Kuldhara – the city which was abandoned in one night


Jaisalmer city in Rajasthan is located in the desert area. The desert stretches for hundreds of miles outside the city, where there are huge dunes in many places. A few miles away from the city, there is a beautiful village named ‘Kuldhara’ which has been deserted for the last 200 years.

People left the village overnight

The people living in this village left their village overnight 200 years ago and went somewhere else and never came back. Kuldhara village is now under the supervision of the Archaeological Department. According to local tradition, two hundred years ago, when Jaisalmer was a princely state, Kuldhara village was the happiest village in that princely state. Most of the revenue came from here.

The story of saving honour of a daughter

There used to be festivals and traditional dances and music festivals here. Paliwal Brahmins lived in this village. A girl from the village was about to get married and it is said that the girl was very beautiful. Dewan Salim Singh of Jaisalmer state caught sight of that girl fell in love with her beauty and insisted on marrying her.


According to the stories prevalent locally, Salim Singh was a tyrant whose stories of cruelty were famous far and wide. But despite this, the people of Kuldhara refused to give the girl to Salim Singh. Salim Singh gave the villagers a few days to think. The villagers knew that if they did not listen to Salim Singh, he would create a massacre in the village.

No one knows where they went

As per tradition, the people of Kuldhara held a panchayat in a chapel located near the village temple and decided to leave the village forever to save their daughter and the honor of their village. In the silence of the night, all the villagers left their homes with all their belongings, cattle, grains, and clothes went away from here forever, and never came back.

Salim Singh’s mansion still exists in Jaisalmer but no one goes to see it. In Kuldhara village, located near Jaisalmer, the stone houses built in several lines have gradually become ruins. But these ruins reveal the prosperity of this village in the past.

Kuldhara - the city which was abandoned in one night

Presence of a flourished village can be felt

The presence of stoves, seating areas, and places to keep pots in some houses makes it seem as if someone has just left from here. The walls here give a feeling of sadness. Being situated in an open space, the sound of the wind rustling in the silence makes the atmosphere even more gloomy. In the silence of the night, the sound of someone’s footsteps can be heard in the ruins of Kuldhara.

Souls of the people of Kuldhara still wander here

It is belief among the local people that the souls of the people of Kuldhara still wander here. The Rajasthan government has restored some of the houses here to attract tourists to this village. The village temple still stands in its place as a witness to the times gone by.

Every year thousands of tourists come here to see this village. The local people here respect this village a lot. Another famous belief is that when the people of Kuldhara were leaving this village, they had cursed that this village would never be settled. Even today, two hundred years after his departure, this village lies deserted in the desert of Jaisalmer.

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