8

Feb2016

KULDHARA- A place where the roads forgot their way

It was December 23rd when my family and I decided to drive 18 km away from the city of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan to reach Kuldhara. The name means a place where the earth holds its dynasty in place. Quite ironical to the site we saw that morning in front of us but, as we paid the guy our entrance fees, we were very excited to explore this village.



In one corner of the gate, made of metal bars which seemed to guard the village, sat a man with a few tourists who were intently listening to whatever he had to say about the community. The village of Kuldhara was said to be inhabited by the Paliwal Brahmins of Rajasthan and was one of the most prosperous communities. Even the design of the village with wide roads on both sides of the double storeyed stone houses, temples in every corner, depicted the same.



The streets of this village called us to explore it on foot, and we got out of our car and landed on the desert sand. It seemed strange to think that any livelihood existed in this dry and dusty land, even if it was two hundred years ago. I walked through the abandoned houses with broken walls and rooftops, jumping and climbing the uneven stones to find something. My brain cooked up different stories wondering what happened in each room, trying to figure out what made those families leave their home. It felt like these stones had a story to tell and each house called wanting to narrate it.



Ariel view of the city

ASI rebuilt a few houses to show how people might have lived in 1825. I felt a presence or imagined one maybe, of someone peeking in from the reconstructed window like they were calling me, to tell their story perhaps. As we climbed the terrace of one of the houses, we saw a view, quite sad. As far as one could look, it was just destruction, done by time and people.

Roads of Kuldhara

There were a few stories that the kids out here narrated to the tourists. One was a practical one: with the increment in taxes and a shortage of water, the Brahmins couldn’t keep up their livelihood and abandoned the village. But, the fact that made Kuldhara fascinating was that it was abandoned by the entire village, overnight. So, what could be the reason that forced the villagers to leave their home all in one night?

Reconstructed window by Archeological Survey of India

A more alluring one is the tale where the Diwan of the State, Salem Singh fell for a twelve-year-old and vowed to marry her when she became of age. The Paliwal Brahmins tried to reason with him; they couldn’t marry her to someone who was out of her caste. Unpersuaded, he planned to run away with her but,true to their word and morals, when the Brahmins found out about this, they wrapped up whatever could take with them and abandoned the village, overnight.

Although, seeing skeletons of houses spread across the vast land, both the tales don’t seem to suffice its state. The now silenced streets have the kids telling another story. A curse by the PaliwalBrahmins before they left Kuldhara prohibited it to be inhabited by anyone else. The village is haunted, and no one is allowed to stay there after sundown.

Ceiling with beams resembling a skeleton

To reach Kuldhara, I’d advise you to hire a car to go out of the city of Jaisalmer. Carry a bottle of water as the place is completely deserted and wear comfortable shoes if you would like to explore. It might seem eerie but, it still feels like this place still has an untold story to tell and the abandoned streets of Kuldhara are still waiting to narrate it.

  • Written byShraboni Dutta

    Studying English Literature from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Delhi University. She has a knack for telling stories which comes from her love for theater. Extremely curious in nature, she is passionate about learning more about people, culture, and heritage.

    25

    Feb2016

    Comment: Such a beautifully written article ! Pleasure to read .

    13

    Feb2016

    Comment: Lovely!! You make me want to go visit☺☺

    09

    Feb2016

    Comment: Fantastic travalogue. Just loved it. Keep it up

    09

    Feb2016

    Comment: Thanks for taking me back to Kuldhara again. Loved the post, beautifully written

    09

    Feb2016

    Comment: I was transported to Kuldhara with this beautiful piece of writing. A writer in the making, hoping to see many more from Shraboni !

    09

    Feb2016

    Comment: Lovely piece of travel writing. Makes me want to visit the place.

    08

    Feb2016

    Comment: Thoroughly enjoyed the article Shraboni. The challenge while writing a travelogue is to make your reader get the feel of the place which you have been able to do quite well. The element of suspense that lingers on throughout the writing is what has given it a gripping edge. The intermingling of history and folklore is remarkable. Your article made me recall my favourite author Rabindranath Tagore's famous story "The Hungry Stones". Need I say anything else?

    08

    Feb2016

    Comment: What a wonderful storyteller! Looks like an upcoming writer to watch out for! When is your next?

    08

    Feb2016

    Comment: Very nicely written travelogue. 👌👌👌

    Comment

    Also post on Facebook

    view all comments

    Recently Commented

    Why Does Skin Wrinkle? All you needed to know about wrinkles

    Genes are surely an important factor but there are loads of research to prove the effect of sun on skin. Think sun beds!

    Why Does Skin Wrinkle? All you needed to know about wrinkles

    I don't agree completely. I am almost 49 - never touched sunscreen in my life and don't have wrinkles. So not so sure about the claim that it's sunscreen that prevents wrinkles. I think it's genes, lots of water, a positive attitude, facials once a month and not taking life too seriously..

    Understanding 5 Kleshas (sanskrit for pain) – are they an obstacle or advantage

    Very well written.. something i am sure every human can relate to! Waiting for the Kriya yoga tip...

    The Fear coach’s guide to – The 3 F’s of Fear, learn to tackle your Fear

    Everyone loves it when people come together and share views.Great site, continue the good work! http://bit.ly/2lZh8pz

    Related Articles

    La Crisalida: a CIY (choose it yourself) round the year, wellness retreat
    Wildlife Destinations India- you need to visit to fuel the nature-lover in you
    Why Phuket and not Bangkok/Pattaya should be on your Thailand travel list?
    Milford Sound – “Not all those who wander are lost”
    Glasgow- People make the city Good, Bad and Ugly