Kuldhara – The Village Abandoned Overnight
Kuldhara is an extremely intriguing village which has been abandoned since early 1800s and is believed to carry a curse of the residents who migrated elsewhere.
Salim Singh, the minister of the state, once visiting this village fell for this young beautiful girl and wanted to get married to her. The girl was the daughter of the chieftain and belonged to the clan of Paliwal Brahmins.
The minister threatened the villagers that if they did not marry the girl to him, he would levy huge taxes. The chief of the village with those of other 84 adjoining villages decided to abandon and migrate elsewhere as against marrying the girl to Salim Singh. Apparently, this cause one of the most intriguing migrations of mankind and no one has any clue where all these people from 84 villages went to.
However there is another story –
Paliwals, originally Brahmins, were native inhabitants of Pali a small kingdom in the Thar desert .Sometime in 13th century, due to the meddling of the King of Pali into their everyday affairs and his atrocities, they migrated to a Village called Kuldhara in Jaisalmer. This is the first time when they were called Paliwal.
Here they settled into 84 villages around the town of Jaisalmer.Paliwals were very benevolent people with a strong sense of community. Over a period, with the help of each other and collective trading practices with external traders, Paliwals prospered again. Their prosperity became famous and that caused them to become targets of Mughal invasions.
Paliwals bravely fought off most of these invasions until the last one sometime in 18th century. It is not clear who the invader was but the day was Raksha-bandhan. A large number of paliwals were martyred. The war went on for days. On the last day, this Mughal invader ordered to put animal carcasses into all the wells which Paliwals used to get their water from. This caused this staunch religious Brahmin community to migrate from these villages.
Overnight, they left the villages of Kuldhara and moved to other places. They also seemed to have left a curse on the village. The fear of which, stops the locals from venturing near these villages even till date.