I got off the bus in Jaisalmer, India in the early morning hours with no plans. I can’t recall the exact reason I decided to visit this Indian city in the heart of the Thar Desert – but I was here now and decided to make the best of it.
This turned out to be the day I taught myself how to ride a motorcycle. Turns out Jaisalmer was the perfect place to learn. After spending the morning practicing, I took to the open roads around the city. While most of the road network in India is crap – the beautifully paved roads stretched for miles into the desert outside of Jaisalmer. It was the perfect place to put the bike through its paces.
Early in the day I stopped for a beverage at a roadside stand. It was there someone told me about a nearby ghost town. Before long I was once again flying down the road towards this haunted oasis.
Kuldhara was once a prominent village dating back to the 13th century. For unknown reasons the village was abandoned nearly overnight in the early 19th century. Several rumors explain the people universally clearing out – the most logical being the wells dried up. More sinister stories tell of a hot tempered and cruel magistrate who abused the village and its citizens. One day he spotted a girl to his liking and demanded her from the villagers. Under the pressure of his guards, they gave her up to the Samant (ruler). Filled with regret and grief, the villagers cursed the very ground they stood upon. During the following night, the entire village picked up and left.
Some say the souls of the villagers are trapped in town for their treachery – despite their physical forms having left years ago. Rumors state overnight visits gives the most paranormal activity – from shadowing forms stalking your steps to whispers in the dark of night.
The remnants of Kuldhara are becoming more and more well-known to tourists, and the locals are definitely taking advantage of their newfound income. But whose to say if the town is truly haunted or just another strange story in the books? Either way the suffocating silence of the Thar desert and the sheer distance from other human beings is enough to give anyone the creeps in that old abandoned town.