An entire village became abandoned overnight and is now haunted

·3-min read

Located just under 20km from the desert town of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, Kuldhara has earned its reputation as a site for paranormal activities. The abandoned village has been that way for a little over a century and anyone who’s since tried to occupy it has supposedly witnessed paranormal activities.

Kuldhara
Photo: Suryansh Singh/Creative Commons License 4.0

For some time now, the village of Kuldhara has been a source of immense speculation and fascination for those who have interest in the supernatural. Sometime at the turn of the last decade, the abandoned village came into the public eye when people started writing about the paranormal experiences they had in Kuldhara. Several studies have suggested that the village was abandoned over a period of time for reasons such as drying up of wells and excessive taxes by Jaisalmer’s prime minister, Salim Singh.

Legends however have a different story to tell and the prime minister plays a crucial role in them.

Ruins of deserted village, Kuldhara Village, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India. (Photo by: Exotica.im/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Ruins of deserted village, Kuldhara Village, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India. (Photo by: Exotica.im/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Salim Singh, often called Zalim (Cruel) Singh, was a high profile prime minister to the king of Jaisalmer. He was so powerful that he proceeded to build a house that would be taller than the palace of the king. This upset the king who dispatched his soldiers and had the uppermost floor of the house demolished so his palace would continue to be the tallest in the land. His shenanigans notwithstanding, Salim Singh continued to remain an important courtier of the Jaisalmer State and his powers were largely unchecked.

Abandoned house at Kuldhara Village, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India. (Photo by: Exotica.im/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Abandoned house at Kuldhara Village, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India. (Photo by: Exotica.im/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Salim Singh, the legend goes, could get away with murder and this was something he was well aware of. Even as he continued to raise taxes on the locals, Salim also couldn’t keep his eyes off the ladies. His lust led him to a girl in Kuldhara who he demanded be sent over to his chambers that very night. The villagers, not having a choice, agreed but requested that the soldiers return the next day to collect her.

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Having packed off the soldiers, the villagers proceeded to sacrifice the girl, gather their belongings and leave the village for good. There was nothing left in the village for them. With the taxes being what they were and certainly having earned the prime minister’s wrath after killing the girl he’d laid his eyes on was all the sign they needed.

When the soldiers returned the next day not only did they find the dead girl, they also saw that the entire village that was populated just the previous day, had been abandoned. Little else is known of what followed but the legend only grew. Legend has it that the spirit of the dead girl haunts the village.

A general view of the abandoned village at Kuldhara, near Jaisalmer in the Indian state of Rajasthan, on December 4, 2015.  Villagers in Kuldhara fled in 1762 -- locals say the area is
A general view of the abandoned village at Kuldhara, near Jaisalmer in the Indian state of Rajasthan, on December 4, 2015. Villagers in Kuldhara fled in 1762 -- locals say the area is "cursed", and the site remains a tourist attraction for Indian and foreign visitors. AFP PHOTO / Sam PANTHAKY / AFP / SAM PANTHAKY (Photo credit should read SAM PANTHAKY/AFP via Getty Images)

Over the course of several decades, the story of Kuldhara would be spoken about in whispers till it exploded on to the internet a little over 10-12 years ago. Rajasthan Tourism decided to cash in on this reputation and began promoting it as a tourist site.

The locals may not believe the legend but it’s equally true that no one has ever lived in the abandoned village of Kuldhara.

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