasons, possibly because of dwindling water supply, or as a local legend claims, because of persecution by the Jaisalmer State's minister Salim Singh.
Front part of Village
Gradually, it acquired reputation as a haunted site, and the Rajasthan State Government decided to develop it as a tourist spot.The former village site is located about 18 km south-west of the Jaisalmer city. The village was located on a 861 m x 261 m rectangular site aligned in the north-south direction. The township was centered around a temple of the mother goddess. It had three longitudnal roads, which were cut through by a number of latitudnal narrow lanes.
Temple Of Kuldhara Village

The Kuldhara village was originally settled by Brahmins who had migrated from Pali to Jaisalmer region.[2] These migrants originating from Pali were called PaliwalsTawarikh-i-Jaisalmer, an 1899 history book written by Lakshmi Chand, states that a Paliwal Brahmin named Kadhan was the first person to settle in the Kuldhara village.
Ruins of 410 buildings can be seen in the former village.[1] Another 200 buildings were located in the lower township on the outskirts of the village.
By the 19th century, the village had been deserted for unknown reasons. Possible causes proposed include lack of water and the atrocities of a Diwan (official) named Salim Singh (or Zalim Singh).

     In an era of powerful kings and ministers, about 200 years ago, Kuldhara was home to the Paliwal Brahmins. It was during this time that Salim Singh, the Diwan of Jaisalmer, known for his debauchery and unscrupulous tax-collecting methods, set his eyes on the beautiful daughter of the village chief. The Diwan was absolutely hell bent on having the girl and he told the villagers if they came in his way he would levy huge taxes on them.
Fearing the wrath of the Diwan, the residents of the entire village fled one dark night, leaving behind their homes and everything within them. Kuldhara was abandoned by its very own people. No one saw the thousand-odd members of the village leave. For generations now, no one knows where the Paliwals have resettled. 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.
The local legend claims that while deserting the village, the Paliwals imposed a curse that no one would be able to re-occupy the village. Those who tried to re-populate the village experienced paranormal activities, and therefore, the village remains uninhabited.[16]
Gradually, the village acquired reputation as a haunted place, and started attracting tourists.[17][18] The local residents around the area do not believe in the ghost stories, but propagate them in order to attract tourists.[19] In the early 2010s, Gaurav Tiwari of Indian Paranormal Society claimed to have observed paranormal activities at the site. The 18-member team of the Society along with 12 other people spent a night at the village. They claimed to have encountered moving shadows, haunting voices, talking spirits, and other paranormal activities.[20]
Ruins Of Village

Ruins Of Village

In 2006, the government set up a "Jurassic Cactus Park" at the site for botanical studies.[19] In 2011, some scenes of the movie Agent Vinod were shot at the site.
In 2015, the Rajasthan government decided to actively develop the village as a tourist spot.[16] The project is being undertaken as a public-private partnership with Jindal Steel Works. The plan includes establishment of visitor facilities such as a cafe, a lounge, a folk-dance performance area, night-stay cottages and shops.



Unknown said...

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